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Podcast: Should Cops Have Access to Consumer DNA?


The capture of the alleged Golden State Killer might lead to justice for his victims and families. But many question the ethics of the measures police used to identify and put him behind bars.

On the evening of February 2, 1978, Brian and Katie Maggiore tossed a leash on their dog, strolled out their front door, and began a casual saunter through their suburban neighborhood in Rancho Cordova, California. The pair was young, in love, and probably were doing their best to suppress any pesky thoughts about a recent string of home invasions and assaults that was plaguing their neighborhood.

But as the couple navigated the dimly-lit streets of their community, a figure appeared suddenly before them. It was a young man who fit the description of the infamous, yet-to-be-identified perpetrator, and he was wearing a ski mask.

Brian and Katie died that night. They were the first victims of the so-called Golden State Killer, a heinous criminal who got his kicks murdering and raping entire suburban families, who also went by the moniker the East Bay Rapist. It’d be almost exactly 40 years before the Golden State Killer would be held accountable for the hundreds of crimes to which he’s been linked. He took too many lives and broke too many spirits before his reign of terror ended with an all-too-late capture in April, 2018.

But even though his crimes were heinous, many question the measures police used to identify alleged murderer and rapist Joseph James DeAngelo. In the eleventh episode of Data Book, co-hosts Jack Murtha and Tom Castles are joined by the National Institutes of Health's Dr. Christine Grady, who explores the ethics and implications behind the cold-case capture, and what it could mean for healthcare.

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Related Coverage:

Ep. 10: A New Kind of Warfare

Ep. 9: Is AI Real?

Ep. 8: Return of the Luddite

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