Very few topics inspire as much interest as serial killers. For whatever reason, perfectly sane, rational, and nice people can rattle off every serial killer fact you can possibly think of. Much like serial killing itself, it’s a sort of obsession. Of course, being obsessed with serial killers as a human oddity is not harmful. Killing people for sport is.
That being said, serial killers have traditionally been very difficult to catch due to the random nature of the killings themselves. Finding a link between the victims is often difficult. Serial killers tend to target low-hanging fruit. This case is no different. The four women who the defendant was accused of killing were all prostitutes.
Modern cases rely heavily on DNA evidence to link the victims to the killer. DNA found on the victims appears to link the defendant to the murders.
Nonetheless, another link was found much earlier in the case. Police had questioned the suspect earlier because he had been one of several individuals to purchase the same type of gun used in the slayings. However, he told police he gave the gun to his mother. When asked, his mother told them that she never received a gun. Nonetheless, the case went cold there.
How was the killer caught?
The killer was caught through his DNA. In this case, police ran a search through online genetic testing databases and determined that the killer was related to a woman who had three half-brothers. One of those brothers was the defendant, a man they had interviewed in the past in connection with the murders. Police then surveilled the suspect and collected a discarded cigarette butt. They tested the DNA recovered from the butt and it was a match for the defendant.
Here, you have both circumstantial and DNA evidence linking the killer to the crimes. This gives the prosecution a very strong case. Not only was the suspect considered in the initial investigation, but DNA evidence has linked him back to each of the victims.
Why not plead guilty?
In this case, the prosecution is seeking the death penalty against the defendant. They have not offered the defendant a plea agreement that would include avoiding the death penalty. Hence, there is no good reason for the defendant to plead guilty. Even if the odds of an acquittal are astronomical, a defense attorney would have to roll the dice and defend his client if the prosecution does not offer a plea agreement that takes the death penalty off the table.
While DNA evidence is hard for defense attorneys to dispute, it’s very esoteric. Juries want stories. They want to know where the defendant was, and what he was doing, so the prosecutors tend to build their case around circumstantial evidence and use the DNA evidence to validate their claims. However, it’s hard to imagine a prosecution built only on DNA evidence even if it is the basis for the entire case.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a serious crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.