Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Crystal Todd Murder Case

Testy Nerves

Homicide Detective Bill Knowles and SLED agents continued questioning Crystal's friends, and collecting DNA samples for analysis. Thousands of hours had been spent in the investigation and hundreds of suspects had been questioned. The investigators were still certain that the victim and killer knew each other.    

Ken Register & Crystal Todd, pool
Ken Register & Crystal Todd, pool

Johnnie Kenneth Register II was a neighbor and former boyfriend of Crystal. Ken, as he was known, lived with his parents at 7025 Shady Grove Road in the Jordanville community. He was 18 years old at the time of Crystal's murder and remained in close contact with members of the Todd family. Ken had been a pallbearer at the funeral and often visited Bonnie Todd.

Conway High School
Conway High School

People in Conway thought of Ken as a pleasant and polite person. At Conway High, he had the reputation of being laid-back and a good student-athlete. He played for four years on the football team and was a member of the Future Farmers of America club. Ken graduated in 1991 and became a construction worker in nearby Garden City Beach. He was never known to have been in trouble. 

On January 13, 1992, Ken Register had voluntarily given a statement to SLED agents relating his knowledge of the victim's acquaintances, boyfriends and habits. Ken also told the agents of his whereabouts on the night of the homicide. In addition, he voluntarily consented to give blood, saliva, head and pubic hair samples, fingerprints and palm prints.

More than 50 samples of blood had been sent to SLED for testing. On February 15, Bill Knowles got a call from a SLED agent, informing him they had a match from one of the samples. The additional tests confirmed a perfect DNA match with semen taken from the victim. When given the suspect's name, Knowles was shocked. He immediately began making plans for the arrest of Crystal Todd's murderer -- Ken Register. 


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