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Innovative Evidence Collection Method Used in Golden State Killer Case

Q: Can evidence collection methods impact a criminal case?

It isn’t every day that an arrest is made for a crime allegedly committed over 40 years ago–much less a series of alleged crimes from that era. But it happened recently in Sacramento, California with the arrest of a former police officer. Like anyone charged with a violent crime, the alleged “Golden State Killer” will need a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Dubbed “one of the country’s most prolific serial killers and rapists” the now 72-year-old disgraced former cop is reportedly a person of interest in “at least 12 homicides, 51 rapes and 120 home burglaries” allegedly committed during the 1970s and 80s. Part of the continuing investigations will address whether any of the alleged incidents occurred while he was on-duty– prior to being fired from the police department for reportedly stealing a hammer and a can of dog repellant spray.

Tips recently came in on some of the 40-year-old cold cases after the recent publication of a book– that included an “exhaustive investigation” by its author– renewed interest in the search for the serial rapist and killer. But it was reportedly DNA evidence that was the basis for the arrest. Old DNA evidence collected 40 years ago was allegedly linked to the suspect through “innovative techniques involving DNA technology”.

Reportedly, DNA evidence and online ancestry records ultimately led investigators to the suspect and when investigators seized a discarded item that allegedly contained the suspect’s DNA, a match was reportedly made–and that led to the arrest.

It will be interesting to see how the current murder charges, as well as any future criminal charges that may be brought, will play out. Criminal defense attorneys will no doubt object to the unorthodox but cutting-edge method used to nab the suspect in an effort to have the evidence thrown out and the charges dismissed. Issues of whether the use of genealogical records in this manner is permitted and/or constitutes an invasion of privacy will likely be raised.

If you have been or expect to be charged with a violent crime, sex offense, or other crime, the criminal defense attorneys at Noland Law Firm can help you. We believe you are innocent until proven guilty and we will fight on your behalf for the best possible outcome under your particular circumstances. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Liberty, Missouri, we represent clients throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area and western Missouri, including Clay County, Liberty, Blue Springs, Independence, and Gladstone.

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