One of America’s most horrific serial killers was only uncovered decades after his death, after a breakthrough was made using new DNA technology.
Experts believe Bruce Lindahl could be responsible for a dozen or more murders and numerous rapes in DuPage County, Illinois, between 1974 and 1981.
But more than 80 women were killed between those dates, in the suburban areas that Lindahl lived, meaning that the true number of victims may never be known.
Detective Chris Loudon, who solved the case, told the Sun: “I don’t believe we know all his victims.
“In 1979 he murdered three girls and in 1980 he murdered two within two months and then he died a few months later.
“I think he was just getting into his groove. He had figured out how better do it, how to dispose of evidence.”
And experts believe Lindahl would have continued his heinous crimes had he not accidentally stabbed himself in the leg during a deadly knife attack on 18-year-old Charles Huber in 1981.
Lindahl, who was 29 at the time, hit an artery in his leg and bled to death beside his teenage victim. But although his violent killing spree was cut short, it would be almost 40 years before his identity was made known to police.
Lindahl was finally uncovered, when detective Loudon reopened the case of 16-year-old Pamela Maurer who was murdered in January 1976. The teen had been raped before she was killed and traces of DNA had been found and isolated.
Using Parabon Labs, which matches DNA samples with ancestry sites, cops were able to narrow it down to one specific family tree – and Lindahl was named as a suspect.
Even more incredibly, they were able to create a computer-generated e-fit-type image using the DNA sample, and the image bore a striking resemblance to Lindahl.
In January 2020 DuPage County investigators announced that Lindahl was responsible for killing Maurer.
Speaking earlier this year, Loudon told the Sun: “Parabon are the unsung heroes in the whole thing. If it wasn’t for Parabon we wouldn’t have solved this case.
“Lindahl wasn’t someone who was known to us at the time, this wasn’t a friend of Pam’s or someone she had a spat with.”
Despite solving the case, and the killer long dead, Chris, who has now retired, said it still haunts him. He said: “I still have bad dreams about it and I will probably have bad dreams for the rest of my life.”
However, he told UNILAD it's worth it: "If the worst thing I have is sleepless nights for the rest of my life, it’s so worth it for them to get some peace, that they identified him as their attacker, and that they know that he died a pretty cr*ppy death at a relatively young age.
"So if that makes them feel better, then it’s worth all the sleepless nights."
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