Judge OKs DNA collecting in serial killer case

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The drawing on the right is an amended version of the left based on further questioning of witnesses to the slaying of a cab driver.

DeAngelo, a former police officer, was arrested on April 24 at his suburban Sacramento home.

But first they have to get a better DNA profile.

Poyser said new developments in DNA extraction technology mean the department will be able to extract DNA markers from several letters and envelopes the Zodiac Killer sent as taunts while he was active. The ex-detective, who now runs Contra Costa Sheriff's Office' forensic lab, stated that the result of the recently-performed analysis should be made public in a couple of weeks.

"While the database was created for genealogical research, it is important that GEDmatch participants understand the possible uses of their DNA, including information of relatives that have committed crimes or were victims of crimes", he said.

Decades after a crime spree that sowed fear in communities throughout the state, authorities last week tracked down the suspect by comparing genetic profiles from genealogy websites to crime scene DNA, according to prosecutors.

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It's unclear how numerous 45 rapes attributed to the Golden State Killer could be included in DeAngelo's case. DeAngelo also is suspected of committing more than 45 rapes.

The Zodiac Killer operated throughout Northern California in the late 1960s, with police definitively linking him to five murders. Using DNA to catch criminals used to be limited by the fact that law enforcement databases nearly exclusively contained samples from convicted felons.

The 2007 movie "Zodiac", starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., renewed widespread interest in a case that has always had a cult following of amateur detectives and cryptographers who sought to crack the killer's code.

One of those amateur sleuths, Tom Voigt, said the key to solving the Zodiac killings is mimicking the Golden State Killer investigation, which included forming a full-time task force dedicated to the case and exploiting publicly accessible DNA databases.

Voigt said the Zodiac case was being investigated part time by a Police Department in a city that filed for municipal bankruptcy.

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