Category Archives: Cold Cases

Wis. Crime Lab Is Ground Zero In Search For Break In Closs Case

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week marks two agonizing months without answers in Jayme Closs’ disappearance. The 13-year-old vanished after someone shot and killed her parents inside their home in Barron, Wisconsin.
Despite a ground search and thousands of tips, Jayme’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
WCCO’s Liz Collin traveled to Madison’s crime lab where forensic experts are searching for a break in the case.

For nearly 50 years, Harvard was haunted by an unsolved murder. DNA now points to a serial rapist.

It is a winter-swept afternoon in January 1969, the thermometer dangling in the mid-30s in Cambridge, Mass. A Harvard University graduate student named James Humphries hustles up the stairs to the top floor of an apartment building two blocks from Harvard Square.
His friend and classmate Jane Britton was a no-show at an important exam that morning. The phone just rang and rang when he called to check in, a police report would later document. With his knocks now going unanswered at the gold-painted door leading into the $75-a-month apartment Britton shares with a pet cat and turtle, he tries the handle. It’s unlocked.

DNA Doe Project: Two retired California doctors help detectives solve cold cases using forensic DNA

LOS ANGELES, CA (FOX 11) – Two retired doctors are using DNA and genealogy to identify victims and unmask killers from the comfort of their own homes.
Colleen Fitzpatrick lives in Orange County and Margaret Press lives in Sonoma County, but the two of them are solving cold cases at an impressive rate.

The culprit’s name remains unknown. But he licked a stamp, and now his DNA stands indicted

There was just enough spit on the back of the 9-cent stamp to piece together the identity of the person who licked it. Everything except for his name.

Thousands submitted DNA to police to help solve a 1998 Dutch boy’s killing. One man was conspicuously missing.

Police only thought Jos Brech was curious when he rode his bicycle past an active crime scene in a forest in the Netherlands in August 1998.
The officers had just recovered the body of 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen, who, on a summer camp trip, had disappeared from his tent the night before. The boy had been raped and killed, police said, in a case that would haunt the nation in the decades to come.
But, that night, Brech said he didn’t know anything. Police took his name and let him go.
They kept his name for a long time — until finally, this year, it came up again.

DNA a ‘game changer’ in yacht murder case

Lawyers for Tasmanian convicted killer Susan Neill-Fraser say new DNA evidence is a “game- changer” in her push for a fresh appeal, but prosecutors say it ­supports the case against her.

Mandatory DNA collection on felony arrests yields results

Indiana- Eight months after a law requiring state police to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested on a felony charge took effect, the policymakers behind the measure are praising what they see as positive results.

DNA links Alexandria man to five sexual assaults since 2016, detective testifies

In the Dupont Circle area incident, which occurred three days later, police said the female victim was also approached from behind and sexually assaulted in the 1500 block of P Street NW.
In Georgetown, two incidents occurred, with one at 10:30 p.m.on Sept. 5, 2016, in the 1200 block of Potomac Street NW, and another about 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2016, in the 1600 block of 33rd Street NW, police said.
Prosecutors charged three of the incidents as misdemeanors and one as first-degree sexual assault.
“The forensic evidence establishes a common profile of all four assaults and the fifth assault in Virginia,” McKenna said.

Nevada inmate linked to 1984 hammer killing cold cases in Colorado

A Nevada inmate who was convicted of attacking a couple with an ax handle is now linked to the 1984 killings of four people who were beaten with a hammer in two separate attacks in suburban Denver, authorities said.

Solving the Somerton Man mystery, Australia’s most baffling cold case

It’s one of the oldest cold cases in Australia’s history: an unknown man found dead, slumped by a seawall, at a popular beach on the first day of summer, 1948.
He has come to be known as the Somerton Man.

Police probing whether suspect in NYC murder killed others

Officials are using DNA testing to determine whether Drayton’s DNA turns up in forensic evidence collected from any unsolved homicides.

The perfectly-preserved skeleton and the body hanging from a purple scarf

Australia- Forensic specialists have shed light on two mysterious cases they have never been able to solve – one involving an almost perfectly preserved skeleton and another body found hanging from a purple scarf as a noose.

How DNA and a tattoo led to charges in cold R.I. murder case

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To crack a cold case, the Woonsocket police used cutting-edge forensic DNA phenotyping and genetic genealogy for the first time — and within weeks, connected two men to the brutal murder of a woman stabbed more than 60 times two years ago.

Local Organizing Needed to Eliminate Backlog of Rape Kits

In 2015, President Barack Obama proposed the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), a $41 million fund intended to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in storage around the US. As NPQ reported, the rape kit backlog is a priority for the Joyful Heart Foundation, which is privately funded. Fourteen years after Joyful Heart was founded and three years into the US Department of Justice’s SAKI grants program, what’s the status of the backlog?

Jury convicts Janesville man in 2000 sex assault

A state statute passed in 2015 expanded the types of crimes that require DNA collection, police said, and that’s why in 2017 investigators were able to match Baxter’s DNA to a blood sample in the 2000 case.