Category Archives: Cold Cases

DNA of long-dead sailors may solve great Canadian mystery

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:51 AM – Long after the doomed Franklin Expedition came to its fated end, we’re a little closer to identifying the remains of some of the sailors who perished along with their captain.
John Franklin set out for the Northwest Passage in 1845, with 129 men aboard his ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. Now, scientists say they’ve put together DNA profiles from the remains of some of the lost crew, a crucial step toward determining who they were.

A Chance Reunion: Rape Survivor Meets Forensic Analyst Who Sent Her Attacker to Jail at Conference

It played out in front of a packed hotel ballroom of some 800 people at last year’s International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) in Minneapolis: the unexpected reunion between the survivor of a brutal serial rapist and the forensic analyst who found the DNA that led to a conviction in the case. Julie Weil had just told the terrifying story of her 2002 kidnapping and unthinkable repeated rapes in front of her two young children, emphasizing how the discovery of DNA evidence “saved her life.” At the end of panel discussion Q&A, the moderator, sounding surprised and frankly a bit unsure, read aloud a question she’d just received from the audience via the Crowd Compass app: “Did you know your analyst is here today? Her name is Lisbeth Colon.”

NatGeo to pay for DNA analysis in Brazos County cold case, create documentary

National Geographic Explorer has paid to analyze DNA found under the fingernails of a local woman brutally slain in 1981, helping the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office get one step closer to solving the more than 35-year-old cold case that left the county terrified and helped to forever change the real estate industry.

New project to identify Jack the Ripper’s last known victim

Members of the University of Leicester team who undertook genealogical and demographic research in relation to the discovery of the mortal remains of King Richard III have now been involved in a new project to identify the last known victim of Jack the Ripper – Mary Jane Kelly.

DNA analysis of severed leg could take weeks, officials say

femur-analysisNJ NATIONAL PARK — Officials say it will take several weeks to analyze DNA collected from a human leg found on the Delaware River shoreline on Sunday.
The decomposed lower leg and foot have no markings, and no clothing or shoe were attached, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.

What happens to unidentified remains after case goes cold?

burial-siteIn February 2012, a Manorville man walking his dog in a wooded area near his house made a startling discovery: a human skull and other skeletal remains.
Five years later, all forensic analysts have discovered is that the remains were those of a man, likely white with brown hair and anywhere from 30 to 50 years old. His right fibula had been fractured but had healed.

Testing of Oregon’s shelved sexual assault kits nets first 5 DNA matches

sexual assault kitsSix months after three counties in Oregon began shipping hundreds of untested DNA samples from alleged victims of sexual assault to a Utah lab, the first results are in: Five match known offenders in a criminal database.

Initiative allows families to help locate missing loved ones through DNA

Houston DNA InitiativeShe’d been hoping for the call for more than six years, though in the end, she wasn’t sure she really wanted to be the one to answer the phone.
It finally rang on the afternoon of Nov. 10, 2015, as Marilú Chávez was busy cooking Mexican food at the Houston restaurant where she worked. She doesn’t remember who called or what exactly he said, just this:
“We have been able to identify the remains of your brother.”

Discovering the Truth About the Dozier School for Boys

dozier-school-graves-768x512The Dozier School for Boys had cemeteries instead of playgrounds.
The stories of abuses that took place at the reformative school in Marianna, Florida are nothing short of a plot for the TV series American Horror Story. The beatings and other punishments administered to students throughout the school’s 111-year history contributed to the deaths for some of the nearly 100 deceased.

Database of DNA helps to solve 215 crimes

DNA Lab“FSI have recorded over 130 incidences where an individual has been linked to a specific crime, ranging from burglary and theft through to more serious offences against the person such as sexual assault and false imprisonment,” the report said.
The findings demonstrate the benefits in relation to identifying repeat offenders.

DNA evidence ties alleged serial rapist to slain teen

Helix and MagnifierDETROIT, MI — DNA evidence presented during a Detroit murder trial Tuesday connected a suspected serial rapist to at least one of multiple victims.

DNA evidence leads to arrest in 1993 DC murder

body outlineASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Twenty-three years after MPD officers discovered the body of Charlene Johnson in a Northwest, D.C. stairwell, a suspect in her brutal murder is finally behind bars.
Officers and federal agents from a joint fugitive apprehension task force arrested 48-year old Therion Clyde Bryant in Baltimore on Wednesday, and on Thursday he was formally presented before a D.C. judge on a charge of murder in the 1993 case.

DNA proves man innocent of 1982 rape and murder in famous ‘bite-mark’ case, lawyers say

dna_justiceRecent DNA testing proves that a former sailor, convicted primarily on questionable bite mark evidence, is innocent of the savage 1982 rape of a Newport News woman and the murder of her husband, the man’s lawyers say.

Rape kit backlog: DNA matches suspect to teens’ rape 6 years later

CAL DOJ AnalystsSACRAMENTO — One minute they were getting into their car on Allston Way in Berkeley just before 10 on an unseasonably warm Friday night. The next, a stranger had a black handgun to their heads.

Cold cases could be solved thanks to grant for SHSU researchers

body outlineThe grant allows Dr. Sheree Hughes-Stamm and her colleague Dr. Bruce Budowle from the University of North Texas to investigate the best methods for extracting DNA from badly decomposed remains through a process called next generation DNA sequencing.