A 47-YEAR-OLD COLD CASE POLICE MURDER LEADS TO A STUNNING CONCLUSION ON �48 HOURS MYSTERY: �THE GHOSTS OF EL SEGUNDO,�� SATURDAY, OCT. 2
In July 1957 two young police officers on a routine traffic stop in El Segundo, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb, were gunned down and murdered by a man who the police did not know had just committed robbery and rape at a nearby lover�s lane. The gunman fled, triggering one of the largest manhunts in California�s history. It would take detectives and modern science close to half a century to bring this case to a startling conclusion. Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports for 48 HOURS MYSTERY: �The Ghosts of El Segundo,� to be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 2 (10:00�11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
With only a fingerprint and the belief that one of the officer�s bullets hit the killer, investigators would search more than 45 years for the man who murdered two of their own. Important new clues would be discovered, such as the gun used in the murders, but almost 3,000 suspects would be checked, all leading to dead ends.
Two things turned this extremely cold case into a hot one: a call to the police in September 2002 from a woman who said she had information about the murders and the use of modern technology. The woman told police that her uncle had bragged about being responsible for the murders, but it didn�t turn out to be true. But then the police, excited about possibly cracking the case, took a new digital image of the original fingerprint and ran it through the newly created FBI nationwide computer database that includes a copy of every criminal fingerprint in every state in the entire country. Finally, investigators were able to track down the killer � an unsuspecting family man living in Columbia, S.C., 3,000 miles away and so many years from the scene of the crime.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: �The Ghosts of El Segundo� is produced by Josh Gelman. The executive editor is Al Briganti and the executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.