Stanford Grad Murder Suspect Connected to Another 70s Cold Case: Sheriff's Office - NBC Bay Area
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Stanford Grad Murder Suspect Connected to Another 70s Cold Case: Sheriff's Office

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    Stanford Grad Murder Suspect Connected to Another 70s Case

    A suspect was arrested in a 1970s-era killing in California after investigators used the same advanced DNA testing that helped crack the Golden State Killer case, authorities said Thursday. Anoushah Rasta reports.

    (Published Thursday, May 16, 2019)

    A suspect was arrested in a 1970s-era killing in California after investigators used the same advanced DNA testing that helped crack the Golden State Killer case, authorities said Thursday.

    John Arthur Getreu, 75, was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting and strangling 21-year-old Janet Ann Taylor in March 1974, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office announced.

    Taylor was last seen alive attempting to hitchhike from Palo Alto to her home in nearby La Honda. Her body was found along a busy street.

    Getreu was already in custody in Santa Clara County after being charged last year with sexually assaulting and strangling Leslie Perlov, another 21-year-old woman, in 1973.

    Stanford Grad Murder Suspect Connected to Another 70s Case

    [BAY] Stanford Grad Murder Suspect Connected to Another 70s Case

    A Hayward man arrested last year in the cold case murder of a Stanford graduate in 1970s has been linked to the murder of a 21-year-old woman who was killed in March of 1974.

    (Published Thursday, May 16, 2019)

    Investigators previously believed the killings of Perlov and Taylor were connected. But their cases had gone unsolved until DNA testing evolved enough to deliver credible results from the degraded DNA collected at both killing scenes.

    Authorities in both counties submitted DNA samples to the same publicly available DNA database used to identify Joseph DeAngelo, who authorities believe is the Golden State Killer.

    Getreu was linked to both killings after the testing connected him to both crime scenes, investigators said.

    In the Golden State Killer case, investigators used DNA from the attacks to locate a relative of DeAngelo then turned to traditional techniques to find the suspect.

    Authorities have linked the Golden State Killer to 13 attacks of women throughout California between 1974 and 1986.

    "Law enforcement is not giving up on victims," Assistant San Mateo County Sheriff Gregory Rothaus said at a news conference on Getreu in Redwood City. "We have new DNA technology that is a great tool for us."

    Santa Clara County court records show Getreau is represented by the county's public defender's office, which didn't return a call.

    Getreau has not yet been appointed a lawyer in San Mateo County.

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