Thomas Dunaway, Actor: Who Killed Carol Sue Klaber?
Carol Sue Klaber was found dead at 16 in 1976 and her killer has now been identified as 18-year-old Thomas Dunaway who died in 1990.
Detectives with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office established a Cold Case Unit in 2017 and utilized DNA evidence to find Dunaway. Working alongside Othram Inc, they conducted genetic genealogy testing on her DNA samples to track down Dunaway.
Early Life and Education
Dunaway began taking ballet, tap and piano lessons as a child at Leon High School in Tallahassee and Florida State University, eventually going on to graduate from Boston University with a degree in theatre studies.
After graduating from West Point, Thomas Dunaway served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army for six years before leaving to take up various leadership roles before ultimately resigning his commission.
Boone County sheriff’s detectives have finally solved Carol Sue Klaber’s murder 45 years after it occurred. Investigators sent DNA from the crime scene to Othram Laboratory for genealogy testing, leading them to suspect Dunaway. His arrest and charge has brought closure for Carol Sue Klaber’s family members – she was an exceptional man, she says with gratitude at justice being served for him.
Dunaway served on Anderson City Council for three decades and established a downtown law firm; during this time he represented families affected by the Townville Elementary School shooting. A familiar face at Anderson County courthouse events, where he would make his signature sausage before serving it to fellow attendees; around Christmas time he donned colorful corduroy pants as part of his signature attire.
After her divorce from O’Neill, she began appearing in various independent dramas that showcased her trademark persona of tough-talking, strong-willed women. These included high-profile parts in Sydney Pollack’s political thriller Three Days of the Condor and Paddy Chayefsky’s controversial comedy Network.
DNA evidence directly linked Dunaway to the murder of Carol Sue Klaber, 19, whose body was discovered in Kentucky on June 5, 1976 after being sexually assaulted and strangled. Police discovered that Dunaway enlisted in the military nine days after Klaber died – only then to abandon it altogether – living just half a mile from Devou Park where investigators located Klaber’s corpse.
Achievement and Honors
Bonnie and Clyde was an enormous success and provided Dunaway with the springboard she needed to launch a distinguished film career. Working with directors such as Sydney Pollack, Sidney Lumet and Roman Polanski made for numerous classic roles for Dunaway. The American Film Institute honored this period of her work by including it on their list of the greatest American movies ever made.
She earned an Oscar nomination in Network (1976), Paddy Chayefsky’s sharply satirical drama about television executives with insatiable ambitions, while garnering critical acclaim as a Depression-era radio preacher in The Disappearance of Aimee Semple MacPherson (1976).
Dunaway began appearing in more mature character roles and branching out into independent films during the late ’70s. Her portrayal of an once-glamorous woman succumbing to alcohol in Barbet Schroeder’s Barfly earned her another Golden Globe nomination.
Dunaway has long been an advocate for revitalization efforts in Anderson, Indiana. Working alongside local officials to preserve historic districts and raise funds to demolish numerous collapsing structures over recent years.
Following her Oscars success, she embarked on more challenging projects such as writing a stage play and touring Terrence McNally’s musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard nationwide – but this period wasn’t without incidents.
In June 1976, 16-year-old Carol Sue Klaber was found shot to death along Chambers Road in Walton, Kentucky. While most suspects were quickly eliminated by detectives, it was later determined that Dunaway lived half a mile from the crime scene and fit a sketch made at the time of murder; further investigation also revealed he had exchanged his two-tone Chevrolet Monte Carlo for a Chevrolet Vega shortly thereafter.
Dunaway currently boasts an estimated net worth of $40 Million, having amassed much of it through her illustrious acting career which still continues.
She made a name for herself with her role as Gia Carangi’s agent in Chinatown, earning critical acclaim and more than covering its budget five times over. Additionally, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
Through her career, Dunaway kept herself busy with both mainstream Hollywood films and independent fare, garnering critical acclaim for both roles in Barbet Schroeder’s barfly drama Barfly (1987). Terrence McNally then used Dunaway to portray an opera diva during Master Class (1996-97). Dunaway eventually married singer Peter Wolf from J Geils Band in 1967 but later divorced photographer Jerry Schatzberg after their second date ended; after which, she later went on to date English writer Frederick Forsyth and businessman Warren Lieberfarb.