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The Chester Creek Murders

(Venator Cold Case #1)


When Detective Clayton Tyler is tasked with reviewing the formidable archives of unsolved homicides in his police department’s vaults, he settles on one particular cold case from the 1980s: The Chester Creek Murders. Three young women were brutally murdered—their bodies dumped in Chester Creek, Delaware County—by a serial killer who has confounded a slew of detectives and evaded capture for over thirty-eight years. With no new leads or information at his disposal, the detective contacts Venator for help, a company that uses cutting-edge investigative genetic genealogy to profile perpetrators solely from DNA evidence. Taking on the case, Madison Scott-Barnhart and her small team at Venator must use their forensic genealogical expertise to attempt finally to bring the serial killer to justice. Madison, meanwhile, has to weigh professional and personal issues carefully, including the looming five-year anniversary of her husband’s disappearance.

Praise for The Chester Creek Murders

'Both educational and entertaining, this fast-paced glimpse into an entirely new technology is a must-read for anyone interested in genealogy, law enforcement, or mystery'

Blaine Bettinger


'Nathan Dylan Goodwin continues to deliver captivating genealogical mysteries that draw us into the latest cutting-edge investigative methods. The Chester Creek Murders will have you rooting for a new cast of characters as they solve this intriguing cold case using genetic genealogy'

Lisa Louise Cooke, Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel


'Nathan Dylan Goodwin is the creator and master of the genealogical thriller genre. The Chester Creek Murders is his latest offering, taking us on a can't-put-the-book down hunt for a 1980s era American killer. Informative and captivating, the reader will learn how cold cases are now solved using genetic genealogy'
Scott Fisher, host, Extreme Genes


'This was a great story from start to finish due to the attention to detail given to everything from the description of the bar at Beerhive to the research process used by Madison and her team'

Angie Bush

‘This is a novel for all family history fans. The plot unfolds with twists and turns, keeping us guessing to the end. I thoroughly look forward to the next book…’

Family Tree magazine

'Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s latest novel is a gripping crime story that explores how DNA is used to solve historical and current cases. He introduces a set of completely new characters, all of whom caught my attention. Most importantly, the story is a genuine page-turner, alternating between the events of 1983 and 2020 in riveting fashion. Highly recommended'

Jonny Perl, DNA Painter


Some of images from the research that went into The Chester Creek Murders

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