Episode 3: DNA Hit To Cold Case Prosecution: UC Davis Sweetheart Murders (pt. 2)

Description: How the cold case prosecution for the 1980 murders of two UC Davis students unfolded over 30+ years.  Part 2 picks up with the 2002 DNA hit to an unknown suspect, Richard Hirschfield, the new investigation that followed and preparing the case for a capital murder trial.

Show Notes: The big break in the case came in 2002 when a DNA sample from a blanket at the crime scene provided a DNA hit to Richard Hirschfield.  Getting the DNA hit was just the beginning.  Bladet and Garverick talk about the investigation and building the case from that point.

Hirschfield was someone who was never on the radar, an unknown suspect.  They share what they quickly learned about who Hirschfield was, about his life, connections to the Sacramento region and his past criminal history.

Garverick explains the process of putting the many pieces of the investigation together – like a puzzle – and filling the holes.  Bladet explains the trial preparation and challenges with this cold case, including 80 banker boxes full of discovery (documents/materials), witnesses passing away, memories fading and the evidence chain of custody over many decades -among others.

This case was featured on 48 Hours (https://www.cbsnews.com/video/the-sweetheart-murders-3/).

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Tags: District Attorney, Cold Cases, Cold Case Prosecutions, DNA, DNA Evidence, DNA Hit, Forensic Science, UC Davis, Sweetheart Murders, Justice, Capital Murder, Death Penalty, True Crime, Justice Journal