The medical examiner testified that the woman’s face and skull were badly bruised and hemorrhaged, had multiple scrapes on her back and right heel, had suffered ten to twenty hard blows to the head, had been anally raped before death, and was strangled to death.
The victim was last seen at a Cumberland Farms store at 2:30 a.m. on May 24, 1986, and a woman’s scream was heard at approximately the same time. The victim’s car was found six-tenths of a mile from the store, with its driver’s side window shattered. A shoe print found outside the driver’s side door matched one of Happ’s shoes and Happ’s fingerprints were found on the exterior of the car.
Happ revealed the details of the crime to a fellow jail inmate, Richard Miller.
Happ’s first trial ended in a mistrial when the prosecutor violated a court order and revealed Happ’s prior criminal record.
At the second trial, a friend of Happ’s testified that around the time of the murder, he saw Happ walking toward the canal, and the next morning he noticed that Happ had a swollen right hand. Happ’s former girlfriend also testified that Happ told her that he had broken a car window with his fist.