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    January 16: 1936: Serial Killer Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish was executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison. He was responsible for at least 5 murders, including 10-year-old Grace Budd whose murder he was sentenced to death for.

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Update: Kelly Cooper and Ermelinda Iannuzzi murder *Mark Merila convicted of both murders; Sentenced to life in prison*

Ermelinda and Kelly Lynn
Ermalinda Iannuzzi & Kelly Lynn Cooper

Mark Merila was sentenced to 2 consecutive life sentences with no parole for at least 25 years (each) so that is 50 years before parole can be considered. He will be 92. If he even lives that long.

Cold Case: Kelly Lynn Cooper and Ermelinda Iannuzzi murder 8/24/1984 Maricopa County, AZ *Mark Merila arrested in this cold case*
Man convicted of 1984 murders of Mesa teen girls
Man found guilty of killing teens
Man found guilty in murder of two teens back in 1984
Maricopa’s oldest cold case cracked with a guilty verdict
Websleuths: GUILTY AZ – Kelly Lynn Cooper, 16, & Ermelinda Iannuzzi, 14, Mesa, August 1984
Life in prison for 1984 murderer
Man sentenced 24 years after murders
State of Arizona v Mark Stephen Merila 2007


Merila info


12 Responses

  1. Finally, some closure for the families and their friends. Thankyou to the prosecuting attys, the judge, and the jurrors, I am truly gratefull that everyone made the right decision and got this pig off the streets.

  2. I agree Chandra!! This sick bastard. RIP Kelly and Ermelinda. You are loved and missed.

  3. I just cant believe it is finally over. Linda was able to put some closure to this horrific ordeal. She is a strong woman to keep this going after all these years. Kelly and Ermie, you are loved and missed dearly. May you rest in piece.

  4. We want to thank the jurors for all they have done. I know you didn’t ask for this job nor did you want it. I’m so thankful to have had you on this case & for bring in the verdict that we have waited so long for. We can never thank you enough. You will always be in my thoughts & prayers. Thank you too, to all the support from the friends of Kelly & Ermie. You too are always in our thoughts & prayers.

  5. I was honored to be able to serve on this jury to help bring justice to the family and friends of Kelly and Ermelinda. I hope and pray that the other suspect can be caught as well. I was also wondering if anyone knows who this Mitch Riehl is, the guy that was mentioned in the trial? Was he a friend of Kelly’s? I wish I was a detective, so I could go pursue the other suspect personally. Maybe this can air on America’s Most Wanted. Just a thought. Let’s catch this other guy too. My prayers are with all the family and friends as well and it was nice that I got to meet you after the trial was over.

  6. all of you out there, God Bless. so much time, dedication, c losure and memories. hugs to all of you.

  7. Mark Merla sentenced to 2 life sentences without the possibility of parole for 25 years for each girl. I hope you get what you deserve. Alot of people know these girls, I can only hope that one of them might just be in the prison that you end up in. And they give you what you deserve.

  8. YEAH, NO justice has not been served but the puke is gone and may he be ass raped and feel the fear these two beautyful girls felt that night and may he know that fear all the rest of his days….

  9. Ermelinda was my beloved little friend. I met her when she was about 8 years old and lived with her mom and sister in Greenwood Apartments–we were neighbors.

    My son Joe was only 1 at the time and while we were neighbors we spent a great deal of time together. She was the daughter I didn’t have and Joe and I loved her dearly.

    Ermie moved out of the Greenwood Apartments and I moved into a house but we stayed in touch and remained friends. I would pick her up to spend Saturdays with us and she loved to help me around the house. We enjoyed our time spent together.

    I was so deeply saddened by the tragedy of her death, especially because I heard about it on the news. Such a young, beautiful girl full of life and so good natured, especially considering that her life was not an easy one.

    She was barely 14 when her life was taken away from her in such a brutal manner. Back then it was so hard not to think about how frightening the last minutes of her life must have been. I wished with all that was in me that I could have done something, anything to prevent it from happening.

    I am so grateful that they are going to put the slimey son of a ____ responsible for her murder behind bars for life. He is the lowest of lows and nothing that happens to him can compare to the nightmare that happened to Kelly and Ermine on August 24, 1984.

    I hope that Ermie’s dad Angelo is still alive to see justice for his daughter. In loving memory of Kelly and Ermie. I know that you both are in a better place.

  10. Who was Mark’s girlfriend at the time? He brought her to the crime scene and told her everything? How could she not tell the police? This man could have been arrested just days after he murdered them if she would have just told the truth. To think all these years the families of these girls suffered knowing their murderers were out there somewhere… That girl needs to rot in prison right along with Mark for not telling the police what she knew. She is just as guilty for protecting her boyfriend.

  11. I have kept little tabs on this story when it all came out years ago…I just checked on here today and was happy to see that Merila was convicted but what disturbs me is the comment from Juror 12 about Mitch Reihl. We went to Mt. View HS together and he dated my friend around that time. Iam not sure how Ermie would’ve known him since she was so much younger and I never seen her around him at party’s. Was he involved in the homicide as the second suspect? I knew Ermalinda well as I was her sisters friend and lived down the street from them. Also, I am wondering why detectives didn’t speak to so many of us teenagers who frequented the same places and had so many of the same acquintences. AARCNET’s comment about Marks girlfriend who knew of the bodies and what had taken place..I agree that she should be convicted as an accessory to murder. How could she live with herself knowing she held an important key in a homicide of two young ladies. Obstruction of justice at the very least! I am relieved that this monster is now put away where he needs to be but it doesn’t change a thing..I just pray there aren’t any more victims from this jackass!

  12. I just found out in the last couple of days that they’d already tried and convicted this piece of crap. Thank God!!! I hope that he lives out the rest of his days (May they be few!) in abject terror, and die just as painfully and horribly as the two Angels whose lives he took!

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