The forty-five year investigation into the horrifying serial murders, sexual assaults and burglaries in California resulted in arrest after law enforcement’s use of investigative genetic genealogy.

Kobe, Japan – June 18, 2019:   Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs (GTH-GA) has announced that the Golden State Killer case investigated by numerous California police departments was selected as the 2019 DNA Hit of the Year. The case was selected from 70 cases submitted from 20 countries. It was chosen by a panel of seven international judges with career backgrounds in forensic DNA. The recognition was announced during the annual Human Identification Solutions (HIDS) Conference held in Kobe, Japan.

Now in its third year, the DNA Hit of the Year program is organized by GTH-GA, an international authority on DNA database policy, legislation, and law. “The 2019 list of cases expresses the extraordinary commitment police have to solve and prevent crime with forensic DNA databases,” said Tim Schellberg, GTH-GA’s President.

Judges selected the California case from seven finalists. The six runner-up cases were from Austria, Dubai, South Africa, Brazil, Massachusetts and New York.  A full list of submitted cases and a presentation on this year’s selected case and other case highlights can be found at

The Golden State Killer is accused of committing terrifying crimes between 1973 and 1986.   Multiple DNA strategies were utilized while trying to solve these cases.  The break in the case occurred when the crime scene DNA was placed into a genealogy database and an investigative lead was developed through a distant relative.   The announcement of the Golden State Killer’s arrest through the use of investigative genetic genealogy set off a national phenomenon to identify suspects in some of the worst unsolved crimes in US history.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said: “Using investigative genetic genealogy to identify those who are accused of horrific crimes has revolutionized law enforcement’s ability to solve violent crime.   The arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer was an amazing moment for his victims as well as for the United States’ crime fighting history.   This new law enforcement tool is bringing hope to victims and their families who have waited decades for justice.”

“Having the Golden State Killer case chosen as the 2019 Hit of the Year is a great honor.  The DNA Hit of the Year program demonstrates the value of DNA databases to solve and prevent crime through real cases.  It is my hope that governments continue to expand DNA programs to stop criminals and save lives,” said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

Media contact: Tim Schellberg +1 (253) 209-8818

About GTH-GA: Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs is globally recognized as experts in forensic DNA database policy, legislative, and law. For nearly twenty years, consultants at GTH-GA have consulted in over 50 countries and states on legislation and policies to establish or expand criminal offender DNA databases.