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Old murder case gets a fresh look

Old murder case gets a fresh look

— Prosecutors are giving an 18-year-old murder new consideration.

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston plans to take a closer look at the 1985 killing of 53-year-old Vida Mae Hirschy. Her body was found in Applegate Lake anchored to a heavy piece of metal pipe in December 1985.

Investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department prodded prosecutors to take another look at Hirschy's murder last year. But taking former OSP trooper Gary Marvin Repp Jr. to trial on charges of killing of his wife, Kerry Repp, halted Huddleston's progress on the Hirschy case, he said.

Huddleston wouldn't discuss evidence or suspects, saying only that he has made no decisions on whether to file charges.

Hirschy's children reported her missing several days after she was last seen at their Griffin Creek Road home. She walked out of the house on Dec. 2, 1984, wearing her bathrobe to get some firewood. She was found about a year later in what is usually the furthest depths of Applegate Lake. However, the lake had never been so low, and Hirschy's body was spied under six feet of water.

— Hirschy's husband, Donald Leslie Hirschy, told investigators that he didn't notify police of her absence because she'd left him so many times in the past.

Donald Hirschy later served more than five years in federal prison on weapons charges. He was found riding in the trunk of a car in 1989 with two illegally altered guns and a homemade silencer made from a lawnmower muffler. Prosecutors said he was trying to kill a Medford woman he had dated.

A 10-year-old Ashland murder also remains open but is no closer to being solved, detectives said.

Investigators said they have been interviewing people this year about the killing of 44-year-old Ed Krahel, who was regarded as eccentric and once ran for Ashland mayor. His body was found in the charred husk of his Meade Street home in January 1993.

Detectives are using advances in DNA evidence to take a closer look at the killing, said Brent Jensen of the Ashland Police Department.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail