Fledgling '80s Forensics Not Yet Ready to Solve Baby KillingJun 26, 2012
By Frank MacEachern
A British geneticist made a remarkable discovery in 1984, one that would change the course of police investigations for decades to come.
|Detective Sgt. and Forensics Section Supervisor Pierangelo Corticelli, right, examines a shell casing with a magnifying glass at the Greenwich Police Department Forensics Section, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. At left is Detective William Weissauer, also of the the Forensics Section. Courtesy of Bob Luckey/Greenwich Time|
Alec Jeffreys, of the University of Leicester, found that everyone had a genetic "fingerprint" in their DNA. Two years later, DNA obtained at two 1980s murders in Leicestershire helped prove the innocence of a man who had falsely confessed to the killings.
Police turned to the public in the areas where the murders had been committed, eventually receiving DNA samples from 5,000 men. In 1987, the real killer had been found and the initial suspect's name cleared for good.
At the same time as law enforcement's use of forensic science was being born, the technology was not yet ready to be used in an investigation across the Atlantic. In 1986, a murdered newborn infant was found by a trash hauler in central Greenwich. Local authorities were unable to identify the child or find its mother, and the case went cold long ago.
Source: Stamford Advocate