Holy police storage: The cold case file of a Chelsea woman's 1973 rape turned out to have DNA evidence that conclusiely linked the alleged rapist to that crime, and linked him to many more in NYC, NJ, and Maryland. Fletcher Anderson Worrell was accused of two rapes, one in Chelsea and the other in Queens in the 1970s, but after a few trials that were inconclusive or whose verdicts were overturned (DNA testing didn't exist then), he jumped bail, leaving NYC in 1978. He was found again last year, when he tried to buy a shotgun in Georgia. When the NYPD went back to his old file, they found one of the victim's underpants and had it tested for DNA. Not only did it match Worrell's recent DNA sample, it matched about 20 sexual assault and rapes in the Maryland area, leading the Maryland authorities to believe Worrell is the Silver Spring rapist.
Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau said, "The irony is, the case is much stronger now than the day after it happened." Morgenthau, who has been DA for over 30 years, is facing reelection this year, and Ruth Messinger just endorsed his likely opponent, Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder.
One book about an NYPD cold case Gothamist enjoyed was Philip Gourevitch's A Cold Case.