Monthly Archives: February 2012

Report Investigates Method to Store Biological Materials

NCJ 237838, September 2011, Grant Report, by Katherine A. Roberts, Donald J. Johnson (296 pages)

Storing biological evidence at subzero temperatures is one of the current methods employed to prevent DNA degradation until time of analysis; however, previous studies have shown that freezing biological evidence does not completely cease the degradation process. The research presented here evaluates a proprietary platform technology for the dry storage of biological materials at ambient temperature.
This report is the result of an NIJ-funded project but was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

FDLE: DNA evidence solves Taylor Co. cold case

WTXL Florida
PERRY, Fla. – Kenneth L. Knight, 52, is pleading guilty to the Feb. 18, 1988 murder of an Indiana woman after DNA linked him to the homicide, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Do You Live in a Rapist-Friendly State? (Yes, There Is Such a Thing.)

Huffington Post
Hitting the lottery once in a lifetime will never happen to most of us, but Brian Brockington just hit the criminal justice system jackpot, not once, not twice, but three times. DNA evidence has linked him to three sexual assaults, but lucky old Brian will soon be released from prison without ever serving a single day for any of the assaults in question.

Oetzi the Iceman’s nuclear genome gives new insights

BBC News
New clues have emerged in what could be described as the world’s oldest murder case: that of Oetzi the “Iceman”, whose 5,300-year-old body was discovered frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991.

Swedish king exhumed to solve grave mystery

The Local Sweden
Researchers have begun exhuming the remains of Magnus III Ladulås, who reigned as Swedish king from 1275 until 1290, in order to perform DNA tests to ascertain the identity of those with whom he is buried.

DNA reveals Neanderthal extinction clues

Neanderthals were already on the verge of extinction in Europe by the time modern humans arrived on the scene, a study suggests.

DNA clue could solve 47 year-old Wanda Beach murders Australia
A BLOOD spot may hold vital DNA evidence that could solve one of Sydney’s most enduring mysteries.

Ky. high court to take up DNA testing case

Fox News
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Supreme Court has taken up a request for DNA testing law brought by two men convicted in a Satanic ritual slaying of a woman in 1992.

William Dillon’s bill up for vote in House

Florida Today
The Florida House took a big step toward awarding a former Brevard County man $1.35 million on Thursday for the 27 years he spent in state prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

Court: California can force inmates to submit DNA

A divided federal appeals court ruled Thursday that California law enforcement officials can keep collecting DNA samples from people arrested for felonies.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said law enforcement’s interest in solving cold cases, identifying crime suspects and even exonerating the wrongly accused outweigh any privacy concerns raised by the forced DNA collections.

HCSO: Violent crime decreased countywide by 38%

Hennepin County
…”Improved use of technology by law enforcement: In 2011, at the Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab, there were approximately 7,200 requests for lab services from law enforcement agencies across the county. The Sheriff’s Crime Lab is unique compared to most other labs, because places an emphasis on processing DNA in property crime cases. Studies have shown that in communities where DNA analysis is used to investigate property crimes, there’s been a reduction in violent crime as well…”

Abbott Collaborates with Leading U.S. Forensics Center on Human Identification Testing

PR Newswire
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Abbott /quotes/zigman/216393/quotes/nls/abt ABT +0.05% has entered into an agreement with the University of North Texas Science Center, one of the nation’s leading forensics institutions, to evaluate the company’s award-winning PLEX-ID(TM) instrument for use in analyzing human remains to support missing persons and human trafficking investigations. UNT Health Science Center works closely with state and federal law enforcement agencies and identifies a large percentage of human remains found in the United States every year.

DNA analyzing device goes from idea to market — all in Nebraska

Streck Inc.’s Philisa Thermal Cycler, shown here, can greatly accelerate DNA testing. Matthew Kreifels, right, is Streck Inc.’s molecular technology project manager. From left are the men who invented the device: Hendrik Viljoen, Joel TerMaat and Scott Whitney. Their idea for the device was born about eight years ago when the three were academics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Richmond Lab to Begin Identifying “Speed Freak” Bones

NBC Bay Area
Scientists at the Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Richmond are gearing up to begin analyzing some 1,000 bone fragments found in a San Joaquin County well.

Victims Urge Georgia to Improve Funding for Forensic DNA

PR Newswire
ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Victims of crimes and their families met to discuss the need for immediate action in support of better funding for the Georgia forensic DNA program. Debbie Smith, an outspoken rape survivor and namesake of the federal Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Elimination Act, was joined by Jayann Sepich, mother of murder victim Katie Sepich, namesake of Katie’s Law — both in Atlanta to meet with the parents of murder victim Johnia Berry (Mike and Joan Berry) and Savanna rape victim Susan Cash. The Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault (GNESA) hosted the discussion of the importance of federal funding in reducing Georgia’s backlog of unsolved cases, and the dire need for the State to provide improved funding for its DNA program.