So 31 years ago, a young Canadian couple sojourned to Seattle for a little vacation and were both murdered.  The killer left his DNA behind, but detectives never got a hit, probably because the killer had never been arrested for a felony afterward and his DNA was never in the national DNA system.

Oh, but for pride and ego!  Many people have sent their DNA in for analysis by private firms to see what their national origin is.  Why, I don’t know, but I assume it is because they are somewhat self-centered.  I could care less what my national origins are outside of what my parents told me, and it wouldn’t make a difference to me to find out otherwise, but millions of people have submitted their DNA to these firms with some mixed results.  Several people have reported they sent their DNA to two different firms and got back results that didn’t match each other, but their DNA is in the private system anyway, and cops have begun tapping into these private firms, looking for anyone with even a close but not perfect match in order to solve cold cases.  The Golden State Killer was recently arrested after committing a dozen murders and around 45 rapes in California.  His DNA wasn’t in the private system, but at least one of his curious relatives did submit DNA for private analysis, and that is what led to his capture.

This guy who murdered the young Canadian couple suffered the same fate.  At least one of his close relatives had submitted DNA for private analysis, so the cops got a close hit.  They found out who was related to the person who submitted the DNA and got DNA from them to get a 100% hit on the killer.

How just!  How perfectly just!  This murderer was probably thinking no one would ever find him because his DNA wasn’t in the criminal system, but unbeknownst to him, a close relative did submit DNA for private analysis and that led to his identity.

My only concern is over how the courts might rule on the use of private DNA submissions being used to solve cold cases like this.  If the courts were to rule that these are illegal searches done without a warrant, these cases could be thrown out at trial.  I guess we’ll just have to wait & see.  At least we know who these killers are now.  I expect the Zodiac Killer’s identity will eventually be revealed using these new techniques — if they are ruled legal searches, that is.


Carl F. Worden

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