April 30th, 2009
05:29 PM ET

DNA leads to suspect in 1970s Los Angeles serial killings

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the suspect in the L.A. killings on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/04/30/westside.killings/art.william.bratton.gi.jpg caption="Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton will reveal more about the cases at a news conference Thursday."]

Alan Duke

DNA evidence has linked a 72-year-old man to a pair of cold-case murders in Los Angeles, police said Thursday, and the man may be linked to as many as 30 murders and dozens of rapes during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Los Angeles Police Department identified the suspect as John Floyd Thomas Jr., who was charged this month with killing two Los Angeles women more than three decades ago.

Thomas was arrested April 2.

"Detectives believe that this suspect could be linked to as many as 25 other unsolved murder cases and numerous sexual assault cases," an earlier police statement said.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Bonnie Zimmerman

    That's wonderful news. These criminals who prey on their victims should be given the death sentence, and I was a flaming liberal @ 15 years ago. I'm so tired of reading about the number of sex offenders in a neighborhood, vis a vis they young girl in central FL who had 53 in her region. Momentarily forgot her name, but using the names these child victims and others to me is a way of honoring them. What a world,; thank heaven for DNA.

    April 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Glad he was caught and hope the story tonight says how he was caught – did they have his DNA on record? 72 years old and his crimes finally catch up with him – even if he were younger there wouldn't be enough jail time to sentence him to for all the people he killed but I guess we have to be satisfied with the years now remaining and be satisfied that at least he was caught.

    April 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  3. IDA

    This will help some families get closer for their love ones. my thoughts are with them.

    April 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  4. chas

    Is this the person known as the "East Area Rapist"?

    April 30, 2009 at 6:03 pm |