This evening I was watching Investigation ID. I got into the show a little late, but I learned that there was a killer who had been extremely hard to catch. They had his DNA from a 23 year old rape kit and came up with a match. When they found this man they got a search warrant for his home and why they were checking behind sheetrock, I can only presume the man must have confessed and told them where to look for evidence. They found 150 polaroids of women, some obviously dead, some it was hard to tell. They had the task of matching up these women with missing persons and some of them had been attacked by this man, but were still alive. They ended up with 35 women they could not figure out what happened to them. But thanks to DNA technology he was convicted on 10 counts of murder, rape and kidnapping. He awaits execution in San Quentin Prison. Can you imagine how many lives may have been saved if DNA had been possible sooner.
Forensics and DNA
- DNA Testing
- Family Tree
- Forensics and DNA
- Medicine and DNA
- What is DNA
Twice just the other day, DNA played an important role in the lives of citizens.
April 3, 2019: A reign of terror for citizens of Spartanburg, South Carolina came to an end with the DNA results of one Gregory Howard Frye, 52, who had been on the loose for over 20 years. He is at this time charged with 12 rapes, and possible more to come, along with kidnapping. His reign of terror was between the years of 1995 and 2003 and the case had gone cold. But with all the new developments in DNA testing, detectives decided to retest and check the rape kits and received the match. What a blessing DNA has been.
April 4 2019: A young teen boy claiming to be the missing child, Timothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. With DNA testing it was confirmed that this child in fact was NOT Timothy. Now it begs the question who is this child and just what is going on. Young Timothy Pitzen was taken from school by his Mother, then she was found with POSSIBLE suicide in a hotel and a note that little Timothy was with good people and would never be found. All very curious circumstances. I can understand how someone thought this teen was him, the resemblance is remarkable, but thanks to DNA, it was disproved.
DNA plays an important role in our lives and we should put the tools we have to good use.
An ex-police office was finally arrested after 40 years of evading the police. Southern California had experienced more than 50 rapes and 12 murders before finally DNA came to the rescue and caught the man who had terrorized California for years. Thanks to a smart forensic coroner who decided to make duplicate rape kits on one of the earlier crimes and had kept it in a frozen locker for all these many years. With the advent of DNA it was decided to test the DNA and then a genetic genealogist uploaded the results to the DNA website GEDMATCH.com which enables many people to upload their raw data and find relatives. This was the beginning of finding the perpetrator. So do you still wonder about DNA?
We all know about the statute of limitations. Many crimes have statues of limitations. But did you know that they can actually indict someone’s DNA until there is a match thereby circumventing the statue of limitations. It is called a John Doe indictment or John Doe Warrant. This actually stops the clock from ticking on the statute of limitations until the person having the DNA profile left at the crime scene shows up, even if it is a long time.
In my opinion, if you are thought to have committed a crime, DNA is just like fingerprints. If you are suspected of a crime and you know you are innocent, it can clear you, but if you aren’t, well suffer the consequences. There has been a lot of debate about this being an invasion of privacy, however, you kinda give that up when you commit crimes against the rest of us. With my love of DNA, I am 100% for it. It should be in codis, which according to wikipedia is:
The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is the United States national DNA database created and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. CODIS consists of three levels of information; Local DNA Index Systems (LDIS) where DNA profiles originate, State DNA Index Systems (SDIS) which allows for laboratories within states to share information, and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) which allows states to compare DNA information with one another.
The CODIS software contains multiple different databases depending on the type of information being searched against. Examples of these databases include, missing persons, convicted offenders, and forensic samples collected from crime scenes. Each state, and the federal system, has different laws for collection, upload, and analysis of information contained within their database. However, for privacy reasons, the CODIS database does not contain any personal identifying information, such as the name associated with the DNA profile. The uploading agency is notified of any hits to their samples and are tasked with the dissemination of personal information pursuant to their laws.
With the advent of Phenotyping, familial DNA, which tells that you did NOT commit the crime but someone you are related to did. Wow! You might have some inkling of just who that relative might be (this type of DNA sample would have to be requested by law enforcement and you would have to willingly consent to it to help them find their man or confirm it on someone who they felt was suspicious but they didn’t have DNA on.
Read the article Supreme Court Rules DNA Can be Taken After Arrest. 2012 was the last information I could find on the states that will allow DNA testing upon arrest and there were 28 states, I am sure that has probably increased by now.
Many people know about the serial killer John Wayne Gacy and his abduction and murders of some 33 boys in the Chicago area between 1972 and 1978. Thanks to DNA the 8 unidentified victims may be identified, putting to rest many family’s search for their lost child. Prior to DNA, investigators had to rely on dental records. With these 8 boys, dental records were not available…so time marched on. Nearly 40 years has passed since these young victims were abducted and murdered. Thank Heaven for DNA and investigator, Jason Moran, who has taken it upon himself to methodically identify the eight boys who had remained unidentified until now. He has identified two more thru his diligence and DNA of living relatives being matched to the remains found under the home of John Wayne Gacy. Although it is not a good outcome to know that your loved one is no longer living, it does give closure to what has to be a living nightmare. This once again proves the importance of DNA.
Phenotype? What is that you ask? Taking anyone’s DNA one can determine the characteristics of the person. In a criminal case they have actually taken this information and done a composite drawing of the person using their DNA. Since your DNA tells your Origin, the color of your hair and eyes, a pretty good drawing can be obtained using this information. This is called a Phenotype. It has been used with amazing results in catching criminals who leave DNA at the crime scene. They have actually made a composite drawing and used it to find the perpetrator. What a tool for our law enforcement.
We all know of the criminal cases where DNA has played the role of ultimately catching the criminal or even freeing some who have been wrongfully accused. I have never given consideratiion to the fact that DNA can, by way of checking the Y-chromosome connect familial kinship. Take the case of Dutch murder victim Milica van Doorn. She was murdered in 1992. The Dutch police requested that 133 men in the area to volunteer their DNA who were of Turkish descent. The initial DNA taken from the crime scene where Milica Van Doorn was stabbed and raped before being dumped into a lake in Zaandam in the Netherlands, showed the man to be of Turkish descent. Two would not submit to the test.
However, the relative of one of the men agreed to have his taken. This quickly connected one of the men who would not have his taken. Upon arrest of this individual, his DNA was taken and it was proven that he was in fact the perpetrator. The Netherlands police emphasized that they did not expect to catch the actual perpetrator, but were in hopes that the Y-chromosome would point to familial kinship which would at least give a partial match and lead to the suspect.
This is so amazing to me.
DNA has been used as a powerful criminal justice tool in the past decade. DNA taken from the crime scene can actually be tested to determine features of the offender, such as decent, color of eyes, complexion, and which group of humans they come from thereby determining characteristics. DNA is the main tool used to identify criminals with incredible accuracy when biological evidence exists. DNA can be used in two ways, to either determine that a person committed the crime or by exonerating persons mistakenly accused. Technology of DNA has become increasingly vital in ensuring accuracy in the criminal justice system. Once you have run your DNA you understand more about your own characteristics. Where I am concerned, I knew I always had A WEAK CHIN. In reading more about it, I find that there is a cliché’ that it was European Aristocracy. Since I had my DNA done and find I am 84% British, I am not at all surprised. My husband had his DNA run also and found he was 26% Swedish…that accounts for that white-blond hair and Big Blue Eyes, and 24% Spain…beautiful tan? DNA can be very revealing. Try it have your DNA tested today….who knows where your journey will lead you. You can find all kinds of ancestors you never knew you had or like me, prove all your work over the years was exactly right.
DNA forensics has come a long way. Today DNA fingerprinting is used by forensic scientist everywhere to help with the capture of criminals. By just a small amount of DNA derived from skin cells or a drop of blood, and even touch DNA, scientists are discovering ways to generate a DNA profile and after compared to the millions of DNA profiles in their databases, a suspect can be found and convicted. Breakthroughs in phenotyping are even enabling a 3D picture of the suspect to be drawn. According to Wikipedia “Phenotyping is a composite of an organism’s observable characteristics or traits, such as morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior.” By knowing the color of the eyes, hair and even modeling how the face looks based upon genetics, they can conjure up a physical likeness of the perpetrator. Forensics are just steps away from the ability to know exactly what the perpetrator looks like. Today, this new forensics tool is being applied to the famous “Zodiac Killer” cold case. Perhaps we will finally know the true killer in this 1968 serial killing spree that has haunted the police for so many years.