Tags: 45-year-old murders | man arrested | san mateo county

Man Arrested for Two Murders From 45 Years Ago

john arthur getreu in jail mugshot
John Arthur Getreu (Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office via AP)

By    |   Monday, 20 May 2019 03:28 PM

Police have made a massive break in two cold case murders dating back 45 years with the arrest of a convicted rapist who could have connections with even more murders, police said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office charged 74-year-old John Arthur Getreu with the 1974 murder of 21-year-old Janet Taylor. The charges came while Getreu was in custody for another slaying dating back to around same time.

San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Rothaus said his office opened up investigations into Taylor's murder when they heard of Getreu's arrest in nearby Santa Clara County in November for the 1973 murder of 21-year-old Leslie Perlov. The victim was found strangled near Stanford University, where Rothaus used to work.

New DNA and genetic genealogy technology linked Getreu to the crime. Santa Clara investigators submitted DNA from the Perlov case to the genealogy website GEDMatch, according to Fox News.

"After the identification of the suspect in the Santa Clara County case, our investigators at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office collected more evidence in the Janet Taylor case and submitted additional items to our crime lab," Rothaus said, according to ABC News.

Taylor was also found strangled on the side of a highway in Palo Alto, California, not far from the Stanford University campus. DNA on Taylor’s clothing led to Getreu, who had previously been convicted for the rape and murder of a16-year-old girl in Germany 55 years ago and the rape of a California woman in 1975.

Police said they have reason to believe Getreu may be linked to several other cold case crimes.

"Many of the records on Getreu are old and/or incomplete, so we are still researching his past," Rothaus said. "We are actively looking into areas where he has lived in the past and communicating with those agencies too."

Taylor's family praised the combined police efforts in reining in Getreu.

"They’ve done this difficult work with integrity and excellence, and with compassion for our family," a statement read.

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Police have made a massive break in two cold case murders dating back 45 years with the arrest of a convicted rapist who could have connections with even more murders, police said.
45-year-old murders, man arrested, san mateo county
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2019-28-20
Monday, 20 May 2019 03:28 PM
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