« Reveal

Catch a Killer With Your DNA (rebroadcast)

2020-01-18 | 🔗

This episode originally was broadcast Oct. 5, 2019.

Genetic genealogy is a powerful crime-solving tool that combines DNA science with family tree research. Where will it take us – a crime-free world or a dark dystopia?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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their family in Victoria British Columbia. One morning, Kate made a discovery that would send her into a year long reporting journey, so gate tell us what happened this morning. Well, I was going far Brandon and I spotted unheard of deer, in some woods across the road, so I decide to follow them to take video with my smartphone. For my kids, oh Mamma, daddy and a baby I realize I'm standing in this cemetery, one gravestone I'm standing over totally gives me chose Can you even Kellenberger can see, see nineteen eighteen, eighty seven, she parts her wing, and then she's gone? She was only eighteen years I I'm wondering car accident drug overdose in so I take a picture of her grave. Why you take a picture
it was just a moment of feeling like. I wanted to put good thoughts out there for this girl's family, whoever they were, then something mine blowing happens later. That night, I show my husband the photo, and he says I know that name. I dont believe him. We are in a foreign country, and I had followed dear into a random cemetery. So I go: online and find out he's actually right, and his name had been in the news that weak and I find out how she died. She boyfriend had been murdered. Thirty one years before and now One had been arrested until now we ve say this episode in October and are bringing a back today, because there have been some developments. We pick up with Kate piecing together last day. Anyone saw the young couple alive, it's no
routines, one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven and this young canadian couple Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook are taking their first big trip together alone. It's a short trip, just one night away from home there on an errand for Jay's dad who needs by a furnace part in Seattle. I recently retrace our steps. They board the Ferry and Victoria Harbour in Jays Van and had deporting Angeles, but can you in jail never make it to Seattle. They left on a Wednesday tat? They were to return basically by midday on Thursday was the expectation and when they didn't return on Thursday, my parents whereas the firm view that there was something wrong- that's ten years, big brother, John Van Poffenburgh, meeting him for the first time. It strikes me that if tenure had lived, she might have
into certain trades. Like John Courteous, gentle dutiful I notice a weariness in his eyes, though, and he fidgets with a water bottle, as we talk John tells me that, six days after the couple went missing, the police called his family home, they had found the body of a girl in a rural area just north of Seattle. And then my father and I had to identify her hand, which, unfortunately, it was so tenure so that was now is this dark very dark day, but I'm about to describe is pretty gruesome. The killer had shot tenure in the back of the head execution file. A stranger semen is found on her pants and in her body. Jays Van is found the next day and his body the day after that about- seventy miles away from Tanya in another
ro area. Jays, head had been beaten, he'd been strangled, a pack of cigarettes, stuffed into his mouth you're, just so many questions, oh answers. Their police couldn't give us any answers. They didn't know what the heck had happened, and you know so you just had to have you just can't eg. You know I think in the short term it is gonna gave up. The funeral takes place at the universe, Victoria Chapel their standing room only it was done huge attendance amines, as often happens when young people died. I asked John about the EP attack on ten years, grave that says, she parts her wings and then she's gone there was a line she'd written in some of our own poetry and obviously struck. My dad is being oddly
area in one sense of her. Having left us too soon like that a key remains unsolved for the next few years, eighteen. Ninety, its featured in an episode of America's unsolved mysteries works story of an innocent young couple. Romantic we can was shattered by a sadistic, inclusive, killed, the show use the Seattle police detective at the time who says surgical, gloves were left behind by the killer, if those behind, as as basically assigned to the police it you needn't, look for fingerprints, because I wore these gloves and he has confidence. If there's nothing is going to connect him with these crimes, The story generates no viable leads years peel by the family. Still have no answers from police, then new hope,
Dna is taking the place of the fingerprint as law enforcement, most cutting edge tool in nineteen. Ninety four, the F b I creates dna databases called cooties. It contains genetic profiles of people who have been arrested or convicted of crimes police can compare DNA, they recover from crime scenes with this database to identify suspects italian jeez case police check quotas. Periodically, but never find a match. The case goes cold until two thousand five detective Jim sharp of this new homes, county sheriff's office, comes on the scene. This is where rebook all the evidence. I meet detective sharp at the evidence, room and ever at Washington package. You hear logged into this computer He likes to go by Jim. He tells me the process of looking evidence having a role of tape as an example
so we're gonna. Take it and we put it in a sack Jim seals up the sack, races, initials on it and sticks it in a locker and struck by how nine or now analogue, at all things and then shot it. Jim has a neatly trimmed gray, mustache and his eyes are soft in the corners. When I asked him about restaurants in Everett, he tells me he usually just goes to Arby's. I glimpsed a pistol under his jaw. When he sits down. I was a major crimes detective and we were just getting ready to start the court case team, Jim, reopen tenure and Jane called case, and for more than a decade he followed all kinds of leads, but, like the detective before, for him. Never found a dna match in quotas. Then in twenty seventeen
he hears about a new way to use dna to identify people investigator say they were able to create these sketches of a possible suspect using dna. Fino typing fino typing is this revolutionary new forensics technology it takes dna from an unknown person and creates a computer drawing of what they look like parade. Information of the persons like hair color. I color complexion, The dna found on Tanya generates three faces of a white man. First, as he appears at age, twenty five with reddish brown hair, then forty five and sixty I've. He has deep facial lines in his going gray to detective sheriff. It's like daring, the killer in the eye. For the very first time, the phenotype health sharp is able to vastly shrink the haystack of suspects by ruling out people who don't look like
sketch, but still no dna match. Then, in April, twenty eighteen news from California changes everything in the world of dna and crime following tonight afforded Kate, old search warrant of histories, most infamous serial killers may be over. We the needle in a haystack police announcing the capture of seventy two Euro, Joseph Jean De Angelo, a man they say is the loose. If Golden state killer, I'm like who's the golden state. Killer I've, never even heard of this guy Sophos online and learns he's serial killer and rapist victimized more than sixty people in the seventies and eighties. In northern California, the alleged golden stay killer was found and mine blowing new forensics technique called genetic genealogy.
Genetic genealogy is using DNA to learn more about someone's family. His Sri and family tree that C c, more she's one of the top genetic genealogist in the world. She even appears as the dna expert on the hit PBS television Series, finding your roots with Henry Louis Gates, Junior she's. A detective was skills that would put Sherlock Holmes to shame. In addition to helping people trace, their ancestors cecy uses genetic genealogy to find the living usually adoptees searching for their birth parents for any type of human identification. There really isn't anything more powerful than do. Ay and genetic genealogy? There are two main reasons: genetic genealogy is so powerful. First because it reaches,
Far beyond the FBI's code, US data base of convicts and people have been arrested and second in a corporate, much more genetic data. It's really complicated, but here's the gist of it. Lawn forspent uses quotas to analyzed any genetic markers genetic genealogy analyzes about eight hundred thousand. It can identify very distant relatives and ancestors from generations ago. It casts a really wide net, but only works if Can access a lot of dna profiles by twenty eighteen, more than twenty five million consumers had added their dna to the leading ancestry databases, but those companies like twenty
and me and ancestry dot com keep each other locked out of their customers. Data police are locked out to unless they get a court order. So what was the key and the golden Stay killer case? Well, there's this website called Jed match. It allows people who get their dna tested by one company to compare their Jeanette. Profile with customers who used other companies, it sort of like a dna swat meat and its open access to the public. A future Twenty three me I was it ancestry dna we want to see. If we shared dna we could both upload to Jed match without having to pay for another test in the beginning, only serious genealogist use Jed match, but in the case of the golden Stay killer, the cops got in able to access about a million users. Genetic profiles, investigators founding Angelo
seeing dna from crime seems decades ago, which they submitted to a publicly share genealogy website called Jed match. It works so well that judgments decided to make clear that law enforcement can search it and they put a big notification on the homepage of Jed match said law enforcement use the database where allowing that use. That's when C c and a company called our banana lab, saw an opportunity and decided to team up parable made the computer drawings of the suspects face for detective sharp. He remembers getting a call from the ceo soon after the golden state killer arrest. We should if you gimme written permission, I'll upload are dna profile to Jed match for you for free. In other words, parapet was offering to plug the dna file from ten years crime scene into Chad match to try and find a relative of the
killer, so is uploaded on I think of Friday, and I waited no matches no matches. Saturday morning I woke up and there were matches and I got to work on it. The Jed match algorithm points. Here too, people who share dna with the unknown suspect, then the failed, traveling comes in. I wanted to understand what it looks like. So I asked Cecy to show me: we're in her living room with a view of the Pacific Ocean. She settled to her workplace the sofa and opens up her laptop. I see graphics pop up of a family tree with people represented in Pink blue block and all eight hundred thousand genetic markers were compared to everyone else's genetic markers in the database We get a list of people, they share significant amounts of dna with that and I suspect she tells me the top two matches share about three percent of their dna with the unknown suspect, which would mean that their second cousins or
similar. So that means that my first theory is. They share great grandparents with this aspect, so I have to figure out who these matches our cause. Sometimes it's not obvious, but antennae and Jeez case theses very first one that could lead to an arrest. The answer comes quickly in just two hours. She finds the suspect that it alluded police for more than three decades. She shows me the path she took the family tree from those second cousins. She finds a family with four children. One is the son of the DNA is pointing to this. One person in this field the other option, and so by Monday we communicated that Sir Detective sharp doom
is our walking his little black pug dogs. When he gets a message from the CEO of Para bond. To call him he's got good news like me. What's a good news and he says: well, Jim I've got a name for you. I don't think I can believe this. You got a name for me he goes here, we ve narrowed down to one individual. They found Some others obituary in budgetary, said that she had three. Others in only one son, so it has to be that son
Can you give me the name- and he said it's William Earl, Talbot, the second Jim runs tablets. Name through public records finds out where he lives and works, but before he can make an arrest. Sharp has to prove Talbot is the exact mass to the crime scene dna. He needs to get us alive, a sample from him. If you can get a cigarette bird or coffee cup or soda bottle, or something has been in the persons mouse, it has their saliva on. It does a much better source of dna to know that it's a reliable source. What happens next might sound like a cop show on tv for several days, gems team of detectives follow Talbot Scout his workplace attacking company lurk
outside this house, then well telling him through Seattle. They get a breakthrough and he drove up to the star light had spoken street and stopped and for some reason he opened the door of the symmetry when he did that somebody spiral of White Paper CUP Street underneath nor and early K. I think that fell out of his truck blown up cops dashes out in the middle of traffic and grabbed the cap in the street. Now sharp has nothing he can work with. He takes the cup to the state patrol crime lab and returns the next day to hear the results from the dna supervisor. She says she says you have a match, saw fight back the tears I just
screamed it we got in the plan, for the arrest is set it goes down in the yard of the trucking company. After Talbot gets off work. Detective sharp is waiting outside in plain clothes. There are under cover agents hiding in black ski masks and swat gear, as backup at about six feet. An Talbot walked out, and I said, are you William Talbot? He said yes, I said I'm Jim shower from a detective with sheriff's office. I reach out. He reaches out. I shake hands with him. Jim explains he's investigating a homicide case and needs to rule out suspects. He tells Talbot he's one of many people on the way He says why don't you come back tomorrow or the next day, and I said well, we ve come a long way asses. Can you gimme your driver's license? I can check
can see your idea to verify it. You and he says I old you who I am so I could see that he was not known cooperate. Ok, you're under arrest turn around and put your hands behind your back, and he says what, for I said for first degree, murder Jim Arrest, Talbot he'd. Finally, cracked, the unsolved murders of tangible Kellenberger and Jake Hook that had haunted their families. For decades he called and his brother John yeah. I remember he told me that yeah we ve rested on John said really, and he said he eyes and well. Where is he he says in the back seat and unlike what So all of a sudden of three one hears that here's Jim this great guy Eddie Sammy. He's in the same vehicle. Is this guy this point, and I am now, do I remember it showing down my spine? I was just like
just a real moment, a realization I holy cow like there's. Actually, this is really really concrete: ngos, fantastic. So after three decades, police arrest, a suspect in a murder case that had seen unsolved. And yet in jail. Family members info police, genetic genealogy seems like the greatest invention ever for solving cry, but some people worry that this powerful tool could be too into a weapon, wouldn't it be terrible. If Dna information was used to persecute and prosecute people that didn't agree with them politically, your listening to reveal
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from the centre for investigative reporting and p R. Ex. This is reveal a lesson: where we hearing the story of a killer today on May eighteen, twenty eighteen, one day after detective, Jim Sharp cornered, William Talbot at work, his boss, the sheriff, caused a news coverage to announce the arrest the morning. You think your finger yesterday, took it infested. Fifty five year old Sea, whose suspended. Nineteen eighty seven words of Jacob Tanya Calibre detective Sharp then stepped to the podium to explain how they use genetic genealogy to identify Talbot as a suspect, and then for genetic genealogy we would be standing here today. Is not allowed to be used to law enforcement, we will never solve these days right after tablets, arrest
police around the country, start using genetic genealogy and making arrests for three decades, the death of eight year old April, Kingsley has baffled Indiana investigators. We believe they finally solve the murder mystery from the day police picked up Talbot to a year later, genetic genealogy, cracked, more than fifty cases of murder and rake that's a rate of more than one week. Police say they did it using genetic genealogy accompany rather then No dna profiles through a public database and there was a partial match, help assessment We should obviously we're not gonna quit on these cases and milder ceremonies, helped other families that haven't had a resolve yet most called cases years old. But some just a few months genetic genealogist Cecy more, who help Finger William Talbot, is convinced. Her work with police
is not just solving. Crimes is preventing the I've. Edward cases that were three months old, have a really high chance of re. Even escalating, and I'm sure there are no people that were potentially serial killers that have been or will be stopped because of this, would even as police crack cases faster than we ever thought possible. Some people, worn genetic genealogy, is moving too fast, giving law enforcement too much access to personal information, and it needs to be reigned. In now reveals Emily Hairs has been working with reporter Cape man on today Show and Emily picks up this part of the story. One person who believes genetic genealogy needs to be reigned in is this man. My name is Michael US three. I live here in New Orleans and work in the film industry down here. It's Sunday morning. I reach Michael on the phone, he's sitting in a small office in his house. He tells me
about an encounter he had with a precursor of genetic genealogy back in two thousand fourteen. He was visiting his parents a few hours out of town- and I got a call from the police he's down here in New Orleans who told me my vehicle match the description of a hidden Rhine, he knew he wasn't involved. He told the police he'd be happy to chat. He could meet them at his house around to that afternoon. I pulled a bad example two o clock and add to our wine. Three officers were at my door. And I have a big ninety pound. Ever doodle and he likes the market people at the door. So he was all excited when they came in and within about thirty seconds to a man they were asking me if I wouldn't mind going down to the station, to talk to Michael so has his laboratory bobo. You gotta come up
and ass. He left Bobo that day six years ago, getting into the back seat of the police. Car Michael asked one of the officers. If they really wanted to talk about a hit and run point. He said well actually we'd like to talk to you about some other things to just one other thing. It turned out a murder a young woman named Angie Dodge, had been raped and stabbed multiple times, anti. Ninety six in Idaho, Michael had did Idaho in the midnight t nineties. His sisters had the college there and he'd cope produced a short film about people who get obsessed with killers. It's called me Abuja tell when you entered the term, follows its made up. It's a fictional film that parts of it are pretty gruesome and one killer, described in it resembles what happened to Angie
shove interlocutor from the door in stab in the lurch like this is one of the things that the police, saw online, when they were researching me, this, look at this. He makes short films about men, sneaking two houses and murdering young girls. How how and when did they get a sample of your dna? Probably two to three hours, maybe into an walks what turns out to be Louisiana, state Police- and he was a boy very large man seemed like at the time he was seven feet tall in four hundred pounds. He had and mouth swab too late tax gloves and he was walking directly towards
may right from the door and he's like we're. Gonna take your dna now and I backed up, and I went whoa whoa wait a minute. You know when what is this. This is crazy. I should I get a lawyer and he well do you see this war, and that means that you have give your dna to us right now. What the officer said was true, like with any which warrant a judge can sign in order giving police the right to collect your dna. If police can explain to that judge, why you're a suspect IDA? Hopefully said zeroed in on Michael after trying something they never done before putting crimes. In DNA collected from Andrews murder through a genealogical database says his dad gave a dna samples to that database more than a decade ago. The nonprofit organs mission that owned the database had visited the Mormons Church, Michael's dad went to asking people to take part. The mormon fave puts a lot of stock into genealogy because of religious purpose
Mormons believe in identifying dead ancestors who were not members of the church and baptizing them. So the whole family can be together in the afterlife years after I called father gave his sample that genealogical database was sold to ancestry, dot com, I do hope police searched it using dna analysis that less exact than what's used today they found a close match and they got a warrant to make ancestry, give them the name. It was Michael's dad they research, the fan, and honed in on Michael because of his movie and his friends in Idaho. Basically, my father participated in a dna samples collection and enough. Fifteen years later I and being pull then as a suspect in a murder. What struck me about the Ezra case was that this was using it nor law enforcement database, and that struck me as quick,
noteworthy Natalie RAM teaches law at the University of Maryland, and she learned about Michael story in two thousand fifteen. This was the first known time. Police had searched a genealogy database instead of the usual criminal databases created for police Those law enforcement databases may have problems, Natalie says, but at least they have supervision. State labs have to follow specific procedures. Database searches may be limited to certain crimes and the criminal database quotas holds only DNA. Profiles of people who have been arrested or convicted so by law, they ve already lost some privacy rights. By contrast, the consumer genetic databases are comprise primarily of people who have disappeared they're interested in learning more about their dna, but it can tell them about their ancestral origins? What am I tell them about their future genetic medical risks, etc? Pretty personal stuff so personal
says Natalie that consumer dna databases need oversights. Laws when and how police can use them. In her view, it goes back to the basics of the constitution. We have a balance of values between privacy and crimes, often between liberty and crying solving. After off one for could solve lots war crimes if they were able to enter any one's home at any time just because they wanted to. We don't allow that when privacy activists first heard Michael S restoring two thousand fifteen. The criticism was quick and severe: tough enough that ancestry, doc calm cut off public access to the data base where police had found his father, Natalie That was the right move, but people work. In genetic genealogy, say that's wrong. Consume
Dna data bases should be easily available to police. I decide to visit pair of on the company. That's built a business off genetic genealogy Zeiss inherits how hot already did he see. Re CEO, Steve armantrout shows me around headquarters, it's just desks and computer. In a bland office building in the suburbs. They are source other lab work. My eye catches, some small iridescent pieces of plastic on display. We would wish so those are my re scanner chips. What's actually on them. So DNA is washed over these chips. They have probes dna, sticks to the probes and a computer analyzes it. So it's a good the peace of the dna that you reading so whose that don't know she's respond chips? Are our partner lab Somebody's dna turned into art for display when we sit down in his office to talk
Eve, argues that police using genetic genealogy to find a suspect is just like looking for clues on Facebook? What if a cop he says, finds a photo of a suspect with his arm around a victim and he didn't posted his aunt? Did he didn't give his aunt from it? to do that, but she's made an association businesses, These are all around us. Dna is another one and Please use all those associations all the time. The investigation that sort of the heart of what they do so see that this is a lot different, then photographs on Facebook. There to privacy can depend on what choices you make on Facebook, poor with your dna, so points out that when you send in a spit sample or you share, Your dna profile on a commercial website to look for relatives you're, agreeing to the terms of sir ass. As long as people are voluntarily allowing their dna to be searched. I just don't
see where the privacy concerns arise. I asked Natalie about that argument. She's as the voluntarily sharing your dna profile is different. It's true. She says The person sending in their own sample may be fine with police sifting through their genetic connections, but its fundamentally untrue with respect to their genetic relatives whom have never used. One of these consumer genetic services would never want to and are being implicitly made final through this database through new voluntary conduct of their own people, like Michael US right, after police swathed, his cheek in the interrogation room. They took him home, they drop me back on my side walk and that was it. I didn't hear anything from them and on the thirty third day they sent me an email that said, hey, Mr Rush free. Your dna did not match the the sample from
crime scene, something you already knew sorry for the inconvenience your dna will not be used for any other testing purposes. Thank you have a nice day, but he knew Mrs Dna was kept and looked out again, and I know that, because a year and a half ago the ITA who falls police department, sent my saying to this company called Parabolic laughed Idaho police were still looking for an Gees killer last summer. They turn to pare. And genetic genealogy cc more paragons, chief genetic genealogist used the genealogy website, Jed matched to find the man whose dna was at the murder scene. That man confessed he's now in prison. Michael Austria is not But the experience has made him wish he could keep his dna private. This information could be. Used for a lot of different purposes. Wouldn't be terrible if
DNA information was used to persecute and prosecute people that didn't three with them politically. We all think that things like that couldn't happen, and yet we will. We will see it's impossible to now where do in a technology will take us. Hollywood has some ideas. They are going to find but in a place where any cell from any part of your body can betray you. How do you hide welcome to Garriga, but in real life? Here are some signs of where we already are this month, the trumpet straight and launched a pilot programme mandating the collection of dna samples from detained migrants. Those samples will be entered into quotas vastly expanding the FBI's database and
using it to enforce immigration law. They say this complies with the two thousand five law Until now, border police had an exemption, and last September North Dakota prosecutors, far felony conspiracy, charges against a man who protested the Dakota Access pipeline three years ago. They found his d nay, on a cigarette, but at the scene, and they tracked him down because of a past arrest and then there's China, where the government is rounding up, a muslim minority called the weders center. That's that's remarkable number, a million Chinese Muslims in camps, because the chinese government crackdown on them because of their religion. Why is that true Wouldn't be why don't we hear more about it? It's absolutely true. They're collect. The dna of these individuals by the way, as well forcefully and
using potentially american technology to do it. Concerns about police use of DNA have even been raised in the Supreme Court in two thousand and thirteen. The court considered whether it was ok for police to take dna samples, from people who are arrested but not convicted. The now late justice, Antonyms Clia, argued against that this will solve some extra clubs. To be sure, but so we're taking your dna whenever you fly on the on an airplane shore the tea. I must know the identity of the flying public for that matter, taking your children dna when they start public school Scully A lost the argument, the court ruled that police can collect dna if you're arrested Michael US who was never arrested. He was we suspect in the murder of Angie Dodge, but he was so freaked out.
His experience at the police he decided to learn as much as he could about genetic genealogy and about the Idaho killing. Along the way he got drawn into details about Angie her death in her life. She was the youngest of four children a year out of high school when she was killed an online. Tribute her family posted remembers. How is a teenager and you would drive with one hand on the wheel and one foot out the window. Michael's now friends with Andrews mom Carol, Carol, always referred tangier her angel or little angel. The man who killed Angie Brian drips, lived across the street in a small bungalow with a wide front. Porch and police questioned him along with other neighbours after the murder, but they couldn't connected to the crime until they too I'd genetic genealogy two decades later, this makes Michael feel torn Do I want murderers and rapist to be caught and prosecuted? Yes, of course, I do that here
so told Andy's mom about his fears. Ma said Carroll. You know I have to say I'm kind of opposed to this technology. It just scares me to think about the world we are going towards this and both my s case and in the murder of ten event, column Borg and J Cook These normally only get access to these dna databases if private companies, willing to share them with law enforcement. So what happens when those private companies changed their minds? That's next, on ravine from the centre for Investigative, a forty p r exe,
Some of those aspects are already dead, a handful plead guilty and are in prison, but in the case of Tang event, column. We're looking at genetic genealogy, a new crime fighting to that? LISA, using to solve cases that are gone called for decades. The first was the golden state killer. Since that arrest. Nearly two years ago, police have used this technique to find suspects in dozens of violent crimes around the country, and the list is grow. Some of those suspects already dead, a handful plead guilty and are in prison, but in the case of Tang event, column, board and J cook that we heard about at the beginning of the show the accused killer played not guilty and William Talbot became the first criminal suspects identified by genetic genealogy to face trial reveals Emily Harris watch it unfold in the courtroom in every Washington over the summer and just a heads up this story: ass, a graphic details, Williams,
I'll bet, murder trial opens on a mild June morning, a Friday friends and families of the victims, and reporters fill the viewing area of the no frills courtroom jurors take seats. In two owes along one wall from there. They can easily see the judge the prosecutor and the alleged murderer. Talbot has been in custody for more than a year. He hardly move says prosecutor, just in parliament lays out the case against him, centred on his dna. The others in this case will show you. The third one reasonably possible perpetrator of that person, is intolerable tablets. Defence lawyers never contest that his dna match the seamen, samples recovered from clothing and J Van and tenuous body, but public defender Rachel Ford tells the jurors that bad doesn't prove anything except that he intended had sex. They never stopped. You consider that perhaps the person who left the dna was not the martyr
if we were talking about DNA obtained from a murder weapon. Or even DNA obtained from the blanket. It was wrapped around jays by there might be a better, stronger inference at that DNA was related to the killer. The defence never offers jurors a full alternate story. They don't have to press, the heaters have to prove their case? But as I listen in court, I wonder: ok, what really happened so in an interview in Rachel's office, I ask I mean who knows thirty years ago, if someone, live delay lifestyle where they frequently had one night stands with people that you never met again. How would you ever be able to come up with a story about how you met someone that was completely insignificant in the trajectory of your life? Is that what happened
without his lifestyle, then we don't really know Amelia was again. This is all part of the picture that was impossible to reach. Eight. We leave our dna everywhere every day. Thank you all for your service in the trial last three, we the jury deliberate three day we the jury, find the defendant. William Earl tablet, the second guilty of the crime of first rate murder as charged in countless Talbot slump, down at the verdict and whispers. I didn t wait for you. In the end. This jury appeared to accept a positive identification of the DNA. As a positive idea, occasion of the killer tenure and Jays family and friends were thrilled with the verdict its Cecile genetic genealogies power at uncovering criminals, tablets, defence team never tried to discredit
in court, I wanted to know we're cc more. Who worked on this case and many others thinks genetic gene allergies heading. Now, a few weeks after the trial, my reporting partner, Kate, MC man, catches up Assisi and align First Conference in Portland Oregon good afternoon. How're you I'm in a brown and gold ballroom at a red lion, hotel cease, is standing in front of the room with a Powerpoint back projected on a screen behind her. Well, it's always wonderful to be here in the Pacific Northwest the room is filled with cops, intervenes EC scientists and noteworthy a murder, mystery writer. All seated, classroom style wanting to learn trade secrets from Cecy. This is a turning point for farming and America
we ve seen that over the last fifteen months very clearly, I came to this conference thinking. I would find a crowd of detectives eager to join the ranks of Sea Seymour, but that wasn't I found there is also uncertainty. It turns that, along with all its wins, genetic genealogy, has hit some shaky ground. It started with a case of aggravated assault in Centerville Utah in November of when he eighteen, a crime. Bottles among very even police, can comprehend. Why would somebody attacking innocent Seventy one year old female in a church. Plainly, organ police are anxiously, I am the attacker, so they reached out to the owners of Jed match. Remember Jed match is the genealogy website where people can compare dna profiles from different companies but Jed matches terms of service, said police could only search the database in cases of rape and murder. Utah police asked for an exception. Jed match agreed
but the database owners didn't tell their customers, they had changed the rules that created a backlash within the genetic knowledge community, so Jed match change their policy again. This I am swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction. It completely cut off access to police unless customer specifically opted in over night long Harassment lost access to all one million or so genetic profiles on Jed match. Since then, people have started. Opting back in Cecy explains the current status. The class. So we only have about a hundred thousand profiles to compare against now, which is a huge blow, obviously but it doesn't mean that cases are unworkable. It's just a lot harder. After theses talk, No, what police think about all this, and are you also in law enforcement? Would you mind chuck percent as a detective in Oregon. He tells me police need to be careful about how they
use genetic genealogy, so they don't lose it once we start using some. Maybe legal, but not necessarily savory techniques to get information and there I think, that's what we're gonna start having problems when it comes to mind, an example. I'm not really found other submitting the anonymous profiles for that individual side, so that would be like Crimson DNA is put up onto ancestry, but it's not disclosed that its law enforcement that posted it there I see that can be done. I have but I guarantee you if, if it's possible, somebody is trying to do. In fact something like this has been done in the way We first case using genetic genealogy to catch a killer. The alleged golden state killer investigators created an alias too. Reveal themselves is law enforcement. Then they applauded
the Indiana into a genealogy site and found a relative. Baker to away from her overzealous agency before they decide that they're not open. Law enforcement one person you'd like to see genetic genealogy taken away from police is Maryland. Legislator named Charles said, nor we need to promote our brain. Look at was going Charles believes its wrong for innocent people to be scrutinised by police for no other reason than sharing dna found at a crime scene. It's no suspicion that law enforcement, it s about us. Yet we are now court and this dna drag. So almost as if we have turned the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty on its head? In fact he's sound
Instead, he wouldn't even wanna, let it help his own family cousin. You shot and killed him in Baltimore and This day think cases been resolved. On a fine now by going through Jed Match and letting the police come through other people's dna. Now now, too much constitutional collateral damage. Charles is mistrustful of code. As that National Criminal DNA Data base because it holds a disproportionate number of minorities dna and he points to police overreach as why they should not have access to the much more powerful consumer dna databases when they look enter my dna there. Looking at my parents they looking at my children,
January last year he tried to get a bill through the Maryland legislature to ban police searches in these databases, but the bill failed. Then, in September the federal government stepped in The Justice Department announced an interim policy on genetic genealogy. That's expected to be finalized this year. It says, for example, that genetic genealogy can't be a short cut for cops. They need to try other investigative tools. First, and it says dna samples must have a clear connection to the crime. It can't be just any dna found at the crime scene. Parable calls this new policy well reasons, and well researched, nothing that would slow or stop business. Even professor Natalie RAM, who advise Charles did nor likes parts of it. If forensic genetic genealogy is here and here to stay, then this policy is a very first good caught at what appalled
You should look like, but she's against a new power. This gives to local prosecutors. They can use genetic genealogy to investigate any attempted violent crime, not just rape, murder, and she doesn't like that. Private companies still get to define what crimes policing use this for one company family tree DNA is marketing itself. As the dna service, people should use to healthcare, killers? There is more dna available, a crime scene in any other evidence. If you are one of the millions of people who have taken a dna test, your help can provide the missing link. You don't have to buy, and just last month a new website, dna solves dot. Com was launched with a similar mission within days either. Bigger news Jed match, which has over a million profiles, was bought out by a for private company called Berrigan. The new ceo wants it serve as a molecular eye witness to help solve violent crimes.
Called Natalie RAM to get her take on this new forensic genealogy marketplace. Well, I think we closer than ever to moving backwards into a national dna database, and I mean by that is not that there will be something owned by I, the: U S, government that will have a dna profile for every single american or person who is residing within. U S. Borders on file, when I mean is that any one in the United States will be identified of all through the DNA of Saddam Genetic relative back in every Washington detective, Jim Sharp is still Cited about the promise of genetic genealogy, he solved the murders of tenure, Vampire Limburg and J Cook and was planning to retire, but this powerful-
new way of catching criminals is keeping him on the force. I was a little boy I wanted to do- was help people and put them. Guys into Why would I retire when I got this opportunity? I'm not finished. As for the man, detective sharp arrested for double murder of William Talbot he's appealing his conviction. Our show today was co produced by keeping man a journalist based in poorly and reveals Emily hairs. Tacky tell the neatest edited We show, thanks to Seattle, public radio station k you oh w, for their help with trotting production. Manders moody in a wholesome original score and sound designed by the dynamic dual J Breezy, Miss Briggs, Fernando my man, you router that help this week from the g by me and Amy Mustafa r C Eels Chris Sharper
Thompson is our editor in chief executive producers Kevin solving our theme, music is by camaraderie lightning support for reveals, provided by the leaving David Logan Foundation, the John Dene, carefully Macarthur Foundation, the janitor looking family foundation, the fourth foundation, the Housing Simons Foundation, the democracy, fine and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal is a co production of centre for investigative reporting. It p r x amount lesson and member. There is always more to the story.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-25.