Now the alleged NorCal Rapist has been arrested. Personally, for me, a lot is off my plate. I wanted to give this villain the publicity he deserved but, alas, it was not to be. Hopefully, he will get the sentence he deserves and not see the light of day again. There was never much out there in the public about him. True crime buffs openly pondered why I was the only one talking about him. Well, he had flown under radar his whole crime career. Even now the news articles are sketchy and reporting the factoid inaccuracy of his crime spree. He didn’t call to apologize to the Halloween victim. He called to be smug, as always, in his theatrical way.
In any case, to the point. Are we witnessing the death of cold cases? The answer is yes– for crimes that are associated with DNA anyway. This means rape will not be a cold case anymore . . .for the most part.
Detectives take great pride in having unraveled a serial crime spree through the gray cell method– the deductive and inductive logic that tests and pits their intellect against the villain they are hunting. And well they should take pride in this. Tracking a creep by snooping into his cousin’s pedigree isn’t exactly the same thing, and some fear in a decade or so, after the genealogy method has long become the norm, the true bloodhound detective will be a thing of the past– retired or simply the art falls from lack of practice.
Potentially this is a dangerous thing. Unveiling the identity of a villain through genealogical tracing is dependent on that villain having a close enough relative in the database. For someone adopted, genealogical database searching could lead to nothing but deadends.
There are also crimes that don’t involve DNA– the ultimate is, of course, one of them: murder. Serial killers don’t have to come in close. Had The Zodiac Killer not mailed letters to brag of his crimes, there would be no chance at DNA. The Zodiac’s MO wasn’t unique. The Phantom of Texarkana (1946), The Atlanta Serial Killer (1977) just approached the petting couples and started blasting. Son of Sam did it the same way. The Colonial Parkway killer was a little more involved, but essentially he was a lovers’ lane killer, and circumstances have boiled DNA down to touch DNA from the cars, as I understand it. There are other suspected serials that are known as Highway Killers, who simply started shooting their victims. True crime followers know the cases. They are named after the highway upon which they struck. I don’t know if there is DNA from the Long Island Serial Killer, but the lack of it is helped here by his disposal method.
This is another problem. Some serials dispose of their victims in certain ways that get rid of the DNA. As news of genealogical tracing becomes more common in cracking cases, serials will begin to cover themselves better.
Like the NorCal Rapist case, there’s a lot of cases out there people haven’t heard about. So there is most definitely the need for gray cells to put them together and then track the villains responsible. Some of them are old and there is no DNA.
The Doodler Case may be one of them. I don’t know what was preserved in the case of the Monster of Florence. The Killing Fields of Texas is a good example of how hard it is to sometimes identify a single serial killer in action. Jurisdictions responsible for these old cases should seriously consider putting as much information up as possible in the public so that these villains can be hunted by society on the whole and finally brought to justice.
Decades ago some villains showed brilliance at avoiding leaving clues. Mr Cruel was one of them. Sadly, there are more still out there.
One desires the death of cold and hot cases. But genealogy isn’t the smoking gun. We’re going to have a rash of solutions and then triumph will fall silent. Not all villains will be traceable. New ones will arise who use an MO conditioned to protect themselves more. The snoop dog detective should still be a prized commodity to any law enforcement body.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.