The death of a Pennsylvania woman last week has been ruled a homicide after the coroner decided it resulted from complications associated with gunshot wounds. Although such a ruling might seem pretty straightforward, it gets a little more complicated when you learn the bullet was shot three decades ago.
Linda Knauss at a younger age. Knauss was shot in 1982 and died nearly 31 years later from what the coroner ruled was complications from this wound. (Photo: The Morning Call, File)
According to Leigh Valley's the Morning Call, Linda Knauss, 65, was killed by the gunshot wound she received to the neck during a robbery while she shopped in Harrisburg. But her death didn't come until nearly 31 years later. The April 12, 1982, attack left her partially paralyzed.
The Morning Call reported the coroner saying Knauss was admitted to the hospital for respiratory issues and died Feb. 18, 2013.
The man who shot Knauss and the boutique shop owner Isaac Mishkin, who still owns the store, was not caught at the time. The Morning Call reported records describing him as in his 20s.
"I just remember him saying, 'I'm going to blow you away,'" the now 76-year-old Mishkin told the Morning Call.
Mishkin, who still has a bullet from the incident inside him near his liver, also noted that Knauss continued to shop at his story in the years that followed:
"She was friendly," he said. "We were on the phone with her all the time. Up until a few weeks ago, she was still a customer of ours.
"We would mail clothes to her and she would mail back what she didn't want."
The Patriot News reported Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico saying if they could find the perpetrator, he could still potentially be prosecuted for his crime as there is no statute of limitations when it comes to murder. But Marisco did note that even with the coroner's homicide ruling it could still be difficult to prove Knauss did in fact die from complications relating to her being shot.
The Morning Call reported Mishkin expressing skepticism for the gunshot wounds being related to Knauss' cause of death.
"I have a bullet in me," he said to the Morning Call. "Would they be able to say if I could've lived longer if it wasn't there? I don't know why they are stirring something up."
Read more details about the 1982 attack on the boutique and its patrons in the Morning Call here.