Susan Galvin was a records clerk at the Seattle Police Department when she failed to turn up for work on July 9, 1967. She was later found raped and strangled in an elevator at the Seattle Center parking garage.
The perpetrator of her murder remained a mystery for 52-years until 2019 when police finally announced they had a suspect, Frank Wypych. There was just one problem; Wypych had died in 1987.
Galvin had died a violent death; her killer had dragged her into the elevator, ripped her clothes, and sexually assaulted her before killing the 20-year-old.
Police interviewed a ton of suspects at the time, including several Navy sailors and a clown who was seen with Galvin just before her body was found, but none seemed to be the killer.
The case had gone stone cold until a forensic investigator in 2002 managed to retrieve some DNA from Galvin’s clothing; however, it didn’t match anybody on the offender database.
But then officers were notified about the genealogy and ancestry website GEDmatch, which had already helped investigators across the country solve numerous cold cases.
Police pinpointed Frank Wypych through family DNA
Investigators were able to cross-reference the DNA recovered from Galvin with DNA voluntarily submitted to the genealogy website. They were in luck; the site had a matching family tree on file, and this led them to Frank Wypych.
In January 2019, police contacted a relative of Wypych’s to collect DNA to confirm if it was a match. And in February, they exhumed his corpse and sent his bones to a lab for testing. They came back as a positive match a couple of months later.
Detective Rolf Norton said in May 2019 that, “Frank Wypych was 100 percent certain to be the murderer of Susan Galvin.”
At the time of the murder, Frank Wypych was a 26-year-old security guard who was married with a small child – a second child was born shortly after the killing. He died in 1987 from complications arising from diabetes.
More from On The Case With Paula Zahn
Follow the links to read about more murders investigated by Paula Zahn and her team.
Michael Brinkman was murdered in his home in front of his son by two gunmen dressed as clowns. This bizarre case in which a quantity of food was left behind by the killers remains somewhat of a mystery.
Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk was last seen April 5, 2014, as she walked into a bar in downtown Wilmington, NC. When she was reported missing, police went after the guy who had called her 17 times the night before she disappeared.
On The Case With Paula Zahn airs Sundays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.
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