The 34-year-old body of local artist Susan Bollinger Kersten was found in her burning car in Johnson County, Iowa in 1995. Someone beat her severely before putting her in her car, and rolling it down an embankment into a field and setting it on fire with her inside. It’s taken 20 years but an arrest was made. On July 17, 2015, her former boyfriend Steve J. Klein, who is now 54-years old, was charged with first-degree murder in Kersten’s death. Klein has pleaded not guilty. The trial is set for November.
Kersten was killed three weeks prior to the couple’s scheduled child support hearing for their one-year-old twin daughters, Andrea and Patience Klein. Earlier that year, Klein denied being the twin’s father but a paternity test proved he was indeed the father. According to IowaColdCases.org, the night of Kersten’s death, the twins were staying at their father’s house and had remained in his care since Kersten’s murder. Kersten was also mother to two older children from a previous relationship: Jason, 17, and Sandra, 19. The Cold Justice team will investigate the murder of Susan Kersten on Friday, August 21 at 8pm on TNT.