Category Archives: Cold Cases

Berman: The saga of rapist Joseph Blackmer’s DNA

BermanThe victim was a 23-year-old married woman, four months pregnant. On Dec. 17, 1981, a week before Christmas, she answered a knock at the door from a man asking for travel directions. It was to become a classic case of stranger rape — brutal, random and, seemingly, unsolvable.

25-year mystery of Scarborough harbour body solved by cold case review team

helix10In 2011 North Yorkshire police launched a series of cold case reviews of unidentified bodies reported to the force over several decades. One of them was the case of a middle-aged man who drowned in Scarborough harbour on 2 May1989.

Team has its first cold-case arrest

helix9Carla Salazar, a phone operator, lived alone in her Santa Ana apartment, where she was stabbed to death in June 1989.
After the killing, a man named Douglas Gutridge, 37 at the time, contacted detectives upon reading articles in the Register, claiming he wanted to help. Gutridge said he was the last person to see the 35-year-old transgender woman alive, Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas said.

DNA identifies Hamilton man 30 years after disappearance

David NixonTORONTO – DNA has helped identify a man missing for 30 years, Hamilton Police said Thursday.
David Nixon, who was 23 at the time, disappeared July 6, 1984 and was never seen alive again.

The Murder Mystery Solved by DNA From the Back of a Postage Stamp

yara gambirasioWhen, in the autumn of 2012, police went to the home of the widow of a bus driver in a small town in northern Italy, they at long last struck lucky. The widow produced a box of documents that contained her husband’s paper driving licence, to which was affixed a marca da bollo (a postage stamp used for tax purposes). Perhaps – they reasoned – the back of the stamp would contain the dead man’s DNA, if, that is, he had licked the stamp himself before sticking it on to the licence.

New York City Seeks to Put Names to Unidentified Bodies

WTCTraditionally, New York City officials have preferred not to draw attention to the unidentified bodies that pass through city morgues and receive public burials in mass graves on Hart Island, off the coast of the Bronx.
But on Saturday, city officials, for the first time ever, they said, organized a day geared partly to help identify the roughly 1,200 bodies they have received since about 1990 that they have been unable to identify.

The not-quite-solved mystery of the severed feet

severed feetTurns out all those detached feet in sneakers that have washed up on B.C. shores since 2007 aren’t such a mystery after all — except for two feet belonging to the same unknown man.
“We may eventually figure it out,” said Bill Inkster, the former dentist who manages the identification unit for the B.C. Coroners Service.
One foot belonging to the unidentified person — DNA testing revealed it was a man — washed up in False Creek near the Edgewater Casino in August 2011. The man’s other foot turned up almost a year later at the dock by the Plaza of Nations.

More than 130 potential rapists identified in July through statewide testing initiative

sexual assault kitsCOLUMBUS, Ohio — State crime lab investigators found more than 130 DNA matches with potential rapists in July as part of the state’s rape kit testing initiative, the attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.

More attention to be focused on solving cold cases

cold case logoCHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – There are 140 unsolved murders in Hamilton County, and some families have gone more than 40 years without answers. But local law enforcement is hoping to soon change that by focusing more attention on cold cases.

Ohio leads the way on breaking through the rape kit backlog

DNA HelixIt’s often said that justice delayed is justice denied. This is especially true for victims in sexual assault cases that were never prosecuted or even fully investigated.

Hollywood tackling issue of untested rape kits

GATCHOLLYWOOD — — The DNA evidence implicating a rape suspect languished in a Hollywood police refrigerator for nearly three years.
Investigators finally submitted the DNA for testing earlier this year — one month after suspect Kareem Malcolm was implicated in another rape in Boston.
The rape kit was discovered last year during an audit of the Hollywood Police Department. The audit, ordered by new Chief Frank Fernandez, turned up 94 untested rape kits.

Maryland’s DNA database records 3,500th hit

Maryland State policeGovernor Martin O’Malley today announced another milestone for Maryland’s DNA database, highlighting its role as an invaluable tool in the State’s success in driving down violent crime and homicide to three decade lows and in achieving the State’s goal to reduce violent crime by 20 percent by 2018.

Skeleton Found At Rhode Island Construction Site Was Man Who Vanished In 1982

An advertising showing a skeleton for thA construction crew renovating a building on Prairie Avenue in south Providence last July found a human skeleton buried under a concrete basement floor at the bottom of what used to be an elevator shaft.

Long-forgotten rape evidence finally reveals its clues in Northern Virginia lab

The trucks keep arriving from all over the country at an office park in Northern Virginia, each containing hundreds of envelopes marked with one word written on red tape: “Evidence.”
DNA CollectionJust after 9 on a weekday morning, Kim Freeman pulls her hair back from her face and walks from her cubicle to a large storage room. “I’m here for the two,” she tells a desk attendant.

Man linked to rape by DNA evidence taken more than decade after crime gets 16 years to life

dna-samplesDENVER — A man convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after a DNA sample taken when he was arrested on other charges more than a decade later linked him to the attack has been sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.