Bruce Lindahl has been linked to the 1976 murder of a Woodridge teenager and is a suspect in 12 murders and nine rapes. The one thing that Lindahl has going in his favor, however, is that he is already dead. Lindahl died in 1981 before DNA technology would be combined with databases to help route out serial murderers and rapists. To date, several tips have been phoned in concerning Lindahl, and more are expected.
Investigators believe that Lindahl committed at least nine murders and there is a high chance that he may be linked to three others. Of the rapes, several of his victims have died, but there are also some who are still alive.
The case of 16-year-old Pamela Maurer was cold for over 40 years before police used a “new kind of DNA analysis” to link Lindahl to the murder. This same method was used to identify the “Golden State Killer” who authorities believe is responsible for several murders and rapes in California.
Lindahl died in 1981 after a failed attack on 18-year-old Charles Huber. The two men were found together in Lindahl’s ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Naperville. Both were dead. Police believe that Lindahl accidentally cut his own femoral artery during the attack on Huber.
Lindahl was believed also to have killed Debra Colliander, who was due to testify against him during trial when he was accused of abducting Colliander from an Aurora shopping center in 1980, taking her back to his home where he raped her and took several nude photographs of her. Lindahl was accused of rape, deviate sexual behavior, and aggravated kidnapping. After she disappeared, the charges against Lindahl were dropped.
After his death, several nude photographs were found in Lindahl’s home. These photographs and DNA evidence gleaned from Lindahl’s exhumed body form the bulk of evidence against him.
Authorities are hoping to use this information to solve several cold cases from the 70s and 80s.
How Solid is the DNA Evidence?
DNA has been a great asset to both law enforcement and the Innocence Project. Not only has it been used to catch several serial rapists and murderers, but it has also been used to exonerate several individuals who were unjustly convicted of terrible crimes that they did not commit.
Police and forensic examiners have been collecting DNA evidence for decades, long before we had the ability to use the technology to identify murderers. This evidence is kept in storage, sometimes for decades, and can be helpful to track down killers who may still be at large.
The controversy comes into play when police are allowed to use DNA profiles of folks who uploaded their information to ancestry websites that provide genetic and familial information. The DNA websites want to shut down police efforts because it hurts their bottom line, and police want to be able to use the information to track down killers and their family members.
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