After 51 Years 'Free and Easy,' Murder Suspect Arrested

Victim's sister persuaded cops to reopen case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2020 5:06 AM CDT
Suspect Arrested 51 Years After California Murder
"This guy got to live 51 years free and easy and she got those 51 years taken from her," Sanz says.   (Getty Images/artisteer)

When Rosalie Sanz read about the Golden State Killer and other murderers identified through new DNA technology long after their crimes, she thought about her sister, who was raped and murdered in San Diego in 1969. She enlisted a retired police officer friend to persuade police to reopen the investigation and a suspect was arrested this month, the New York Times reports. Police say 75-year-old Pennsylvania resident John Sipos was arrested Saturday and is awaiting extradition to San Diego, reports NBC San Diego. Sipos was identified through DNA evidence and forensic genealogy, police say. Sanz says investigators told her Sipos had just gotten out of the Navy and was living in San Diego when her sister was murdered.

Mary Scott, who had two young daughters and was separated from her husband, was 23 years old and working as a nightclub go-go dancer when she was raped and strangled by an attacker who kicked in her door. "It is nice to be able to speak for her after all this time. The big headline was ‘Go-go girl found dead," Sanz tells the Times. "There was a little more to her than a ‘go-go girl." She says her sister "was very sweet and big-hearted and kind of naïve for the world she was living in." Scott's parents and four other siblings did not live to see the suspect arrested. "This guy got to live 51 years free and easy and she got those 51 years taken from her," Sanz says, per the Los Angeles Times. Authorities say Sipos, who has diabetes and has had three prior heart attacks, according to his lawyer, is currently in quarantine at a jail in Lehigh County. (More cold cases stories.)

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