John Sipos

John Sipos was arrested on October 24, 2020 and charged with the November 20, 1969 rape and murder of 24-year-old Mary ‘Lucky’ Scott in San Diego, California.

Scott’s naked body was discovered at about 8:30 in the evening after she failed to show up for her job as a go-go dancer. Scott had been sexually assaulted, her jaw was broken, and she was strangled. She was the single mother of two young children.

Scott’s sister, Rosalie Sanz, contacted law enforcement and asked them if they could use FGG to reopen Scott’s case. Reports indicate that the FGG investigation may have been conducted by the FBI’s Investigative Genealogy Unit. The initial confirmation was made through police surveillance and the surreptitious sampling of a bloody bandage Sipos had discarded in his trash.

At the time of Scott’s murder, Sipos was serving with the U.S. Navy and was stationed nearby. The sexual assault charges against him have been dropped due to the statute of limitations.

Sipos was tried in San Diego Superior Court. Several witnesses were available to testify, 52 years after the crime, including two of the original officers who investigated the case. The jury convicted Sipos of first-degree murder on March 24, 2022, after less than a day of deliberations. On April 22, 2022, Sipos was sentenced to 7 years to life in prison.


Figueroa, Teri. “Authorities Accuse John Sipos of Pennsylvania Strangling Mary Scott in her North Park Apartment. San Diego Union-Tribune, December 22, 2020.

Harris, Chris. “Calif. Mom, 24, Was Raped and Strangled in 1969, and a Man Was Just Arrested Using Preserved DNA.” People, October 29, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020.

Jeffries, Ginger. “Cold Cases with Ginger Jeffries: Daughter of Mary Scott Speaks Out About Her Mother’s Killer.” KUSI News, March 22, 2022. Accessed March 26, 2022.

Kalmbacher, Colin. “Mary Was the Kindest and Gentlest of Us’: Former Navy Sailor Sentenced to 7 Years to Life in Prison over Brutal 1969 Cold Case Murder of Dancer.” Law & Crime, April 25, 2022. Accessed January 16, 2023.

Miller, Jax. “Former Navy Sailor Found Guilty for 1969 Murder of California Dancer.” Oxygen, March 25, 2022. Accessed March 26, 2022.

Miller, Joshua Rhett. “Forensic Genealogy Leads to Arrest in 1969 Rape, Murder of Go-Go Dancer.” New York Post, October 28, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020.

Schroeder, Laurie Mason. “Police Picked Through North Whitehall Man’s Trash to Get DNA Evidence they Say Links Him to 1969 San Diego Cold Case Murder.” The Morning Call, December 23, 2020. Accessed December 27, 2020.


First Name John
Last Name Sipos
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2020-10-24


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1424 Mary Scott 24 1969-11-20 San Diego, CA San Diego PD Second degree murder Accused was convicted after a trial San Diego SUP CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.