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Savannah, Mo., man confesses to 1996 murder of Raytown woman

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Savannah, Mo., man has been charged with the February 1996 murder of Therese M. Campen of Raytown, Mo. Campen’s body was found in a rural cemetery near Amazonia, Mo., in Andrew County.

Prosecutors charged Michael Ray Wilson, 55, with first-degree murder, second-degree murder (as an alternative) and first-degree robbery.

According to the probable cause, on September 13, 2012, Wilson provided authorities with a five-page written confession in regards to Campen’s murder. Wilson said in February 1996 he was using narcotics very heavily and met Campen in Raytown, Mo. Wilson said upon meeting her he learned Campen worked as a prostitute and knew from that point he was going to kill.

According to the probable cause, Wilson said the two planned on meeting later in the day at a McDonald’s in Raytown. Wilson said he took a bus from Kansas City to Raytown and then walked to McDonald’s where he met Campen, who was driving a vehicle she said was her boyfriend’s.

At McDonald’s Wilson said he made arrangements with Campen to travel with him to buy a large quantity of narcotics, however Wilson said that was just a ploy to get Campen alone. Wilson said he drove Campen’s vehicle to the cemetery near Amazonia, stating that he knew it would be secluded.

Wilson provided police with further details of how after having consensual sex, he strangled Campen with a black rubber hose he found in the front passenger floor board. He then dragged Campen into a wooded area and used a portion of a limestone headstone that he kicked loose and threw it on Campen’s head.

Wilson said he then returned to Campen’s vehicle, tossed her belongings onto the ground and took $15 and some marijuana from Campen’s purse. Wilson then stated he drove back to Kansas City where he spent the night in a hotel. The following day he drove to Columbia, Mo., where he met friends and abandoned Campen’s vehicle at an apartment complex.

Wilson told authorities he wanted to put the case behind him and for Campen’s family to have closure.

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