Sloppy DNA Work Creates Myth of Phantom Serial Killer

Female 'suspect' now believed to have been employee at DNA swab factory
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 9:13 AM CDT
German police believe DNA contamination put investigators on a wild goose chase for a phantom serial killer.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Embarrassed German cops may soon call off their hunt for a notorious female serial killer, the Times of London reports. DNA from a suspect dubbed "the woman without a face” has been found at dozens of crime scenes across Europe, including stranglings and shootings, but detectives now believe the DNA comes from a worker in a DNA swab factory.

Forensic experts have been gathering evidence from workers in a medical supplies factory to confirm the theory. Investigators—who had been baffled for years by the phantom's seemingly random trail of crimes and the lack of any description from witnesses—started suspecting their DNA evidence might be contaminated when a test found the female's DNA in the fingerprints of a male corpse.