Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Lee Yates Jr.

Hair and Fiber Evidence

The detectives learned that the hair and fiber evidence found on and around each of the victims' bodies came from a wide variety of sources.  For instance, cat hair, deer or elk hair, and foreign human hair was found on Sapp's body.   Similarly, human hair not belonging to the victim was found on Lowe's body, and cat and foreign brown human hair was found on Brisbois' body.  A cat hair was found in McClenahan's bra, and black and burgundy dyed animal hair was recovered from Barnes' body.  One Mongoloid pubic hair and one Negroid body hair was also found on Barnes' body.  Several short, light brown Caucasian head hairs were found on the blue towel recovered with Asian victim Jennifer Joseph's body.  In addition to the hair evidence, a variety of acrylic and acetate fibers of varying colors were also found on the victims' bodies.

Specimens taken during autopsy from the orifices and cavities of Scott, Johnson, Wason, McClenahan, Mercer, Derning, and Oster revealed the presence of human sperm, as did the condom recovered from Maybin. DNA typing of the sperm evidence showed that it belonged to the same person.  Although in many of the cases the bodies were too decomposed to obtain useable samples, the DNA typing was a major breakthrough that would enable the investigators to conclusively link several of the murders to a single suspect once, of course, a suspect was apprehended and samples of his blood was obtained for purposes of comparison.

Since it is common knowledge that prostitutes are normally paid for their services in advance, each of the victims in this case should have had at least some money on their person at the time of their deaths.  The fact that none of them did, coupled with the fact that purses, identification, and wallets were also missing, indicated that each woman had been robbed either before or after being murdered.


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