Police May Have Nabbed Notorious Mass Murderer

Published May 1, 2009

Police believe that a man they arrested weeks ago in connection with the killings of two Los Angeles women may be connected to as many as 30 unsolved murders in Southern California over the past three decades.

Pasadena Police say they began to explore cold cases of murdered elderly women after learning that the DNA of John Floyd Thomas, Jr., a career criminal, matched that found at the scenes in the two recent cases.

Thomas, 72, was also arrested in Pasadena, Calif., in 1978 on suspicion of rape but was convicted on lesser charges.

The question now, police say, is whether there is a pattern to the unsolved murders. "The cold case unit is taking a look at it in terms of some of the other unsolved homicides that may have taken place prior to and after, to see if there is any relation," said Pasadena Police Department spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens. Thomas' 30-year-old arrest record is no longer available, she said.

While Thomas has only been charged with two murders so far, DNA matching his was found at three other crime scenes in West Los Angeles in the 1970s and Claremont in the 1980s, Los Angeles police robbery-homicide Capt. Denis Cremins said. Detectives are also poring through unsolved cases going back as far as the mid-’50s, Cremins said. However, he may also be tied to dozens of killings and scores of unsolved rapes going back four decades, according to Deputy Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"We have not yet reached the depth" of what Thomas is capable of, Beck said.

Written by BET.com News Staff

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