The Australian peering into the mind of America’s worst serial killer

There have been several advances in DNA technology over Williamson’s career, but she says a recent “gamechanger” has been the growth of genetic genealogy services used to trace family trees. They allow investigators to identify criminals among the relatives of those who upload their DNA profiles.
Joseph DeAngelo, the so-called Golden State Killer, was arrested in April 2018 after police used public genealogy databases to link him to DNA from the crime scenes.
While there are obvious privacy concerns about the practice, Williamson says it is invaluable in solving crimes and providing justice to victims’ families.
“There are 240,000 unsolved homicides in this country and that is too many,” she says. “Everyone’s story deserves an ending.”

Richard Wilbern Found Guilty In 2003 Xerox Federal Credit Union Robbery

The verdict is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gary Loeffert; the Webster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph P. Rieger, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Todd Baxter, the Rochester Police Department, under
the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary, the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Charles Salina, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley.

DNA Analysis of Ancient Rome Reveals a Cosmopolitan Megacity

A new collection of DNA from ancient Romans spanning 12,000 years shows how the population of the empire’s capital shifted along with its politics. Published in Science, the timeline is one of the first to examine what genetic information from archaeological digs says about the region after the time of hunter-gatherers and early farmers.

One-legged skeleton found under Russian dance floor is Napoleon’s ‘lost general’, DNA tests confirm

More than 200 years after he died of his battlefield wounds in Russia, one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s favourite generals has been formally identified thanks to DNA tests on a one-legged skeleton found under a dance floor.
His heirs are now calling for him to receive a state funeral in his native France.

Utah Cold Case Coalition announces first US nonprofit forensics lab

WEST JORDAN — The Utah Cold Case Coalition announced Monday it is building the first nonprofit forensic lab in the nation.
“This is going to revolutionize DNA testing in cold case and homicides throughout the U.S.,” said coalition co-founder Karra Porter.

‘Game-Changer’ Warrant Let Detective Search Genetic Database

For police officers around the country, the genetic profiles that 20 million people have uploaded to consumer DNA sites represent a tantalizing resource that could be used to solve cases both new and cold. But for years, the vast majority of the data have been off limits to investigators. The two largest sites, Ancestry.com and 23andMe, have long pledged to keep their users’ genetic information private, and a smaller one, GEDmatch, severely restricted police access to its records this year.

Call For ISHI Workshops

The ISHI Program Committee invites interested parties to submit workshop proposals for either full or half-day workshops to be held in conjunction with the 31st International Symposium on Human Identification. Workshops will be scheduled for Sunday, September 13, Monday, September 14 or Thursday, September 17, 2020.
All proposals will be reviewed by committee and selected based on perceived interest to the forensic community. Workshop proposals should be non-commercial and focused on educating forensic scientists on topics that will improve their technical, legal or policy knowledge.
Submit your proposal by January 10, 2020

Submit Now!

Scientists Think They’ve Found ‘Mitochondrial Eve’s’ First Homeland

The San people of southern Africa carry one of the oldest maternal DNA lineages on Earth. Now, researchers think they know the precise place our earliest maternal ancestor called home.

How Commandos Could Quickly Confirm They Got Their Target

Mr. Trump did not provide any details of how that identification was made. But the quick turnaround after Mr. al-Baghdadi’s violent demise suggests that American Special Operations forces made use of biometric tests and DNA technology, which has advanced significantly in recent years.

Face of medieval man reconstructed from 600-year-old skull dug up in Scotland

A group of archaeologists and researchers announced Tuesday that they recreated the face of a medieval man whose remains were dug up in a Scotland museum four years ago.
The man, who researchers identified as Skeleton 125, was found among 60 skeletons and 4,272 bone fragments on the site of the Aberdeen Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland amid construction of a new development on the site.

Washington gets nearly $5.3 million to test backlogged rape kits

Washington State Patrol got a grant for $1,857,667 to increase crime lab capacity, including equipping a new DNA section in the Vancouver crime lab. State patrol also got a grant for $920,921 that will digitize and store about 480,000 case records so they can be more easily accessed by investigators. Those records are currently archived in off-site storage.

Police were cracking cold cases with a DNA website. Then the fine print changed.

In April 2018, California authorities revealed that they’d used a novel investigative technique to arrest a man they called the Golden State Killer, a serial murderer who’d escaped capture for decades.
For the first time, police had submitted DNA from a crime scene into a consumer DNA database, where information about distant relatives helped them identify a suspect.
The announcement kindled a revolution in forensics that has since helped solve more than 50 rapes and homicides in 29 states.

Maloney Hails Passage of Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s (D-NY) H.R. 777 – Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill was introduced with Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) in January.

Nome has test results from sex assault kits, some more than 10 years old. Now it must find a way to investigate the cases.

One hundred and fourteen sexual assault kits have been tested and returned to Nome Police Department through the Alaska Crime Lab Capital Fund Project.
Many of the returned kits need some type of investigation, but right now NPD said they don’t have the experienced investigators required to do that.

DNA solves woman’s 1984 killing

But authorities used DNA evidence and forensic genealogy to identify her killer as Phillip Cross, who was 21 at the time. Cross died of a drug overdose in 2012.
Authorities linked the suspect through a DNA match of the suspect’s second cousin.