On June 13, 1996, Angie Dodge was raped and stabbed to demise in her Idaho Falls, Idaho residence. The killer left behind what one DNA skilled referred to as “a pristine profile,” however regardless of that sturdy piece of proof, it took investigators greater than 20 years to arrest the precise perpetrator whereas an harmless man served time for the crime.
The 18-year-old’s brutal homicide is revisited on the brand new ABC collection The Genetic Detective, which appears to be like at instances that used familial DNA to trace down the perpetrator. Due to host CeCe Moore, legislation enforcement was capable of catch Dodge’s actual assassin utilizing GEDMatch.
Who’s Angie Dodge’s killer?
In Might of 2019, Brian Leigh Dripps was arrested within the stabbing demise of Dodge after a search of GEDMatch, a service that compares autosomal DNA information information, recognized the 53-year-old as a attainable suspect.
Police had been capable of gather Dripps’ DNA from a discarded cigarette butt, which matched the pattern present in Dodge’s house. Shortly after he was taken into custody, Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson mentioned that Dripps confessed to each the rape and homicide.
“He knew Angie as an acquaintance,” Captain Invoice Squires shared throughout a press convention, revealing that Dripps lived throughout the road from Dodge’s residence constructing on the time of the murder. “[They were] not buddies, he simply knew of her.”
A younger police officer briefly questioned Dripps in 1996 whereas out canvassing the neighborhood, however the then 31-year-old denied figuring out something concerning the crime. He left city seven weeks later.
Dripps will stand trial on fees of first-degree homicide and rape in June 2021. Prosecutors filed a discover in November that they intend to search the demise penalty. A couple of months later, Dripps’ attorneys requested that the court docket suppress his confession, during which he claimed that Dodge’s homicide was an accident.
“He mentioned that he supposed solely to rape her and didn’t imply to kill her,” court docket paperwork learn. “He confirmed that he entered Dodge’s residence by himself with a knife with the intent to rape her, that he did the truth is rape her, that he had held a knife to her throat in the course of the fee of the rape, and had minimize her throat.”
The protection additionally requested that the jury be compiled outdoors of jap Idaho. “I’d be stunned if there’s even one potential juror in Bonneville County, Idaho, that has not heard or learn one thing concerning the case and shaped an opinion concerning the case,” lawyer James Archibald wrote in an affidavit.
Christopher Tapp spent 20 years in jail for Angie Dodge’s homicide.
Although there was by no means any bodily proof that tied him to the scene, a jury discovered Tapp, who was 20 years previous on the time, responsible of the crime primarily based solely off of his confession, which had been obtained after greater than 28 hours of interrogation.
However when he went earlier than the decide, Tapp pleaded not responsible. He claimed the confession had been coerced. “I watch it and it is so irritating,” Tapp informed 48 Hours of the tape. “You take a look at that 20-year-old child, you recognize, and also you notice, ‘God, I used to be simply an fool.'”
As increasingly folks, together with the Idaho Innocence Undertaking, regarded into Tapp’s case, the DA’s workplace provided up a deal in March 2017: Tapp could be launched from jail and his rape conviction would go away, but the homicide conviction would nonetheless stand.
Tapp agreed to the deal, however was absolutely exonerated following Dripps’ arrest. “I’ve acquired a full-time job. I am married,” he informed 48 Hours final yr. “I’ve truly… change into that productive member of society that I actually thought I may change into.”
New episodes of The Genetic Detective air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.