rape kit

13 Stories

43 Years After Girls' Slayings, 2 Arrests

Cousins to be charged in cold case after California finally tested rape kit from 1973

(Newser) - Authorities have finally made arrests in the death of two girls in California more than 40 years later. Police say 65-year-old cousins Larry Patterson and William Harbour murdered Doris Derryberry, 13, and Valerie Lane, 12, after they vanished from a shopping mall in 1973. The girls were found dead, each... More »

Being Raped Was Her 1st Ordeal. Finding a Rape Kit Was Her 2nd

Cosmopolitan looks at one woman's 9-hour quest to get one

(Newser) - For those women who have the courage to report a rape at a hospital ER, you'd expect a rape kit would be provided. That wasn't the case for Dinisha Ball. Jillian Keenan recounts the Texas woman's ordeal—a 9-hour period that saw her visit three ERs—in... More »

Detroit's Abandoned Rape Kits Get Assist From Erykah Badu

She'll donate funds from concert to the cause

(Newser) - More than 11,300 abandoned, untested rape kits were found in a Detroit Police Department storage unit in 2009—and now Erykah Badu is helping to finish getting them tested. Around 10,000 of them have been tested so far, and the singer will donate funds from her Aug. 12... More »

Untested Rape Kits in 27 States to Be Dusted Off

Feds, NYC providing $79M to clear backlog

(Newser) - The federal government has teamed up with the New York City DA's office to combat the only thing standing between many rapists and justice: a lack of money. There's a huge backlog of untested rape kits around the country—it could run into the hundreds of thousands —... More »

We Haven't Tested 70K Rape Kits, and Probably Lots More

'USA Today' investigation shows staggering number of languishing kits

(Newser) - Gathering forensic evidence after a sexual assault is a meticulous but invasive process that can take 3 to 6 hours, though it's a process that most victims hope will lead to catching their attackers. But according to what USA Today calls the "most detailed nationwide inventory of untested... More »

Old Rape Kits in Houston Are a DNA Jackpot

After 6,663 tested, FBI's DNA database returns 850 hits

(Newser) - Since 2013, Houston has been going through some 6,663 rape kits that had never been tested ; some were almost 30 years old. Now the effort is complete, and authorities have found 850 matches with the FBI's DNA records, the AP reports. Twenty-nine people have been charged as part... More »

Rape Victim: I Was Hounded About Faulty Hospital Bill

Hospital threatened to send bill to collections if she didn't pay for rape kit

(Newser) - Christine is a sexual assault forensic nurse from suburban Chicago; helping to put together Highland Park Hospital's sexual assault response protocol was one of her duties. So it was a particularly unwelcome surprise when, after she went to that same hospital in 2013 after being raped, she received a... More »

NY DA Offers $35M to Clear Nat'l Backlog of Rape Kits

Hundreds of thousands languish untested nationwide

(Newser) - Evidence from up to 70,000 rape cases nationwide will get long-awaited DNA testing, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced yesterday as he pledged as much as $35 million to help eliminate a backlog that has long troubled authorities, victims, and lawmakers. Experts estimate hundreds of thousands of rape... More »

Decades-Old Rape Kits Point to a Serial Rapist

Houston PD IDs Herman Ray Whitfield, links him to 4 rapes thanks to newly tested kits

(Newser) - It's been a recurring chorus nationwide: a clamor over rape kits that have sat on dusty shelves, untested. Houston was no exception, with some 6,600 kits having been kept in an HPD property room since 1987. About a year ago, two outside labs started going through the backlog... More »

Memphis Sued for Ignoring 15K Rape Kits

Jane Doe argues that city discriminated against women by blowing off assaults

(Newser) - An anonymous rape victim has launched a class action lawsuit against Memphis, alleging that it had a policy of disregarding rape kits, either throwing out or simply neglecting some 15,000 of them over a period of decades, Courthouse News reports. Jane Doe says she waited 13 years for police... More »

Texas Lawmaker Likens Rape Kits to Abortions

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg seemingly confused about their purpose

(Newser) - The lawmaker who sponsored the bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Texas is a little bit confused about rape kits, which are used to collect evidence after a sexual assault. State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg was explaining why an amendment that would have exempted cases of rape and incest... More »

Strip Club 'Tax' to Fund Rape Investigations in Houston

Clubs subject to new $5-per-customer fee

(Newser) - Want to help Houston foot the bill for its rape investigations? Visit a strip club. The city doesn't have the funds to quickly analyze evidence collected in rape kits, so the City Council passed an ordinance yesterday imposing a $5-per-visitor "pole tax" on strip joints and other clubs... More »

180K Rape Kits Sit, Untested

Delay means rapists are free to attack other women

(Newser) - The forensic magic of CSI aside, the US is buried under an embarrassing avalanche of unprocessed rape kits, Marie Claire reports in a lengthy look at the consequences. The issue got attention in 2003, when untested kits from more than 500,000 criminal cases were found in labs around the... More »

13 Stories