Skip to comments.The Strange Case of the 'Time Travel' Murder
Posted on 05/01/2014 11:49:36 AM PDT by nickcarraway
A woman's body is found in London. DNA turns up a hit, yet the suspect apparently died weeks before the alleged victim. Here, forensic scientist Dr Mike Silverman tells the story of one of the strangest cases of his career.
It was a real-life mystery that could have come straight from the pages of a modern-day detective novel.
During the late 1970s... the idea of being able to identify someone from a few tiny drops of blood seemed like something out of science fiction
A woman had been brutally murdered in London and biological material had been found under her fingernails, possibly indicating that she might have scratched her attacker just before she died.
A sample of the material was analysed and results compared with the National DNA database and quickly came back with a positive match.
The problem was, the "hit" identified a woman who had herself been murdered - a full three weeks before the death of her alleged "victim".
The killings had taken place in different areas of the capital and were being investigated by separate teams of detectives.
With no sign of a connection between the two women and nothing to suggest they had ever met, the most "likely" scenario was that the samples had been mixed-up or contaminated at the one obvious place that they had come together - the forensic laboratory. A complaint was made by the senior investigating officer.
It was 1997 and I was the national account manager for the Forensic Science Service at the time, so it was my responsibility to find out if a mistake had been made at the laboratory.
My first thought was that perhaps the second victim's fingernail clipping had been mislabelled and had actually come from the first victim all along.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
London! Ahha! Listen, I’ve always been suspicious of that Dr. Who character. He always has a young woman with him but he changes them like underwear.
Fascinating story — thanks for posting it!
On Second thought...
Maybe the sixth doctor...
Real life Vampirism.
Well, that was an interesting read. Thank you:)
I`ll clip this article as a thumbnail sketch.
Interesting story. I had no idea that DNA testing had become so sensitive.
Actually, it’s frightening in a way when you consider how easily you could be framed for a crime based on DNA evidence planted carefully.
Maybe the victim just has very poor fingernail hygiene.
Maybe we should be the ones walking around in those white paper suits!
A scientist who designed lab methods for DNA analyses once said in an interview, that evidence in police labs is often polluted with careless work. He was ignored by most television viewers in political chatter, because the the O. J. Simpson case was going on back then.
Example: a vial of blood is opened in the lab. Micro-particles are released into the air and propagate throughout the lab.
But then again, I watch waaaaay too many crime/law shows on TV. ;)
We see no time travelers today because we probably destroy ourselves before we develop the technology.
They can get DNA off spent cartridges.
CSI-NY did an episode based on the German/French case with the 40 identical DNA samples turning out to be someone in a factory who manufactured equipment used in collection.