Monthly Archives: February 2015

Scan reveals 1,000-year-old mummified monk hidden in statue

buddhist monk statue with skeleton(CNN) — A golden statue of a sitting Buddha, smuggled from a temple in China to a market in the Netherlands, revealed an extraordinary secret — a 1,000-year-old mummified monk.

Planned Canadian DNA data bank will fall short of gold standard as tool in search for missing indigenous women

anonymous deadCanada’s much-anticipated DNA data bank for linking missing persons with unidentified remains has been heralded as a powerful new tool to identify the nameless and help put killers behind bars. The Conservative government has also touted the data bank as a way to bring some closure to families of missing aboriginal women whose loved ones may, in fact, be dead – their unclaimed remains buried in unmarked graves or stored at coroners’ offices in cardboard boxes.

Innocence Project wants evidence better preserved

Justice and DNAJohn Hanlon, executive director and legal director at the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield, remembers going to an Illinois county to look at evidence in a sexual assault case.
He was presented with a bag that contained not only the clothing of the victim but also the clothing of a second suspect in the case. Because of the contamination, he wasn’t able to use DNA evidence in an effort to clear his client, who had been convicted of the crime.
“We would like to address the status of biological evidence after a conviction,” Hanlon told The State Journal-Register editorial board Wednesday. Hanlon appeared before the board along with Larry Golden, founding director of the project.

DNA Machine From Pleasanton Company Helps Solve Crimes Faster For Alameda County Sheriff

Rapid DNAPLEASANTON (CBS SF) — It’s not quite as fast as the CSI detectives on television who solve crimes between the commercial breaks, but new technology just acquired by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department promises it will process a suspect’s DNA in record time.

Bill aims to restore DNA collection from criminals

dark helixPALM DESERT, Calif. – Some California law makers are pushing to have people who are arrested for certain misdemeanor crimes give DNA samples to police.

Dutch DNA database makes 25,000th criminal hit

Model of a DNA MoleculeThe Netherlands’ DNA database made its 25,000th match last night. It involved a match between evidence found in the Netherlands and a person whose DNA profile is in the Austrian DNA database.

Scandinavian Team Searches for Indo-European Homeland through Kazakhstan DNA

sturla-ellingvagASTANA – A Scandinavian team has come to Kazakhstan in search of the common homeland of all Indo-European peoples, collecting bone fragments for analysis in the Centre for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen.

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.

Oklahoma House approves bill to expand collection of DNA

dna_justiceOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma House has approved a bill allowing Oklahoma district attorneys to collect DNA samples for the state’s offender database from defendants who aren’t sentenced to prison.

Family DNA Used To Track Down Suspect In ‘North County Creeper’ Case

familial dnaFor the first time in San Diego County, a suspect has been arrested as a result of a familial DNA investigation.

I’ve Just Seen a (DNA-Generated) Face

FacesThe faces here, which look a bit like video game avatars, are actually portraits drawn from DNA.

Houston closes book on rape kit backlog

dark helixHOUSTON (KTRK) — Houston’s leaders celebrated a milestone Monday, as Mayor Annise Parker, District Attorney Devon Anderson along with police brass and crime lab officials heralded the official end of a backlog of rape kits, some dating back to the 1980s.

Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA

Face on a CaseThere were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going.
Nonetheless, the police in Columbia, S.C., last month released a sketch of a possible suspect. Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime.

They Found Richard III. So Now What?

tdy_King_Richard_130204_vembedlarge456The last time Richard III was buried in Leicester, England, he had been taken from a battlefield, slung naked over a horse, stabbed in the buttocks with a dagger and thrown into a shallow grave. That was late August 1485. On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Richard will be buried again. This time will be different.

Rape Kit Backlog Update

sexual assault kitsThe latest update on the city’s rape kit backlog was disclosed during the Memphis City Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meeting Tuesday morning.
Nearly 7,000 of the 12,374 untested rape kits discovered by the Memphis Police Department (MPD) in late 2013 and early 2014 still await laboratory analysis.