The morning after Barbara Winn died of a gunshot to her chest in May 1981 in Maplewood, Minn., an unexpected guest at her autopsy was St. Paul Police Sgt. Bill Finney. Finney told police at the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office that he knew Winn and was close with her boyfriend, the prime suspect in her death. The man was arrested but never charged, leading the Winn family to believe that Finney shielded his friend from possible prosecution, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Those suspicions were resurrected this week when Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher reopened the case in the midst of a heated political race with Finney, a former St. Paul police chief. The renewed investigation has raised questions about Fletcher’s motives and forced Finney, who is challenging Fletcher’s bid for a fourth term, to reiterate that he didn’t influence the outcome of the case. “I enforce the law. … I hold people accountable for their actions,” he said.