In the United States, a 65-year-old murder was solved with the help of DNA analysis.
The US police have solved a double murder of 65 years ago with the help of genealogical databases — a man shot a young man and a girl, after raping the latter. His identity was established thanks to the traces left at the crime scene. At the moment, this is the oldest case in the United States, solved in this way.
January 3, 1956, in the United States, three boys, walking along the river near Wadsworth Park in Montana, came across the body of a young man at the car. A day later, a road worker found the girl’s body nearby.
The victims were 18-year-old soldier Lloyd Duane Bogle and high school student Patricia Kalitzke. They were a couple and were even planning a marriage. Both were shot in the head, and Kalitzke was raped before his death.
Bogle’s hands were tied behind his back with his own belt. The car was running on the handbrake. The money and valuables were still there.
In the course of the investigation, clues appeared and disappeared one after another, even well-known gangsters were included in the list of suspects, but it was not possible to find the killer.
In 2001, Detective Phil Matteson, studying the evidence, sent to the crime lab a vaginal swab of Kalitzke, taken during the examination of the corpse. The sample contained sperm that did not belong to Bogle.
The investigators had hoped to find the killer. However, after going through about 35 suspects, they never found a match between their sperm samples and the sperm from the smear.
In retirement, Matteson accepted that the case would remain unsolved.
“A lot of different people were involved in this case, and we just couldn’t get it done,” he says.
Since 2012, the case has been under the jurisdiction of Detective John Kadner. The cases of recent years revealed through genealogical databases gave him new hope, and he turned to Bode Technology to conduct additional analysis.
Using open genealogical databases and a DNA sample of a possible criminal, the police were able to find matches and trace who the sample could belong to, according to USA Today.
It was a resident, Kenneth Gould. He was born on May 23, 1927, and was 29 years old at the time of the murders. Gould died in 2007 and was cremated, so police had to contact his children and take DNA samples from them to check whether the sperm from Kalitzke’s vagina really belonged to him.
“I didn’t know how they would react when I went to them and said,’ Hey, we suspect your father of murder,” Kadner says. “But they were a pleasure to work with.”
The Gould family home was in Montana, just over a mile from Kalitzke’s home. Kenneth himself liked to ride around on horseback.
In 1952, he married 16-year-old Lulubella Branun. After the murders, he sold his real estate, the family moved several times, and in 1967 settled in Missouri. They never returned to Montana.
During the investigation, Gould was not on the list of suspects, and he was not involved in any crimes. In 1943, he was reported missing, but a week later he was found-he ran away from his grandmother to work in another city.
In 1960, Gould’s 4-year-old daughter, born a month before the murders, died after a short illness.
Most of Kalitzke’s and Bogle’s relatives had already died, but those Kadner was able to contact were relieved that the case was closed. He added that the detectives who have worked on this case for so many years share the same feelings.
According to Matteson, the most important thing for him was to give answers to family members. He expressed gratitude to every investigator for their hard work since 1956.
Why has this case repeatedly attracted the attention of investigators?
“Just look at the circumstances,” says Kadner. — They were two young, energetic people who were very popular among their peers… The investigators put their heart and soul into this case. They left a piece of themselves.”
“Frankly, it’s our duty,” adds Sheriff Jesse Slaughter. “It’s our duty to make sure we solve the case.” Slaughter is now considering setting up a task force to investigate unsolved cases using new technology, as some other states have already done. The police expect that further work in this direction will allow them to find many more criminals.