Texas man arrested in 1968 slaying of Bethlehem Steel employee

Author: , Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published: Dec 24 2013 11:50:24 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 18 2013 06:24:51 PM EDT
Bethlehem Steel site

October 19th 1968 in a Chestnuthill Township Monroe County field hunters made a gruesome discovery.

The body of Bethlehem Steel employee Alfred Barnes found dead, shot multiple times.

Fast forward 45 years, Police say man 67 year old Richard Keiper is the man responsible for the crime.

"I'm totally surprised because I thought he'd be dead by now," Quaquo Kelly said.

Police say Keiper is very much alive and living in Boyd Texas.

But 45 years ago Police say Keiper was living in the Lehigh Valley. Emmaus's Quaquo Kelly says he still remembers a conversation at Allentown's Midway bar, then located at 6th and Linden, with his bar buddy Keiper.

"Mentioned shot guy in the hand that night," Kelly recalled.

But according to Police Keiper shot Barns three times at close range, then took the man's car, dumped it in Warren County New Jersey, where Barnes' blood and a 32 caliber bullet were found on the floor.

At the time Barnes, who lived in Bethlehem, was a 40 year old assistant to the Vice President of Bethlehem Steel's mining operations.

Kelly, who in 1971 came forward with his information to police, says he has no idea why Barnes was killed.

"Said was accidental is what he told me. He really did say accidental," Kelly said.

According to police this case slipped threw the cracks until recently.

Keiper's wife did say her husband didn't do it. But Police say he admitted to the crime, telling investigators he fled PA after shooting Barnes to join a traveling carnival, in order to start a new life.

He was arrested at his job at a wastewater treatment plant in Texas.

He's expected to be back in Pennsylvania soon.