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Cases Old and Cold
^ Well, it was hard to hear the reporters' questions on the CNN Live Stream of the press conference, but the LE representatives who spoke on the matter seem 100% certain that they've got the right guy in ex-cop Joseph James DeAngelo. About effin' time.

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They said they realized justice was delayed in this case, but it was guaranteed.

Since the rapist/killer committed his crimes in multiple jurisdictions, it wasn't until years into the case that the various California LE agencies realized they were searching for the same suspect.

The suspect didn't leave fingerprints and DNA technology wasn't available early on, however the M.O.s matched up.

In 2001, they were able to test DNA left at several crime scenes to confirm that the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, and the Golden State Killer were one and the same.

Since it's an ongoing investigation and there are surely many more charges to be filed, the Sacramento Sheriff declined to say how LE finally honed in on DeAngelo.

The Sheriff did reveal that they recently collected the suspect's DNA from a discarded item during their surveillance of him.

The Sheriff also said, in response to a reporter's question, that the recent best-selling book did not play a role in the case being solved (although it did keep the case on the public's radar).

I'm very curious to hear how LE knew to put surveillance on DeAngelo after all this time. Was it a tip, or previously overlooked suspect DNA in the national database, or enhanced DNA connecting to a family member in the national Database, etc? -- lots of possibilities. We'll have to wait for those details.

In any case, this guy caused so much pain to so many people. I'm very glad he's finally being held accountable.

Joseph James DeAngelo is being charged with capital (death penalty) crimes. But, he's 72 now. So, he'll probably die naturally behind bars even if he's convicted and sentenced to death though.
I hope that there is a nationwide DNA library that takes the DNA of anyone convicted of a crime. Hopefully it's been started already.
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
LE says that despite thousands of tips over the last 40 years, Joseph James DeAngelo was never on their radar until last week. I'm so curious about what finally led police to him.

These are the 12 people police believe DeAngelo murdered in the 70s and 80s.

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When DeAngelo sneaked into homes, he'd rape women who were sleeping alone and sometimes kill them (he raped 45+ women).

If they were sleeping with a man, he'd tie the man up and put dishes on the man's back. He threatened to kill the couple if the man moved while he was raping the woman.

After he was done terrorizing and/or killing them, DeAngelo would steal personal items from their homes. If he held onto any of them as sick souvenirs, they'll be great evidence for prosecutors.

LE believes DeAngelo was committing some of these crimes while still employed as a police officer.

He's a monster.

Full story:
(04-26-2018, 10:49 AM)Maggot Wrote: I hope that there is a nationwide DNA library that takes the DNA of anyone convicted of a crime. Hopefully it's been started already.

There are proposals underway to make it mandatory for all crimes across all states. I hope it becomes federal law too. Right now, it's only mandatory in all 50 states to collect DNA samples for certain violent felonies.

Two other pieces of crime legislation that I really want to see get passed:

1. The right for LE to search for familial DNA matches if no perpetrator match exists in the national DNA database.

In some states that's already legal and LE has identified and arrested killers based on DNA matches to a criminal family member.

2. Mandatory rape kit testing -- there are hundreds of thousands of them sitting untested for years in police stations and evidence labs across the country. It's not only a national disgrace, it's a public safety fail.

Rapes are terrible violent crimes against women and need to be investigated thoroughly. And, as evidenced in the DeAngelo case and many others, rapists are also sometimes guilty of a variety of other crimes.

Last year, after many years of high profile exposure and pressure from activists, Congress ponied up $131 million in funding to tackle some of the backlog. Now, they need to make it a requirement that rape kits be tested in a timely manner across the country moving forward, in my opinion.
This answers my question about how investigators knew to put surveillance on DeAngelo. It's really interesting and the first time I've seen a suspect identified in this manner.

Sacramento investigators tracked down East Area Rapist suspect Joseph James DeAngelo using genealogical websites that contained genetic information from a relative, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday.

The effort was part of a painstaking process that began by using DNA from one of the crime scenes from years ago and comparing it to genetic profiles available online through various websites that cater to individuals wanting to know more about their family backgrounds by accepting DNA samples from them.

Joseph James DeAngelo was the family member in the family tree who was the right age and fit the profile. That's when investigators put him under surveillance and collected an item he discarded which contained his DNA. They tested the discarded item against the DNA from the old crime scene evidence and verified that he was in fact the rapist/killer.

I have a feeling we'll start seeing other cases solved using the same strategy. If LE has perp DNA and it doesn't match to anyone in the criminal DNA database, they'll start running it against DNA profiles on and similar popular sites. If any blood relative has submitted DNA to trace their family tree, it's bad news for the unidentified perpetrator.

Read more here:
Yeah it really should be the same as getting fingerprinted.
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
(04-27-2018, 12:51 PM)Maggot Wrote: Yeah it really should be the same as getting fingerprinted.

Unsurprisingly and that it's been revealed LE used DNA from a family tree website database to identify the Golden State Killer, there's a lot of controversy and concern over privacy issues.

When people submit their DNA to, 123andMe, and other family tree tracing websites, they're potentially opening up themselves and all of their blood relatives to LE searches. Theoretically, LE could just create a fake profile and upload crime scene DNA to get family tree information, which could be an extremely significant lead. However, I don't know if it would be presentable at trial.

In this case, the DNA match to DeAngelo was not found on either of those two popular websites and LE didn't have a warrant for the search. They didn't need one because they used an unadvertised genealogy site called GEDMatch.

The DNA submitted to GEDMatch site is public because users are hoping unknown family members will also submit their DNA online and the GEDMatch site will connect them, and the GEDMatch user agreement stipulates that the samples are publicly available.

But, there's the potential for user-uploaded DNA to be used to discriminate as well (by insurance companies, employers, etc). Some states, like California, already have laws on the book addressing that possible misuse.

Anyway, I understand both sides of the argument regarding LE using non-criminal DNA databases in their investigations.

I believe DNA could grow from being an important tool in solving crimes to also being a significant crime deterrent as criminals and would-be criminals become aware that if they leave behind any crime scene DNA, they can be tracked down if even a very distant relative has uploaded DNA .

I tend to support LE access to genealogy DNA samples, but with restrictions (only for violent crimes and identification of Jane/John Does, etc).

It'll be interesting to watch this justice vs. privacy debate unfold.
Can new technology and investigative techniques FINALLY lead to the identity of the Zodiac Killer?

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I've been interested in the Zodiac case since childhood. It's a sad, strange and fascinating case. It would be great to see the killer identified after all these years.

If anyone is interested in the case and hasn't seen it yet, the movie "Zodiac" with Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. is a really good watch and fairly accurate depiction of the California detectives' failed attempts to positively identify the serial killer.

The Zodiac Killer fatally stabbed or shot to death five people in Northern California in 1968 and 1969, then sent taunting letters and cryptograms to the police and newspapers. The Vallejo police are the lead investigators because the first two victims were killed there.

The suspect was dubbed the Zodiac Killer because some of the cryptograms included astrological symbols and references. Experts and armchair sleuths alike have been trying to fully decipher them for 50 years.

Now, Northern California detectives say they hope to try the same DNA tracing technology recently used to arrest a suspect in another string of cold-case serial slayings — those blamed on the Golden State Killer.

But first they have to get a better DNA profile of the Zodiac Killer. To that end, the Vallejo Police Department sent two letters written by the Zodiac Killer to a private lab several months back. They hope to find the killer's DNA on the back of the stamps or envelope flaps that may have been licked. They are expecting results soon.

Familial DNA Sample Identifies Suspect in 30-year-old Cold Case

The methodology used to identify the suspect in the California 'Golden State Killer' serial murders/rapes is being successfully used in cold case investigations in other states as well.

A suspect was charged last Friday in the following Washington cold case after investigators matched crime scene DNA to a DNA sample uploaded to a genealogy website.

The DNA sample had been uploaded by a distant relative of the suspect who was looking to trace the family tree.

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In 1987, a young Canadian couple, Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, (left) and Jay Cook, 20, (right) was killed while on a trip to Seattle. Tanya was raped and shot in the back of the head. Jay was beaten to death with stones.

A Washington state trucker who authorities say was linked by a controversial new DNA technique was charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

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^ William Earl Talbott II, 55, is the suspect. Investigators worked through family members to eventually get to Talbott.

Talbott pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Gypsy Hill Killer Convicted After 42 Years

It always feels so good to read about cold cases finally being solved after decades.

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Victims:  Veronica (Ronnie) Cascio, Tanya Marie Blackwell, Paula Baxter, Michelle Mitchell, Carol Lee Booth, Denise Lampe.  Rest in peace.

The rape and murders of the six girls in California and Nevada back in 1976 remained a mystery until a cold-case detective re-opened the investigation.

In 2014, the detective scraped DNA samples from cigarette butts found at the crime scenes.  

The samples were discovered to match 69-year-old career criminal Rodney Halbower, 69, who was in prison in Oregon.  DNA taken from the victims also matched Halbower's DNA, prosecutors told jurors.

Prosecutors said they charged him with the murders of Cascio and Baxter (both from Northern California) because the evidence was the strongest in those two cases and they expected Halbower would be locked up for life if convicted.

The jury heard about how the two teen girls were abducted, raped and killed in a once-tranquil suburb. One of the victims was stabbed to death and the other was beaten in the head with concrete and stabbed in her heart.

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^ Rodney Halbower was found guilty after only one  hour of jury deliberation.

He will be sentenced for the murders in October.