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Columbus, OH: Killer of Co-ed in 1994 Found via DNA !

- Now Recanting His Confession -

Jonathan J. Gravely - Age 35




Details of the Crime


In early March of 1994, Stephanie Hummer went missing. Stephanie was just eighteen years old and a freshman at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Police say Stephanie was snatched off Pearl Alley, east of campus. On March 6, 1994, her body was found in a field near downtown. She had been sexually assaulted and bludgeoned in the back of the head.
Her partially clothed body was found face down in a field about four miles from her dorm.
She had been raped and murdered. Thirty-five-year-old Jonathan Jerome Gravely is charged with her murder. Police say they have DNA evidence linking him to the crime. It's been 12 long years trying to find Hummer's killer, but a law passed just last year played a key role in tracking down Gravely.

Hummer, a 1993 Finneytown High School graduate (Cincinnati, OH), was on a full scholarship at Ohio State University when she was killed. Police said she was kidnapped near the campus as she walked to a party at 3:00 a.m. in early March of 1994. Police found Gravely at a labor pool site Wednesday, and during questioning he admitted to some involvement in the case, police said. He was charged with one count of murder, and is expected to be arraigned today in Franklin County.

Stephanie Hummer was an athlete with a vivacious personality who dabbled with the idea of becoming a model; she would have turned 30 this year.

In 2002, a park along North Bend Road, a short distance from the home of her parents, Dan and Sue Hummer, was dedicated in her memory.

According to the new law, anyone charged with a felony must submit a sample of their DNA. Gravely was recently convicted of a felony, and as a result, was required to submit a DNA sample. That sample was compared to a DNA sample taken at the time of the murder. Police say they matched. It was the morning of March 6, 1994 when Stephanie Hummer's body was found in a field.

Jonathan Gravely was once a star athlete in Columbus, and no one ever suspected him in this crime until his DNA showed up in the state database.

Jonathan Gravely hid behind a public defender in court Thursday, but police told the judge that he has confessed to the murder.

When the judge set bond at $1 billion, Gravely's family left the courtroom in tears.

If it weren't for a 2003 indictment for non-support, the lowest of felonies, Gravely would still be free. He wasn't paying the mother of his two teenage children the $377 a month he'd been ordered to. He pled guilty to one count and was ordered to pay more than $21,000 in back support.

He also got five-years probation, which allowed a probation officer to swab for Gravely's DNA for the state database.

At one time Gravely had a bright future. He graduated from Whetstone High School in 1989. He was the quarterback on the football team and a star player in basketball.

At the time of Stephanie Hummer's death, Gravely's children were three and five years old.

Gravely's family wouldn't talk to a reporter from 10 TV Thursday, but in the hall outside the courtroom, his mother hysterically proclaimed his innocence.

Court records also show Gravely was ordered to pay support for another child born in 2003, and he had to submit to DNA testing then to prove paternity, but that DNA sample did not go into the State data base, because the law requiring this was not passed until 2005.

Gravely's public defender claims that he didn't waive his Miranda rights and he will be filing a motion to throw out his confession. Gravely has pled innocent to the murder charge.

Jonathan Gravely is being held on a $1 Billion bond !!



Stephanie was on a Full Scholarship at Ohio State University When she was Killed

Stephanie Hummer in 1994

Ohio State University Freshman - Age 18

Dan and Sue Hummer holding their favorite photograph of their daughter, Stephanie




See Original Articles






Photo of Stephanie's parents






DNA Law Pays Off Again !



Reported by Maureen Kocot

Jonathan Gravely had never been convicted of anything to point to him as a suspect in the murder of Stephanie Hummer.

The allegations all stem from the DNA comparison made because a new state law required Gravely to submit a sample. His conviction for failing to pay child support, though not a violent felony, now required him to give DNA to authorities.

Just a few short years ago, Ohio was bogged down in a backlog of 19,000 DNA samples.  Now, the state has doubled its data base and solved yet another high profile cold case.

When Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro took office, DNA samples from thousands of Ohio's most violent criminals were collecting dust. His office says doing something with the samples was a number one priority.

The priority paid off when the state's DNA database identified Robert Patton as the elusive Linden area serial rapist. Then the Attorney Generalís office supported a proposed law that would require anyone convicted of a felony to give up a DNA sample. 

"We knew that if we would test these people, we would be able to solve cold cases," said Jim Canepa from the Ohio Attorney Generalís Office.

House Bill 525 required 67,000 offenders to provide samples of their DNA. That number more than doubled the state's DNA database. 

As a result, a man whose only known crime was failing to pay child support is now one of the most notorious defendants.

"Jim Petro is just so happy, so pleased that we could help get closure for that family," Canepa said.

The AG's office hopes solving the murder of Stephanie Hummer will inspire more law enforcement agencies.






The Stephanie Hummer case has generated somewhat more media attention than usual with 61 hits turning up on a Google News Search (stephanie hummer gravely ohio). This is perhaps because Ohio is such a large, populous state, and it is unusual to catch a rapist/murderer twelve years after the crime has been committed. Most of the stories have been run in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas (Stephanie was from Cincinnati) - although the Associated Press did run a story. None of the media sources I reviewed described Jonathan Gravely as a Black, but many ran his photograph. Publishing the photograph of Black male perpetrators now seems to be the acceptable way of identifying the perpetrator as a Black male.


The new (May 2005) Ohio law, requiring convicted felons to give a DNA sample is excellent. A conviction in this case will make Gravely eligible for the death penalty, since the State of Ohio does have capital punishment. There is no question but that such a violent individual should be removed from civilized society. It is, however, very unfortunate that a young woman's life had to be sacrificed in order to do it. As far as DNA and the Black community is concerned: I think that it would be a good idea to get a DNA sample from, and to fingerprint, Black males at birth, or at least when they reach puberty. I think that such a law would be fully justified in light of the fact that Black commit crime way out of proportion to their numbers in society.


One lesson to be learned from this case is that a young woman should not be walking around at 3:00 a.m. unescorted. The friends who had invited her to their party should have offered to come and get her. This rape and murder also demonstrates that no matter how popular a Black male might be, many of them still have extremely violent, anti-social personalities. As I have said again and again on this website, Black males are simply not to be trusted. We can only be thankful that one more anti-social Black male will be out of circulation.


Yours Faithfully, Liberty



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