Genetic genealogy testing isn’t cheap, but one true-crime podcaster is trying to make it more accessible to law enforcement. A non-profit organization founded by Crime Junkie host, Ashley Flowers, is helping solve crimes through DNA — including a recent string of sexual assaults involving at least eight victims over the span of a year.
Suspect Arrested In String Of Rape Cases
The residents of Indianapolis, Indiana can sleep a little bit easier knowing that a man has been arrested for a string of sexual assaults in the area. Police believe Darrell Goodlow, 37, is responsible for at least six rape cases involving eight victims. The attacks spanned a year, from August 1, 2020, to September 8, 2021.
Law enforcement said Goodlow purposefully targeted a vulnerable group — women between the ages of 58 and 78 who lived alone. He broke into the homes of each victim and sexually assaulted them over a period of hours. Along with threatening to kill many of the victims and sometimes brandishing a deadly weapon, he also killed one of the victim’s dogs.
The crime lab quickly linked the first two attacks with DNA evidence. While investigators knew the cases were related, the attacker’s DNA was not in the national CODIS database and was unidentifiable for some time. It was the most recent attack that gave investigators the break they had been waiting for.
Goodlow spent an extended period of time in each home, moving things around while he was there. For the majority of the attacks, he was careful not to leave fingerprints and often wore gloves. But during the most recent attack, Goodlow slipped up and left a fingerprint on a fan.
Investigators were able to identify Goodlow through the print but needed more evidence to secure a conviction. They then turned to the non-profit Season of Justice to help fund genetic genealogy testing and cell phone tracking. It was this evidence along with the fingerprint that made police confident in arresting Darrell Goodlow for the crimes.
Goodlow now faces 57 charges, many of which are class one felonies carrying a sentence of 20 to 40 years. In a press conference Tuesday, September 21, FBI Indianapolis Special Agent In Charge, Paul Keenan said, “There is really only one way to describe the alleged actions of the defendant and that is predatory. He planned these attacks and picked out his victims whom he terrorized repeatedly.” He added, “Because of the courage of the victims who came forward they will prevent other women from becoming victims.” The team behind the investigation thanked everyone who came forward with information and said they hope the victims can now focus on healing.
Ashley Flowers, the co-founder of Season of Justice and Crime Junkie host, took to Instagram to share the news.
In the video, she explained that the organization has given many grants to active investigations, and rejoiced that an arrest had been made in this case. “This grant helped get this guy. He is off the streets. This is such a huge win,” said Flowers before thanking the listeners of Crime Junkie for their support. “I can’t wait to do more work like this. This is the whole reason we started this.”