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DISBARRED LAWYER CHARGED WITH MURDER SAN JOSE — A disbarred lawyer has been charged in the 1993 murder of a woman who was beheaded and stuffed in a suitcase. Kirk Bennett, 54, is accused of killing Stephanie Jensen, 32, and stuffing her headless, handless corpse into a suitcase later found hidden in a ravine above Saratoga. He was extradited from his Idaho home and booked in Santa Clara County Main Jail on Friday. Bennett’s arrest marks the third break in an unsolved homicide since the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office opened its new cold case unit in March. The unit was started to offer support to law enforcement agencies looking to close the gap on the county’s roughly 300 unsolved cases. Jensen’s corpse had remained unidentified for 10 years, until Sgt. Pedro Contreras, a member of the sheriff’s office’s cold case unit, decided to reopen the decades-old investigation and positively identified the body through DNA tests. Jensen’s friends and family in Salt Lake City, Utah, told Contreras they had not heard from Jensen since May 1993. The family was able to provide physical characteristics that matched the corpse. Disbarred because he took clients’ money without doing work, Bennett was working as a car salesman and living in San Francisco with Jensen, a youth counselor, at the time she disappeared. — Julie O’Shea

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