Category Archives: Cold Cases

Attorney Joel Porter says DNA analysis shows he didn’t kill his wife 30 years ago

DNA Lab…A report from the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory issued on April 29, 2014, which Joel Porter obtained from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office in March, states that the ankle portion of Denise Porter’s gray sweatpants contains her DNA and that of an unknown person. The report ruled out Joel Porter as being connected to the DNA while also finding it isn’t linked to anyone in a nationwide criminal database…

Cold Case Unit’s end didn’t stop Iowa DCI from continuing search for DNA profiles

helix9In its three years in operation, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Cold Case Unit brought to close two unsolved homicide cases dating as far back as the 1970s.
The unit was shut down in 2011 after the federal grant that funded it ran out. But DCI officials said they continue to investigate homicides cases that have gone years, or even decades, without justice.

Police await DNA, other forensics in D.C. quadruple homicide

Mansion Fire SlayingsWASHINGTON — More than two months after members of a D.C. family and their housekeeper were killed in their burning Northwest home, police are still waiting on crucial evidence.

Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA

helix10USA Today- After 18 years without justice, Joanie Scheske believed the man who raped her would never be caught.
That changed when St. Louis police called in 2009. Evidence in a separate, eight-year old sexual assault was finally tested and matched her attacker’s DNA.
Rapist Mark Frisella, whose attack was so brutal Scheske still suffers from epilepsy, is serving 19 years in prison.
“I had a really difficult time wrapping my head around why that rape kit was never tested,” Scheske said. “My case is a poster child as to why you test these kits.”

Court Ruling Opens DNA Technology Advances to Old Cases

GavelDNAPeople convicted of crimes through inconclusive or outdated DNA testing procedures should be allowed new tests using the latest technological advances without regard to a three-year time limit set by law, a federal appeals court ruled.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the first in the nation to rule that the advances in DNA technology mean previously useless samples should be considered newly discovered evidence that is not subject to statutory time limitations.

DNA analysis helps ID homicide victim 4 decades later

Helix4CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – DNA analysis and years of persistence has led to the identification of human remains found nearly 41 years ago.
Who killed Martha Marie Morrison is still a mystery. Her remains, as well as the remains of Carol Platt Valenzuela, were found in October 1974 in the Dove Valley area of Clark County, according to Clark County Public Information and Outreach.

New unit specializes in cold case investigations

helix 7Dr. Guy Vallaro and a team of scientists at the CT State Forensic Science Lab are hoping to reinvigorate cold case investigations with a new unit that focuses on re-examining DNA, firearms, fingerprints and computer evidence to generate new leads.

Forensic scientist explains how Virginia’s DNA data bank works

Forensic-scientist-explains-how-Va-s-DNA-data-bank-worksROANOKE, Va. – There is a 7.2 billion chance of someone other than Jesse Matthew being the source of DNA collected after a 2005 rape in Fairfax, according to a forensic scientist who testified in the trial.

Santa Rosa man charged in 1974 Southern California slaying

A North Bay man was charged with a cold case murder after prosecutors say DNA evidence connected him to the death of a Southern California woman more than 40 years ago, officials said.
helix10Larry Stephens, 65, of Santa Rosa, was charged with the 1974 murder of Patricia Ross, a 30-year-old business woman from La Palma (Orange County).

Nevada has backlog of 6,300 untested rape kits

MurgaLAS VEGAS (AP) — With thousands of untested rape kits going back three decades, Nevada’s attorney general and police officials in the state’s two most populous counties are promising to examine each one.
Nevada has about 6,300 samples to be tested, Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a statement released through a spokeswoman. Almost all are from the Las Vegas area.

Rape Kit Backlog Issues Affect Local Police Departments

sexual assault kitsSTATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – An advocacy group for rape victims released a disturbing new report surrounding untested rape kits.
Thousands of these kits are sitting in evidence rooms while victims wait. Wednesday, a Senate committee met to take a closer look at the problem in an effort to end the backlog.
Advocates said the backlog is proof police departments don’t take rape seriously. Police departments said there isn’t enough money to process all the kits and some go untested because the victims choose not to prosecute.

Cold Case: Crime lab receives grant to help solve Cold Cases

touch DNAMERIDEN CT- In September of last year, the Department of Scientific Services, better known as the state crime lab received a National Institute of Justice grant. The two-year $172,000 grant was given specifically to help reduce the back log of Cold Cases.

$3 million goes to task force investigating untested Detroit rape kits

GATCDETROIT, MI – Government and police officials in Wayne County announced Tuesday that $3 million in state funds has been used to expand the Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.

FBI Hair Analysis Problems Reveal Limits of Forensic Science

dna_justiceKirk Odom was convicted of a 1981 rape and robbery after a woman identified him as her attacker and an FBI specialist testified that hair on her nightgown was consistent with hair on Odom’s head.
But DNA testing some 30 years later affirmed what Odom long had maintained: The hair wasn’t his; neither was the semen left on a pillowcase and robe. A felony conviction that imprisoned him for decades was overturned in 2012 by a judge who declared it a “grave miscarriage of justice.”

Thousands of untested rape kits discovered in police evidence rooms, hospital

sexual assault kitsATLANTA (CBS46) – Advocates of sexual assault victims said the findings of a CBS46 investigation into untested rape kits are “very upsetting.
“These kits represent victims,” said Jennifer Bivins, president of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault.