Category Archives: Cold Cases

A cigarette butt and an old scrap of paper led to an arrest in a 26-year-old unsolved killing

Police feverishly sought the identity of the man at the bar, to no avail. But what they didn’t know, at least not for 25 years, was that they already had his name: It was buried in the fine print in their case file, a little footnote jotted down like an afterthought.

New DNA connections finally provide answers in the ‘Hatbox Baby’ mystery

Her mother died when she was three months old, and her father, with six older children, could not care for a seventh. Her uncle, so the family story goes, took the train to a funeral one day and came home with a baby.

Buena Park man steals car, other items — DNA gets him caught

Grand theft, unauthorized computer access and a slew of other crimes have landed a Buena Park man in jail. He was identified on December 21st, 2018, through the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Rapid DNA Program and charged with three felony counts on Christmas Eve.
The circumstances leading up to the case in question started back on June 11th, 2018, when Damian Taylor Maxey, aged 24, provided a DNA sample to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) DNA database as part of his plea agreement and sentence in the charge of unauthorized use of personally identifiable information.

Appeals court denies Avery request to remand for new scientific testing

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Wisconsin appeals court has denied Steven Avery’s motion to stay the appeal and remand the case to the circuit court for the purpose of new scientific testing on bones found in a Manitowoc County gravel pit.

California’s Brown orders new DNA testing in old murder case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered new DNA tests that a condemned inmate says could clear him in a 35-year-old quadruple murder case, which has drawn national attention.
On Monday, Brown ordered tests of four pieces of evidence that Kevin Cooper and his attorneys say will show he was framed for the 1983 Chino Hills hatchet and knife killings of four people. The items that will be tested are a tan T-shirt and orange towel found near the scene and the hatchet handle and sheath.

DNA evidence leads police to charge Iowa man with 1979 murder of 18-year-old woman

Thirty-nine years to the day that a woman was killed and left in her family’s car in the parking lot of an Iowa mall, officials announced Wednesday a suspect was arrested in her murder after DNA at the crime scene was reexamined.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department said Jerry Lynn Burns, 64, was arrested at his job in Manchester after “persistent and determined” investigative work that included a scientific DNA analysis for the killing of Michelle Martinko.

She swiped her co-worker’s Coke can. Police say it cracked a 28-year-old murder case.

The police were again circling the Franz Bakery Outlet in the spring of 2017, hungry for information, and now she knew why.
The shop, a branch of a commercial outfit supplying baked goods to customers across the region, was located on an empty two-lane road north of Bellingham, Wash. The investigators had come once before, in 2013, asking about a delivery truck driver named Timothy Bass. Strangely, they had wanted to know details of his daily routes decades ago.

Fresh clues have blown Stakeknife case wide open, says police chief

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher is investigating the high-ranking Army mole who reputedly led the republican organisation’s “nutting squad”, an internal security unit which brutally interrogated and murdered suspected spies during the Northern Ireland conflict.
New DNA profiles and suspect fingermarks have been uncovered by detectives investigating the Army’s notorious IRA agent Stakeknife.

DNA evidence crucial in two recently solved Sarasota cold cases

SARASOTA (WWSB) – On September 19th, 2018 came the news that Deborah Dalzell’s family has waited decades to hear.
“Today, more than 19 years after her death, the man responsible is behind bars,” Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight announced. “What led to his arrest is unlike anything you’ve heard in the state of Florida. It is something that continues to surface as law enforcement agencies and technology evolve.”

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.