Category Archives: Current Cases

The “Baby Doe” Investigation Showcases Forensic Science at Its Purest

Baby and DNAThe story of “Baby Doe”–the little girl whose body was found along a Boston shoreline in June–has captured the nation’s attention. So far, we know virtually nothing about what happened. We don’t know who she was, what happened to her, or who was responsible.

‘One in a billion’ DNA match between murder accused and gloves found at scene

helix9A pair of gloves found in a hedgerow near to the scene of Simon Holdsworth’s murder had a ‘one in a billion’ DNA match to his colleague Shaun Wainwright, a court heard.
The gloves were found by police on January 15, 2014 – almost one month after Mr Holdsworth was beaten to death with a blunt weapon on playing fields near Rainbow Forge Primary School in Hackenthorpe on December 16, 2013.

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.

Jesse Matthew trial turns from victim to DNA evidence

Fhelix9AIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Jesse Matthew’s attempted murder trial began with an emotional account from a woman who suffered a brutal, unprovoked sexual assault a decade ago. Now prosecutors will turn their attention to proving that Matthew was the man who attacked her.

Mansion Fire: DNA on Pizza Crust Led Authorities to DC Murder Suspect, Sources Say

DNA and PizzaAuthorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.

A founding father of DNA forensics blasts the DNA evidence used in the Amanda Knox trial.

Helix4Dr. Gill’s professional opinion on the knife correlates with Profs. Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti of the University of Rome. Conti and Vecchiotti analyzed the DNA evidence at the request of the court during Knox and Sollecito’s successful appeal. Conti and Vecchiotti concluded that contamination could not be ruled out because recommendations of the international scientific community regarding Low Copy Number (LCN) samples were not properly followed when testing the knife.

Maryland man sentenced to 100 years in rape seeks reversal from US Supreme Court

helix10BALTIMORE — A man convicted of raping his former roommate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the conviction and his 100-year-prison sentence.
In papers filed Tuesday with the high court, Glenn Raynor says Maryland State Police violated his rights by testing DNA in his sweat, which was collected from a chair he had been sitting in during a voluntary interview at a police barracks.

Inside look at Arizona Department of Public Safety crime lab

GATCPHOENIX – ABC15 has a look inside an Arizona crime lab following Phoenix Police cracking two cold cases from the early 1990’s.
Police said DNA evidence links Bryan Patrick Miller to the murders of 22-year-old Angela Brasso and 17-year-old Melanie Bernas.
The Arizona DPS crime lab stores evidence for years, even decades until detectives are able to solve cases.

Judge tosses out two types of DNA evidence used regularly in criminal cases

touch DNAA Brooklyn judge has stirred up controversy by tossing out two types of DNA evidence regularly used in criminal cases throughout the city, the Daily News has learned.

World’s End murder trial: Meet the DNA expert and unlikely hero whose work was pivotal in catching killer Angus Sinclair

KnibbbIT WAS a small section cut from Helen Eadie’s raincoat that provided the “eureka” moment police had so desperately sought for over 30 years.
Forensic scientist Lester Knibb had only been qualified for a year when he was given samples from the scene of the murders.

Forensic Evidence Links Hannah Graham Case to Other Unsolved Murder

Harrington and GrahamCHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Gone but not forgotten.
Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, disappeared in October 2009. Her remains were found a few months later.
Her death remains a mystery, but it’s back in the news this week because of the arrest of Jesse Matthew — the only known suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.
Virginia State Police have not said how the two cases are connected, except to say there is a “new forensic link.”

Renowned UK DNA pioneer Peter Gill adds voice to Amanda Knox case

amanda-knoxDr. Peter Gill has taken on the task of analyzing the disputed DNA evidence in the Meredith Kercher murder case, providing his expert opinion in his new book titled “Misleading DNA evidence: reasons for miscarriages of justice.”

Medical staff collect DNA samples from relatives of missing passengers

dna12Officials have set up a tent to collect DNA, beside the auditorium where many families of the missing passengers have been spending sleepless nights.
While rescue divers are putting in great efforts to search for survivors and recover bodies, the time that has passed and the harsh conditions at sea have made it difficult to identify the bodies.
With heavy hearts, families of the missing passengers have begun submitting their DNA to speed up the process of identification.

France Casts DNA Dragnet in Rape Case

cold case evidenceFrench investigators have begun taking DNA samples from 527 male students and staff at a high school — including boys as young as 14 — as they search for the assailant who raped a teenage girl on the closed campus.

Push to Expedite Rape Kit Testing

DNA Strands2SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sexual assault advocates are demanding changes in the handling of crucial evidence from rape cases in California.
It’s estimated tens of thousands of rape kits are sitting on evidence shelves waiting to be processed.