Felon gets 2 life sentences after DNA helps tie him to cold cases

Felon gets 2 life sentences after DNA helps tie him to cold cases

Samuel McCullum, 57, was found guilty of murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of rape in two separate DeKalb County cases (Photo: DeKalb County jail)

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — With the help of DNA evidence, a serial rapist and murderer was convicted Friday and given two life sentences without the possibility of parole in decades-old cases.

Samuel McCullum, 57, was found guilty of murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of rape in two separate DeKalb County cases, District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Yvette Jones said in a news release. s

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McCullum was connected to the cases when his DNA was entered into the criminal database after he raped a 17-year-old girl in Kentucky. He was convicted in 2002 of sodomy and false imprisonment in that case, the news release said.

Four years earlier, McCullum sexually assaulted 38-year-old Monica Blackwell on Porter Road in DeKalb before killing her, Jones said. The woman was only partially clothed and had suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

Then, the case went cold.

In May 1999, McCullum offered a ride to a 21-year-old woman walking on Lawrenceville Highway, the news release said. He took her to a car shop where he worked and raped her three times.

The victim then convinced McCullum to take her to her nearby apartment. When she got home, she immediately told her roommate, who convinced her to call police, Jones said.

A rape kit was performed, but that case also went cold because the victim relocated out of fear, according to the news release.

In 2017, authorities were able to extradite McCullum to DeKalb after he finished serving his Kentucky sentence, the news release said.

His past convictions include sexual assaults in New Jersey in 1983 and in North Carolina in 1995. McCullum also faces charges in Fulton County in connection with a 1998 murder and rape, Jones said.