Analysis of remains from 1717 Cape shipwreck shows pirate had treasure in his pocket

WEST YARMOUTH, Mass. — It may not have belonged to legendary pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, but a recent analysis of a bone fragment recovered from a 1717 pirate shipwreck off Cape Cod revealed some interesting information about the sailor who died in the waters off Massachusetts hundreds of years ago — with what appeared to be treasure in his pocket.

Loch Ness Monster Hunters to Try DNA Search? Get the Facts

National Geographic-A group of scientists plans to find out once and for all if Scotland’s most famous “resident,” the Loch Ness Monster, is or ever was hiding in the deep by sequencing as many DNA fragments as they can find in the lake’s murky waters.

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, MISS. Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman’s laboratory contain full bones — a skull, a jaw, or a leg. Others contain only plastic bags of bone fragments that Zuckerman describes as “grit.”
These humble remains are among as many as 7,000 bodies that were buried at Mississippi’s former insane asylum, a site that’s now on the grounds of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Researchers are planning to exhume the bodies, create a memorial and study them for insight on how mentally ill people and other marginalized populations should be treated today.

Minnesota’s rape kit reform bill becomes law as Duluth passes a milestone on its backlog

In Minnesota’s most ambitious effort to process untested rape kits, the Duluth Police Department has eliminated its entire backlog and submitted 415 kits for laboratory testing, a step that could open the door to justice for scores of sexual assault victims.

South Florida Police Bring New Life to Cold Cases With DNA Phenotyping

On November 26, 2010, Davie Police responded to Robbins Lodge on Hiatus Road after a woman called to report she was sexually assaulted in broad daylight. Detectives collected evidence and DNA swabs, but their search on several databases showed no match. Davie Police even created one of the first ever John Doe arrest warrants hoping to locate the suspect.

A genealogy website helps crack another cold case, police say, this one a 1987 double homicide

For the past 30 years, evidence found at the scenes of the killings of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg was mostly confined to a blue blanket wrapped around Cook’s body, an abandoned bronze 1977 Ford Club Wagon and, crucially, the killer’s DNA.
The couple was from Saanich, British Columbia, and on the evening of Nov. 18, 1987, they were traveling in the Cook family van to Gensco Heating in Seattle to pick up a part for Cook’s father. They were last seen purchasing a ticket around 10 p.m. in Bremerton, Wash., to board a ferry to Seattle, but they never made it there. Several days later, 18-year-old Van Cuylenborg’s body was found partly clothed, dumped in a ditch in a wooded area in Skagit County, Wash. She had been raped, police said. Cook’s body was found near the Snoqualmie River.
Since 1987, police had received more than 300 names from tipsters who thought they had information about the couple’s alleged killer. William Earl Talbott II was not on that list.
But then investigators ran the DNA from the scene through a genealogy website. They turned up two second cousins of Talbott, which led them to him.

LLNL-Led Team Expands Forensic Method to Identify People Using Proteins From Bones

LLNL scientists Katelyn Mason and Deon Anex prepare to pulverize forensic bone samples prior to demineralization and extraction of proteins to find identity markers. In addition to previously demonstrating the use of protein markers from human hair to identify people, the research team is announcing that it has found a second way to use protein markers from human tissue for identification – this time from human bones.

New Analysis of Hitler’s Teeth Confirms Nazi Leader’s Vegetarianism

Since his death on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler has become synonymous with evil. A new study of his teeth by French researchers, however, has revealed more clues to Hitler’s life, including confirmation of his vegetarianism.
Published this week in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, a short letter to the editor by forensic researcher Philippe Charlier and colleagues details their analysis of several fragments of bone and teeth purported to have belonged to Hitler, which are held by the Russian Secret Services.

Another DNA-Cold Case Stunner: Arrest of Washington state man in 1987 double murder case involving young couple from Canada

(EVERETT, WA.) – It was just a little over a month ago on April 11th that detectives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference .
The purpose was to unveil some amazing sketches of a suspect, based on the man’s DNA profile, in the unsolved violent murders of a young Canadian couple in our state thirty-one years ago, back in November 1987.

DNA leads to arrest in Washington cold-case murder of young couple

A 55-year-old man has been arrested in a 31-year-old cold case involving a young couple murdered in Washington state.
Detectives from the Snohomish County and Skagit County Sheriff’s Offices arrested William Talbott for the November 1987 murders of 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

International Consortium Wants to Sequence the DNA of 1.5 Million Species

The initiative is called Earth BioGenome Project (EBP). Its goals and challenges are set out in a paper published in late April in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Wisconsin Man, Casualty Of Flawed Hair Forensics, Latest To Be Exonerated

A Wisconsin man who spent two decades in prison based in part on flawed FBI forensic work has been cleared of rape, battery and burglary charges, the latest in a series of exonerations around the country based on the now-discredited technique of microscopic hair comparison.
Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara approved a motion by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday to dismiss all charges against Richard Beranek, 59. In the motion, the prosecution said while it still has a “strong belief” in Beranek’s guilt, it was dropping the charges to spare the victim of the 1987 home invasion and sexual assault from additional trauma.

DNA links Wisconsin cab driver to assaults in Green Bay, Chicago

DUNN COUNTY (WBAY) – A 56-year-old cab driver charged with sexual assault in western Wisconsin is linked by DNA to a sexual assault in Green Bay, police say.
On Tuesday, Edward Woodbery was charged with second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim in Dunn County. The victim told police she called for a cab after drinking in a bar on a night in Oct. 2017 and was picked up by Woodberry. She said he raped her inside the cab and then at his apartment.

Delaware finally begins to tackle its backlog of untested rape kits

Any day now, a Delaware rape suspect will be arrested because long-untested rape kit evidence has linked him to the sexual assault.
Delaware now is reviewing 640 kits, which long languished in Delaware police evidence rooms, and have now been tested and are being compared to DNA records on file in the state and the national CODIS data base.

In Germany, controversial law gives Bavarian police new power to use DNA

Police in the German state of Bavaria will have new powers to use forensic DNA profiling after a controversial law passed today in the Landtag, the state parliament in Munich. The law is the first in Germany that allows authorities to use DNA to help determine the physical characteristics, such as eye color, of an unknown culprit.
The new DNA rules are part of a broader law which has drawn criticism of the wide surveillance powers it gives the state’s police to investigate people they deem an “imminent danger,” people who haven’t necessarily committed any crimes but might be planning to do so.