Monthly Archives: October 2019

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.

US taking step to require DNA of asylum-seekers

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained by immigration officials and will add the information to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals, a Justice Department official said.

Man pleads guilty to 2016 Alexandria rape solved using forensic genealogy

Bjerke was one of the first offenders identified in Virginia using forensic genealogy, an increasingly common technique for solving cold cases where police have little evidence beyond DNA. Bjerke had no criminal history, and so his DNA was in no law enforcement database. But sperm left at the crime scene matched with relatives of Bjerke who had uploaded their genetic information to public genealogy databases.

Man forced to pay child support despite DNA test proving he is not the father

Sinawa says he’s currently representing himself since he’s strapped for money and cautiously awaiting the next court date. He is working to once again disestablish his paternity from the child.

Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Sexual Assault Victims Bill Of Rights

Wisconsin would adopt a new bill of rights for sexual assault victims under a proposal in the state Legislature.
Under the bill, victims of sexual assault would be guaranteed a number of rights, including the right to choose whether or not to undergo a forensic examination and the right to be notified before any evidence from that examination is destroyed.
The rights would be afforded in addition to those already guaranteed under state law for all crime victims.

Manitoba man sues provincial government for wrongful conviction and imprisonment in teen girl’s death

Manitoba prosecutors relied on “scientifically corrupt” DNA evidence to wrongly convict a man in a decades-old child murder, and kept him behind bars even after they were given overwhelming evidence that it was faulty, his lawyers say in an $8.5-million lawsuit against the province, the individual prosecutors and Winnipeg police.

I was writing about colonial America’s first enslaved Africans.

USA TODAY-The search for one woman’s family led a reporter to find her own roots using oral history, archives and DNA tests. It also led to stunning results.