Stanford University Serial Killer Dies in Prison

( — The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office confirmed last Wednesday that 79-year-old John Arthur Getreu, the Palo Alto man convicted of multiple murders and rape, including the 1970s murders of two women near Stanford University, has died, the East Bay Times reported.

Getreu was arrested in November 2018 in connection with the cold case murder of Stanford graduate Leslie Marie Perlov in 1973.

Perlov was last seen at her place of work in Palo Alto on February 13, 1973. Her vehicle was discovered later that day, about five miles from her work, abandoned at the gate of an old quarry. Perlov’s body was later found beneath an oak tree just west of where her car was parked.

Forty-five years later, investigators connected Getreu to the 21-year-old’s murder after advanced DNA genealogy analysis was conducted on the DNA found under the victim’s fingernails.

After his arrest in Perlov’s murder, police connected Getreu to the 1974 murder of Stanford student Janet Ann Taylor, whose strangled body was found in a ditch. DNA found on the victim’s clothing was also matched to Getreu.

Getreu was convicted of Taylor’s murder in September 2021 and sentenced to life. In April of this year, he was convicted of Perlov’s murder and received a second life sentence.

The double-murderer had a long criminal record.

While living in Germany, where his father was stationed in the US Army, Getreu was convicted as a juvenile for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in 1964, when he was 18. He served only a short sentence and returned to the United States.

Getreu was again convicted of rape in 1975 while living in Palo Alto.

At the time of his death, Getreu was suffering from health issues and was incarcerated at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton.

Getreu’s cause of death has not been released.

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