Were it not for a spot of blood the size of a fingernail, Gary Leiterman's story would fall into a mildly interesting, but familiar category of cold case: The seemingly upstanding citizen linked to an old murder by new forensic testing.
Leiterman, a 62-year-old retired nurse, was arrested last year for the 1969 shooting of Jane Mixer, a Michigan law student who went missing on her way home for spring break.
Leiterman had no known connection to the victim, and in the 36 years since the crime, he had never crossed investigators' radar screens. But the state police detectives who arrested him had forensic evidence that seemed airtight: DNA on the victim's pantyhose perfectly matched Leiterman's genetic profile.
But there was also a small drop of blood, scraped from Mixer's left hand almost four decades ago, and its analysis turned the case into a mystery so great even prosecutors say they can't fully solve it.