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Crime DNA Helps Alaska Authorities Identify Serial Killer’s Victim Known for Decades as ‘Horseshoe Harriet’

22:15  27 october  2021
22:15  27 october  2021 Source:   lawandcrime.com

DNA match IDs Alaska serial killer's victim after 37 years

  DNA match IDs Alaska serial killer's victim after 37 years ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A woman known for 37 years only as Horseshoe Harriet, one of dozen or so victims of a notorious Alaska serial killer, has been identified through genetic genealogy and a DNA match, authorities said Friday. The victim was identified Friday as Robin Pelkey, who was 19 and living on the streets of Anchorage when she was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Investigation Unit said Friday. © Provided by Associated Press CORRECTS VICTIM'S NAME TO ROBIN PELKEY, INSTEAD OF HARRIET ROBIN PELKEY - FILE - This Wednesday, Sept.

Robin Pelkey © Provided by Law & Crime Robin Pelkey

Robin Pelkey, just before her 18th birthday (courtesy Alaska Department of Public Safety)

For almost 40 years, the victim of a serial killer in Alaska was known only as “Horseshoe Harriet.” Now, authorities say, DNA genealogy helped them identify her as Robin Pelkey.

In 1984, serial killer Robert Hansen—who murdered at least 17 women in Alaska in the 1970s—had pleaded guilty to four murders and several other felony crimes, according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

He eventually admitted to killing many more women, and, during a helicopter flight with Alaska State Troopers, pointed out the locations where he buried them.

How a Slain Teen Known as 'Horseshoe Harriet' Was ID'd Decades After Her Murder by a Serial Killer

  How a Slain Teen Known as 'Horseshoe Harriet' Was ID'd Decades After Her Murder by a Serial Killer Robin Pelkey's remains were found in April 1984 by Horseshoe Lake, near Anchorage, AlaskaThe Alaska Bureau of Investigation announced Friday that the teen was identified through genetic genealogy and a DNA sample as 19-year-old Colorado native Robin Pelkey. Previously, she had been known only as "Horseshoe Harriet," after her remains were found in April 1984 beside Horseshoe Lake near Anchorage.

Pelkey was just 19 years old when Hansen killed her. She was known as “Horseshoe Harriet” because her body was found near Horseshoe Lake north of Anchorage, Alaska Public Media reported.

“I would like to thank all of the troopers, investigators, and analysts that have diligently worked on this case over the last 37 years,” Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell said in a statement. “Without their hard work and tenacity, the identity of Ms. Pelkey may have never been known. The Alaska Department of Public Safety will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to solve major crimes in our state, hold anyone that violates our laws accountable, and bring closure to a victims’ family.

The renewed investigation into identifying Pelkey was launched in August, when the Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI) Cold Case Investigation Unit (CCIU) generated a new DNA profile and uploaded it into a public access genealogy database, the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s statement said.

DNA brings pain, closure to family of John Wayne Gacy victim

  DNA brings pain, closure to family of John Wayne Gacy victim CHICAGO (AP) — In the fall of 1976, Carolyn Sanders received an exciting postcard from her brother. “I'll see you soon cause I love you,” Francis Wayne Alexander — known to his family as Wayne — wrote to his younger sister. She hadn't spoken with him since his 1975 wedding and hoped the brief note meant he was coming to visit the family on Long Island, New York, for Christmas. It was the final communication Sanders can remember receiving from her brother, who on Monday was confirmed to be among the victims of John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area in the 1970s and was executed in 1994.

The profile picked up several close matches, allowing authorities to build a family tree, the statement said. Genealogy research by Parabon Nanolabs and the ABI indicated the remains might be Pelkey’s.

Additional research revealed potential relatives of Pelkey’s that currently live in Alaska and Arkansas, and records showed that she had been living in Anchorage in the early 1980s when Hansen was committing the murders, the statement said.

The ABI sought help from the Arkansas State Police, and they were able to get a close relative of Pelkey’s to provide a DNA sample. The analysis of that DNA, completed in September, confirmed that the victim was indeed Pelkey, according to the statement.

Pelkey was born in 1963 in Colorado. No record was found reporting Pelkey missing, the statement said.

The confirmation of Pelkey’s identity brings Alaska authorities one step closer to identifying all of Hansen’s victims: the ABI is currently using genetic genealogy to identify the last of Hansen’s unidentified victims, known as “Eklutna Annie.”

Timeline of serial killer John Wayne Gacy's life, case

  Timeline of serial killer John Wayne Gacy's life, case CHICAGO (AP) — John Wayne Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area in the 1970s. Authorities found most of his victims' remains in a crawl space under his suburban Chicago house or buried elsewhere on the property. In 2011, they exhumed the remains of eight victims in the hopes of identifying them through DNA testing. On Monday, authorities identified the third of those eight people as Francis Wayne Alexander, a North Carolina man who had moved to Chicago shortly before disappearing. That left the names of five victims still unknown.

Robert Hansen terrorized dozens of women in Alaska in the 1970s, according to a report in the Washington Post. In addition to the murders, Hansen confessed to raping 30 other women, the Post said.

He would abduct the women in Anchorage, where he lived, and take them to remote places outside of the city. Sometimes he would drive, and sometimes he would fly his private plane, the Post report said.

Sometimes Hansen would rape his victims and let them return to Anchorage, warning them not to talk to police, according to the Post report.

Other times, however, he would let them go free in the wilderness, and then hunt them with his rifle, the Post said.

Many of his victims were dancers and prostitutes.

After he was caught, he was known as “the Butcher Baker,” because he owned a bakery in a mini-mall in the 1970s and 1980s. He lived with his wife and children, who, according to the Post report, knew nothing about his crimes.

[Image via Alaska Department of Public Safety]

The post DNA Helps Alaska Authorities Identify Serial Killer’s Victim Known for Decades as ‘Horseshoe Harriet’ first appeared on Law & Crime.

Victim of 'Killer Clown' John Wayne Gacy ID'd 4 Decades After Death by DNA from Tooth .
Francis Wayne Alexander was found in John Wayne Gacy’s infamous crawl space on Dec. 26, 1978 . Authorities believe Gacy killed Alexander, who would have been 21 or 22 at the time, between early 1976 and early 1977. He was identified through DNA evidence and genealogical databases. Wayne's family was notified on Oct. 22. "It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne," Wayne's family said in a statement. "He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man. Our hearts are heavy and our sympathies go out to the other victims' families.

usr: 1
This is interesting!