Genealogy solves another cold case

Hello everyone, just a quick post from my phone in case you haven’t heard of this yet.

Young Canadian couple Jay Cook, 20, and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, were murdered on a trip to Seattle in 1987.

Jay was beaten to death, Tanya was sexually assaulted and shot in the back of the head. DNA was found at the scene of Tanya’s murder.

But there were no leads… Until now. Using the same website as caught the Golden State Killer, GEDmatch, authorities have tracked down the killer.

The murdereder is William Earl Talbot II, now aged 55, making him 25 at the time of the crimes.

Readers what do you think of catching criminals using genealogical websites? It’s important to note that GEDmatch specifically says the information is publicly available. Users upload their data from sites like to this database.

You can read more on this case here


EAR/ONS/GSK Update: They Caught Him

He is the Visalia Ransacker as well and has confessed. His name is Joseph DeAngelo. He is former law enforcement (including during the time of his crimes). After he was fired for stealing dog repellant and a hammer, he relocated and escalated to killing. His quiet periods coincide with the dates of his children’s birth. He was married and has two kids. Unknown if still married. For last 20 years at least he has lived within close proximity to the crime scene. Joseph DeAngelo is a 100% DNA match to GSK and apparently is cooperating with police (including confessing to being the Visalia Ransacker).

BBC article 

An amazing day! I’m so glad they caught him and his victims can be at rest. I have to wonder how his family is reacting too right now…