Zodiac Killer Could Be Next To Be Caught By New DNA Methods

Eric Risberg / AP
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LOS ANGELES — Following last month’s DNA-driven arrest of a suspect in California’s four-decades-old Golden State Killer investigation, detectives on the trail of the infamous Zodiac Killer say they believe genetic evidence could provide a breakthrough.

A suspect calling himself the Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five killings in Northern California in 1968 and 1969. The suspected murderer mailed taunting letters and cryptograms to two San Francisco newspapers in 1969.

Now the question for pursuers, experts say, is whether or not saliva-derived DNA that might be on stamps and flaps from envelopes can still provide usable scientific markers.

“It’s definitely possible,” said forensic scientist Ruth E. Ballard of California State University, Sacramento. “If they didn’t steam the stamp off and it was stored in a cool dry place, maybe there’s sufficient DNA left.”

The April 25 arrest of 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in the Golden State Killer case has renewed interest in the state’s Zodiac serial killer saga, which was the subject of a 2007 movie “Zodiac.”


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!