Those who enthusiastically research serial killers know that murder is sort of like an addiction. The high a serial killer gets from taking the life of another person is the ultimate payoff. This has led to an interesting development in some serial killer cases. Police, who will identify a serial killer by his MO, note that some serial killers go dark for years only to reemerge again. One such killer who operated in Buffalo, NY, Altemio Sanchez, was able to go years without murdering anyone until years later, the urge bit him again.
That was the case with the most recent serial killer case in Florida. Police say that Robert Tyrone Hayes killed three prostitutes over the course of two months, didn’t kill again for another three years, and recently emerged for the first time recently. The three slayings were linked together by DNA and other evidence at the scene.
Hayes will be placed on trial twice. Once for the three killings that occurred a decade earlier and once for the last killing which occurred in 2016. The prosecution is currently requesting permission to discuss the earlier three murders in the prosecution of the fourth. If they can’t, they may have to present their case without discussing how and why Hayes became a suspect in the fourth murder.
The Evidence Against Hayes
In a lot of instances, DNA recovered from crime scenes is placed into a national database where it is red-flagged. For example, if your DNA shows up at a crime scene, it is placed into a database. If your DNA shows up at another crime scene, then those two crimes can be linked to one suspect. Police have DNA linking Hayes to two crime scenes in 2006. When the 2016 crime scene DNA was placed into the database, it linked back to these 2006 crimes.
Police have also been using genealogy websites to help track down suspects. This is quite controversial but led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer and now Hayes. Essentially, DNA found at crime scenes is placed into a greater database of genetic profiles that were uploaded to genealogy websites. The police were able to match the DNA profile found at the crime scenes to a relative of Hayes who sent DNA for genealogy records. This gave police probable cause to get DNA from Hayes, which officially made him a suspect.
Is it legal to get access to DNA this way? There are concerns that it violates privacy protections. Individuals send hair or cell samples to these companies because they want to learn more about their family history, not so that they can help police with investigations. The police then access these records without the permission of the individuals who submitted the genetic material and use that information to make arrests.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing serious charges, call the experienced West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your situation and your options moving forward.