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Posts Tagged ‘homicide’

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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