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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
SERIAL KILLER TED BUNDY: DNA Profile Gives Hope to Old Cases!
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By ERICA GOODE, nytimes.com / Published: August 9, 2011.
Ted Bundy / Agence France-Presse.
The serial killer Ted Bundy confessed to 30 murders before he was executed in Florida in 1989, but he hinted that the true body count was far higher.
Now a DNA profile of Mr. Bundy — extracted from a vial of blood discovered in a courthouse where it had been stored for three decades — may help investigators around the country figure out if he was responsible for any of their unsolved cases.
The profile was uploaded into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s DNA database on Friday. David Coffman, chief of forensics at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which assembled the profile, said police departments could now enter anyDNA evidencethey might have from cold cases into the system, to see if there was a match with Mr. Bundy’s DNA.
Mr. Coffman said his department began searching for enough DNA to create a profile after being contacted by the police in Tacoma, Wash., this year. Detectives there were hoping to solve the case of Ann Marie Burr, an 8-year-old girl who disappeared from her house in 1961. Mr. Bundy was 14 at the time and living in Tacoma, prompting speculation that she might have been an early victim. Mr. Bundy denied responsibility for her disappearance.
Mr. Coffman said that he received four or five calls a year from investigators inquiring about Mr. Bundy’s DNA in connection with unsolved cases, but that no full DNA profile had been available. His lengthy killing spree, which left bodies strewn across the Pacific Northwest as well as in Florida and possibly other states, took place well before the advent of DNA technology. A partial DNA profile was created in 2002 from a tissue sample taken at Mr. Bundy’s autopsy, Mr. Coffman said, but it was not complete enough to enter into the F.B.I. database.