CHICAGO
08/03/2011 09:45 am ET | Updated Oct 02, 2011

Michael Whitney, Convicted Murderer, Charged In 35-Year-Old, Cold Case Wheaton Murder

Though nearly thirty-five years have passed since the previously unsolved stabbing death of Wheaton resident Darlene Stack, the cold case has warmed up considerably as a man, who was already serving time as a convicted murder, has been charged in the 1976 slaying.

Michael Whitney, 58, was nearing a likely parole for a 60-year sentence he was serving for a 1982 murder conviction in the Big Muddy River Correctional Center in Ina before he was charged Tuesday with slaying Stack, the Chicago Daily Herald reports.

Stack's sister, Theresa Stack, who lives in Schaumburg, told the Daily Herald she was "very grateful" to see the charges filed -- even all these years later.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Whitney told a judge Tuesday he will plead guilty to killing Stack, who was 28 years old at the time of her death. He reportedly has been a suspect in Stack's murder for some time, as new DNA testing advances linked Whitney to the crime through semen evidence.

Whitney and his then-girlfriend were reportedly living in the same boarding house, located in the 1400 block of North Stoddard Avenue, as the victim at the time of the murder in August 1976. The victim, who was attending classes to become a medical technician, was found in her room with 33 stab wounds, some of which had penetrated her heart, according to the Tribune.