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posted by takyon on Friday April 27 2018, @12:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the your-DNA,-please dept.

The Orange County Register reports:

[...] one of California's most prolific serial killers and rapists was caught by using online genealogical sites to find a DNA match, prosecutors said Thursday. Investigators compared the DNA collected from a crime scene of the Golden State Killer to online genetic profiles and found a match: a relative of the man police have identified as [the suspect, who was arrested.]

[...] Authorities didn't give the name of the site, one of many, like Ancestry and 23andMe, that allow people to send in their DNA and find long-lost relatives. [...] Contacted Friday, representatives of both Ancestry and 23andMe.com said the sites weren't involved in the case.

takyon: Also at NYT, The Sacramento Bee, NPR, and CNN, which added:

When police announced they had finally caught the Golden State Killer, Bruce Harrington had a simple message for the politicians who fought his tireless efforts to expand the California's criminal offender DNA database. "You were wrong," he said.

Harrington, whose brother and sister-in-law were killed in 1980, spent years in front of public safety committees, pleading with them to embrace DNA technology. "And frankly I ran into a buzz saw of opposition."

Many state elected officials and rights groups fiercely opposed any attempt by the state to expand its DNA collection database. Critics cited the privacy rights of people in police custody and questioned the constitutionality of allowing the state to gather DNA samples without evidence of guilt.

In 2004, California voters passed Proposition 69, known as the "DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act." It gave the state broader powers to collect DNA. Now, it could get samples from anyone not just convicted of a felony, but even arrested for one. In some cases, authorities could also collect DNA from misdemeanor arrests.

Say goodbye to your genetic privacy. We have killers to catch.


Original Submission

Related Stories

DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest 19 comments

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/02/us/golden-state-killer-unsealed-warrants/index.html

When the suspected Golden State Killer drove into a Hobby Lobby parking lot in April, investigators were waiting nearby. As he walked into the craft store, it gave them a perfect chance to collect a secret DNA sample.

Police swabbed the driver's side handle of [the suspect's] car, according to arrest and search warrants released Friday.

Authorities sent it for testing and matched it to semen recovered at some of the Golden State Killer's crime scenes, the arrest warrant said.

[...] The stop at the Hobby Lobby was just one of several ways investigators used to zero in on a suspect. Earlier this year, police tracked him down by comparing genetic profiles from genealogy websites to crime scene DNA, according to investigators.

On April 23, a day before his arrest, police say they collected multiple samples from a trash can outside DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights, a town 16 miles northeast of Sacramento. They had watched the home for three days, the warrant said.

Previously: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"


Original Submission

'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder 13 comments

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

'Martyr of the A10': DNA leads to France arrests over 1987 murder

French police have arrested a couple 31 years after their daughter was found dead, in a cold case revived through DNA evidence. The mutilated body of the child, named by police as Inass, was found by a motorway in central France in 1987. The parents were traced after the DNA of their son, tested in an unrelated case, was matched with that of the girl, French media report.

[...] In 2008, her DNA was formally identified, and the related information registered in a national genetic prints database. However no identification was made at that stage. The case was reopened in 2012 when a call for witnesses was released with a picture of the dead girl's face and the caption: "Who is she?"

The apparent breakthrough in the case happened when a man was arrested over a violent incident in 2016. His DNA reportedly identified him as the victim's brother. Months of investigation then led police to the parents.

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree


Original Submission

Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website 44 comments

Murder suspect due in U.S. court after DNA cracks open 1988 case

A 59-year-old Indiana man will be formally charged on Thursday with the 1988 murder of an eight-year-old girl after the decades-old cold case was cracked open by DNA evidence linked to a genealogical website, authorities said on Tuesday.

John Miller of Grabill, Indiana, was arrested in nearby Fort Wayne on Sunday after DNA evidence and records on publicly accessible genealogical websites helped investigators track him down. Investigators followed a pattern similar to that used to track down the "Golden State Killer" in California earlier this year.

Miller on Monday was preliminarily charged with murder, child molestation and confinement of someone under 14 years old, 30 years after eight-year-old April Tinsley was found dead in a ditch. He has been ordered held without bond.

If you don't hand over your DNA, you want child murderers to frolic in freedom.

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder
DNA Methylation Can Reveal Information About Criminal Suspects


Original Submission

Public Ancestry Data Can be Used to Narrow Down the Identity Behind an Anonymous DNA Sample 22 comments

We will find you: DNA search used to nab Golden State Killer can home in on about 60% of white Americans

If you're white, live in the United States, and a distant relative has uploaded their DNA to a public ancestry database, there's a good chance an internet sleuth can identify you from a DNA sample you left somewhere. That's the conclusion of a new study, which finds that by combining an anonymous DNA sample with some basic information such as someone's rough age, researchers could narrow that person's identity to fewer than 20 people by starting with a DNA database of 1.3 million individuals.

Such a search could potentially allow the identification of about 60% of white Americans from a DNA sample—even if they have never provided their own DNA to an ancestry database. "In a few years, it's really going to be everyone," says study leader Yaniv Erlich, a computational geneticist at Columbia University.

The study was sparked by the April arrest of the alleged "Golden State Killer," a California man accused of a series of decades-old rapes and murders. To find him—and more than a dozen other criminal suspects since then—law enforcement agencies first test a crime scene DNA sample, which could be old blood, hair, or semen, for hundreds of thousands of DNA markers—signposts along the genome that vary among people, but whose identity in many cases are shared with blood relatives. They then upload the DNA data to GEDmatch, a free online database where anyone can share their data from consumer DNA testing companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry.com to search for relatives who have submitted their DNA. Searching GEDMatch's nearly 1 million profiles revealed several relatives who were the equivalent to third cousins to the crime scene DNA linked to the Golden State Killer. Other information such as genealogical records, approximate age, and crime locations then allowed the sleuths to home in on a single person.

Even if you can convince your entire immediate family to not use these services, you could still be vulnerable. And the success rate is likely to climb over time for all racial groups. Maybe the tests could be subsidized to get more of the population to give up the goods.

Also at LA Times

Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
'Martyr of the A10': DNA Leads to France Arrests Over 1987 Murder
Indiana Murder Suspect Found by Using Genealogical Website


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Virindi on Friday April 27 2018, @12:30PM (13 children)

    by Virindi (3484) on Friday April 27 2018, @12:30PM (#672563)

    Investigators compared the DNA collected from a crime scene of the Golden State Killer to online genetic profiles and found a match: a relative of the man police have identified as [the suspect, who was arrested.]

    Lesson: you can be as paranoid as you want, but other people in your life will still betray you. Whether it is sending DNA to Big Brother, or tagging you in Facebook pictures, it only takes a certain percentage of the population to gather data on the entire population. So "voluntary" reporting is enough to follow everyone.

    Something to think about the next time a story comes out about the evil acts of some big data project, and some argue that it is no big deal because it is all voluntary*.

    *Yes, I also make this argument from time to time.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @12:44PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @12:44PM (#672564)

      this was a serial killer.
      if the same methods are used in a case where politicians try to expose immoral (but legal) acts by other politicians, then it's a problem (and I guess this is the sort of situation you have in mind).

      you need to know whether a warrant was obtained in this case to sift through the data.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Virindi on Friday April 27 2018, @01:12PM (2 children)

        by Virindi (3484) on Friday April 27 2018, @01:12PM (#672574)

        I understand that the person in this case is likely* the worst type of human trash that there is. And that is always how precedent is set; when people want to expand the scope of the law or practice, they always use it first on the most unlikable people.

        *Though this is not proven yet. And DNA evidence also has issues that courts completely ignore out of convenience.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:51PM (#672595)

          The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
          H. L. Mencken
          US editor (1880 - 1956)

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @05:22PM

          by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @05:22PM (#672662) Journal

          they always use it first on the most unlikable people.

          Exactly, and there is always some useful idiots around to justify and excuse that.

          Why is is that anyone who gets busted for the smallest of crimes gets DNA swabbed, but police officers licensed to carry and use deadly weapons appear in NO DNA DATABASE?

          Was there a court order allowing the police to search these databases?

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:01PM (#672578)

      Something like this may give more cause for pause, if a loved one can end up taken by the cops because you divulged your DNA.

    • (Score: 1) by nimbius on Friday April 27 2018, @04:51PM (3 children)

      by nimbius (6088) on Friday April 27 2018, @04:51PM (#672653)

      disclosure: i work in biomedical sciences and abhor "DNA" evidence as the sole determinant of a crime.
      Ancestry and 23andMe are not performing DNA tests at the level of research scientists. Further, crime scenes are riddled with frequent and damning contamination or errors that rule collected evidence inadmissible in court. Often times these contaminations take place at the very lab that is charged with identifying and classifying the DNA in the first place. without independent audit, the evidence found is no better than baseless hearsay. Most state labs that test DNA are backlogged nearly an entire year, and are often indistinguishable from a community college chemistry lab. The funding has never materialized for competent, reliable DNA testing by the state.

      "voluntary" reporting is enough to follow everyone.

      not even. this isnt the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, and in the case of someone who takes precautions to avoid social media most investigators have lost even the cursory ability to link them to a crime without a CCTV and the all mythical DNA. If the criminal isnt generous enough to carry a cell phone, most modern perpetrators enter into a plea deal, or see the charges reduced or dropped. Ted Kazinski evaded the FBI for nearly 20 years by assuming a low profile, and it wasnt until he became an evangelist to a cause that he got caught. point being: you can avoid most forms of casual surveillance from the state by simply being a bit more observant about your personal life and privacy.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @05:44PM

        by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @05:44PM (#672674) Journal

        "voluntary" reporting is enough to follow everyone.

        not even. this isnt the six degrees of Kevin Bacon,

        The person who actually was fingered by the DNA match was a distant relative. But hundreds of hits were generated in these commercial databases.

        Law enforcement sources told The Times that information from the websites dramatically reduced the the size of their search. Eventually they narrowed the investigation to several families listed in the database, with a pool of about about 100 men who fit the age profile of the killer, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

        (source) [latimes.com]

        This was further narrowed down by unspecified means, and finally they followed this rapist-murderer around till he discarded something with DNA on it for a much better match against samples collected at several very old murder and rape scenes.

        So YES, it IS EXACTLY like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, with all the degrees residing in your family.
        Siblings, cousins, children, grand-children, parents, etc.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday April 27 2018, @08:51PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday April 27 2018, @08:51PM (#672788) Homepage Journal

        Doctor Ted Kaczynski

        FTFY

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by pdfernhout on Saturday April 28 2018, @02:56AM

        by pdfernhout (5984) on Saturday April 28 2018, @02:56AM (#672893) Homepage

        Supporting your point on contamination from DNA "transfer": https://www.wired.com/story/dna-transfer-framed-murder/ [wired.com]
        "... In a sense, this isn't surprising: We leave a trail of ourselves everywhere we go. An average person may shed upward of 50 million skin cells a day. Attorney Erin Murphy, author of Inside the Cell, a book about forensic DNA, has calculated that in two minutes the average person sheds enough skin cells to cover a football field. We also spew saliva, which is packed with DNA. If we stand still and talk for 30 seconds, our DNA may be found more than a yard away. With a forceful sneeze, it might land on a nearby wall.
            To find out the prevalence of DNA in the world, a group of Dutch researchers tested 105 public items—escalator rails, public toilet door handles, shopping basket handles, coins. Ninety-one percent bore human DNA, sometimes from half a dozen people. Even items intimate to us—the armpits of our shirts, say—can bear other people's DNA, they found.
            The itinerant nature of DNA has serious implications for forensic investigations. After all, if traces of our DNA can make their way to a crime scene we never visited, aren't we all possible suspects?
            Forensic DNA has other flaws: Complex mixtures of many DNA profiles can be wrongly interpreted, certainty statistics are often wildly miscalculated, and DNA analysis robots have sometimes been stretched past the limits of their sensitivity.
            But as advances in technology are solving some of these problems, they have actually made the problem of DNA transfer worse. Each new generation of forensic tools is more sensitive; labs today can identify people with DNA from just a handful of cells. A handful of cells can easily migrate.
            A survey of the published science, interviews with leading scientists, and a review of thousands of pages of court and police documents associated with the Kumra case has elucidated how secondary DNA transfer can undermine the credibility of the criminal justice system's most-trusted tool. And yet, very few crime labs worldwide regularly and robustly study secondary DNA transfer.
            This is partly because most forensic scientists believe DNA to be the least of their field's problems. They're not wrong: DNA is the most accurate forensic science we have. It has exonerated scores of people convicted based on more flawed disciplines like hair or bite-mark analysis. And there have been few publicized cases of DNA mistakenly implicating someone in a crime.
            But, like most human enterprises, DNA analysis is not perfect. And without study, the scope and impact of that imperfection is difficult to assess, says Peter Gill, a British forensic researcher. He has little doubt that his field, so often credited with solving crimes, is also responsible for wrongful convictions.
          "The problem is we're not looking for these things," Gill says. "For every miscarriage of justice that is detected, there must be a dozen that are never discovered.""

        --
        The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday April 27 2018, @05:51PM (2 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday April 27 2018, @05:51PM (#672681) Journal

      That's why I don't understand the collective "Meh" in response to the Cambridge Analytica thing. You've got to be pretty naive to think FB only sold data about people who agreed to the TOS...

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @07:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @07:02PM (#672735)

        The collective meh is in the context of the theory that the CIA/DNC are putting forward. Sorry we're not getting riled up about your scapegoat. She lost. Please get over it before you start World War 3. Pretty please. With sugar on top.

        If the context is privacy invasion in general, then we'll get riled up about Cambridge Analytica along with all the rest.

        However, if the DNC ever wants to start moving back to the left instead of pursuing an increasingly anti-democratic right-wing agenda,... well, I find myself eternally hopeful for many things that I know will never happen.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @08:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @08:53PM (#672789)

        They use social media to measure the effectiveness of their marketing

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday April 27 2018, @06:44PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:44PM (#672722) Homepage

      No, the lesson is that you fundamentally do not have privacy; the laws of physics do not allow it, in the same way that DRM is futile for long-term "protection" of copyrighted works.

      In order to keep something secret, it cannot be accessible by anyone, possibly including yourself. "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead." Physics does not have private variables; even the smallest thing can be a leak, and once leaked, information is free.

      Fighting for privacy is a perfect example of a Promethean task. I think privacy is valuable, but ultimately unsustainable.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 27 2018, @02:45PM (18 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 27 2018, @02:45PM (#672591) Journal

    DNA collection laws have captured a serial killer! Let's expand the laws, and see what else we can catch! I'm so breathless with anticipation! I mean - DNA evidence can never be wrong, right? It can never be misused, right?

    Funny the same logic isn't applied to guns. "OH, Old Lady Bancroft scared off a burglar with her pistol! Let's get everyone a pistol!" Nope, the old woman is likely to be sent to jail for possession of an unregistered firearm.

    • (Score: 2) by Spamalope on Friday April 27 2018, @02:54PM (8 children)

      by Spamalope (5233) on Friday April 27 2018, @02:54PM (#672596) Homepage

      Serial killer barber, collects the hair of customers he doesn't like and scatters some at the crime scenes! What could go wrong?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:58PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @02:58PM (#672601)

        Easy to distinguish hair cut from hair that fell out.

        And why a barber? In situations where fences make better neighbors (and there are millions) I would worry more from that neighbor than a barber. Assuming this was a good method. It isn’t.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @05:47PM

          by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @05:47PM (#672677) Journal

          It actually IS a good method.

          First thing a barber does is run a comb through your hair. He gets several hairs with roots still attached. Golden.
          Same as on your hair brush, easily spotted by prowling neighbor.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 27 2018, @02:58PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 27 2018, @02:58PM (#672603) Journal

        That's an awesome idea. I really like it. I think I'll start working on my barber's license.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @07:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @07:54PM (#672757)

          ︻╦══╤─

          Is your sig a super soaker?

          *grin*

      • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Friday April 27 2018, @04:44PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday April 27 2018, @04:44PM (#672644)

        Except now all that random DNA collected at the crime scene has one thing in common.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:34PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:34PM (#672668)

        Won't work anyway. They need the hair root to DNA test, so cut hair is useless.
        Although, if you leave enough of it you could confuse the investigators a bit.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @03:27PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @03:27PM (#672612)

      Alleged. Alleged serial killer.

      I agree with you in principle, but every time people jump to the crime like it's decided, we reduce the ability for our court system to do its job. Let's please not try people for murder in the court of public opinion. There's no direct DNA evidence here, and as you say DNA is not foolproof.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 27 2018, @03:38PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 27 2018, @03:38PM (#672617) Journal

        But, the court of public opinion is the only court in which I have a voice! What are you, a heretic?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:27PM (#672663)

        There's no direct DNA evidence here

        I thought there was. They got a clue to a person via the DNA submission, then searched his relatives' garbage to find DNA samples until they got a match.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @06:00PM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:00PM (#672688) Journal

        here's no direct DNA evidence here,

        You need to read more closely.

        He raped and murdered people for decades. Plenty of samples from plenty of crime scenes all pointing to one source.

        Once they got it narrowed down to him, they followed him around till he discarded something with his DNA on it. BANG: Direct DNA Evidence.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:53AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:53AM (#672873)

          Allegedly.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @12:57AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @12:57AM (#672866)

      snowball.

      Think about how long it took Germany to round up the Jews, the Romas, the Gays, the Socialists, and any other group that they considered societal undesireables. Now thing how long it would have taken them if they had a nice convenient database of social media posts, combined with DNA, so you can not just purge a specific undesirable individual, but their entire bloodline going forward or backward as far as is necessary to get your 'perfect members of society' or 'Ubermensch' individuals working towards the perfect 'Aryan' race.

      And that is ignoring the pragmatic approach, that we are soon going to have far less unskilled jobs to soak up the mentally incapable/uneducated amongst us when automation and machine learning reach full swing, leaving large swaths of the population as an unnecessary economic risk to the 'productive classes' status quo.

      Any way you look at it, these DNA databases WILL fall into the wrong hands, and when they do the current genocides in the world will pale in comparison to the targetted ethnic cleasing that 'civilized' society will be capable of, whether among its own individuals, or those of undesirable foreign lineage.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:59AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:59AM (#672875)

        Adolf Hitler may have had Jewish and African roots, DNA tests have shown

        Saliva samples taken from 39 relatives of the Nazi leader show he may have had biological links to the “subhuman” races that he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust.

        (source [telegraph.co.uk])

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @11:53AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @11:53AM (#672977)

          Do you really think hypocrisy matters to people who think like that? Black and white thinking is a sign of delusion unless you're talking about math. Pointing out the logical errors only makes them double down on dumbass.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @05:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @05:28PM (#673827)

      Indeed. Today it's a killer, tomorrow it's a dissident.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by captain normal on Friday April 27 2018, @03:45PM (1 child)

    by captain normal (2205) on Friday April 27 2018, @03:45PM (#672620)

    Just now having morning coffee and turned on TV. CBS news was on and before I could switch it they announced the that the FBI simply sent the DNA data to GED Match.com. a free site for people seeking long lost relatives.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=GED+Match.com&oq=GED+Match.com&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.7575j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 [google.com]

    --
    When life isn't going right, go left.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @06:03PM

      by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:03PM (#672689) Journal

      So obtained under false pretenses? This could STILL get tossed out.

      And its going to be hard to argue they would have discovered it anyway, since decades went by with no success.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday April 27 2018, @04:04PM (3 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Friday April 27 2018, @04:04PM (#672625) Journal

    The only thing that surprises me about this is that it hasn't happened earlier. It's such an obvious thing to do (although the ethical implications are not obvious).

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Friday April 27 2018, @04:21PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday April 27 2018, @04:21PM (#672634)

      Between the giant commercial databases of DNA, and the idiots who post their crimes on FB and instagram, it looks like we can finally shrink the police budgets while getting more convictions.
      (more convictions being a terrible metric of actual safety)

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @06:13PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:13PM (#672694) Journal

      What surprises me is that a cop's DNA isn't on file. Especially after he was fired from the department for shoplifting.

      Guy licensed to kill you in the street has no DNA on file? Seriously?

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @01:18AM (#672868)

        My mom did a dissertation on him for a Master's, along with a rape victim, who knew all his rape victims through support groups.

        Given that DNA evidence didn't become a major forensics factor until later, I am not surprised his DNA was not on file, since they didn't really know what to do with it yet (even though they had evidence often covered in it dating back to the 50s-60s, some of which was later used to exonerate people who were executed or jailed for crimes they didn't commit.)

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by anotherblackhat on Friday April 27 2018, @04:51PM (4 children)

    by anotherblackhat (4722) on Friday April 27 2018, @04:51PM (#672651)

    So they sent some random DNA to GEDmatch.com and got a "match".
    If the chance of a mistake is a million to one, given there are 7 billion people on the planet, the odds are still 7000:1 in favor of this being a mistake.

    I hope they found some other evidence that this is the right guy.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27 2018, @05:12PM (#672659)

      They did, according to the 4th through 6th paragraphs of the New York Times article.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday April 27 2018, @06:10PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:10PM (#672693) Journal

      So they sent some random DNA to GEDmatch.com and got a "match".

      ALL of their matches were "false positive" but they didn't find the criminal that way. They found some similar positives (well over a 100) that they then had to narrow down.

      Law enforcement sources told The Times that information from the websites dramatically reduced the the size of their search. Eventually they narrowed the investigation to several families listed in the database, with a pool of about about 100 men who fit the age profile of the killer, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      They then confirmed it by matching crime scene DNA to something this guy discarded, cup, can, Kleenex?
      By that time they already had in focused in their radar.

      But how many other people's trash did they dumpster dive into, and how many other crimes did they discover in the process. Parallel Construction Much?

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      • (Score: 2) by anotherblackhat on Friday April 27 2018, @08:36PM

        by anotherblackhat (4722) on Friday April 27 2018, @08:36PM (#672782)

        It still amounts to "we searched billions of people until we found a match"
        Unless the probability of a random person with "matching" DNA is less than 7 billion to 1, the odds are still better that you've got the wrong guy.

        It's possible that their test is that good (I've seen claims of trillions to 1 for DNA evidence) but I'm skeptical.
        I hope that they can find something not DNA related to connect this guy to the crimes they're accusing him of.

    • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Friday April 27 2018, @06:54PM

      by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday April 27 2018, @06:54PM (#672732)

      Those made-up numbers are thought provoking, but the real numbers are too complex to summarize in a sentence. I will make up a process to demonstrate:

      First, there were multiple samples of DNA evidence. Each one of those would have been tested to generate a profile. Those tests each had an error rate (that I will not attempt to guess). Those results were then correlated with each other with a confidence threshold, which is probably arbitrary. Then, that summary DNA profile was compared with the database at GEDmatch, where they have a small sample of the world's DNA. That match must then meet a threshold typical of extended family members (so not exactly arbitrary, this time). Once they have such a match, they identify an expanded pool of relatives that they can check via other means. That was about 100 men.

      To use the standard automotive analogy, they collected DNA, built a Dodge Dart, then threw it at a wall full of dartboards, hit one, then started searching that haystack for the needle they wanted, found it, built another dart, and used that to nail the guy to the wall.

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  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday April 27 2018, @07:55PM (1 child)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday April 27 2018, @07:55PM (#672758) Homepage Journal

    I have no memory of ever meeting him but I have just one happy memory of my mother telling me he was coming to visit

    When I was nine I asked my sister about him: "We don't have a brother Chuck. Do you mean Cousin Chuck?"

    I have always known we had both kinds of Chucks.

    When I was 15 Brother Chuck contacted my father.

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    • (Score: 4, Funny) by stretch611 on Friday April 27 2018, @10:30PM

      by stretch611 (6199) on Friday April 27 2018, @10:30PM (#672817)

      based on DNA samples, "Chuck [wikipedia.org]" died back in Novemeber... ;)

      --
      Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @09:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28 2018, @09:35AM (#672956)

    DNA search for California serial killer led to wrong man [sacbee.com]

    In March 2017, an Oregon City police officer, working at the request of investigators in California, convinced a judge to order a 73-year-old man in a nursing home to provide a DNA sample.

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