‘Familial DNA’ Helps Catch Killers and Rapists

Along with your neighborhood watch program and wireless home alarm system you should be comforted to know that there are technologies out there being put to use that help catch the bad guy.

Many of us by now know that a sample of Osama bin Laden’s DNA was used to effectively identify him. But how? They didn’t have his original DNA until his death, but they did have samples from bin Laden’s family members, and scientists were able to match them up and determine they had their man.

This is called Familial DNA.

In Las Angeles police captured a serial killer dubbed “Grim Sleeper”, based on pulling his sons DNA. Prior to the Grim Sleepers arrest, his son was arrested for an unrelated charge. From that arrest they pulled his DNA, and it was a partial match to the DNA found at the crime scenes of his father decades ago. This is called “familial DNA”, like father/son, mother/daughter or twins.

However the son was obviously much too young to commit the crimes that his father did in the 80’s, so detectives searched out his social network and on a hunch determined his father would more than likely be the closest match to the sons DNA. Based on where dad lived in proximity to the murders, dad fit the killer’s profile.

Detectives followed the father to a pizza restaurant and let him finish up then went in and grabbed a few hunks of crust and a drinking glass and did a DNA test on it and they found their match.

Raise your glass to science!!

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing self defense and rape prevention on NBC Boston. Disclosures.