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California convicted serial killer sentenced to second life sentence for Stanford murders

A California judge sentenced convicted serial killer John Arthur Getreu to seven years to life Thursday for killing 21-year-old Stanford Law librarian Leslie Perlov in 1973.

Getreu, 79, strangled both Perlov, and 21-year-old Stanford graduate Janet Taylor, daughter of university football coach Chuck Taylor, 13 months apart in 1973 and 1974, respectively, in what became known as “The Stanford Murders.”

John Getreu Serial Killer

An undated booking photo provided by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office of John Arthur Getreu. (Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office via AP, File)

Judge Hanley Chew’s decision Thursday mirrors the sentence Getreu received and is currently serving for the murder of Taylor.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office said the retired security guard who is responsible for “decades of violence and mystery,” will not be eligible for parole until at least 2031.

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Getreu pleaded guilty to killing Perlov on Jan. 10, 2023.

After more than 40 years of hiding in the shadows of his crimes, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s detectives used DNA and determination to track him down at his home, where he lived with his wife in Hayward, California.

“The long nightmare of John Getreu is over,” Rosen said. “I hope this brings some measure of peace to the loved ones of the people he preyed on. And I hope that I never have to say his name again.”

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Perlov’s body was found in the hills surrounding Stanford’s campus on Feb. 16, 1973, with a scarf wound tightly around her neck.

The case went cold for decades, but in 2018, after criminalists with the Santa Clara DA’s office were able to identify Getreu’s DNA under Perlov’s fingernails, he was finally charged.

Janet Taylor

John Getreu, 78, strangled both Leslie Perlov, and 21-year-old Stanford graduate Janet Taylor, above, daughter of university football coach Chuck Taylor, 13 months apart in 1973 and 1974, respectively, in what became known as “The Stanford Murders.”  (San Matteo Sheriff’s Office)

Authorities believe Getreu committed a string of sexual assaults and at least three murders of young women, including Perlov and Taylor.

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He has also been convicted in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Germany in 1963.

During Getreu’s trial in the case of Taylor, the jury learned about his repeated sexual assaults on his stepdaughter from 1970 to 1977, and his raping and threatening to kill a 17-year-old girl participating in a youth program where he volunteered, the DA’s office said.

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His DNA has also been added to the state database, the DA’s office added, and it will be used regularly to compare to DNA from other unsolved rape and murder cases.

Audrey Conklin of Fox News contributed to this report.

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