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  1. #1
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    Police used DNA info on genealogy websites to track down Golden State Killer suspect



    The man who police say is the Golden State Killer was found using DNA-matching information from genealogy websites, according to the Sacramento District Attorney's office.Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi confirmed the news, first reported by the Sacramento Bee, that investigators used crime scene DNA and matched it to a relative who was registered on genealogy sites and narrowed down possible suspects using that person's family history.

    Grippi told CNN that other details in the Bee report are "accurate." Shaun Hampton, a Sacramento County Sheriff's department spokesman, also told CNN that investigators used sites that collect DNA information.

    The Sacramento Bee report didn't say which genealogy websites might have been involved. Four companies contacted by CNN denied having any connection to the case. Ancestry, Vitagene, MyHeritage and 23andMe said they didn't provide customer information to law enforcement officials.

    An investigation that lasted more than four decades led authorities to Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who was arrested Tuesday evening in a Sacramento suburb after detectives matched his DNA to evidence from the investigation, police said.

    DeAngelo is accused of being the man who killed 12 people and raped more than 50 women in the 1970s and 1980s. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday for two of the slayings in Sacramento County.

    Investigators used information stored by websites that accept DNA samples in order to provide information about family histories, the Bee reported.

    The detectives would find family trees that appeared to be a match to DNA they had for the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist. The investigators would look at the people listed on the tree and see whether any of them could be a suspect, the newspaper said.

    DeAngelo lived in the area where the crimes were committed and was about the right age, the Bee reported.

    Detectives matched a discarded DNA sample from his home to DNA evidence from the investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/26/us/go...ort/index.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_State_Killer
    Last edited by bsnub; 27-04-2018 at 11:07 AM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    The five-episode TV series recently run on this was tedious, as it was in 'stupid American' format, reiterating everything a dozen times. That said, quite amazing they finally got the guy...one of the most prolific robbers/rapists/killers in US history.

  4. #4
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    Hope they remember the times were different back then.


  5. #5
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    Har har.

    Apples and oranges.

  6. #6
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Being a resident of the golden state during his crime spree, I remember it well. Folks were damned scared. Now finding he was an ex cop understand why he got away with it for so long. Reckon he figured he was home free and never thought advancements in forensics would catch up to him.

    He will likely get death but will never be executed given the appeals laws in CA.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Now finding he was an ex cop understand why he got away with it for so long.
    It does explain a lot. It is going to be interesting to see how this true crime story ends. At some point will he explain why he did what he did? A TV interview maybe?

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    That could have thrown a spanner in the works.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A judge has ruled authorities can collect DNA, fingerprints and body photos of the man suspected of being California’s Golden State Killer.

    Joseph DeAngelo, 72, appeared Thursday morning handcuffed to a wheelchair in a Sacramento courtroom connected to the county jail where he's being held. He did not speak in court.

    Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet ruled in favor of prosecutors after DeAngelo's public defender, Diane Howard, filed a motion to block efforts to take DNA, fingerprints and photos of the suspect's body.

    The judge said courts have repeatedly upheld collection of such evidence.

    Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert got a warrant last week to gather the samples and photographs.

    DeAngelo was arrested last week and identified as the suspect in at least a dozen murders and more than 50 rapes between 1976 and 1986.

    Prosecutors said they used
    DNA and a genealogical website to identify DeAngelo, decades after the case had gone cold.

    Prosecutors had initially planned to take more DNA and photographs on Wednesday, prompting Howard's motion to halt the action.

    In a brief court appearance, Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet delayed the hearing until Thursday.


    DeAngelo, in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffed to a wheelchair, appeared alongside Howard. He has not yet entered a plea.


    Howard argued in a motion that the search warrant should be stopped because it was approved before DeAngelo was arrested and arraigned last week.


    Prosecutors argued that the search warrant was still relevant and said collecting the evidence won't be "testimonial in nature."


    The Associated Press and other news organizations have filed a motion to unseal the full search and arrest warrants for DeAngelo, which could provide additional details about the DNA techniques prosecutors used to identify him.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/golden-state-killer-suspect-joseph-deangelo-fights-dna-collection-effort-n870981

  10. #10
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    Northern California detectives still trying to identify the infamous Zodiac Killer, who targeted victims in the late 1960s and taunted investigators with letters, 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.

    Several months ago, the Vallejo Police Department sent two letters written by the Zodiac Killer to a private lab in hopes of finding his DNA on the back of the stamps or envelope flaps that may have been licked. They are expecting results soon.


    "They were confident they would be able to get something off it," Vallejo police Det. Terry Poyser told the Sacramento Bee.

    Poyser said he hopes a full DNA profile will be found that will enable detectives to try the same DNA sleuthing techniques that were used to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. last month. Authorities suspect he committed at least 12 slayings and 46 rapes in California between 1976 and 1986.

    Investigators uploaded DNA collected at one of the crime scenes to an open-source genealogical website and found a partial match to a distant relative of DeAngelo's. From there, they constructed a family tree dating back several generations before they zeroed in on DeAngelo.

    Some privacy advocates say they are concerned with the process and worry about future abuses, but detectives investigating the Zodiac Killer say they hope the technique will help solve one of the most vexing cold cases in the country.

    "That's a great idea," said Gary Harmor, founder and director of the Serological Research Institute, a private DNA lab. "I think we'll see more investigations use this technique."

    Detectives in Southern California are testing DNA collected from a double-killing and rape to see if they can be tied to DeAngelo. Another man, Craig Coley, was recently cleared of those crimes after spending 38 years in prison in the slaying of a 24-year-old college student and her 4-year-old son in 1978.

    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.

    Various pieces of evidence, including a rope used to tie a victim as well as the letters, have been tested unsuccessfully for the killer's DNA profile. Poyser said recent advances in DNA testing prompted investigators to seek a match on two of the killer's letters.

    Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said the samples were sent to the lab as a matter of routine. Sampayan, a former homicide detective, said police submit samples every couple of years in hopes that advances in DNA testing will finally yield a profile detectives can use.

    "It was coincidental," Sampayan said of the new DNA test occurring at the same time as the breakthrough in the Golden State Killer case.

    "There will come a time when we get a match," he said.

    The 2007 movie "Zodiac," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., renewed widespread interest in a case that has always had a cult following of amateur detectives and cryptographers who sought to crack the killer's code.

    One of those amateur sleuths, Tom Voigt, said the key to solving the Zodiac killings is mimicking the Golden State Killer investigation, which included forming a full-time task force dedicated to the case and exploiting publicly accessible DNA databases.

    Voigt said the Zodiac case was being investigated part time by a Police Department in a city that filed for municipal bankruptcy.

    "There's a formula to follow," Voigt said. "And it's to simply copy what happened to the Golden State Killer."

    DNA match sought to Zodiac Killer after break in Golden State Killer case

  11. #11
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    Newly released documents reveal how investigators obtained the DNA that famously helped them reopen the decades-old Golden State Killer case.
    In April, police arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, the man suspected to be behind a string of grisly murders and rapes that terrorized California beginning in the 1970s. The case made headlines not just for its notoriety, but also because investigators used a little-known genealogical website to track down their suspect — a feat that stirred up both excitement in the criminal justice community, and questions about genetic privacy.


    Court documents released Friday detail how investigators used genetic material to eventually arrest DeAngelo. Investigators first zeroed in on DeAngelo after building an online genealogical profile using DNA taken from an old crime scene, then using it to find distant relatives with matching genetic profiles. Once they had a suspect in mind, however, they needed to prove that his DNA matched that from the crime scenes.

    The 123 pages of documents released Friday show that detectives lifted traces of DNA from DeAngelo’s car door while he shopped at a California Hobby Lobby in April, allowing them to match the genetic material with semen gathered from an old crime scene,
    the Los Angeles Times reports. They obtained a second sample from a tissue in a trash can outside DeAngelo’s home, according to the Times, and arrested him the next day.


    The documents, while heavily redacted, were unsealed at the request of a lawyer representing the Times and other media outlets, and despite objections from DeAngelo’s defense team, the Times reports. While the documents detail items in DeAngelo’s home allegedly taken from crime scenes, including wedding bands and photographs, the list of evidence seized from his home remains sealed.


    DeAngelo has been charged with 12 counts of murder in all, the Times reports. He has not yet entered a plea, and it is not yet clear when and where his trial will take place.

    How Investigators Got the Golden State Killer Suspect's DNA | Time

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