Convicted Serial Killer Gets More Prison Time with Sentence for 1973 Murder of Leslie Perlov

Convicted serial killer John Arthur Getreu was sentenced today to seven years to life for the murder of 21-year-old librarian Leslie Perlov in February 1973.

Combined with his other murder conviction for killing another young woman, the 79-year-old retired security guard responsible for decades of violence will not be up for parole until at least 2031.

Getreu escaped justice for over 40 years before Santa Clara County Sheriff’s detectives used DNA evidence to track  him down in Hayward.

He pleaded guilty to the Perlov killing crime on Jan.10.

“The long nightmare of John Getreu is over,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “I hope this brings some measure of peace to the loved ones of the people he preyed upon. And I hope that I never have to say his name again.”

The sentencing brings to a legal end a saga that left three young women dead and detectives using advances in modern forensic genealogy to solve stubborn cold cases.

Getreu was convicted in Germany in 1963 for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Margaret Williams.

Last year, Getreu was convicted by a jury in San Mateo County of the 1974 murder of 21-year-old Janet Taylor. During that trial, the jury also heard about Getreu’s repeated sexual assaults on his stepdaughter between 1970 and 1977 and his raping and threatening to kill a 17-year-old girl participating in a youth program where Getreu volunteered.

Perlov was a Stanford graduate working at a local law library. After hearing statements on Thursday about Leslie from her brother and sister, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Hanley Chew sentenced Getreu to serve his term consecutive to the seven-years to life prison sentence he already is serving for the Taylor murder.

Getreu’s DNA is now in the state database and will regularly be compared to DNA from unsolved rapes and murders in hopes of solving more cold cases, prosecutors said.


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