Category Archives: Cold Cases

DNA Doe Project helping with years-old Butler County Jane Doe case

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -For three years, Butler County officials have been working to identify a woman who was found dead in West Chester in 2015. Now, with the help of a non-profit focused on DNA, they could be getting closer than ever.
Three young boys found the unidentified woman’s bones in a wooded area near the intersection of Tylersville Road and Cincinnati-Dayton Road in March 2015.

Daughter of US serial killer offers DNA to gardai in bid to help solve Irish cold case murders

The daughter of a notorious US serial killer has offered her DNA to gardai in a bid to help solve cold case murders that took place during a period when her father visited Ireland.
Jenn Carson, whose father was Michael ‘Bear’ Carson, also known as the ‘San Francisco Witch Killer’ spoke to Dave Fanning on RTE Radio 1’s Ryan Tubridy Show today.

Conviction Comes 32 Years After Rapes

The attacks came before DNA testing, before the internet. Ronald Reagan was president. News reports at the time said one of the women was in her shower getting ready for work when she was attacked by a stranger with a knife. Another was at her own door when the man jumped her.

Research suggests skeletal remains can help fill in blanks in stories of failed border crossers

CLEMSON — Research from forensic anthropologists suggests that the structure of the human skull can help identify a person who has died attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico. After examining what little is often left of these individuals, researchers say medical examiners can use a skull’s symmetry to define the person’s likely origin and increase the odds that they will be identified.

A genealogy website helps crack another cold case, police say, this one a 1987 double homicide

For the past 30 years, evidence found at the scenes of the killings of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg was mostly confined to a blue blanket wrapped around Cook’s body, an abandoned bronze 1977 Ford Club Wagon and, crucially, the killer’s DNA.
The couple was from Saanich, British Columbia, and on the evening of Nov. 18, 1987, they were traveling in the Cook family van to Gensco Heating in Seattle to pick up a part for Cook’s father. They were last seen purchasing a ticket around 10 p.m. in Bremerton, Wash., to board a ferry to Seattle, but they never made it there. Several days later, 18-year-old Van Cuylenborg’s body was found partly clothed, dumped in a ditch in a wooded area in Skagit County, Wash. She had been raped, police said. Cook’s body was found near the Snoqualmie River.
Since 1987, police had received more than 300 names from tipsters who thought they had information about the couple’s alleged killer. William Earl Talbott II was not on that list.
But then investigators ran the DNA from the scene through a genealogy website. They turned up two second cousins of Talbott, which led them to him.

DNA leads to arrest in Washington cold-case murder of young couple

A 55-year-old man has been arrested in a 31-year-old cold case involving a young couple murdered in Washington state.
Detectives from the Snohomish County and Skagit County Sheriff’s Offices arrested William Talbott for the November 1987 murders of 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

DNA links Wisconsin cab driver to assaults in Green Bay, Chicago

DUNN COUNTY (WBAY) – A 56-year-old cab driver charged with sexual assault in western Wisconsin is linked by DNA to a sexual assault in Green Bay, police say.
On Tuesday, Edward Woodbery was charged with second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim in Dunn County. The victim told police she called for a cab after drinking in a bar on a night in Oct. 2017 and was picked up by Woodberry. She said he raped her inside the cab and then at his apartment.

A 14th human foot washes ashore in Canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say someone found a human foot inside a hiking boot along the shores of British Columbia, the 14th such discovery since 2007.
Canadian authorities say a man was walking the beach on Gabriola Island, on the west coast of the country, when he found a “disarticulated” human foot inside a boot wedged between logs last week

International DNA Hit of the Year awarded to cold case team

A cold-case investigation has won the prestigious international DNA Hit of the Year award for its use of the national DNA database to bring a murderer to justice.
Op Rhodium was the investigation into the murder of 17-year-old Melanie Road in Bath in June 1984. After almost 32 years of waiting for answers, her family finally saw her killer admit his crime in 2016. He was handed a life sentence.

Golden State Killer caught using relative’s DNA from genealogy websites, prosecutors say

…The district attorney’s office “explored online family trees that appeared to have matches to DNA samples from the East Area Rapist’s crimes,” The Sacramento Bee reported. “They then followed clues to individuals in family trees to determine whether they were potential suspects.”…

Suspected Golden State Killer, a former police officer, arrested on ‘needle in the haystack’ DNA evidence

More than 40 years after the so-called “Golden State Killer” began terrorizing California, raping dozens of women and killing at least 12 people, authorities announced Wednesday that they had arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, charging him with capital murder, after a recent DNA match.

Framed for Murder By His Own DNA

When the DNA results came back, even Lukis Anderson thought he might have committed the murder.
“I drink a lot,” he remembers telling public defender Kelley Kulick as they sat in a plain interview room at the Santa Clara County, California, jail. Sometimes he blacked out, so it was possible he did something he didn’t remember. “Maybe I did do it.”
Kulick shushed him. If she was going to keep her new client off death row, he couldn’t go around saying things like that. But she agreed. It looked bad.

DNA ties ‘killer clown’ to getaway car in 27-year-old cold case, prosecutors say

Florida investigators on Thursday released DNA evidence that they say helped lead to the arrest of a woman suspected of dressing up as a clown and fatally shooting her future husband’s then-wife 27 years ago.
Palm Beach County prosecutors said that recent forensic tests conducted by the FBI concluded that hair fibers found in a suspected getaway car could have come from Sheila Keen Warren.

DNA helps Green Bay Police solve 3 ‘scary’ cold cases in 1 month

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — Green Bay Police have helped solve three cold cases in the past month, all thanks to DNA evidence.
The cases are sexual assaults in which a stranger attacked a woman.
“They’re difficult ones, the scary ones to try to solve, because it’s hard to find the suspect,” said Commander Jim Runge with the Green Bay Police Dept.
Two of the cases date back to 2011. One case is from 2014.
In all three cases, police had no good leads. That’s until DNA from the attacker was collected and entered into the national DNA database.

Dutch Police Are DNA Testing 21,500 Men to Solve A 20-Year-Old Murder

In 1986, a technique called “DNA fingerprinting” was used for the first time in a criminal investigation, when a geneticist named Alec Jeffreys realised that when DNA was extracted from cells and attached to photographic film, it developed as a sequence of bars that could uniquely identify someone. His accidental discovery helped nail the suspect in the murder of 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth. Since then, for better and for worse, DNA has become gold-standard evidence that has led to thousands of convictions.