Tech CEO arrested in connection with 1992 murder of roommate's girlfriend

Executive "faces life in prison, if convicted."

Updated: July 13, 2022 - 1:06pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A tech executive from the California Bay Area is facing life in prison after being arrested for the 1992 murder of his roommate's girlfriend. 

Police arrested John Woodward as he deplaned in New York City last week, according to a press release from the Santa Clara district attorney's office.

Woodward was wanted as a suspect in the 1992 murder of Laurie Holts, who was found strangled in her car in Mountain View, Calif., in September of that year.

Forensic evidence had linked Woodward to the crime, but police failed to clear the necessary evidentiary standards to charge him. Woodward "moved to the Netherlands after the case was dismissed," the district attorney's office said. 

Advances in forensic profiling, however, provided stronger footing for charging Woodward with murder. The district attorney, meanwhile, claimed his motivation for the murder may have been due to romantic feelings toward Houts's boyfriend, his roommate. 

"He was openly jealous of Ms. Houts, having developed an unrequited romantic attachment to his roommate, her boyfriend." the DA's office said. "He had no alibi."

"When the boyfriend asked Woodward if he killed her, as police listened, he asked what the investigators knew," the press release added.

The district attorney's office praised the cooperation with international authorities in the prosecution of the case. 

"In less than 24 hours, Dutch authorities in coordination with DOJ, obtained a warrant for the search of Woodward’s home and business in the Netherlands and seized multiple computers and USB drives," the office said.