Police announced Murder Charges against a Man in Connection with ‘Gypsy Hill Murders’

Nearly four decades after 'Gypsy Hill murders' shocked the Bay Area, California investigators have found the man who is believed to be responsible for minimum two of the five killings.

Police in San Mateo County have made announcement about murder charges against Rodney Halblower, who is linked to the 1976 killings of Veronica Anne Cascio, 18, and Paula Baxter, 17.

Already, Halblower, 66, was in Oregon State Prison for an unrelated attempted murder and has been termed as a 'serial killer'. Authorities said that with the help of DNA proof, investigators figured out that Halblower had connections with two of the five murders. About four decades ago, these murders terrorized the Peninsula between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The man was charged with two counts of murder and special circumstances of murder during the course of a rape in the 1976 deaths of Cascio and Baxter. Body of Baxter was found in Millbrae and she was last seen leaving her high school.

The five slayings known as the Gypsy Hill Murders took place between January and April of 1976. Body of Cascio was found on January 7, 1976, near a creek on an area golf course. In September, the man was formally connected to the killings when the San Mateo County Crime Lab made a DNA match.

According to authorities, he was not connected to the killings of three other victims in the Gypsy Hill murders. The other three victims included, Denise Lampe, 19, Tanya Blackwell, 14, and Carol Lee Booth, 26. According to the FBI, all the victims were raped before they were killed. Halbower made an initial court appearance on Thursday.

"I think it's significant for a couple of reasons, one certainly for the families of these two young women who were killed so early in their young lives", said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.

Bay Area