"The real problem is the redundancy of the results," said Barry Scheck, head of the Innocence Project, a group that has cleared almost 200 people falsely convicted. "If you have a number of victims and they have the same profile, and that matches him," the case is more difficult to defend, he said.
Scheck cited the freeing of a Buffalo man Monday who had been imprisoned for 21 years for rapes he did not commit. A schizophrenic, the man was cleared by DNA analysis, which Scheck said has been a factor in proving the innocence of dozens of others.
Turner is unlikely to testify in his own defense. Tyre said he is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail with several convicted multiple killers.
In his investigation, Shepard quickly established that Turner lived for many years in a house within several blocks of Figueroa and 98th streets.
Shepard takes particular satisfaction in solving the case in the area where he served for six years as a patrol cop. On a quick tour Monday, he said the area hadn't changed much.
"We had more than a thousand murders in the city every year," Shepard recalled. "Our homicide units were overwhelmed. Before they could finish working one crime scene, they were called out on another homicide."