DNA links convict to cold case | Local News



Denise Lampe



More than 41 years after a 19-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in Daly City, investigators believe DNA evidence linking a 71-year-old convict and known sexual predator to the case is taking them one step closer to justice.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said prosecutors have been investigating Leon Melvin Seymour and his connection to the murder of Peninsula woman Denise Lampe who was found dead in her car at the Serramonte Shopping Center.

The 19-year-old’s death was once thought to be part of the “Gypsy Hill” murders, a string of killings on the Peninsula over a five-month period. The cases sat unsolved for years until DNA connected another man, Rodney Halbower, to two of the murders in 2014.  

This week, prosecutors announced a murder charge against Seymour after tying him to Lampe’s case based on DNA found from a bloodstain on her jacket, Wagstaffe said.

Seymour is a known sexual predator with a lengthy history, according to prosecutors. He was civilly committed to Coalinga State Hospital after serving a 33-year prison sentence following 10 convictions for sexually assaulting six different female victims. His charges included rape and attempted sodomy in San Mateo County and other counties, according to prosecutors.

When he was charged Nov. 8 with murdering Lampe, Seymour attended the county’s first arraignment by video conference from the state hospital due to significant medical issues. Wagstaffe was encouraged that prosecutors were able to tell members of Lampe’s family they may be able to bring closure to a case that has gone unresolved for more than four decades.

“We believe we are going to be able to obtain justice for them by holding the killer of their loved one accountable,” he said.

DNA linked Seymour to one of the five 1976 killings of young…

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