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Forensic History: The man that was freed thanks to science

Forensic History: The man that was freed thanks to science

For 16 years, Kevin Green maintained he didn’t do it.

It was someone else, he said, who had entered his pregnant wife’s bedroom in 1979, bludgeoned her into a coma, killing the couple’s unborn daughter.

When Green’s wife, Dianna D’Aiello, recovered from her coma, albeit with significant memory loss, she testified in the case that helped convict her husband of attempted murder and second-degree murder for the death of their unborn child.  Green was sentenced in 1980 to 15-years-to-life in prison.

Around the time D’Aiello was attacked, several other women in Orange County were sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by an assailant investigators called “The Bedroom Basher.” At the time, however, the cases weren’t linked and the murders in Tustin and Costa Mesa eventually ran cold.

Investigators with the Tustin and Costa Mesa continued to work the unsolved murders and, in the 1990s, learned of a new technology for genetic testing knows as Short Tandem Repeats (STR), a type of DNA analysis effective for identifying individuals. At the time, the Orange County Crime Lab was one of only three labs in the nation capable of this type of analysis.

Tustin PD and Costa Mesa PD investigators submitted DNA from the Bedroom Basher murders and the STR method was used to match DNA of convicted individuals through a computer database called CODIS (Combine DNA Index System).

They got multiple hits.

Forensic scientists matched the DNA from the Bedroom Basher murders to Gerald Parker, who was in custody for sexually assault a 13-year-old girl in Tustin.

Gerald Parker, a former Marine assigned to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine, confessed to attacking D’Aiello and murdering five other women in Orange County.

He was convicted in 1998 and sentenced to death in 1999. He remains on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison today.

Kevin Green was exonerated and was awarded $620,000 in restitution for his wrongful conviction and prison sentence.