Fox 11 Archives: An LAPD Detective Who Solved Murder Puzzles

(FOX 11) Perhaps the single most famous officer in the history of the LAPD was John St. John, better known as "Jigsaw" John, who spent 43 years as a detective on the force. He worked on some of the most infamous murders in L.A. history. From the Black Dahlia case to the Richard Ramirez "Nightstalker" serial killings, St. John, who died 20 years ago this week, investigated as many as 1,000 cases. He's credited with solving nearly two-thirds of them. His nickname is said to have come from a murder he investigated in Griffith Park in which parts of the victim's body were  scattered hither and yon, like pieces of a puzzle. It was one of the first cases he solved.

While revered in Los Angeles for his old school gumshoe tenacity, St. John also embraced modern police technology and scientific developments. If he were at work today, you can bet he'd make good use of DNA evidence. Also, he had a legendary memory for details, which came in useful when investigating several cases at once. While St. John had a great reputation among law enforcement officials throughout the country, a book and a 1970s TV show made him a household name. Unlike the fictional Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet fame or the heroes of Adam 12, Jigsaw John was a real cop.

I've included some brief video of St.John that Fox 11 aired upon his retirement after 51 years on the job, a longevity record which earned him Detective Badge No. 1.

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