Secrets of a Serial Killer
Special Report: Secrets of a Serial Killer
Fifteen years ago Michael Dukakis was running for President, Wade Boggs hit .366 to become the American League batting champion, but fear was gripping women around the state.
Wayne Perry, Victim's Brother
"This killer is still out there... Who knows what he's doing?"
A murderer, dumping nine bodies in wooded areas along south coast roadsides. The victims -- young women, going down in history as the "New Bedford Highway Killings".
James Alan Fox, Northeastern University
"It's a very big case in terms of body count."
Back then, media reports connected the killings to pornography and satanic worship. Former Bristol County District Attorney, Ron Pina gave almost daily briefings.
Ron Pina, Former Bristol Cty. DA, Nov. 1988
"I don't have a doubt that they're all related in one way or the other."
But the case was over, before it began. Pina was voted out of office. A special prosecutor took over and concluded there was too little evidence to charge anyone.
Because the victims were involved with drugs or prostitution, surviving family members say the case has been shelved for a dozen years.
Chandra Gregory, Debbie DeMello's Daughter
"We don't feel important, because of the lifestyle they lived, they don't matter, that's how it makes me feel."
"They're my sister, her mother, and they all had families and children. And they're just like you and me and everyone else out there."
Even though the Bristol County's DA's office has turned down our request for an interview. Now there is new hope. 7News has learned that old DNA evidence from the case has been sent to the FBI and will be analyzed using the latest hi-tech methods.
Michael Avery, Suffolk Univ. School of Law
"There could be some biological evidence, blood or some other biological tissue, that was present 15 years ago, but couldn't be analyzed because it was too small."
Back in the '80s, only DNA samples the size of a quarter or larger could be analyzed, today, they can be the size of the head of a pin.
A number of suspects submitted hair and blood samples 15 years ago. New DNA analysis could point to the old suspects or to someone else. The FBI has 16,000 DNA samples on file from other murder cases and experts say a match could be found there.
"By using the new techniques, you might be able to locate a killer, who previously had eluded capture."
If a killer is located, victims' families would want one thing -- justice.
"What I would like to see is him pay the ultimate price he can pay, and that's to take his life."
The FBI tells us that because of the war on terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom, analyzing DNA evidence from cases like the New Bedford Highway Killings is not a high priority. When they do analyze it, 7News will report their findings. So stay tuned for more on this mystery.