Thursday, February 22, 2018

'In Cold Blood' killers' DNA not linked to Fla.

The best chance to solve a decades-old quadruple murder in Florida ended Tuesday when sheriff's deputies said they could not link DNA to the two killers profiled in the book In Cold Blood.

The convicted killers, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, were long suspected in the slayings of Cliff Walker, his wife, Christine, and their two children. The family was killed in December of 1959, about a month after Smith and Hickock murdered a Kansas farmer and his family.

Capt. Jeff Bell of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office told the Associated Press on Tuesday authorities were unable to make a match between Smith and Hickock, and Christine Walker, who was raped and had semen on her underwear.

Authorities said they were unable to match the DNA because only partial profiles could be taken from the exhumed bodies in December, and the Walker crime scene samples were old and degraded. No more tests were scheduled.

"The complication lies in the fact that there's still some uncertainty," Bell said. "It wouldn't exclude them but it also does not provide us with any level of confidence to say there's a match because there's not."

Police still believe the two men were likely involved.

"We're not closing the case," Bell said. "It remains an unsolved murder. The mystery continues and we'll look for other opportunities. We've reached a point where we don't believe we're going to accomplish that through DNA testing."

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