The DNA new technology

The identification of a suspect in the decades-old Golden State Killer case, using public genealogy databases was considered a breakthrough. Investigators managed to identify 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo as being the Golden State Killer.

Joseph James DeAngelo - Golden State Killer

Joseph James DeAngelo – the Original Night Stalker aka The Golden gate Killer

Following this breakthrough, the same method was used in solving other cold cases as well. On June 20, 2018, a 66 yo man was charged in Michella Welch’s death in 1986. The killer’s DNA was identified through his family members, voluntarily submitting their DNA to a genealogy database.

The same method was used again in solving the rape and murder of 8 year old April Tinsley in 1988. In July 2018, John D. Miller, 59 years old, was identified as the killer.

Searching for the Zodiac Killer

It is no wonder that investigators across U.S. are looking to use this method in hopes to finally put to rest decades old cases where the killer remained unknown to this day. One of those cases is the Zodiac Killer murders in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer

Authorities in California have submitted DNA evidence from two envelopes, that contained letters from the Zodiac Killer, to a private DNA lab. Vallejo police Detective Terry Poyser said that the DNA evidence was submitted for an advanced DNA analysis, which was previously not available.

Detective Terry Poyser, who has worked the Zodiac case for four years, told the Sacramento Bee: “If we get a good profile, then you start tracking back”…….”It really comes down to DNA. Without it, you have nothing. It’s a 50 years old case.”

Will the Zodiac be identified?

It is highly unlikely that the Zodiac Killer’s DNA would be found in a genealogy database; however, if investigators get a DNA profile, well that means that they can search for matches and then continue following a family tree directly to the killer.

Here’s to hoping we will one day find out who was the murderer terrorizing California in the 60’s and 70’s under the name “Zodiac”


Sacramento Bee

NBC Bay Area