The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 17, 2006

Mankato man arrested in 1972 murder case

MANKATO — For years he was known around town as the big guy with the red beard who liked to walk his dog and deliver piercing glares.

Now, however, Scott Williams will be known as the guy arrested in Mankato in connection with a 34-year-old California crime that police say began as burglary but ended as murder.

Santa Clara County authorities — who since 1972 have had a hunch that Williams had something to do with the killing of Fred Izzarelli in Los Gatos, Calif. — tracked him down to his North Sixth Street home in 2004 and have been building their case against him ever since.

Authorities interviewed Williams — whose real name is Frank Spencer Harm — on Thursday. Then, while Mankato police and agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension kept watch on Williams’ house, Santa Clara authorities discussed the case with their prosecutors. Within a few hours, they arrested Williams without incident.

Williams appeared in court late Friday afternoon where he waived his right to challenge the legal proceedings authorities must follow to transfer a detainee from one state to another. Santa Clara authorities are expected to pick him up next week and take him back to California to face murder charges.

“He adamantly wants to go to California to take care of this,” said Scott Cutcher, an attorney who represented Williams in court Friday.

Court documents filed Friday at Williams’ extradition hearing paint a picture of a man woven deeply into the 1970s California drug culture. He’d worked as an informant for authorities and was known to possess firearms.

The murder

Jim Best came home May 31, 1972 to find his best friend’s dead body in his home. Police figured Izzarelli had seen an intruder in Best’s home and went to investigate, and when he confronted the intruder, the intruder shot him.

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