DNA evidence

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Cops Sat on Evidence That Might've Saved NC Teen: DA

'I can't tell you how sorry I am'

(Newser) - Hania Aguilar, the 13-year-old raped and murdered after she was kidnapped from outside her North Carolina home, might've been saved had authorities not overlooked DNA evidence tying her suspected killer to an earlier rape. It was "maybe the most difficult conversation I've ever had with a victim'... More »

DNA Cleared Him. Now He's Suing After 129 Days in Jail

Xavier Davis says he told cops after his arrest for sexual assault: 'You have the wrong person'

(Newser) - "For whatever reason, they decided Xavier Davis was the guy." That from the lawyer for 31-year-old Davis, arrested in January as the suspect in a sexual assault in Grand Rapids, Mich. The problem: DNA evidence and Uber and phone records showed Davis wasn't the guy, and charges... More »

A Decade Later, Serial Rapist Sunk by Family Ties: Cops

Genealogy data identifies NC's Darold Bowden, accused in 6 rapes

(Newser) - Online genealogical data led authorities to the suspected Golden State Killer. Now it may have identified the "Ramsey Street Rapist" responsible for at least six rapes in Fayetteville, NC, from March 2006 to January 2008, most following apartment break-ins in the area of Ramsey Street. Arrested shirtless at his... More »

Cops Crack Old Double Murder by Collecting Suspect's Cup

Investigators use DNA to press charges in 1987 case

(Newser) - Detectives are using a new forensic tool to chase down murderers: DNA data mining, reports the New York Times . This week, Snohomish County police announced the arrest of William Earl Talbott, 55, in the 1987 murders of Canadians Jay Cook, 20, and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18. The Washington investigators used... More »

Cops Have Surprise Plan to Identify the Zodiac Killer

Police hope new DNA technology will help

(Newser) - First, the Golden State Killer—now the Zodiac Killer? With DNA evidence possibly pointing to the former , police say the same method could help identify the long-sought Zodiac Killer, NBC News reports. Police in Vallejo, Calif., say they sent two envelopes from the Zodiac Killer to a private lab for... More »

DNA Frees Boyfriend. So Was It the Golden State Killer?

Craig Coley lost nearly 4 decades of his life

(Newser) - Forty years ago, the wrong guy took the rap for a gruesome double murder in Simi Valley, Calif.—and now police are asking if the real culprit was the Golden State Killer, NBC San Diego reports. Back in 1978, a family member stumbled on the raped, strangled, and beaten... More »

DNA on a Genealogy Website Helped Snare Golden State Killer

Distant relative of suspect submitted sample

(Newser) - A distant relative of Joseph James DeAngelo hoping to learn more about their family submitted a DNA sample to a genealogy website. They now know that they're related to a suspected serial killer. Police say they tracked the suspected Golden State Killer by comparing DNA from one of his... More »

White Sox Give Job Back to Man Wrongly Behind Bars for 23 Years

Nevest Coleman is proud to be back as a groundskeeper at Guaranteed Rate Field

(Newser) - It's been nearly a quarter-century since Nevest Coleman helped powerwash and pull back the tarp at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox stadium now known as Guaranteed Rate Field. But the 49-year-old is back on the job, after 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.... More »

New Evidence Unveiled in Weird California Kidnap Case

Male, female DNA was recovered from Sherri Papini

(Newser) - Authorities have released new details in the Sherri Papini case, almost a year after the California mother of two young children vanished after going for a jog. She disappeared on Nov. 2 last year and was next seen 22 days later, when she flagged down a passing car 150 miles... More »

DNA Evidence Saves Man From Execution With Hours to Spare

Missouri governor issues stay of execution for Marcellus Williams

(Newser) - With only hours to spare, the execution of a convicted murderer was stayed by the governor of Missouri, CNN reports. According to the Washington Post , 48-year-old Marcellus Williams was convicted in 2001 of the 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle, who was stabbed 43 times in her home. But attorneys for... More »

Canaanites Weren't Annihilated by Ancient Israelites After All

Researchers say they lived on to become the ancestors of today's Lebanese

(Newser) - The Bible suggests the Canaanites were wiped out by the ancient Israelites, but a new study says otherwise, claiming the people survived and went on to be the ancestors of those who today live in Lebanon, ScienceDaily reports. Per a study in the American Journal of Human Genetics , researchers from... More »

Rapist Finally Done In —by His Dentures

Thomas Maupin pleads guilty to 2001 rape in Memphis

(Newser) - While in prison for a murder for which he was twice convicted and later acquitted, Thomas Maupin had a set of dentures made. Years later, that set would become a key piece of evidence helping to put him behind bars again. According to Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, dentures... More »

JonBenet Grand Juror: I've Seen Secret Evidence

Juror suggests it points to beauty queen's killer

(Newser) - The parade of JonBenet Ramsey-focused TV specials beats on, now with a 20/20 special airing Friday. A press release on the hour-long show zeroes in on two of the handful of people who sat for interviews: First, a member of the grand jury that voted to indict John and Patsy... More »

JonBenet Ramsey Case Takes Another New Turn

State plans to conduct sophisticated DNA tests on clothing

(Newser) - The 20th anniversary of JonBenet Ramsey's murder has led to all kinds of renewed speculation about the case, but now comes an actual development in the criminal investigation: The state plans to conduct new DNA tests on the panties and long johns the 6-year-old was wearing when she was... More »

Suspected Serial Killer Doomed by Genealogy-Curious Relative

Forensic genealogy is a new tool for law enforcement

(Newser) - The man police say is Arizona's "Canal Killer," who killed two women—beheading one of them—in the early 1990s, was caught in large part because some relative of his somewhere submitted their DNA to one of those public genealogy databases, the Arizona Republic reports. Suspect Bryan... More »

Blood-Stained Leaves Hold Truth of King Albert's Death

Forensic geneticist says DNA analysis disproves 'mise-en-scene' theories

(Newser) - As far as souvenirs go, they were gory ones: bloodied leaves and stones collected during the wee hours of Feb. 18, 1934, by Belgian villagers who lived near Marche-les-Dames. King Albert I had set off on a solo climb amid the area's 600-foot-tall peaks on the 17th, having instructed... More »

Cops Use Potato to Crack Arson Case

Suspect allegedly stuffed it into a vehicle's tailpipe

(Newser) - Connecticut police knew they were dealing with arson. What they didn't know was who was responsible—until a DNA test on a potato provided a break in the case. Willow Martin, 19, was charged Tuesday with several crimes including arson and burglary after a September 2015 fire at a... More »

Exonerated Man Released From Prison After 33 Years

DNA evidence shows he's innocent of a 1982 murder and rape

(Newser) - After 33 years in prison, Keith Harward was released from the Nottoway Correctional Center on Friday after the Virginia Supreme Court agreed that DNA evidence proves he's innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News, the AP reports. Harward was... More »

DNA Clears Man in Prison for 16 Years for Rape

'Shaky witness' testimony erroneously landed Luis Vargas in jail in 1999

(Newser) - A California man imprisoned for 16 years for sexual assault was exonerated Monday after DNA tests showed another man committed the crimes, USA Today reports. Luis Vargas, 46, broke down when an LA Superior Court judge granted a petition to release him from his sentence of 55 years to life... More »

DNA Evidence Is More Fallible Than People Think

Juries aren't being told the full story, expert warns

(Newser) - DNA testing has improved to the point where it is starting to incriminate the wrong people in some cases, experts warn. The problem is super-sensitive equipment and DNA transfer, which can lead to a person's DNA being found on a body or murder weapon even if they had only... More »

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