DNA evidence has been found to link James Kopp to the attempted murder of a Canadian doctor, the Buffalo News reported. Dr. Hugh Short, an abortion provider in Hamilton, Ontario, was shot in his home in 1995. Strands of hair found inside a ski mask definitively link Kopp to Short’s shooting for which he was indicted and charged in 2000.
Kopp recently confessed to the 1998 killing of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was shot in his Buffalo, NY home. He also is the prime suspect in the sniper-style shootings of three other abortion providers – Dr. Garson Romalis, shot in his Vancouver home in 1994; the October 1997 shooting of a Perinton, NY doctor, whose name has been withheld by police; and the November 1997 shooting of Dr. Jack Fainman in his Winnipeg, NY home. In his confession, Kopp refused to answer questions regarding the shootings of other abortion providers.
Investigators have found many similarities in all five shootings – all physicians were abortion providers, all except Short were Jewish, all the doctors’ homes had rear windows facing a wooded area or an alley and all were shot around the time of a Canadian holiday known as Remembrance Day, the News reported. However, until now physical evidence has only been found linking Kopp to the Short shooting.
Kopp is currently awaiting trial for Slepian’s murder – scheduled for February 3 in Buffalo. Kopp, who was an early suspect in the murder, evaded authorities for two-and-a-half years until he was apprehended in France in 2001. If Kopp is convicted of the murder, he faces 25 years to life in prison.
Media Resources: Buffalo News 12/30/02, 12/31/02, 1/1/03; National Post 12/31/02