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Posts Tagged ‘blood’

Amanda Knox is Innocent of Brutal Murder, Retired FBI Agent Claims

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:05 PM
Friday, July 27, 2012

FBI Special Agent Steve Moore once believed Amanda Knox was guilty of murder now says he has no doubt that she is innocent.  The retired agent told Good Morning America, ”When Amanda Knox gets out, if she needs a roommate, I’ll send my daughter over… The evidence is completely conclusive.”

Moore, a FBI veteran with 25 years experience who investigated murders around the world before retiring two years ago, independently researched and analyzed Amanda Knox’s case for the past year while she waited for her appeal.

Knox, now 22, has spent nearly three years in an Italian prison since the November 2007 arrest for the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found sexually assaulted and her throat slashed, her half naked body under a duvet in her bedroom in the home shared with Knox.  Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were both convicted of murder in December 2009 after a nearly a year long trial. A third person, an Ivory Coast drifter named Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found at the crime scene, was convicted of taking part in the homicide in an earlier trial.

At first, Moore said, he firmly believed Knox was guilty as charged. ”The police said she is. She was arrested,” he said. Moore said his wife encouraged him to look into Knox’s case.  Moors has never spoken to Knox’s family or attorneys. In November, Moore obtained the crime scene video, autopsy photos and legal documents. He spent weeks poring through them. According to Moore his opinion quickly changed

He said, “I couldn’t figure out why Amanda and Raffaele weren’t eliminated on day one as suspects, I kept thinking the smoking gun would pop up — and it didn’t come. I didn’t know why they were in jail.”

The investigation found none of Knox’s DNA — no hair, blood or fingerprints — in the bedroom where Kercher was murdered. ”There is no DNA evidence. What they’re saying is that whoever killed Meredith cleaned up in Amanda’s bathroom. That’s all they say,” Moore said. “They found Amanda’s DNA in her own bathroom? Astounding.”

Moore said he spent hours watching video of Italian police officials combing through the crime scene and was shocked at what he saw. Moore says,”they were doing unsound forensic techniques that lead to cross contamination. Their techniques were horrible, if you showed that video tape in American court you would have lost more of your evidence.”

He also criticized Italian authorities for their interrogation of Knox, which he compared to tactics used by “third-world intelligence agencies.”  He drew those comparison from tactics that included her being questioned for hours, and at times when she would be exhausted.  Knox was given”no food, no coffee, no bathroom breaks — nothing,” Moore said.

Knox’s appeal is tentatively scheduled to begin Nov. 24. A new panel of two judges and six jurors from Perugia will reexamine Knox’s case. A decision is expected by March.

Knox’s appeal also called for an independent review of the DNA evidence, a request denied by a judge during her trial.

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New Hope for Old Cases: Full DNA Profile of Ted Bundy Now Available

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:32 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Hope for Old Cases: Full DNA Profile of Ted Bundy Now Available

Twenty Two years after Ted Bundy’s execution, and at least 30 dead, a full DNA profile of Bundy is now available though CODIS the FBI DNA database. It is hoped that his profile can bring closure to open homicide cases nation wide.

DNA was extracted from a vial of blood discovered in a courthouse where it had been stored for the last three decades. The profile was assembled by David Coffman, chief of forensics at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Coffman says that police departments can now enter DNA evidence they might have from cold cases into the system and see if there is any match with Mr. Bundy’s DNA

Coffman also said in an interview that he typically receives four or five calls a year from investigators located nation-wide asking about Bundy’s DNA in connection with unsolved cases. He went on to state that until now there has been no full DNA profile available. Because of the length of time Bundy was actively killing, and because he was active on both the west and the east coasts, many investigators would like to confirm or eliminate him as a suspect. Unfortunately, his crimes took place well before the advent of DNA technology and therefore, his DNA was not secured before his death. In 2002 a partial DNA profile was created from a tissue sample taken during Bundy’s autopsy, but the profile from the tissue sample was not complete enough to enter into the F.B.I. database CODIS. Until now.

Coffman’s department was contacted earlier this year by the Tacoma Washington Police Department for a cold case that involved an 8-year-old girl who disappeared from her house in 1961. They suspected Bundy because he was living in Tacoma at the time and alway claimed that he got is start as a teen. He was 14 at the time. Bundy denied responsibility for her disappearance.

Coffman’s department made an effort to extract DNA from two dental molds held at the department’s forensics laboratory. The impressions, which had been taken in the 1970s, matched bite marks on the left buttock of 20-year-old Lisa Levy, one of two students at Florida State University Mr. Bundy was convicted of killing. But the DNA in the dental molds was too degraded to use for a profile.

Coffman’s department then started calling contacts around Florida to see if any evidence might still exist that could contain DNA. Fortunately, a vial of blood was found in the evidence vault at the Columbia County courthouse. The blood had been taken in 1978 in connection with the death of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach in Lake City, Fla., the third murder Mr. Bundy was convicted for.

Despite being 33 years old, the sample was perfect and a full profile was created and uploaded into the F.B.I.’s DNA database, CODIS.

According to Coffman, at this time there have been no hits on any cold cases. The Tacoma police hope to test any DNA they can find from the Burr case against the Bundy profile. Cold-case detective in the Tacoma Police Department’s homicide unit, Gene Miller said his office was shipping biological material from the Burr house to the state’s crime laboratory and that if DNA can be extracted, it would then be uploaded into the F.B.I.’s database. He and his office feel that this could be “a huge step forward,” Detective Miller said. Even if it does not, “it will still be a great step forward,” because it will finally eliminate or confirm him as a suspect. It is likely that police departments in other areas where Bundy passed through will do the same.

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Attorney General Investigates North Carolina Crime Lab

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:05 PM
Friday, October 1, 2010

In August a report was released regarding an investigation into North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) crime lab. Two retired FBI agents were assigned to conduct the investigation following the release of Greg Taylor after he spent 16 years in prison for a crime it appears he did not commit.

Reason Magazine who first reported the story stated that, “The report found that SBI agents withheld exculpatory evidence or distorted evidence in more than 230 cases over a 16 year period. Three of those cases resulted in execution. There was widespread lying, corruption and pressure from prosecutors and other law enforcement officials on crime lab analysts to produce results that would help secure convictions.”

The 2009 National Academy of Science Report, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward” was critical of many aspects of the current forensic sciences process reported that crime laboratories need to be independent from the direction of law enforcement.

The report went on to state that while there are many forensic field screening tests that look for the presence of blood there are many substances that will produce a false positive result for the “presence of blood”. This means that it is very important that field screening is followed up with “confirmatory” lab testing to confirm the field findings.

Agents with The News & Observer reported that, “according to the review, the cases involved SBI lab reports that were overstated, misleading or omitted important information about negative test results that would have been favorable to the defendants. The SBI’s lab work is often powerful evidence in criminal cases, shaping decisions at the heart of a defense that include decisions about plea bargaining or how to cross examine witnesses. The SBI has followed more updated procedures on blood analysis since 2003, and more recent work is not under scrutiny. The tests that are examined in the bulk of this report are no longer in use.”

According to lab notes discovered in 2009, the North Carolina Crime Lab had performed more specific tests, which registered negative results for the presence of blood when examining evidence from the Taylor case. During the hearing an analyst never mentioned those results or any additional. The analyst testified that his superiors taught him to write his reports like that.

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Do It Yourself DNA Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 12:17 PM
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

By John Morris

DNA testing has only been popularized in recent years this is mainly due to it being extremely handy when it comes to high-profile criminal investigations and in paternity cases.  DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is most commonly used in trying to prove the relationship between two individuals.

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Reasons For DNA Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:13 PM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By Kevin Camilleri

DNA testing is becoming more and more popular as a way of establishing family relationships and catching criminals. But why is DNA testing specifically preferred over blood testing and other methods of detecting parentage and what are the most significant reasons for its ongoing usage in both legal and medical circles?

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DNA Testing – An Overview Of This Revolutionary Scientific Breakthrough

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:41 PM
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

By Brook Hayles

What is DNA testing?  DNA testing is specified testing that searches for the absence or presence of DNA genetic sequences.  DNA testing makes use of molecular methods like DNA chips, arrays, or polymerase chain reaction. Your genetic makeup is carried inside your cells nucleus, which contains the DNA material.

Deoxyribonucleic acid is the scientific term for DNA. DNA determines the cells behavior, function, and structure. What is great about DNA is that not only can it tell the identity of a person, but it can also give information about thousands genetic conditions and diseases.

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Discovering The Role Your Genes Play

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:06 AM
Thursday, July 8, 2010

By Brooke Hayles

How do you define DNA testing? It is specified testing that looks for the absence or presence of DNA sequences? Your genetic information is carried inside every cells nucleus.

Deoxyribonucleic acid is the scientific name for DNA. DNA determines the cells behavior, function, and structure. What is great about DNA is that not only can it tell the identity of a person, and their relationship to others, but it can also give information about four thousand genetic conditions and diseases. Because DNA testing is becoming cheaper, it is becoming a popular form of testing.

There are many uses of DNA testing.

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Top 5 Misconceptions About DNA Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 10:31 AM
Friday, April 9, 2010

By Groshan Fabiola

An increase in stories in the media about many uses for DNA tests has caught the public attention in a big way.  DNA testing is big business, in many fields. Programs like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Heroes and even popular soap opera’s regularly feature DNA tests as the basis for their often thrilling story lines.  While these television shows are informative in many cases they also encourage many misconceptions about DNA testing, in addition the public seems to believe that DNA testing can fix a variety of life’s problems.  The real miracle stories are far less talked about and even more amazing than TV dramas and soap operas can convey.

So what are some of the most common misconceptions about DNA testing?

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A blood test that can determine the gender and genetic abnormalities in a unborn baby as early as five weeks has proven to be successful according to Dutch researchers.  The researchers claim that the test has almost 100 per cent accuracy in determining the fetus’s gender.

The blood test uses the mother’s plasma to extract Genetic information about their unborn baby.  The test can be used to determine if the unborn baby carries specific genetic abnormalities, such as muscular dystrophy, this test can be conducted shortly after conception.

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How Is DNA Testing Done

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 5:15 PM
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

By Alex Blake

DNA testing is done for many different reasons. DNA evidence can link an alleged criminal to a crime scene.  DNA paternity and maternity testing can identify a child’s father or mother. DNA relationship testing can determine if two individuals are full or half siblings. DNA ancestry testing can determine ethnic origins and genealogical roots.

How DNA testing is done depends on the results desired and the samples available. DNA fingerprinting (or profiling as it’s also known) is the process of analyzing and comparing two DNA samples. Only identical twins have the exact same DNA sequence, everyone else’s DNA is unique. This makes DNA the perfect way to link individuals to each other or to locations where they have been.

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