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Police Doubt Rogers Is Linked to Slayings : Investigation: Former Van Nuys man’s blood type, detective says, does not match that found at scene where body was recovered in 1993.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Police have all but eliminated alleged serial killer Glen Edward Rogers as a suspect in three local slayings.

The determining factor was Rogers’ blood type, which police said does not match that found at a crime scene most likely associated with Rogers.

“It’s a disappointment,” Port Hueneme Detective Jerry F. Beck said. “We were hopeful that we could link him to the killings even though the chances were very remote. Now the cases are still unsolved.”

Kentucky State Police on Wednesday faxed the Port Hueneme Police Department a preliminary blood profile for Rogers that shows him to be type A.

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Rogers, a former Van Nuys resident who is accused of killing at least five people nationwide, was arrested 10 days ago in Kentucky after a high-speed chase.

Beck had hoped Rogers could be linked to at least one of three unsolved killings committed during a three-month period in the summer of 1993.

Beck became suspicious of Rogers when he learned of his alleged method of killing about two weeks ago. Police believe Rogers often strangled his victims, sometimes left them in a bathtub and set fire to the crime scene.

Port Hueneme resident Cynthia Burger met a similar fate Aug. 5, 1993. The 44-year-old customer service manager at Gold Coast Acura in Ventura was sexually assaulted and strangled in her two-story condominium, which was then set ablaze. Investigators found Burger’s body in the bathtub.

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But the suspect’s blood, which was extracted from a semen sample found at the crime scene, was not type A, Beck said Wednesday.

Beck said he had seen some minor similarities between Rogers’ alleged method of killing and two other unsolved deaths from that violent summer: the strangulation of Norma Rodriguez, 32, and the rape and fatal stabbing of Beatrice Bellis, 87.

But now that the Burger case has been ruled out, Beck said that the possibility of linking Rogers to the other cases appears even more remote.

“We had the best chance of linking Rogers to the Burger murder,” Beck said. “We’re not as enthusiastic about the others.”

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Nevertheless, Beck has still asked the FBI to send a sample of Rogers’ hair to Port Hueneme in the slim hope that it might match a small hair sample found at the Bellis crime scene. The hair sample will be checked for its color, coarseness and amount of curl, Beck said.

When the public first learned that Rogers was suspected in the unsolved slayings, the little Port Hueneme police station was flooded with calls alleging that Rogers had been seen in the area.

But none of the tips panned out and Beck could never confirm that Rogers had visited the area.

But Beck isn’t giving up. The publicity surrounding the possible Rogers’ link has jogged people’s memories and encouraged them to call in with previously unknown tips about the three slayings--a few of which may be helpful.

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And Beck has also learned about two similar slayings in the Los Angeles area. He is comparing notes with Ontario police on a 1992 homicide in which a woman was strangled, and the recent stabbing of an elderly woman in Malibu.

Said Beck, “We’re not giving up on solving these murders and neither should the public.”


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