Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Death of a Beauty King

Tying the Lose Ends

During the spring of 1981, Fred Milo's murder trial was already in full swing while detectives were still searching for the gunman. They continued their search up until jury deliberations. Just when it looked as if Fred would walk free, detectives were alerted to a new suspect named David Harden, from Kentucky, a small time thug who had bragged about murdering a northern business man, Dunne reported. Harden was arrested, and during his police interview he learned that he had received a minute fraction of the $22,000 paid out for the murder.

David Harden
David Harden

Angered for being financially duped, Harden decided to bring down all of those involved in the murder plot by revealing everything he knew about the crime. He worked with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, a charge prompting a new trial. During the new trial in August 1982, Harden reported that he was approached by a petty crook named John Harris, who offered him $600 to murder Dean Milo, an offer he accepted. Harris had allegedly been hired by Harry Knott.

Harden testified that on August 11, 1980, he and Harris called Dean from a bowling alley and confirmed he was home before setting out to his house. When they got to the house, Harden rang the doorbell, rousing Dean from his bed and to the window where he called out to ask who it was. Harden claimed to have a telegram for him, which prompted Dean to answer the door. When he did, Harden pushed him down and aimed his gun at him. The weapon had a crude silencer attached to it comprised of a lead pipe stuffed with cotton, which was only good enough for the first shot. Harden then resorted to using a nearby cushion to reduce the sound of the second, fatal shot.

Harden's testimony changed the course of Fred Milo's life. Fred was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. He would die during his incarceration some twenty years later from a heart attack. In all, eleven conspirators were found guilty and sentenced to prison. The number of convictions related to the crime marked a record for the Bath Township Police Department and the end of the town's biggest murder investigation in memory.

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