Category Archives: Cold Cases

Police use DNA to create composite of suspected killer in 2006 Springfield slayings

Fairfax County police have turned to a cutting-edge technique utilizing DNA to create composite images of a man they believe carried out the killings of two Springfield women months apart in 2006.
The images released Wednesday use the man’s genetic material to construct facial images that approximate what he may have looked like at ages 25, 40 and 55. DNA collected from the scenes of the crimes linked the same unidentified man to the slayings of Marion Marshall and Marion Newman.

Oregon Man’s Manslaughter Conviction Overturned Due To Undisclosed DNA Evidence

It was the year 2000 in the Oregon coast town of Coquille when 15-year-old Leah Freeman went missing and was soon after found dead.
The case went cold for almost a decade before Nicholas McGuffin, Freeman’s boyfriend at the time of her death, was indicted for her murder, without any evidence connecting him to the crime.

He went to prison for killing his 15-year-old girlfriend. New evidence from a bloody shoe may set him free.

But now, nearly a decade after a split jury convicted Nicholas McGuffin of manslaughter, he may be set free — and that same stained shoe is at the center of his wrongful conviction case.
A judge on Friday found that the state’s crime lab violated McGuffin’s rights by concealing DNA evidence extracted from that shoe, which has reignited speculation about who really killed Freeman.

900 men in Germany are asked to give DNA samples

They said DNA traces of the killer were found on the body of the girl and they are hoping the swabs will lead them to the murderer.

Dutch police podcast unearths clues to decades-old murder

True crime podcasts are nothing new, but for police in the Netherlands this was an unprecedented venture. Thousands tuned in to the three-part series when it aired last month and tip-offs have been coming in ever since.

Madison police arrest suspect in woman’s 1994 death

MADISON (WKOW) — Dane County Court records show Madison police arrested a 52-year-old man in Indiana for reckless homicide Wednesday in connection with a woman’s death in Madison twenty-five years ago.
A major break came in December of 2015 when the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory learned of a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) DNA match, linking Coleman to the case, according to police. A criminal complaint states in 2017, technicians at the state crime lab matched more DNA from Cunnigan’s sweater and other places to Coleman.

New DNA investigation technique helps solve 2 SoCal cold cases

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) — Authorities are pursuing a first-of-its-kind case in Los Angeles County – a murder prosecution using evidence from a commercial genealogy database.

Police arrest alleged ‘Potomac River Rapist’ linked to attacks in Maryland and Georgetown

New advances in genetic testing allowed police to have the genetic samples collected at crime scenes compared with people who submitted their DNA to explore their family lineage. That led police to five relatives, and detectives narrowed the list to a suspect who had lived in Maryland at the time of the attacks and worked as a landscaper.

Richard Wilbern Found Guilty In 2003 Xerox Federal Credit Union Robbery

The verdict is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gary Loeffert; the Webster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph P. Rieger, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Todd Baxter, the Rochester Police Department, under
the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary, the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Charles Salina, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley.

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.

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.

The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes

With unprecedented access to crime scene photographs, case files and evidence, Holes investigates each crime utilizing his unique forensic and behavioral skillset. Hoping to zero in on the profile of the perpetrator, he lends his expertise in the latest technological advancements from familial and genetic genealogy to latent fingerprint and DNA phenotyping, the process of predicting physical appearance from DNA.

The Amelia Earhart Mystery Stays Down in the Deep

Robert Ballard’s expedition to a remote island in the South Pacific found no evidence of the vanished aviator’s plane. But the explorer and his crew haven’t given up.

Private DNA database leads to arrest in decades-old Delaware rape

A DNA database used for genealogy purposes has helped Newark Police identify a suspect in a 26-year-old rape case. Police Lt. Andrew Rubin said it is the first such use of an ancestry-type website by the department.