Serial killer John Getreu found guilty of murdering Stanford student in 1974 after DNA match

A serial killer was found guilty of murdering a Stanford University student nearly 50 years ago after a DNA breakthrough linked him to murder.

Jurors took just an hour to find John Arthur Getreu, 77, guilty of the murder of 21-year-old Janet Ann Taylor Wednesday after just an hour of jury deliberations.

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.

Prosecutor John Stauffer said Getreu’s crimes were sexually motivated and used DNA evidence to identify Getreu in Taylor’s death, according to ABC news.

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Officers were able to retrieve DNA evidence from a… coffee mug that Getreu had thrown away matched DNA found on Taylor’s ripped green pants.

Investigators were unable to determine for sure whether Taylor had been raped.

John Arthur Getreu, 77, was found guilty of killing 21-year-old Janet Ann Taylor on Wednesday

John Arthur Getreu, 77, was found guilty of killing 21-year-old Janet Ann Taylor on Wednesday

Getreu was an employee of the school at the time of the murder.

He was an alleged family man and Boy Scout leader in his hometown of Palo Alto, California.

However, as District Attorney John Stauffer said, he also lived a double life predator, having previously been convicted of rape and murder.

In closing arguments, Stauffer named two of Getreu’s other known victims: Diane Doe, a 17-year-old rape victim, and 15-year-old Margaret Williams, who murdered Getreu in 1963 while living in Germany.

In the Doe case, Getreu pleaded guilty to 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.

Another woman, Sharon Lucchese, has accused Getreu of murdering her in 1969.

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.

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.

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.

He was also charged and will be tried next year for the murder of Stanford graduate Leslie Perlov the year before, in 1973.

The DNA evidence match, aided by using a genetic genealogy website, was used to link Taylor and Perlov’s cases to Getreu. They had found DNA under Perlov’s fingernails that gave detectives a break from the case.

Getreu has pleaded innocent in Perlov’s case, which he did in Taylor’s case. The Perlov case was supposed to start in September 2020, but was postponed because Getreu had a brain aneurysm.

Stauffer told the jury that this was Taylor’s pattern of behavior, pointing out the similarities in the cases.

“He took her with the intention of raping her. He attacked her. Her clothes torn. Punched her in the face. Repeated punches in the face. He strangled her,’ Stauffer said.

In closing arguments, Getreu’s attorney John Halley claimed the prosecution had failed to prove Getreu was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Perlov’s younger sister came over from Los Angeles to follow the trial.

“While these auspicious lives are gone forever, thanks to the tenacious work of detectives and advances in forensic science, I have hopes that future lives will be saved and other predators held accountable,” she said.

However, Perlov believes more justice is coming.

“This isn’t the end,” Perlov said. ‘We’re moving forward. I want a trial in my sister’s case. I don’t want deals. There were really terrible pictures of what Getreu did to Janet… and I want everyone to see them so they understand what a dangerous person he is.”

Getreu’s son Aaron expressed regret when he was approached about the verdict.

“My family had no idea of ​​my father’s past and has nothing but sympathy for all of his victims,” ​​he said. “We only knew him as a loving father and grandfather, but science doesn’t lie. With this conviction I hope that these families can now close.’

Getreu was also indicted and will face trial next year for the murder of Stanford graduate Leslie Perlov just a year earlier in 1973

Getreu was also indicted and will face trial next year for the murder of Stanford graduate Leslie Perlov just a year earlier in 1973

Getreu was also indicted and will face trial next year for the murder of Stanford graduate Leslie Perlov just a year earlier in 1973

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