Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

F.B.I. Hopes Samuel Little’s Drawings Will Help Identify His Murder Victims

They are haunting drawings: black, white and Latina women, most of them youthful, with bright lips and lined eyes, staring plaintively at the viewer.
The women were etched in chalk pastel by the man who says he killed them, in a spree he says began in 1970 and continued for decades. If verified, that would make him among the most prolific serial killers in American history.

St. George Police officer recognized for ‘amazing’ detective work in solving rape case

ST. GEORGE — A St. George Police officer is among several city employees to have received recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty.
During a public meeting at City Hall Thursday evening, St. George Police Detective Josh Wilson was honored with the city’s “Brighter Side” award for his work solving a case of brutal sexual assault perpetrated against a woman last spring.

Bode Technology Announces Forensic Genealogy Service to Law Enforcement Agencies and Crime Laboratories

“It is estimated that 50% of the samples entered into the national database do not result in matches, nor support investigations,” said Mike Cariola, President and CEO of Bode Technology. “Over the past three years alone, Bode has processed nearly 50,000 sexual assault kits. Every one of these cases that goes unmatched, thus unsolved in CODIS, is a candidate for forensic genealogy. Victims deserve justice and perpetrators need to be caught before they commit more crimes.”

Judge: New DNA evidence means man is entitled to new trial

Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge John Allen ruled last week that Gates is entitled to a new trial, citing new testing that showed his DNA was not on the fabric used to bind Wright. The judge also found that prosecutors at Gates’ trial purposely excluded black jurors, but he wrote that evidence of that behavior was presented too late to declare a new trial on those grounds.

New job, system approved to track New Hampshire rape kits

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire will implement a new system to keep track of evidence in sexual assault cases after finding that nearly 600 rape kits had not been submitted to the state crime lab.

Year in Science: Genetic breakthroughs make dreams (and nightmares) come true

In science, it was the best of times, and the worst of times.
2018 was a year when researchers focused in on ways to head off disease by reprogramming a patient’s own cells, but also crossed what many thought were ethical red lines in genetic experimentation. It was the first year in which women won a share of the Nobel Prize for physics as well as for chemistry, but also a year when the #MeToo issue came to the fore in the science community.
And it was the year that marked the passing of British physicist Stephen Hawking, who was arguably the world’s best-known living scientist.

Dads (Not Just Moms) Can Pass on Mitochondrial DNA, According to Provocative New Study

It’s long been thought that people inherit mitochondrial DNA — genetic material found inside cells’ mitochondria — exclusively from their mothers. But now, a provocative new study finds that, in rare cases, dads can pass on mitochondrial DNA, too.

Who am I? Hunt for heritage drives Chinese to DNA tests

A combination of factors—a lack of formal records or destruction during China’s wars and the Cultural Revolution—have meant there are few ways for Chinese to trace their genealogy in the ethnically diverse country.
But with a growing middle-class, an increasing number are now keen on tracing their roots, and DNA testing companies are cashing in.
China’s DNA sequencing market was worth about 7.2 billion yuan ($1.05 billion) last year and is forecast to grow to 18.3 billion yuan in 2022, according to estimates by Beijing-based CCID Consulting.

Inside the groundbreaking science used to identify 9/11 remains

The north tower was already billowing smoke when Mark Desire, then a 33-year-old criminalist with the city Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, made it to Ground Zero to assess the dead.
Instead, he nearly joined them.

Uganda: Gulu Forensic Lab Commissioned

Gulu — A Shs500 million regional Forensic Laboratory has been commissioned in Gulu District, more than a decade since its construction started in 2007.
The project was funded by the government under the Internal Affairs Ministry with support from the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).

Czech Priest Killed by Communist Regime ID’d by DNA, Before Beatification

During a holy Mass on the third Sunday of Advent, on Dec. 11, 1949, in the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Číhošť southeast of Prague, a miracle was reported.
The half-meter iron crucifix on the main altar above the tabernacle was said to have moved on its own several times—and 19 parishioners said they saw it, reporting it to the parish priest, Josef Toufar. Toufar dutifully reported to the regime’s Communist State Security Service.

Under the Microscope – Sarah Dingle

DNA analysis is a powerful tool for researchers, scientists and law enforcement. But in the everyday lives of people across the globe, affordable access to DNA testing has brought about a seismic shift. For the first time, donor conceived people can find their biological fathers, mothers or siblings. Donor conception has exploded in the last three and a half decades, but around the world it faces little regulation. Fertility clinics public and private have operated without limits on the numbers of children created from individual donors, without health checks, and largely with impunity.

DNA testing crucial to identifying remains in unmarked graves in Sugar Land

The questions now are: Will these prisoners ever be identified, and are these century-old remains linked to the present day? Experts say the answer may lie in specialized DNA testing.

NIST Interlaboratory Studies Involving DNA Mixtures (MIX05 and MIX13): Variation Observed and Lessons Learned

Highlights
•Results from two interlaboratory studies, NIST MIX05 and MIX13, are described

•In the 2005 NIST MIX05 study, 69 laboratories interpreted data in the form of electropherograms of two-person DNA mixtures representing four different mock sexual assault cases with different contributor ratio

•In the 2013 NIST MIX13 study,108 laboratories interpreted electropherogram data for five different case scenarios involving two, three, or four contributors, with some of the contributors potentially related.

•This paper describes the design of these studies, the variations observed among laboratory results, and lessons learned.

Korea Remains Could Be Army Troops Who Fell at ‘Frozen Chosin’

The remains returned by North Korea are possibly those of Army troops who fell in the brutal 1950 battle at the Chosin Reservoir, Pentagon POW/MIA officials said Thursday.
The returned remains are associated with the fight at what was called the “Frozen Chosin” for the sub-zero temperatures in which Marine and Army units fought their way out of encirclement by Chinese forces and were evacuated by sea, said Dr. John Byrd, a forensic anthropologist.