Genealogy site tapped in serial-killer case

Genealogy site tapped in serial-killer case”

Privacy concerns are being raised after investigators turned to an online genealogy website to arrest the ex-cop accused of at least 12 murders and more than 50 rapes dating back to the 1970's. "All of those increases the thrill and increases the risk".

The "Golden State Killer" also broke into homes where there were families - and committed those sexual assaults with his victims' parents or children present. Lead investigator Paul Holes said authorities didn't need a court order to access GEDMatch's large database.

"This was done without our knowledge, and it's been overwhelming", he told The Associated Press.

"I'm here to stand up for the women that are in hiding", she said.

To see the object of their childhood fears looking like an invalid in the courtroom Friday, his head balding, his eyes barely open, was disconcerting, they said.

"People who submit DNA for ancestors testing are unwittingly becoming genetic informants on their innocent family", Mercer said, adding that they "have fewer privacy protections than convicted offenders whose DNA is contained in regulated databanks".

In the early 1970s, DeAngelo worked as a police officer in Exeter and Auburn, California. "So with his education and his experience in law enforcement, he kind of knew what the next step was going to be with the police department".

"It was just a matter of time; we knew it would happen", Billy Jensen, a journalist and an investigator on the syndicated television show Crime Watch Daily, told BuzzFeed News.

Critics cited the privacy rights of people in police custody and questioned the constitutionality of allowing the state to gather DNA samples without evidence of guilt.

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A woman holds a photo of Cheri Domingo and her boyfriend Gregory Sanchez, who were killed in 1981, at the arraignment of accused "Golden State Killer" Joseph James DeAngelo.

Clues to fill in that timeline could be found inside DeAngelo's Citrus Heights home that, for the first time in three days, is not surrounded by crime scene tape and investigators. Handcuffed to a wheelchair in orange jail scrubs, he looked dazed and spoke in a faint voice to acknowledge he was represented by a public defender. He retired a year ago. That means a reasonable search out to a few degrees of separation might turn up around 140 relations, half of them excludable by gender, and numerous rest by age, leaving a suspect pool of perhaps a few dozen suspects easily investigated by traditional police work.

It was not immediately clear from which site investigators obtained the DNA profile, and the Sacramento District Attorney's Office declined to provide any more information about where or how investigators got it.

Serial killers "are masters at leading what I call compartmentalized lives", Garrett said. "In their mind, it's another power thing".

"They don't like sharing what they've done with other people - they want it all to themselves", Garrett continued.

The decade-long crime spree of sadistic rapes and murders by the man known as the Golden State Killer sparked terror over much of California.

"It is such an obsession and compulsion to commit these acts because of how they make them feel - the power, the control, the sex", Garrett said, describing it as a "high" they can't get anywhere else.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said Wednesday that detectives were ultimately able to match the DNA with a sample he "discarded", but Jones would not go into detail about what that sample was.

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