Serial Killer Pleads Guilty to 1973 Stanford Hills Murder of Law Librarian

For release on January 10, 2023


Michel Amaral
Deputy District Attorney
Homicide Unit

(408) 808-3782

 Serial Killer Pleads Guilty to 1973 Stanford Hills Murder of Law Librarian

Serial killer John Getreu pleaded guilty today for the murder of a Stanford Law librarian in 1973.

Getreu, was charged in 2018 after Santa Clara County DA criminalists matched DNA found under the fingernails of Leslie Perlov to the now 78-year-old man. 

Getreu is believed to have committed a string of sexual assaults and at least three slayings, two part of a pattern in the 1970s commonly known as “The Stanford murders.” The man, who used to live near Stanford and once worked there, was found guilty in San Mateo of the March 1974 murder of 21-year-old Janet Taylor, the daughter of Chuck Taylor, the university’s football coach and athletic director.

After his sentencing on April 26, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in department 38, Getreu will spend the rest of his life in prison.

“Justice for Leslie Perlov and her loved ones took a very long time, but it is has arrived,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “This serial rapist and murderer will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

Last year alone, the Santa Clara County DA’s Cold Case Unit has helped solve five cold case murders and seven sexual assaults.

Perlov’s body was discovered in the hills that overlook the Stanford campus on February 16, 1973. A floral scarf was found tightly knotted around her neck and had been used as a ligature to strangle her to death.

San Mateo County DA’s Office successfully convicted Getreu in 2021 for the murder of Taylor.




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