California police working on DNA match for Zodiac Killer

California police working on DNA match for Zodiac Killer

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet gave prosecutors the go-ahead to collect DNA samples and fingerprints from DeAngelo, and photograph the 72-year-old suspect's anatomy.

"I see no Fifth Amendment privilege", the judge said.

"That's a great idea", said Gary Harmor, founder and director of the Serological Research Institute, a private DNA lab.

Howard filed the motion to block efforts by the district attorney to take DNA, fingerprints and photos of DeAngelo's body.

DeAngelo attended the hearing in a wheelchair; he wore handcuffs and said nothing.

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. Taking photos and DNA samples is "not testimonial in nature" because it would not require DeAngelo to speak, she wrote.

Vallejo police Detective Terry Poyser, who has worked the Zodiac case for four years, said his agency has submitted two envelopes that contained letters from the Zodiac Killer for a type of advanced DNA analysis that previously had not been available in the case.

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Police were able to catch who they think is the Golden State Killer late last month by using online DNA databases.

DeAngelo was sacked from his law enforcement job in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore. He worked as a mechanic at the distribution center of a Modesto-based supermarket chain for 27 years until he retired last year, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Sweet ruled the evidence collection did not violate DeAngelo's right to due process nor any evidence discovery rules.

At the time they publicized the notion that he was not well endowed, McGinness said. The district attorney's office is fighting back, saying a judge has already approved a warrant seeking the evidence.

The same method lead Sacramento Police to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer, for his alleged involvement in a string of murders and sexual assaults in the 1970s and 80s.

CNN's Dan Simon contributed reporting from Sacramento.

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