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posted by takyon on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the year-of-the-snitch dept.

The Associated Press and the Everett Washington HeraldNet carry a story about a 30 year old double murder solved using Public Genealogy Sites similar to the Golden State Killer story carried here on SoylentNews.

Deaths of two Canadian visitors shopping in the Seattle area were unsolved since 1987.

The deaths remained a mystery for more than 30 years, until DNA led to a major breakthrough. A genealogist, CeCe Moore, worked with experts at Parabon NanoLabs to build a family tree for the suspect, based on the genetic evidence recovered from the crime scenes. They used data that had been uploaded by distant cousins to public genealogy websites. They pinpointed a suspect, Talbott, a trucker living north of Sea-Tac International Airport.

Police kept him under surveillance until a paper cup fell from his truck in Seattle in early May. A swab of DNA from the cup came back as a match to the evidence that had waited 30 years. Before then, Talbott had never been considered a suspect. Days later he was in handcuffs.

This time the police used Parabon NanoLabs (more well-known for generating facial models from mere samples of DNA) to build a family tree of the killer by submitting the 30 year old crime scene DNA samples to multiple genealogy sites.

Results from those sites were combined by a Parabon genealogist to map the family of distant cousins found in those data bases. Police were then able to narrow down the list using other methods unmentioned.

Neither article mentions if any family members were stalked by police while being eliminated as suspects, or whether any samples were submitted by other family members.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:57PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @07:57PM (#694334)

    This is one of those new areas in forensics and law enforcement where I feel like the cure is going to quickly get worse than the disease.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:10PM

      by frojack (1554) on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:10PM (#694336) Journal

      When they ask you for a DNA sample for exclusionary purposes you can bet it's going straight into a national database even when it does in fact exclude you.

      Because, surely if your third cousin was a rapist, you must be too. /Sarcasm

      So far police have been quite sensitive to the potential for abuse, but they've also been very circumspect about exactly what level of invasive or coersive investigation methods are employed. We've learned to be suspicious when police start keeping methodology secret.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday June 18 2018, @08:26PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday June 18 2018, @08:26PM (#694690) Homepage
      But how can you be doubful of a companies suh as those who are "more well-known for generating facial models from mere samples of DNA"? Everything they output is guaranteed to be 100% reliable, double pinkie promise.

      I bet you every time they've generated a model that's impressed anyone, they already had a related photo to work from.

      Me, cynical?
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:47PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:47PM (#694344)

    So, if I have a family member who committed a crime, and I want to turn them in without going to the police, I could just submit my DNA to one of those genealogy labs and just wait for science to run its course?

    • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:59PM

      by Arik (4543) on Sunday June 17 2018, @08:59PM (#694349) Journal
      Assuming the crime is one that's high enough profile someone is still working it, and that there is DNA evidence available for comparisons, then yes, that could conceivably work.

      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:14PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:14PM (#694350)

      Are you related to Trump?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:49PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:49PM (#694373)

        No, but I was unaware that he left behind DNA. [shudder]

        • (Score: 2) by SpockLogic on Monday June 18 2018, @12:05AM (2 children)

          by SpockLogic (2762) on Monday June 18 2018, @12:05AM (#694378)

          Stormy, do you have a blue dress?

          --
          Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:49AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @09:49AM (#694458)

            Define have

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday June 18 2018, @03:45PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @03:45PM (#694548) Journal

              HAVE: (noun) one of two parts when something is divided in two.

              --
              With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Monday June 18 2018, @11:13AM

      by looorg (578) on Monday June 18 2018, @11:13AM (#694481)

      I guess that could be a way to do it. But are these "active cases" or "cold cases" (I'm guessing cold once since it was a unsolved murder in 1987) that are getting solved by getting data from genealogy databases so if you think a crime was committed now it might not help much. I just hope this won't mean that police be getting lazy and just starting to trawling genealogy sites for clues instead of normal work. I don't believe this will have a deterrence effect on murderers either, it's to far fetched and many steps of thinking ahead to probably have an effect (as in can't murder billy bob cause some day way into the future some potential offspring might submit dna to a website and they'll track it back to me ...)

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:45PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17 2018, @09:45PM (#694353)

    Visitors to Kuwait get their DNA collected at the airport when they arrive. Everybody living there has their DNA collected, not just babies like in California.

    I'm sure it helps. I suppose the really offensive part of the deal is that it is just decided by the people in charge; this is the sort of tradeoff that ought to be put to a vote.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by captain normal on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:18PM (9 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:18PM (#694366)

      Of course you're an AC. Trying pass of a baldfaced lie as as fact.

      --
      Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
      • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:54PM (8 children)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Sunday June 17 2018, @11:54PM (#694374) Homepage Journal

        They call it SoylentNews because it's about the news. Discussion about the news. But you go, "oh, that's a lie!" just because you didn't hear a certain story in the news. And that's a terrible discussion. Sad! foxnews.com/travel/2016/04/21/kuwait-to-test-tourists-dna-before-letting-them-into-country.html [foxnews.com]

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Monday June 18 2018, @12:32AM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday June 18 2018, @12:32AM (#694381) Journal
        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by captain normal on Monday June 18 2018, @05:18AM (5 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Monday June 18 2018, @05:18AM (#694429)

          I was really referring to "Everybody living there has their DNA collected, not just babies like in California"
          But as pointed out below if you get all you so called facts from Faux News, You are headed into a very rude awaking sooner or later.

          --
          Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
          • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Monday June 18 2018, @08:11AM (2 children)

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Monday June 18 2018, @08:11AM (#694449) Homepage Journal

            Wow, you say a lot of VERY DUMB things. And "people" love you for it. That's very special. The headline says tourists. And possibly that's as far as you got. The story says "citizens, temporary residents and tourists." Anonymous Coward said "everybody living there." Same difference!!!!

            • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by DannyB on Monday June 18 2018, @03:55PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 18 2018, @03:55PM (#694553) Journal

              Trump can take comfort that God can use even a total and complete jackass. See story in Numbers 22 [biblehub.com] at verse 21.

              However history and experience makes an occurrence of God using a jackass appear highly unlikely. We're skrooowed.

              --
              With modern TVs you don't have to worry about braking the yolk on the back of the picture tube.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:00PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:00PM (#694644)

                God told Pat Robertson to run for President but then didn't tell anyone to vote for him. At least God has a sense of humor.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @04:03PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @04:03PM (#694559)

            That user account is a complete troll and just makes up bullshit, stop replying to it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18 2018, @07:03PM (#694646)

    Neither article mentions if any family members were stalked by police while being eliminated as suspects, [...]

    Or in more reasonable terms "if family members were staked out or followed while being eliminated as suspects," which is only stalking in the minds of extreme Libertarians, or if the police are engaged in extra-legal activities.

    You might as well say "Neither article mentions if family members were abducted by UFOs while being eliminated as suspect, or whether cattle mutilations were up" for all the relevance it has.

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