SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Could new genetic technology help crack the so-called Zodiac Killer case?
The Zodiac Killer is responsible for at least five murders in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The case, which was considered all but unsolvable, may have new legs.
The Zodiac Killer, who’s killing spree and ciphers around the Bay Area draw worldwide attention to this day, may be weeks away from being unmasked.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Vallejo police submitted letters and envelopes from the Zodiac Killer to a private lab to obtain a DNA profile.
The hope is that those envelopes he licked closed years ago, might be the final piece to crack the case.
The question for Dr. Monte Miller, a forensic DNA expert is: how was that evidence stored all these years?
Dr. Miller said, “If it was stored in say, an air conditioned environment, out of the sunlight and it wasn’t exposed to any chemicals, it might be good for 50 years, particularly if it were refrigerated.”
On the other hand, Dr. Miller says, “If it were kept in a box in a warehouse subjected to heat and cold cycles, you probably wouldn’t get anything off it after 40 years. There certainly is the potential there to get a full DNA profile.”
The lead Vallejo detective in the Zodiac case told The Sacramento Bee that he hopes to use the same open source DNA database technique that helped identify Joseph DeAngelo as the suspect in the Golden State Killer case.
KPIX5 security analyst Jeff Harp, a former assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco FBI office, says law enforcement will seize upon this crime solving development.
“You could go as far as having bodies exhumed and DNA samples taken,” Harp said.
The DNA results are expected in just a few weeks.