Police Used Ancestry Websites To Track Down Golden State Killer Based On His DNA

The Golden State Killer terrorized Northern California between 1976 and 1986, when he committed 50 known rapes and 12 known murders, as well as burglaries and other horrendous crimes.

Sacramento and surrounding areas found themselves living in a state of total blind fear as a seemingly faceless suspect could simply not be apprehended by the police.  Suspect after suspect was cleared.  But in April 2016, police announced they were mounting a full scale invesitgation on the case.  

And on April 24th, 2018, conclusive evidence led to former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo.  He was arrested.  How, you ask?  DNA and Ancestry Websites.

According to police, they obtained a matching sample of DeAngelo’s DNA from something he discarded.  But they worked backwards to get there.

As per the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Law enforcement officials said Thursday that they used a genealogical site [GEDMatch] to to link the suspect’s DNA to a pool of suspects, which eventually helped them narrow the search to 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, the ex-cop suspected of 12 murders and at least 48 rapes.” 

Apparently, a relative of DeAngelo’s had done a DNA test and the match was near enough to DNA found at the crime scene that they were able to build a pool of suspects. 

People around the world are relieved to hear he’s been caught, though the last attack was nearly 32 years ago.

But for some reason, it’s bringing up some unsafe feelings about ancestry websites.

But hopefully you’re not a serial killer, so you should have nothing to worry about.  Right?

H/T: Twitter