A notorious Bay Area serial killer and rapist who evaded authorities for more than 40 authorities until he was finally captured in 2018 has died in prison at the age of 79, reports say ABC San Francisco.
According to the station, John Arthur Getreu died on September 22 at the California Health Care Facility, a state prison in Stockton, California.
An Ohio native, Getrue was convicted of three murders in his life: the rape and murder of a high school girl in Germany on a U.S. Army base in 1963, and the strangulation of two women in the Bay Area.
The killer spent just six years in prison in Germany for the high school student’s death. He was released in 1969 and moved to California, where he continued his heinous crimes.
In 1973, Getreu murdered Stanford University graduate Leslie Perlov. A year later, he murdered Janet Taylor, the daughter of legendary Stanford football coach Chuck Taylor. The murder took place close to the school’s campus.
Serial killer John Arthur Getreu died in prison last Friday, 50 years after he murdered Stanford University graduate Leslie Perlov
Janet Taylor, the daughter of legendary Stanford football coach Chuck Taylor, was beaten, strangled and left on the side of the road near campus on March 24, 1974.
A year before Taylor’s murder, Getreu murdered 21-year-old Leslie Petrov
He was eventually arrested in November 2018 at his home in Hayward, just east of San Francisco. Getreu was linked to the crimes thanks to advances in DNA.
Investigative journalist Grace Kahng told the ABC affiliate in the wake of Getreu’s death that there are “a dozen other cases that we believe he is responsible for.”
Kahng added that she believes authorities are “very close” to charging Getreu with other murders.
She added that Getreu’s son, Aaron, has been actively working with investigators to determine what other crimes the killer is responsible for.
Prosecutor John Stauffer said Getreu’s crimes were sexually motivated and used DNA evidence to identify Getreu in Taylor’s death. ABC news.
Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies were able to obtain DNA evidence from one coffee mug that Getreu had thrown away matched DNA found on Taylor’s torn green pants.
Investigators were unable to determine with certainty whether Taylor had been raped.
Getreu was an employee of the school at the time of the murder.
He was a so-called family man and Boy Scout leader in his hometown of Palo Alto, California.
But as prosecutor John Stauffer said during the killer’s first trial for the murder of Leslie Perlov, he was also living a double life as a predator, having previously been convicted of rape and murder.
In closing, Stauffer named two of Getreu’s other known victims: Diane Doe, a 17-year-old rape victim, and 15-year-old Margaret Williams, whom Getreu murdered in 1963 while living in Germany.
In the Doe case, Getreu entered a guilty plea to statutory rape, paid a $200 fine and was sentenced to six months in prison.
In the Williams case, Getreu was convicted in Germany and tried as a minor in 1964 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released in 1969 and returned to the United States.
Taylor is one of several women Getreu has been accused of murdering or sexually assaulting
John Arthur Getreu previously worked at Stanford University in California (pictured), where two of his alleged victims were students
Police released this photo of Perlov’s orange Chevy Nova, discovered abandoned at the entrance to an old quarry the day she died
Another woman, Sharon Lucchese, has accused Getreu of killing her in 1969.
The DNA evidence match, which was aided by the use of a genetic genealogy website, was used to link Taylor and Perlov’s cases to Getreu. They found DNA under Perlov’s fingernails that gave detectives a break in the case.
Getreu pleaded not guilty in Perlov’s case, which he also did in Taylor’s case. The Perlov case was scheduled to begin in September 2020, but was postponed because Getreu suffered a brain aneurism.
Stauffer told the jury this was a pattern of behavior by Taylor, noting the similarities in the cases.
‘He took her with the intention of raping her. He attacked her. Her clothes torn. Hit her in the face. Repeated punches to the face. He strangled her,” Stauffer said.
In closing, Getreu’s attorney John Halley asserted that the prosecution had not proven Getreu guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Getreu’s son Aaron expressed his regret when contacted about the verdict.
“My family had no idea of my father’s past and only sympathizes with all his victims,” he said. ‘We only knew him as a loving father and grandfather, but science doesn’t lie. With this belief, I hope that these families can now find closure.”