San Francisco police said today that DNA from death row inmate David Joseph Carpenter, known as the “Trailside Killer,” matches evidence collected at the scene of an unsolved murder in San Francisco in 1979.
Carpenter, now 79, is awaiting execution at San Quentin State Prison for seven other murders in Marin and Santa Cruz counties in the early 1980s.
The new DNA hit matches physical evidence collected from the scene of the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Mary Bennett, whose body was found at Lands End on Oct. 21, 1979, police said.
Bennett was found dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and jogging shoes in a wooded area north of Painted Rock.
Her body was partially covered with dirt and branches, and she had been stabbed multiple times in the neck, chest and back, police said.
The San Francisco Police Department’s crime laboratory examined the evidence in December and detected the DNA profile of an unknown male. They later connected it to Carpenter’s DNA profile, which was already on file with the state Department of Justice.
San Francisco homicide inspectors earlier this month obtained DNA samples from Carpenter and were able to confirm the match last Thursday, police said.
Carpenter was convicted in separate trials in the 1980s of fatally shooting four women and a man in Marin County in 1980, and two women in Santa Cruz County in 1981. The murders all occurred along remote hiking trails.