September 28, 2010 Release For More Information Contact: Stephen Lee

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Why Serial Killers Go Undetected

The public remains deeply fascinated by serial killers, which accounts for the success of the Dexter TV series and such movies as Psycho and Silence of the Lambs. But surprisingly, most police know very little about serial killers.

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How Evidence Was Destroyed

Amazingly, evidence that was seized from Larry Hall's vans was returned to his family by the FBI after his conviction. It included articles of women's clothing that could identify victims with today's DNA technology, but most of it was destroyed by Hall's father.

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From In With The Devil by James Keene with Hillel Levin (St. Martin's Press, September 2010)

The Appeals Court decision [overturning Hall's first conviction] did lasting damage to the overall Larry Hall investigation. No longer would states’ attorneys threaten him with trials in Indiana or Illinois state courts where he could be sentenced to death. His case was not the slam dunk that it appeared to be when he was first arrested. As for his involvement with any other unsolved murders or missing persons, interest waned from local investigators and reporters. When some of the victims’ stories were dredged up again on five- or ten-year anniversaries after their death or disappearance, Larry’s name had flaked off the list of suspects like old paint. Evidence such as Rayna Rison’s birth control pill bottle was misplaced or destroyed. Some items, including women’s clothing, were returned to Hall’s family by the FBI office in Indiana.

UPDATE Although there is an active investigation involving potential Hall victims from 12 different jurisdictions, it has been seriously hampered by evidence that has been destroyed or lost since his arrest. FBI officials have been slow to respond to the requests of local police detectives who are interested in testing the evidence that still remains in Justice Department facilities. Meanwhile this delay keeps some two dozen families from receiving closure on the fate of loved ones who were reported missing more than two decades ago.