Genealogy site traps alleged serial killer—how your DNA could be used against you

Genealogy sites aren’t just useful for researching your family tree anymore, after genetic information from one platform helped solve a four-decade old cold case in the Golden State. Now, privacy experts say everyone should be aware of what information they give away with their DNA.

The Golden State Killer case baffled police for decades. But the man believed to have murdered at least 12 people and raped 50 women across California between 1976 and 1986 was finally captured. The alleged killer, Joseph James Deangelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, was arrested on Tuesday by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. It was done with the help of two pieces of DNA evidence discarded at the scene of the crime and a small, independent genealogy site.

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