Daily Archives: October 14, 2014

The not-quite-solved mystery of the severed feet

severed feetTurns out all those detached feet in sneakers that have washed up on B.C. shores since 2007 aren’t such a mystery after all — except for two feet belonging to the same unknown man.
“We may eventually figure it out,” said Bill Inkster, the former dentist who manages the identification unit for the B.C. Coroners Service.
One foot belonging to the unidentified person — DNA testing revealed it was a man — washed up in False Creek near the Edgewater Casino in August 2011. The man’s other foot turned up almost a year later at the dock by the Plaza of Nations.

DNA science key for law enforcement

cold case logoIn the 1993 movie Jurassic Park, DNA was used to genetically engineer dinosaurs, which then, of course, ran amok on an island amusement park. Three years later — not in a movie but in real life — scientists used DNA to famously clone Dolly the sheep.
Closer to home, the science is being used by local law enforcement agencies to help them catch bad guys. DNA helps them identify suspects, link crime scenes where there are no suspects, rule out suspects, and determine whether a serial offender may be involved in a crime.
In 2013, Lethbridge regional police were able to check DNA on a beer can they found inside a pickup truck that had been stolen from its owner. That DNA led them to a suspect who pleaded guilty in court to one count of possession of stolen property.