Autopsies Have a History of Costly Mistakes, Yet Change Is Slow

Disastrous errors by medical examiners have raised questions about whether they are influenced by prejudgments and a close relationship with the police.

#autopsies, #discrimination, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #infant-mortality, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

Bones Found in 1974 May Be Linked to Serial Killer, Authorities Say

Genetic genealogy was used to identify skeletal remains as those of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Florida in 1972. The authorities believe she was the victim of an ex-police officer convicted in 1973 of two murders.

#bones, #broward-county-fla, #florida, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #palm-beach-county-fla, #serial-murders

In the Philippines, a Doctor Unearths a Drug War’s True Toll

Raquel Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, is using her skills to show how other doctors falsely claimed some victims of the country’s drug war had died natural deaths.

#bones, #content-type-personal-profile, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #duterte-rodrigo, #forensic-science, #fortun-raquel, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #philippines, #politics-and-government, #skeletons

Australia Wields a New DNA Tool to Crack Missing-Person Mysteries

The technique can predict a person’s ancestry and physical traits without the need for a match with an existing sample in a database.

#australia, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genetics-and-heredity

In Ukraine, A Body Bag and a Sister in Denial

The war in Ukraine is so big that it has shaken the world. But for a sister looking for her missing older brother, it was reduced to a visit to a morgue.

#civilian-casualties, #forensic-science, #husarivka-ukraine, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine

Body Found in Indiana Is Identified After 30 Years

Advances in DNA technology helped the authorities to identify remains found near a highway in 1992 as those of Margaret Ann Sniegowski Jr., who had disappeared from her home in Ohio.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #indiana, #sniegowski-margaret-ann-jr, #toledo-ohio

‘I-65 Killer’ Who Terrorized Motel Clerks in the 1980s Is Identified

The authorities said they connected Harry Edward Greenwell, who died in 2013, to at least three murders in Kentucky and Indiana, using genetic genealogy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #greenwell-harry-edward, #indiana, #kentucky, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #robberies-and-thefts, #serial-murders, #sex-crimes

Man Sentenced to 650 Years in Prison in Brutal 1980s Sex Crimes

DNA on an envelope helped to seal the fate of Steven Ray Hessler, who prosecutors said violently assaulted seven women, a 16-year-old girl and two men in Shelby County, Ind., from 1982 to 1985.

#assaults, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #parabon-nanolabs-inc, #sex-crimes, #shelby-county-ind, #steven-ray-hessler

Philanthropists Push Police Searches of DNA Databases

When the police can’t afford to solve cold cases, deep-pocketed donors can.

#crime-and-criminals, #crowdfunding-internet, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #gofundme, #philanthropy, #police

This Database Stores the DNA of 31,000 New Yorkers. Is It Illegal?

The database used by the New York Police Department violates state law and the Constitution, the Legal Aid Society contends in a lawsuit.

#city-council-nyc, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #legal-aid-society, #new-york-city, #office-of-the-chief-medical-examiner-of-the-city-of-new-york, #police-department-nyc, #privacy, #suits-and-litigation-civil

‘Little Miss Nobody’: Child’s Remains Have Been Identified, Sheriff Says

In 1960, a child’s body was found by a hiker in a remote part of Arizona. Using DNA technology, investigators were finally able to identify her as Sharon Lee Gallegos, age 4.

#arizona, #forensic-science, #gallegos-sharon-lee, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #new-mexico

Court Declares Isaiah Andrews Wrongfully Imprisoned for 45 Years

The official declaration this week means that Isaiah Andrews, 84, can seek damages from the State of Ohio for spending more than half his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of killing his wife.

#cleveland-ohio, #cuyahoga-county-ohio, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #ohio, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #prisons-and-prisoners, #witnesses

‘Serial’ Case: Prosecutors Agree to DNA Testing Sought by Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed, who is serving life in prison in Maryland for the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, still insists on his innocence and is seeking a sentence reduction.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #innocence-project, #lee-hae-min-1980-99, #mosby-marilyn-j-1980, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #podcasts, #serial-radio-program, #syed-adnan

A Group Founded by Colin Kaepernick Is Providing Free Second Autopsies

The examinations by board-certified forensic pathologists will be available for the families of people who died in police-related circumstances.

#autopsies, #football, #forensic-science, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #kaepernick-colin, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings

Who Is Behind QAnon? Linguistic Detectives Find Fingerprints

Using machine learning, separate teams of computer scientists identified the same two men as likely authors of messages that fueled the viral movement.

#artificial-intelligence, #computers-and-the-internet, #conspiracy-theories, #forensic-science, #furber-paul, #qanon, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #watkins-ron-1987-88

Victim’s Rape Kit Helped Identify Her as a Suspect in Another Case, D.A. Says

Chesa Boudin, the district attorney in San Francisco, said victims are “being treated like criminals,” and he wants legislators to ban the practice.

#boudin-chesa, #california, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #domestic-violence, #forensic-science, #manhattan-nyc, #rosen-jeffrey-f, #san-francisco-calif, #santa-clara-county-calif, #sex-crimes, #women-and-girls

It Helped Catch Serial Killers. Can It Stop Elephant Poachers, Too?

Scientists used a genetic investigation technique with the aim of helping turn the tide against illicit hauls of ivory and other animal parts.

#animals, #conservation-of-resources, #elephants, #forensic-science, #genetics-and-heredity, #ivory, #nature-human-behaviour-journal, #organized-crime, #research, #smuggling, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Divorcing Couples Fight Over the Kids, the House and Now the Crypto

Dividing the family’s Bitcoin stash has become a major source of contention in divorce cases.

#bitcoin-currency, #computers-and-the-internet, #divorce-separations-and-annulments, #forensic-science, #francis-desouza, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #virtual-currency

After Nearly 58 Years, Pennsylvania Police Solve Killing of 9-Year-Old Girl

On Sundays and holidays, the victim’s mother ended a prayer with a plea: “Please help the Pennsylvania State Police find the man that hurt my daughter.”

#chiverella-marise-ann-d-1964, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #forte-james-paul-d-1980, #genealogy, #hazleton-pa, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #pennsylvania-state-police, #sex-crimes

Cyprus Overturns Conviction of Woman Who Accused Israelis of Rape

More than two years after a British woman was convicted of fabricating claims, Cyprus’s top court reversed the decision and said that she had not received a fair trial.

#cyprus, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #great-britain, #israel, #sex-crimes, #women-and-girls

Fugitive Who Faked His Death and Fled U.S. Is Caught in Scotland, Officials Say

Nicholas Alahverdian, a suspect in a 2008 rape in Utah, was traced to a hospital in Glasgow, where he had been placed on a ventilator with Covid-19, the authorities said.

#elorza-jorge-o, #extradition, #forensic-science, #fugitives, #funerals-and-memorials, #glasgow-scotland, #langevin-james-r, #ohio, #providence-ri, #rhode-island, #sex-crimes, #utah

How Your DNA Test Could Send a Relative to Jail

Thanks to “genetic genealogy,” solving crimes with genomic databases is becoming mainstream — with some uncomfortable implications for the future of privacy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

X-ray analysis confirms forged date on Lincoln pardon of Civil War soldier

Abraham Lincoln's pardon for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion.

Enlarge / Abraham Lincoln’s pardon for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion. (credit: National Archives)

There’s rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So this year, we’re once again running a special Twelve Days of Christmas series of posts, highlighting one story that fell through the cracks each day, from December 25 through January 5. Today: the results of forensic analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s letter pardoning a Civil War soldier confirms the April 14, 1865 date was forged—and it can’t be removed without damaging the document.

A document containing President Abraham Lincoln’s signed pardon of a Civil War soldier has been the source of much controversy since its 1998 discovery, after historians concluded that the date had likely been altered to make the document more historically significant. A new analysis by scientists at the National Archives has confirmed that the date was indeed forged (although the pardon is genuine), according to a November paper published in the journal Forensic Science International: Synergy. The authors also concluded that there is no way to restore the document to its original state without causing further damage.

Thomas Lowry is a retired psychiatrist turns amateur historian, specializing in military records of the Civil War, and has authored numerous Civil War histories. Back in 1998, he and his wife Beverly were combing through a trove of rarely studied courts martial at the National Archives, carefully indexing the documents. At the time, there were no security cameras in the room, and Archive staffers knew the Lowrys and trusted them. The couple discovered some 570 documents with Lincoln’s signature.

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#abraham-lincoln, #forensic-science, #gaming-culture, #historical-archives, #science, #us-history, #x-ray-fluorescence, #x-ray-spectroscopy

Suspect’s Family Helps Crack Candy Rogers Murder Case

The murder of 9-year-old Candice Rogers rocked Spokane, Wash. On Friday, the police identified John Reigh Hoff as a suspect, and said his daughter helped them solve the case.

#candice-rogers, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #john-reigh-hoff, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sex-crimes, #sgt-zac-storment, #spokane-wash

A Socialite, a Gardener, a Message in Blood: The Murder That Still Grips France

The victim was a socialite. A message in her blood accused the gardener. But a grammatical error raised questions of class and language — and whether he was being framed.

#false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #france, #french-language, #marchal-ghislaine-d-1991, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #politics-and-government, #raddad-omar, #suits-and-litigation-civil

The DNA of Roma People Has Long Been Misused, Scientists Reveal

An op-ed in Nature calls for higher ethical standards in the usage and analysis of genetic information from the Romani, a marginalized group in Europe.

#bulgaria, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genetics-and-heredity, #hungary, #india, #nature-journal, #romani-people, #your-feed-science

Killed in a 1961 Crash, ‘Unknown Boy’ Is Finally Identified

The mystery of a teenage hitchhiker, now identified as Daniel Paul Armantrout, was solved 60 years later because of advances in DNA technology and genealogy.

#alabama, #forensic-science, #gedmatch-inc, #genealogy, #missing-persons, #privacy

He Escaped Prison in 2015. Did He Kill a Young Mother Decades Before?

A bid to exonerate two men in a Buffalo-area murder centers on the possible role in the crime of Richard Matt, a notorious New York killer.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #erie-county-ny, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #fugitives, #matt-richard-w-1967, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #prison-escapes, #sweat-david-p-1980, #tonawanda

A Victim of John Wayne Gacy Is Identified 4 Decades Later

For years, some of the victims of John Wayne Gacy had gone unidentified. DNA and expanding genealogical databases allowed officials to identify a victim this month.

#alexander-francis-wayne, #cook-county-ill, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #gacy-john-wayne-jr, #genealogy, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #serial-murders

New Zealand’s Chief Coroner Opens New Inquiry Into Mosque Attacks

The move came after pleas from dozens of families of those killed in 2019 when a white supremacist opened fire on Muslims at prayer.

#christchurch-new-zealand-attack-march-2019, #forensic-science, #mass-shootings, #tarrant-brenton-harrison, #terrorism

Can Skeletons Have a Racial Identity?

A growing number of forensic researchers are questioning how the field interprets the geographic ancestry of human remains.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #bones, #forensic-science, #race-and-ethnicity, #skeletons, #skull-body-part, #your-feed-science

40-Year-Old Cold Case of South Dakota Baby Ends With Conviction

Decades after a baby was found by the road, DNA testing led to criminal charges. On Friday, a woman entered an Alford plea in the case, maintaining her innocence while pleading guilty to manslaughter.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sioux-falls-sd, #south-dakota, #theresa-bentaas

Why the Studies Around Police Restraints Are Now on Trial

For years, the leading experts have testified that prone restraint by police is safe. So why do people keep dying?

#anton-black, #autopsies, #chauvin-derek-1976, #floyd-george-d-2020, #forensic-science, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #police, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #prude-daniel-d-2020, #research, #webster-thomas-new-york-ny-police-officer

Clara Birdlong, Identified 44 Years After Death, Was Most Likely Serial Killer’s Victim

The police say Samuel Little, who was in Jackson County, Miss., in 1977 and decades later confessed to more than 90 murders, is believed to have killed Ms. Birdlong.

#clara-birdlong, #forensic-science, #jackson-miss, #leflore-county-miss, #little-samuel-1940, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #serial-murders

Gabby Petito’s Death Ruled a Homicide, F.B.I. Confirms

The search continues for Brian Laundrie, Ms. Petito’s fiancé, who has been named a person of interest in the case.

#federal-bureau-of-investigation, #forensic-science, #laundrie-brian, #petito-gabrielle

Trying to Find Your Mother’s Remains From Ground Zero, 20 Years Later

The medical examiner’s office is still working painstakingly to identify 9/11 victims. There are 1,106 victims whose remains have not been found.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #new-york-city, #office-of-the-chief-medical-examiner-of-the-city-of-new-york, #september-11-2001, #world-trade-center-manhattan-ny

Trail in Decades-Old Florida Killings Leads to Brazilian Man

Roberto Wagner Fernandes, who died in a plane crash in Paraguay in 2005, killed three women whose bodies were found in Miami and Broward County in 2000 and 2001, the authorities said.

#biscayne-bay-fla, #brazil, #broward-county-fla, #broward-county-sheriffs-office-florida, #crime-and-criminals, #demas-sia, #dietz-livesey-kimberly, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #fernandes-roberto-wagner, #fingerprinting, #forensic-science, #fugitives, #good-jessica, #miami-fla, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #serial-murders

Tulsa Massacre Survivors Ask Justice Dept. to Intervene in Search for Graves

Survivors of the 1921 massacre and descendants of victims said they did not trust city officials to search for the graves of Black residents who were killed by a white mob.

#black-people, #bynum-george-theron-iv-gt, #forensic-science, #justice-department, #oaklawn-cemetery-tulsa-okla, #race-and-ethnicity, #tulsa-okla, #tulsa-race-riot-1921

After Two Decades and a DNA Test, Charges Are Dropped in Georgia Killings

Convicted of killing a couple in 1985, Dennis Perry spent 20 years in prison before hair samples helped set him free. Now, the homicide charges against him have been dismissed.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #georgia, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #perry-dennis-a-1962, #sparre-erik, #swain-harold-d-1985, #swain-thelma-d-1985, #waverly-ga

Parents Who Never Stopped Searching Reunite With Son Abducted 24 Years Ago

Guo Gangtang’s cross-country, decades-long search for his son inspired a movie. Now, there’s an ending fit for Hollywood.

#china, #forensic-science, #guo-gangtang, #human-trafficking, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #lost-and-love-movie

The Police Called It An Accident. She Turned to 1-800-Autopsy.

The close ties between coroners and law enforcement have fueled an usual and unregulated industry: for-profit forensic examinations.

#anaheim-calif, #autopsies, #black-people, #content-type-personal-profile, #deaths-fatalities, #forensic-science, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #united-states

Consuewella Africa, 67, Dies; Lost Two Daughters in MOVE Siege

One of the girls’ remains from a 1985 police attack are believed to have ended up in a cardboard box for use in a university forensics course, provoking outrage.

#africa-consuewella-1953-2021, #black-people, #deaths-obituaries, #forensic-science, #move, #philadelphia-pa, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #police-department-philadelphia-pa, #university-of-pennsylvania-museum-of-archaeology-and-anthropology

Two Montana Sweethearts Were Fatally Shot in 1956. The Case Was Just Solved.

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office said it appeared to be the oldest homicide case in the United States to be solved with genetic genealogy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #great-falls-mont, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

China Still Buys American DNA Equipment for Xinjiang Despite Blocks

The U.S. government has long tried to prevent the sales over concerns about rights abuses and surveillance. Documents show those efforts have failed.

#china, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #uighurs-chinese-ethnic-group, #xinjiang-china

An Innocent Man Went to Prison for Murder. Now, It’s the Real Killer’s Turn.

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr. was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in the 1996 killing of Angie Dodge in Idaho, a crime for which Christopher Tapp was exonerated.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #idaho, #idaho-falls-idaho, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sex-crimes, #tapp-christopher

She Was Stabbed and Left in a Cornfield in 1972. Now There’s an Arrest.

Barry Lee Whelpley, now 76, was charged with killing Julie Ann Hanson, who was 15 when her body was found in Naperville, Ill., the authorities said.

#chicago-ill, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #illinois, #minnesota, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #naperville-ill

Two New Laws Restrict Police Use of DNA Search Method

Maryland and Montana have passed the nation’s first laws limiting forensic genealogy, the method that found the Golden State Killer.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #law-and-legislation, #maryland, #montana, #privacy, #your-feed-science

Man Rescued in Colorado Mountain Pass Is Accused in 1982 Murders

Alan Lee Phillips was rescued from a snowdrift in 1982 after he signaled SOS with his headlights. The police now say he became trapped on the road after killing two women.

#breckenridge-colo, #colorado, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #oberholtzer-barbara-jo-d-1982, #phillips-alan-lee-1951, #schnee-annette-d-1982

DNA Could Identify Somerton Man Exhumed in Australia

This week the police disinterred a body, found on a beach in 1948, that has puzzled investigators for decades. “There’s lots of twists and turns in this case, and every turn is pretty weird,” one said.

#adelaide-australia, #australia, #derek-abbott, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #rachel-egan, #somerton-man

Cleared of Murder, Brothers Are Awarded $75 Million

Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, half brothers with intellectual disabilities, spent three decades in prison for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl before DNA evidence implicated someone else.

#artis-roscoe, #brown-leon, #capital-punishment, #compensation-for-damages-law, #confessions, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #intellectual-disabilities, #mccollum-henry-lee, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #north-carolina, #north-carolina-innocence-inquiry-commission, #robeson-county-nc, #sex-crimes, #suits-and-litigation-civil