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Prime Suspect In 1994 Cold Case Murder Of Jenny Lin Dies In Oregon Prison

CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF/AP) -- The prime suspect in the 1994 cold case murder of Jenny Lin, a talented 14-year-old musician and student, who stabbed to death at her family's home in Castro Valley has died in an Oregon prison.

The Oregon Department of Corrections has confirmed that Sebastian Shaw died in Oregon State Penitentiary custody on Saturday.

Shaw entered prison Feb. 22, 2000, after his conviction in Multnomah County with no release date. Shaw was given three life sentences for the aggravated murder of Jay Rickbeil in July 1991 and the killing Donna Ferguson and Todd Rudiger in 1992. He was also convicted of the rape of a Southeast Portland woman in 1995.

A Multnomah County jury deliberated in 2006 on the death penalty for Shaw's killing of Rickbeil but was split. A death penalty sentence required a unanimous decision.

While in prison in 2000, Shaw confessed to killing 10 to 12 other people. He sought a promise that he wouldn't face the death penalty in future prosecutions if he told prosecutors everything he knew about those deaths, but prosecutors declined.

The same year, he was named the primary suspect in  Jenny Lin's murder. To this day, it remains one of the Bay Area's most famous unsolved murders.

Each year, her family host a memorial service and candlelight march, making sure that she and the search for her killer remains in the minds of local residents.

Jenny, a straight-A student at Canyon Middle School and played the viola, was fatally stabbed at her Palomares Hills home on May 27, 1994. A $100,000 reward has been in place for years for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed her.

Lin's parents, John and Mei-lian Lin, said their daughter's brutal death "devastated" their family but they "vow to continue working with the police until the case is solved and to carry on Jenny's dreams to see her life extended in a unique fashion."

For more than 20 years the Jenny Lin Foundation, set up in her memory, has offered music scholarships and free music programs to the community each summer and has organized numerous safety fairs, workshops and contests to raise awareness of child safety issues and to improve safety knowledge and precautions for parents and children.


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