Virginia convicted murderer now charged with 2 cold case slayings after confessions: authorities

Charles Helem, 52, is currently serving a life sentence at a Virginia state prison in the death of Patricia Bentley, a 37-year-old mother who was found strangled in her home in Chantilly, Virginia, in 2002. 

Helem is now charged in the 2002 death of Jennifer Landry in Mount Rainier, Maryland, and the 1987 killing of Eige Sober-Adler in Herndon, Virginia, police said. 

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Charles Helem, 52, a convicted killer, has been charged with murder in the cold-case killings of two women in Virginia and Maryland

Charles Helem, 52, a convicted killer, has been charged with murder in the cold-case killings of two women in Virginia and Maryland (Prince George’s County Police Department)

“We now know even more about the dangers the killer presented to the entire national capital region,” Fairfax County police Chief Kevin Davis said during a news briefing.

On Aug. 15, 2002, Landry was found dead in a wooded area in Mount Rainier, about 5 miles northwest of Washington D.C. An autopsy determined Landry died of asphyxia and cutting wounds to the neck, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.

In 2010 and 2017, Helem sent letters to law enforcement claiming to have information on the Landry murder, but refused to speak to investigators, police said. 

Last September, he agreed to speak with detectives and verbally confessed to killing Landry, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said during the briefing.

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Helem also confessed to killing Sober-Adler, who was found dead in a field behind a Days Inn in Herndon on Sept. 9, 1987, police said. 

On Tuesday, Helem was indicted in Fairfax County for her murder. He has been separately charged in Landry’s killing, reports said. 

“Today my heart is with the Adler family. This indictment will not bring her back. And while her parents are not here to experience this day, it is my hope that those who knew and loved her will have some semblance of closure,” said Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano, according to Washington D.C’s WJLA-TV.

Police said they are seeing whether Helem may be connected to other unsolved crimes. 

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