A fascinating story by Shelley Murphy, published in the Boston Globe, seems to b almost too strange to be true. Sadly, it is not only true, but pieces of the whole story are still missing. Dozens of law enforcement officers around the country, social workers, investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, genealogists, and others have worked together to find as much information about a serial killer as possible. There may be even more information waiting to be found. Law enforcement officials feel there may be even more victims than are known so far.
A man of many aliases seems to have murdered a number of wives, girlfriends, and children. At various times, he lived in New Hamshire, Texas, California, Idaho, and probably in other states as well.
Genealogists became involved when there was a need to identify the ancestry of one little girl who was abandoned, but not murdered, by the serial killer. Working with DNA and with public records, the volunteers spent thousands of hours building her family tree of some 19,000 people, just on her maternal side. The list of people who descended from just one ancestor, the one with 18 children, filled a line of letter-size sheets that, taped together, extended 11 feet.
The serial killer eventually died in prison (for other crimes) and yet little is known about him. He was smart, fluent in French, and, according to one witness interviewed by police, also spoke Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. Investigators suspect he may have served in the military, but they have been unable to identify him. They don’t know where he was born and raised, or where he was before he surfaced in New Hampshire in the late 1970s, when he appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s. Perhaps you can use your genealogy skills to help the investigation.
You can read this fascinating story at http://bit.ly/2pyKPni.
My thanks to newsletter reader Bill Kelleher for telling me about this story.