Thursday, January 12, 2017

DNA: Does It Always Prove A Case?

Murder victim Janet Walsh with her husband Scott Walsh, from the 48 Hours website.

I'm constantly analyzing my DNA matches to help determine possible ancestors.  Does my cousin match prove a particular ancestor, or is a much more muddied piece of evidence, possibly indicating a more complicated or convoluted relation?  More often than not, it is the latter.

Like in genealogy, DNA can be used as a powerful tool in true crime cases.  It does not always definitively answer a criminal or genealogical question, though.  It may prove some kind of relation, but it may or may not prove the particular point you think it might at first glance.

Did the presence of DNA of one man at a woman's death scene prove that he killed, when there was another man's DNA mixed in?  What other details can explain evidence?

In the 48 Hours special, "Janet's Secret," the methodical analysis of suspects and the use of DNA helped tease out the answer to a puzzling 1979 murder of a young divorcee.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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