The California police are hoping that the genetic analysis technology that has identified the Golden State killer will now allow him to find the “Zodiac killer”.
The latter had casualties in the late 1960s. He also taunted investigators by sending them and publishing mysterious letters and cryptograms in the press.
Two of these letters were sent a few months ago to a private laboratory in the hope of deriving genetic elements, for example from the saliva used to moisten the wrap or affix the stamp. Results are expected shortly.
Obtaining a DNA profile could then allow the police to use the same investigative tactics that led to the arrest of Joseph DeAngelo last month. The former police officer is known as the “Golden State Killer”, which was responsible for at least 12 murders and 50 rapes in California between 1976 and 1986.
The investigators had uploaded to a DNA genealogy website found on the site of one of the crimes, which led them to a distant relative of Mr. DeAngelo. They then traced a family tree of several generations, before finally targeting the suspect.
Privacy advocates worry about possible slippage, but police hope the tactic will eventually help them solve the crimes of the “Zodiac killer”, a name that has been attributed to him since some cryptograms included symbols and references astrological.