A little luck goes a long way.
Multiple cold cases including one dating back 42 years, may have finally been solved. The Solano County Sheriff's office announced the arrest of well-liked retired carpenter James Ray Gary 76 from Fairfield, California. He has been linked to three cold cases; 2 murders and one sexual assault; through DNA analysis where he was matched to each crime. Deputies fear there is a good probability there are more victims.
He has had no felony arrests on his record up until now. In various news outlets, neighbors have described Gary as “good people” and “a great neighbor”. He was recently widowed.
The huge break in the case occurred when Gary was accused of sexual assault in 2021. The police needed to get a DNA sample from him. Gary was pulled over for suspicion of DUI and they sent his breathalyzer mouthpiece off to the Department of Justice for DNA testing. It eventually came back linking him to the two murders along with the sexual assault.
Sgt. Brandon Hayward of the Union City Police Department Investigation Unit has reiterated that their work has just begun. He told KCRA television in Sacramento, “The process will now be reconstructing where was this individual from the time in 1980 to the time of his arrest”.
Authorities state that Gary killed two women; Latrelle Lindsay of Union City in 1980 as well as Winifred Douglas in 1996. Each victim was 46 years old at the time of their death. The cause of the deaths was asphyxia and blunt force trauma. Lindsay was killed in her home in Union City and sexually assaulted. Douglas’ body was found on the side of Interstate 780 near the Laurel Street exit in Vallejo, California. The 2021 sexual assault happened in an unnamed North Bay City and that victim survived.
The two murders were linked together by authorities even though there was no specific suspect until the latest DNA Testing after the sexual assault.
Investigators are asking the public for help. If anyone has information on any of the cases or if they have had contact or interaction with Gary since 1980, they are asked to call the authorities. If you have any information on the 1980 Union City murder or if you have had interactions with James Ray Gary since 1980, you are asked to call the Union City Police Department Investigations Unit at 510-675-5227.
If you have any information on the 1996 murder in Solano County, or if you have had contact with Gary since 1980, please call the Solano County Sheriff’s office at 707-784-7050.