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Backlogs Plague VA State Labs

October 24, 2014 8:28 am | News | Comments

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science has four laboratories and a plethora of staff and equipment to analyze minute properties in evidence, from strands of DNA to the chemical makeup of methamphetamine. The challenge, though, is finding the time to examine the ever-growing mountain of evidence that comes in every year.

TrueAllele Casework Ruled Admissible in Ohio Daubert Challenge

October 23, 2014 9:54 am | News | Comments

An Ohio judge ruled that TrueAllele® ...

Live Two-Day Seminar on Cold Case Investigations

October 23, 2014 9:42 am | News | Comments

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence will be...

DNA Evidence Fails to Incriminate Toha

October 22, 2014 10:14 am | News | Comments

Prosecutors have finished presenting evidence against...

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To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly

DNA Collection Shortfall

October 21, 2014 5:21 am | News | Comments

Law officers are asking the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation how to best collect genetic material from people convicted of certain misdemeanors and enter the information into a national database.

A visit to the Crime Lab can illustrate the advances that the San Bernardino   County Sheriff’s Department in California has made over the past several   years. The Sheriff's Scientific Investigations Division has handled thousands   of cases, and as tech

Nevada Implements Arrestee DNA Collection for Felony Offenses

October 20, 2014 10:47 am | News | Comments

A Nevada law that requires DNA samples be taken from every person arrested on a felony charge — and criticized by civil rights groups as an invasion of privacy — has seen surprisingly little pushback in the four months it has been in practice.

Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, la

Body Exhumed in Alabama Not Most Wanted Fugitive

October 16, 2014 12:26 pm | by Dan Morse and Clarence Williams, The Washington Post | News | Comments

Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials say.

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A California state audit report has found that nearly half of all sexual assault evidence kits at three selected law enforcement agencies were never analyzed — and that many lacked a clear explanation why.

Audit Finds Half of Sexual Assault Kits Went Unanalyzed

October 15, 2014 1:44 pm | by Katy Abbott, The Daily Californian | News | Comments

A California state audit report has found that nearly half of all sexual assault evidence kits at three selected law enforcement agencies were never analyzed — and that many lacked a clear explanation why.             

It was news that gave parents hope: None of the bodies found in five mass graves in southern Mexico belonged to 43 teachers college students who have been missing for nearly three weeks since a clash with police.

Mexico's 43 Missing Not in Mass Graves So Far

October 15, 2014 1:20 pm | by Christopher Sherman and E. Eduardo Castillo, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was news that gave parents hope: None of the bodies found in five mass graves in southern Mexico belonged to 43 teachers college students who have been missing for nearly three weeks since a clash with police.           

Hearings into Killings of Two British Tourists Open on Thai Island

October 14, 2014 4:08 pm | by Thomas Fuller, The New York Times | News | Comments

Hearings began Tuesday in the killings of two British tourists on a Thai resort island, a case plagued by missteps by the Thai police that could further damage a tourism industry that is already suffering a downturn after the May military takeover.

DNA Science Key for Law Enforcement

October 14, 2014 3:08 pm | by Delon Shurtz, Lethbridge Herald | News | Comments

Before DNA, most forensic evidence was serology or matching blood types. Finger print recognition was also one of the most common and reliable methods for catching criminals, and it’s still the most widely used method of identifying suspects. But DNA is a game-changing tool that provides investigators with infallible evidence upon which they can build a case.

Turns out all those detached feet in sneakers that have washed up on British Columbia shores since 2007 aren’t such a mystery after all — except for two feet belonging to the same unknown man.

Coroners Solving Mystery of Many Severed Feet

October 14, 2014 2:16 pm | by Glen Schaefer, The Province | News | Comments

Turns out all those detached feet in sneakers that have washed up on British Columbia shores since 2007 aren’t such a mystery after all — except for two feet belonging to the same unknown man.                 

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An investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict Michelle Murphy.

Mistakes, Questionable Evidence in Woman's Overturned Murder Case

October 13, 2014 1:36 pm | by Cary Aspinwall and Ziva Bransetter, Tulsa World | News | Comments

An investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict Michelle Murphy.             

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has finished an analysis of DNA collected at the scene of the fatal bear encounter northwest of Dubois. The Game and Fish also completed an extensive investigation at the scene of the incident and surrounding vicinity

DNA Evidence Shows Fatality Involved Four Bears

October 13, 2014 1:10 pm | by County 10 | News | Comments

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has finished an analysis of DNA collected at the scene of the fatal bear encounter northwest of Dubois. The Game and Fish also completed an extensive investigation at the scene of the incident and surrounding vicinity and has worked closely with the Fremont County Coroner, Sheriff and Search and Rescue.

A DNA expert testified that one particular blood drop found on 22-year-old Dajeon Franklin's shoe matches slain University of Michigan medical student Paul DeWolf when the murder trial continued.

Expert Testifies about DNA on Murder Defendant's Basketball Shoe

October 13, 2014 8:35 am | by John Counts, MLive | News | Comments

A DNA expert testified that one particular blood drop found on 22-year-old Dajeon Franklin's shoe matches slain University of Michigan medical student Paul DeWolf when the murder trial continued.               

DNA is relatively new – barely into its 30s. But as a science, it has advanced rapidly. Last month, authorities touted how "touch" DNA technology helped to swiftly identify a suspected serial rapist, James W. Daniel III, based on a few skin cells left beh

Police Harness Advancing Genetic Science to Identify Touch DNA

October 10, 2014 8:20 am | by Chris Morris, The Plain Dealer | News | Comments

DNA is relatively new — barely into its 30s. But as a science, it has advanced rapidly. Last month, authorities touted how "touch" DNA technology helped to swiftly identify a suspected serial rapist, James W. Daniel III, based on a few skin cells left behind in the jeans pocket of a woman who reported an attack.

Battelle has been awarded a federal grant in excess of $800,000 from the National Institute of Justice to conduct feasibility and validation tests on a suite of new investigative tools that use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to unlock new clues from DNA

Battelle Awarded NIJ Grant to Study New Forensic DNA Tools

October 9, 2014 1:37 pm | by Batelle | News | Comments

Battelle has been awarded a federal grant in excess of $800,000 from the National Institute of Justice to conduct feasibility and validation tests on a suite of new investigative tools that use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to unlock new clues from DNA evidence.

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A $4.4 million effort to test rape kits dating back to 1987 by the city of   Houston has produced more than 1,000 DNA databank matches and charges against   19 people.

Clearing Rape Kit Backlog Yields Nineteen Suspects

October 8, 2014 11:51 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A $4.4 million effort to test rape kits dating back to 1987 by the city of Houston has produced more than 1,000 DNA databank matches and charges against 19 people.                         

A forensic scientist working for the Washington State Patrol swabbed a steering wheel from a slain woman’s car. Detectives had wrapped it up and tucked it away as evidence in 1995, within days of the stabbing death.

DNA from Steering Wheel IDs Killer in Cold Case

October 8, 2014 11:25 am | by Scott North and Diana Hefley, Herald Net | News | Comments

A forensic scientist working for the Washington State Patrol swabbed a steering wheel from a slain woman’s car. Detectives had wrapped it up and tucked it away as evidence in 1995, within days of the stabbing death.          

DNA expert witnesses dueled recently in the New York murder trial of Timothy Matthew Jacoby, accused of shooting and killing 55-year-old Monica Schmeyer during a 2010 burglary. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the murder, so the testimony of

DNA Experts Duel in New York Murder Trial

October 6, 2014 1:14 pm | by Colin Holloway, Expert Pages | News | Comments

DNA expert witnesses dueled recently in the New York murder trial of Timothy Matthew Jacoby, accused of shooting and killing 55-year-old Monica Schmeyer during a 2010 burglary. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the murder, so the testimony of DNA experts will prove crucial to the defendant’s fate.

It’s no bigger than a microwave oven from the 1980s, but a machine inside the Oxford Police Department can test DNA in less than two hours. The department is putting the NetBio rapid DNA analysis system through a series of tests. If it works as intended,

Alabama Police Consider Rapid DNA Analysis System

October 6, 2014 1:00 pm | by Eddie Burkhalter, The Annison Star | News | Comments

It’s no bigger than a microwave oven from the 1980s, but a machine inside the Oxford Police Department can test DNA in less than two hours. The department is putting the NetBio rapid DNA analysis system through a series of tests. If it works as intended, the department may buy the approximately $250,000 system. 

Thousands of rape kits remain untested in four major U.S. cities, according to new data on rape kit backlogs released recently by the Joyful Heart Foundation.

New Data Emerges on Rape Kit Backlogs in Four US Cities

October 6, 2014 12:47 pm | by Maria Caspani, Reuters | News | Comments

Thousands of rape kits remain untested in four major U.S. cities, according to new data on rape kit backlogs released recently by the Joyful Heart Foundation.                          

State officials worked Monday to determine whether 28 bodies found in a clandestine grave are students who were attacked by police suspected of drug gang links in the southern state of Guerrero. State Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said the bodies are badly dama

Mexican Mass Grave Held 28 Bodies

October 6, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mark Stevenson and Jose Antonio Rivera, Associated Press | News | Comments

State officials worked Monday to determine whether 28 bodies found in a clandestine grave are students who were attacked by police suspected of drug gang links in the southern state of Guerrero. State Prosecutor Inaky Blanco said the bodies are badly damaged and that genetic testing could take two weeks to two months to determine if they are some of the 43 college students reported missing after the violent confrontation in Iguala.

If modern DNA results had been available in the 1993 capital murder case of Richard Bryan Kussmaul, it is “reasonably probable” that he and his three co-defendants would not have been found guilty, a retired state district judge has ruled.

DNA Could Have Changed Outcome of 1993 Murder Trial

October 3, 2014 12:08 pm | by Tommy Witherspoon, Wacotrib.com | News | Comments

If modern DNA results had been available in the 1993 capital murder case of Richard Bryan Kussmaul, it is “reasonably probable” that he and his three co-defendants would not have been found guilty, a retired state district judge has ruled.   

A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate.

Report Urges Caution in Handling Eyewitness Identifications

October 3, 2014 11:31 am | by National Research Council | News | Comments

A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate.       

To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly

Improved Tools for Challenging DNA Samples

September 30, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical reports: Improved Tools for the Robust Analysis of Low Copy Number and Challenged DNA Samples and Application of Proteinases for DNA Isolation of Challenged Bone Specimens.

DNA from blood found in Dante Taylor’s vehicle and items at his home matches that of the two women killed last summer in Sodus, New York. That was the testimony of a forensic scientist during Taylor’s trial in Wayne County Court.

DNA Takes Time

September 29, 2014 10:47 am | News | Comments

DNA evidence for solving crimes can be very helpful, but it has it’s drawbacks. One of them is the time law enforcement agencies wait for their samples to be processed. Wisconsin’s Department of Justice made it a priority years ago to cut down the backlog at the state’s crime lab. Now, many more types of cases are using DNA evidence.

A research team from the University of South Florida announces the identification of two sets of remains recovered from unmarked graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys site in Marianna, Florida.

Researchers Identify Two More Sets of Dozier Remains

September 26, 2014 1:08 pm | by Univ. of Southern Florida | News | Comments

A research team from the University of South Florida has identified two sets of remains recovered from unmarked graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys site in Marianna, Florida.                   

For the first time ever, mitochondrial DNA from shed cat hair was accepted as evidence in a U.S. legal proceeding and helped to convict a suspect of murder.

Cat Hair Helps Convict Man of Murder

September 26, 2014 12:58 pm | by Jennifer Viegas, Discovery news | News | Comments

For the first time ever, mitochondrial DNA from shed cat hair was accepted as evidence in a U.S. legal proceeding and helped to convict a suspect of murder.                           

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