DNA evidence

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Quest for Daughter's Justice Takes an Unexpected Turn

Mother of murder victim helps clear convicted man and catch new suspect

(Newser) - Another remarkable crime case involving the field of genetic genealogy has surfaced, but this one out of Idaho comes with a twist. Usually, the technology is used to catch a suspect. This time, in what is believed to be a first, the technology also cleared a man who wrongly served... More »

First-of-Its-Kind Move 19 Years Ago Just Paid Off

California's first 'John Doe' warrant based on DNA just resulted in arrest of rape suspect

(Newser) - Back in in the 1990s, prosecutors knew the same man had raped three women in California, but they had no idea who he might be. They did, however, have a sample of his DNA, and just two days before the statute of limitations was to expire in 2000, prosecutors obtained... More »

DNA Triggers Trial in 1987 Killing of Canadian Couple

They were traveling from British Columbia to Seattle when they disappeared

(Newser) - Jurors in Washington state on Friday heard about the mysterious final days of a young Canadian couple killed in 1987—as well as the novel method authorities used to finally make an arrest three decades later, the AP reports. William Earl Talbott II was arrested last year and charged with... More »

A Soldier Was Killed in '87. Now, an Arrest in Her Murder

Colorado's Michael Whyte charged in death of 20-year-old Darlene Krashoc

(Newser) - A suburban Denver man has been arrested in the unsolved slaying of a soldier in Colorado 32 years ago after DNA evidence was used to create an image of what a suspect might look like, authorities said Friday. Civilian and Army investigators arrested Michael Whyte of Thornton in the 1987... More »

DNA Leads to Answers in 2 Decades-Old Slayings

One suspect is arrested; the other died in 1978

(Newser) - More than 30 years after an 80-year-old woman was fatally stabbed in her South Carolina home, authorities say they have arrested her killer. Greenville Police Chief Ken Thomas says more sophisticated DNA testing combined with more than two years of interviews led to the arrest of a registered sex offender... More »

A Years-Old Used Razor Cracks Cases From the '70s

It contained Arthur Rudy Martinez's DNA

(Newser) - Arthur Rudy Martinez was an early suspect in a pair of murders in Atascadero, Calif., in the late 1970s. It took 41 years to officially name the now-deceased man as the suspect. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office credits that confirmation to a used razor kept for years... More »

Woman Charged in Death of Infant Who Became a Symbol

Newborn was left to die in a field in 1990

(Newser) - Nearly three decades after the body of a newborn girl was found wrapped in newspaper and left in a field, police in South Carolina have charged a 53-year-old woman they say is the infant's mother. Brook Graham is charged with homicide by child abuse, the Greenville News reports. A... More »

There's a New Privacy Concern Over DNA Tests

Family Tree DNA, Ed Smart pitch police use of databases to catch criminals

(Newser) - The pitch from DNA companies has been: Send us a sample, and you'll be able to find distant relatives and fill out your family tree. Now one company has added that, as a bonus, your DNA can help catch a criminal. Family Tree DNA has launched a campaign starring... More »

Girls Never Made It Home From a 1999 Party. Now, a Suspect

New DNA testing technique has tied Coley McCraney to murder of 2 teen girls in 1999

(Newser) - Nearly 20 years after they were murdered, two Alabama teens may finally get some justice, and it was partly the case of the Golden State Killer that led to the break in theirs. The story of what had happened to Dothan's JB Beasley and Tracie Hawlett, both 17, on... More »

After Discarding Napkin, Man Arrested for 1993 Murder

Police believe DNA has solved another cold case

(Newser) - Police in Minnesota say a napkin discarded at a hockey game helped link a man to a brutal murder committed more than 25 years earlier. Investigators say 52-year-old Jerry Westrom was identified as a suspect after a close match to DNA found at the 1993 crime scene was discovered on... More »

Executed Killer Named in 1979 Cold Case

Jerry McFadden was executed in Texas in 1999

(Newser) - A convicted murderer called "The Animal," who was executed by the state of Texas in 1999, has been identified via DNA as the person who killed a young woman in Portland, Oregon, nearly 40 years ago. Anna Marie Hlavka, 20, was killed in an apartment on July 24,... More »

How DJ Was Busted in Old Cold Case: Gum, a Water Bottle

Raymond Rowe charged in 1992 murder thanks to new DNA technique called genetic genealogy

(Newser) - More than a quarter century had passed since the murder of a 25-year-old Pennsylvania teacher before an arrest was made in June, and now the suspect, a disc jockey known as "DJ Freez," has admitted his culpability. ABC News reports Raymond Rowe, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges... More »

Death Row Inmate Wins DNA Tests in Famous 1983 Murders

California Gov. Jerry Brown orders the testing in Kevin Cooper case

(Newser) - A man awaiting execution on California's death row insists he's innocent in a gruesome 1983 murder case, and newly ordered DNA tests might finally resolve the matter. Gov. Jerry Brown, in one of his final acts in office, ordered authorities to test a T-shirt, towel, and hatchet collected... More »

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 »

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