Photo: San Francisco Chronicle
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It was after dinner on March 24, 1974 when Janet Ann Taylor told her friends she needed to head home.
The 21-year-old daughter of former Stanford football coach Chuck Taylor lived in a cabin in La Honda and her two Doberman pinschers couldn’t be cooped up much longer. It wouldn’t take her long to get back from her friends’ place on the Stanford campus, so she said she’d hitchhike. Her friends later told reporters they begged her not to.
“But Janet got up and said she had to go home and let her dogs out,” one friend said.
The next morning, a milk truck driver spotted a body in a ditch off Sand Hill Road. She was fully clothed except for her shoes and purse, which were missing. When police got to the scene, they discovered Taylor had been strangled, likely by her own grey turtleneck sweater.
She wasn’t the first young woman found strangled near Stanford. The year before, librarian Leslie Marie Perlov, also 21, was discovered dead two miles away. Police at the time thought it was likely they shared a killer.
The cases briefly went cold until the arrest of serial killer Ted Bundy, who was known to target young women. But after investigating, detectives concluded they couldn’t find any evidence Bundy killed Taylor and Perlov.
Now, 45 years later, San Mateo County officials say their initial hunch has been confirmed: They’ve arrested one man for both slayings. On Thursday, San Mateo County authorities announced they believe John Arthur Getreu, already in custody since November 2018 on suspicion of killing Perlov, has also been arrested in connection with Taylor’s murder.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office reopened the cases in 2017 and submitted DNA evidence from the original crime scenes. Investigators say a match was found for Getreu, now 74, of Hayward.
The sheriff’s office says Getreu has a long history of violence against women. In 1964, when he was 18, Getreu was put on trial for a rape resulting in the death of a 16-year-old girl in Germany. He was convicted in 1975 of raping a Santa Clara County woman.
Getreu is currently being held without bail. Officials said he is set to be arraigned later today.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/janet-taylor-leslie-perlov-john-getreu-stanford-13851125.php.