Be Careful What You Throw Away

August 4, 2022
Be Careful What You Throw Away

A Minnesota man was eating a hotdog at a hockey game when he wiped his mouth a with a napkin and tossed the remains in a trashcan.

Authorities had been following him as a suspect in an unsolved murder in 1993. They dug the napkin out of the trash and used the DNA to make the case on Jerry Westrom by the Minneapolis Police Department.

DNA match using an open source ancestry site also nabbed the “Golden State Killer”. Joseph James DeAngelo faces 13 murder charges and 13 additional charges of kidnapping; prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty. The DNA evidence obtained from online ancestry search site GEDMatch, compared familial matches submitted linking him to 13 murders and more than 50 rapes across California in the 1970’s and 1980’s. His trial begins in mid 2019.

More than 15 million people have offered up their DNA to online Genealogy services in recent years, profile large enough to allow 60% of white Americans, the primary users of DNA sites to be identified through the databases.

Researchers believe that 90% of Americans of European descent will be identifiable even if they have not submitted their own DNA.

Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise defended Gerald Carnahan in the Christian County murder case of Jackie Johns in 2016 and he was convicted partially on testimony of one billionth of one gram of DNA. Undercover Highway Patrol followed him to a auto dealership and obtained a coffee cup he had thrown in the trash.

Law enforcement can now tap into the databases of online genealogy services and if you are a potential target of an old crime, you can be followed as police search for DNA sample.


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