Golden State Killer detective Paul Holes draws similarities to Stanford cold case

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The solving of the Stanford homicide is the second recent major Northern California cold case solved this year after the Golden State Killer case. ABC7 News spoke to Paul Holes, the former cold case investigator responsible for identifying the Golden State Killer.

"The fact that they were able to identify the offender after all these years is an amazing achievement," said Holes.

If anyone understands how frustrating pursuing cold cases can be, it's Holes. He spoke to ABC7 News by phone from Colorado.

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Holes spent 24 years pursuing the Golden State Killer. He says dealing with a cold case that's 44 years old, like the Arlis Perry case, can be extremely challenging.

"You are now dealing with human lifespans, so people that you are investigating or witnesses that you want to talk to, they have passed away during that time. Evidence has degraded," he explained.

Holes was able to track down suspect Joseph DeAngelo through new genealogical DNA technology but says that is not how the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office tracked down their suspect, Steve Crawford.

FULL INTERVIEW: Inside the hunt for the Golden State Killer with investigator Paul Holes

"With advances in traditional DNA testing done in crime labs, it sounds like they were finally able to get a DNA profile to show that the person that they suspected was actually the guy that was responsible for that homicide," Holes told ABC7 News.

He adds that in the past two years, DNA testing as it pertains to evidence has become more advanced in two ways -- first in the actual recovery techniques at crime scenes and second, they are more sensitive testing protocols to develop actual DNA profiles.

Get the latest on cold cases in the Bay Area and across the country here.

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