Half A Century Later, Police Managed To Find A Student’s Murderer Thanks To Modern Technology
December 6, 2018 12:58 By Fabiosa
Sometimes, you hear real-life stories and can’t believe they aren’t a plot belonging to another inconceivable Hollywood film. However, a lot of men and women have gone missing, and their relatives and partners will never find out who is guilty of the heart-breaking crime.
In 2017, the world has witnessed an exciting detective story, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film tells us about a single mother who tries to solve her daughter’s murder on her own, not relying on help from the police. The events in the film play out only 7 months after the mysterious murder.
In the real world, Jane Britton’s relatives had to wait almost half a century to find out who deprived the life of the 23-year-old girl. We have already talked about a woman who found out her origin only 80 years after her birth. This time, things get even more chilling.
On January 7, 1969, Jane returned from a meeting with her boyfriend and visited her neighbors in the evening. These people were the last to see her alive. Shortly after Britton returned home, she was raped and murdered. The girl’s body was discovered by her boyfriend the next morning.
The police had no clues as to suspects, so the case remained open for all these years. Only in 1975, Michael Sumpter, who was convicted of 2 other rapes, came under suspicion. However, he had hardly any relationship to Jane: the only thing they had in common was their youth spent in Cambridge.
The suspect died at the age of 54 years. His guilt would likely have never been proven, if it weren't for the development of modern technologies. Thanks to extensive DNA testing and comparison of the results with a database, the investigators managed to find Sumpter’s involvement in this and four other cases; it was eventually discovered that he had killed three of his victims.
Fortunately, one of the suspect’s relatives agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Thus, almost 50 years after Jane’s death, her relatives found out who was guilty of the girl’s death.
DNA evidence helps investigators solve the killing of Harvard graduate student Jane Britton nearly 50 years ago https://t.co/D4tftJv0HJ— Alanna Durkin Richer (@aedurkinricher) November 20, 2018
The case sounds like a miracle, since it was solved half a century later. At the same time, this isn’t a single occasion when DNA tests aided to get to the truth. Thanks to genetic profiling technology, it became possible to separate tissue particles belonging to different people, even long after the crime was committed. In 1987, this allowed for the punishment of Colin Pitchfork, convicting him of double rape and murder of 15-year-old girls in 1983 and 1985.
Many people, if they find themselves in a similar situation, would probably feel a measure of relief after the murderer’s name became known. However, it can never return the deceased person, even if the criminal has already suffered or will still be punished.