Cold case solved after 32 years when man confesses to Longview murder

Glenn Adams appears in court on July 9, 2018

It took 32 years, at least two states, and an unannounced visit with police, but a cold case murder in Longview appears to have been solved.

Police say Glenn Adams, 58, walked into the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice on Friday to confess to the 1986 murder of Russell Haines. He is charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

“30 years in the making, it got solved relatively easily,” said Sgt. Chris Blanchard, a spokesperson for the Longview Police Department.

Haines was found strangled to death inside his room at the Oregon Way Hotel, a men’s only hotel often used as temporary or low-income housing. Blanchard says investigators followed all leads but came up empty.

“We didn't have any suspects that had sufficient evidence to charge at that point. The case was cold for the last 30-plus years,” said Blanchard.

The first crack came in July 2017. Adams went to police in Santa Barbara, California to turn himself in for killing Haines, but he left before officers could interview him.

When they learned this, Blanchard says they reopened the case and began reviewing evidence again.

In September, investigators with Longview Police interviewed Adams while he was lodged in the Klamath County Jail on an unrelated matter. Police say he told them some specific details about the murder, but investigators didn’t have enough to charge Haines. Adams did give them a DNA sample though.

“He wasn't ready to provide a full confession at that point,” said Blanchard. “He said he wanted to speak with his brother further before he turned himself in.”

On Friday, Adams confessed to killing and robbing Haines because, “He just wants to right the wrong that he has done.”

According to court documents, Adams had also been living at the Oregon Way Hotel. He told police he needed money and knew Haines kept large amounts of cash on him. Adams told police he waited for Haines to get home from the grocery store. When he arrived, Adams put him in a chokehold, causing Haines to lose consciousness.

While Haines was knocked out, Adams said he stole $400.

Later, Haines began to wake up. At that point, Adams said he tied a cloth around Haines’ neck, strangled him, then left.

Police verified Adams’ confession, then booked him into the Cowlitz County Jail on Saturday, just after midnight.

Haines’ family did not want to do any interviews Monday, but police said his daughter was surprised to hear about the arrest. Blanchard says there are very few unsolved murders in Longview, so they are happy to see this solved.

“It feels really good to put this case to closure,” he said.

During his first court appearance on Monday afternoon, Adams said he intended to plead guilty.

When the judge asked Adams if he had an attorney, Adams said, “Would that be necessary if I enter a plea of guilty?”

The judge would not allow a plea on Monday to make sure Adams had legal representation. Adams was assigned a public defender. He will be in court again on Thursday. No bond was set.

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