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Science Catches Up With 1984 Rape
The Times and Democrat ^ | 4/29/2013

Posted on 04/29/2013 4:17:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway

RICHARD WALKER, T&D Staff Writer(0) Comments It began with a request for a novel. It became a nightmare that would turn into a 29-year mystery.

The woman was working as a clerk in a Summerville bookstore. A 36-year-old married mother of two, she was alone in the shop on the afternoon of Oct. 25, 1984 when a man entered the store. He wanted to know where the mystery section was located.

From that moment, the nightmare began.

During a three and a half day trial that ended Thursday, the woman sat in the same St. George courtroom as the man who whispered taunts in her ear while he brutally raped her.

Then came her turn to take the stand. For 30 minutes she endured both the prosecution’s and defense attorney’s humiliating questions. She testified about the man who posed as a customer and then grabbed money from the register. She told how he forced her to a back room at gunpoint where he raped her repeatedly.

Before her attacker fled, he demanded her wedding ring.

Along with his attorneys, a 47-year-old man sat across the room watching intently as the woman took the court and jury back 29 years, back to that afternoon in 1984, a day she has relived each day since.

For months police had little go on. No camera footage, no witnesses. They had a general description of the attacker: a black male, medium build, young. That was it.

Until 2009.

DNA profiling had been discovered in England just six weeks before the woman’s attack. But it wasn’t bulletproof and certainly wouldn’t stand up in court. But it was getting there.

It would be a couple of years before it would be perfected. It withstood the standards of court in England in 1986. The first case in the United States was in 1987 when a Florida man was convicted of rape based on DNA.

Investigators in South Carolina kept tabs on the Florida trial. In Dorchester County, the woman’s clothing from the day of the rape was sent back to the State Law Enforcement Division to see if DNA testing could be run on it.

SLED agent Ken Bogan was on duty when the sealed evidence arrived. Bogan testified this week that in 1988 South Carolina’s DNA analysis was in its infancy. The state simply did not have the technology yet to create a DNA profile.

Bogan told the jury he knew even then it was only a matter of time. He did not attempt any process, choosing instead to keep the evidence intact for a future time. The clothing and forensic evidence was sent back to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office where it would wait undisturbed in an evidence locker for another 21 years.

In 2009, Sheriff L.C. Knight agreed with his evidence custodian, Lt. Earl Asbell, that several old cases involving DNA should be looked at again. Several were examined for their potential for prosecution. Several were chosen, including the rape case.

The evidence was again sent to SLED. By coincidence, it arrived back in the hands of Bogan, now an expert DNA analyst, who made the decision more than two decades ago to preserve the evidence for the time when it could be done properly.

“He’s able to extract DNA from the undergarments of the victim,” prosecutor Glenn Justis said.

Two DNA profiles were discovered, one belonging to a woman who was later identified through the testing to be the victim. The other is a male, who remained faceless to authorities for more than two decades.

That male DNA profile was put through the national CODIS, or Combined DNA Index System.

“And guess what?” Justis said.

A hit was made in the system. After years of being classified as a cold case, police had a name.

Herbert Leroy Holmes.

A Berkeley County native, Holmes wasn’t hard to find. He was located at Leiber Correctional Institution serving a life sentence. In 1989 he was found guilty of crawling through the window of a 71-year-old grandmother and her 18-year-old granddaughter. He raped them both before fleeing.

Although sentenced to life in prison, Holmes was looking at about 22 years under the law as it existed before state lawmakers passed “truth in sentencing” in 1996.

With his release pending, the 1984 rape case became urgent. For the first time, authorities had a suspect. But he was coming up for parole and could vanish.

In February 2011, Holmes was served with warrants in the 1984 case accusing him of kidnapping and raping the woman in the back of the bookstore.

During the course of the trial, defense attorney Mitch Farley focused on the age of the evidence and the possibility for contamination or even the misplacement of key pieces.

It was up to the prosecution to produce the witnesses, some of whom are now dead. Some just couldn’t be located. The victim had moved out of the state. But the key people surrounding the case 29 years ago were found.

Bogan testified the DNA profile that pointed to Holmes would take 350 billion people before coming back to another match.

A jury spent about an hour discussing the case before declaring Holmes guilty Thursday.

Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein sentenced Holmes to the maximum penalty under pre-1996 law: life in prison for kidnapping and 30 years for rape. That means he’ll be eligible for parole again in about 22 years when he’s 69.

Justis said so many things had to go right for the case to have been successful. The witnesses, the chance of sending off the only evidence samples for comparison, the very decision to send those samples — any one of which could have changed the results.

“The conviction of this rapist is due to the ceaseless tenacity of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department, Ken Bogan and SLED,” he said. “Mr. Holmes has been avoiding responsibility but he couldn’t outrun science.”

Now 65 and with grandchildren, the victim was visibly shaken at the beginning of the trial. But as the week went on, she seemed to gain closure.

“Justice may sleep but it never dies,” the prosecutor said in his closing argument. “The victim’s nightmares and the 29-year-old mystery ends today.”


TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Science
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/29/2013 4:17:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Although there are no pictures here, I have a good idea as to the physical identity of the rapist.

His middle name is Leroy.


2 posted on 04/29/2013 4:21:31 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Jonty30

What is that supposed to mean?


3 posted on 04/29/2013 4:23:39 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Bogan testified the DNA profile that pointed to Holmes would take 350 billion people before coming back to another match.

What does he mean by that?

4 posted on 04/29/2013 4:27:08 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: Jonty30
What I find the most fascinating is the state's reluctance to merely delay the parole hearing for the suspect while he's safely in custody . . . all the pressure is on the prosecution in cold case. They don't get one iota of help from the corrections bureaucracy.
5 posted on 04/29/2013 4:27:23 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: nickcarraway

Thanks for posting. DNA testing not only frees the innocent - it nails the guilty.


6 posted on 04/29/2013 4:27:38 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: wastedyears
The probability that this is not the perp is one in 350 billion based on DNA match.
7 posted on 04/29/2013 4:28:54 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Jonty30
For months police had little go on. No camera footage, no witnesses. They had a general description of the attacker: a black male, medium build, young. That was it.

They had that back then.

8 posted on 04/29/2013 4:29:26 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Ah okay, that’s much easier to understand. Thank you.


9 posted on 04/29/2013 4:30:14 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: Jonty30

Find the following phrase in the article:

“For months police had little go on. No camera footage, no witnesses. They had a general description of the attacker: a...”

Then look at the next word.


10 posted on 04/29/2013 4:31:41 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Jonty30
For months police had little go on. No camera footage, no witnesses. They had a general description of the attacker: a black male, medium build, young. That was it.

I'll leave any further comment to poster #2 to you, but ping me if you need some stats re inter-racial rape.

11 posted on 04/29/2013 4:33:51 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t mean anything personal about it, nor do I mean to make it offensive.

However, the odds the name Leroy belonging to a black man is higher than white.

That’s all.


12 posted on 04/29/2013 4:33:51 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: DuncanWaring

I scanned the article and missed that phrase.

But I didn’t miss the name.


13 posted on 04/29/2013 4:35:13 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Jonty30

If you read the article it states he was identified as Black male at the time the rape happened.


14 posted on 04/29/2013 4:36:31 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: wastedyears

I’m currently writing a research paper for college on DNA evidence. Sorry, no two people share the same DNA except for identical twins. 350 billion people before coming back to another match? me thinks this guy speaks out his arse!


15 posted on 04/29/2013 4:37:22 PM PDT by k4gypsyrose
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To: Jonty30

Yeah, the name is kind of a giveaway.

At least it was a little more ambiguous than Da’quantrious.


16 posted on 04/29/2013 4:38:41 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: wastedyears

Another way to put it is: the entire population of the earth would have to be replaced about 45 times before the same DNA sequence arose I.e. he’s the perp.


17 posted on 04/29/2013 4:47:32 PM PDT by Timocrat (Ingnorantia non excusat)
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To: Jonty30
However, the odds the name Leroy belonging to a black man is higher than white.

Zero's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to require lenders of car loans to use your technique to ensure we have another financial crisis too good to waste.

18 posted on 04/29/2013 4:49:28 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Jonty30

To quote from the above report,

“They had a general description of the attacker: a black male, medium build, young, .....”


19 posted on 04/29/2013 4:56:06 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: k4gypsyrose
Sorry, no two people share the same DNA except for identical twins. 350 billion people before coming back to another match? me thinks this guy speaks out his arse!

It's because they're not comparing the whole genome, only enough to ensure an extremely low likelihood of a false positive.

20 posted on 04/29/2013 4:59:04 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: nickcarraway
That means he’ll be eligible for parole again in about 22 years when he’s 69.

And if it were me, I would be waiting somewhere.

21 posted on 04/29/2013 4:59:19 PM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda¬óDivide and conquer seems to be working.)
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To: Jonty30

You are correct

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43085295/ns/us_news-kidnapping?q=Kidnapping


22 posted on 04/29/2013 5:02:56 PM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (0bama's agenda¬óDivide and conquer seems to be working.)
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To: wastedyears

What does he mean by that?

&&&
This article is just so poorly written....


23 posted on 04/29/2013 5:24:48 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! -Ps80)
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To: Jonty30

No keeding.

His is it I know 5 Larry’s, two of whom are related to me.

Blue eyed devils they are....


24 posted on 04/29/2013 5:30:49 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: nickcarraway
During a three and a half day trial that ended Thursday, the woman sat in the same St. George courtroom as the man who whispered taunts in her ear while he brutally raped her.

I interpreted this as having a suspect already. Why all the fuss trying to identify and track him down again? Or does this mean the perp stood trial in the same courtroom on a totally separate occasion?

25 posted on 04/29/2013 5:52:33 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Fester Chugabrew

Ach. I think I get it, but the author’s use of tense does not make it easy. “The past present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.”


26 posted on 04/29/2013 5:55:24 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: k4gypsyrose
I’m currently writing a research paper for college on DNA evidence. Sorry, no two people share the same DNA except for identical twins. 350 billion people before coming back to another match? me thinks this guy speaks out his arse!

Perhaps you can comment on the following scenario, read a few years ago in a work of fiction.

A DNA sample could not be obtained from a slippery criminal who was a master at leaving false trails, falsely accusing other of his crimes anonymously, but finally busted by the simple expedient of being able to DNA profile a cooperating very close relative (e.g. parent, sibling, cousin, uncle, etc).

Is this actually possible? If nothing else, it would certainly reduce the pool of suspects dramatically.

27 posted on 04/29/2013 6:30:15 PM PDT by publius911 (Look for the Union label, then buy something else.)
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To: publius911

“Finally busted by the simple expedient of being able to DNA profile a cooperating very close relative (e.g. parent, sibling, cousin, uncle, etc).”

You can test the “Mitochondrial” DNA...DNA from the mother’s side of the family, but, I would think you would still need a sample from the defendents DNA first.


28 posted on 04/29/2013 6:44:18 PM PDT by k4gypsyrose
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To: colorado tanker

bttt


29 posted on 04/29/2013 10:48:49 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: nickcarraway

No statute of limitations?

I don’t like SoL’s, for the record


30 posted on 04/29/2013 10:55:29 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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