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Catch a Killer With Your DNA


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I'm outlets in July of two thousand eighteen producer Cape McMahon was vacationing with her family and Victoria British Columbia one morning Kate made a discovery that would send her into a yearlong reporting journey so kate. Tell us what happened that morning well I was going for a run and I spotted deer in some woods across cross the road so I decide to follow them to take video with my smartphone for my kids. See the Momma tatty and on a baby fun. I realize I'm standing in this cemetery. One gravestone. I'm standing over totally gives me chills tenure and Kyle embark mark nine hundred sixty nine to nineteen eighty seven. She parts her wings and then she's gone. She was only eighteen years old old. I'm wondering car accident drug overdose in so I take a picture of her grave. What did you take a picture? It was just a moment of feeling like I wanted to put good thoughts out there for this girl's family whoever they were and then something mind-blowing happens later that night I show oh my husband the photo and he says I know that name. I don't believe him. We are in a foreign country. I had followed dear into a random cemetery so I go online and find out he's actually right. Tania's name had been in the news that week and I find out how how she died. She and her boyfriend had been murdered thirty one years before and no one has been arrested until now so what happened to them well. I'M GONNA take us back to the beginning. It's November eighteenth nineteen eighty seven and this young Canadian couple Tanna Vancouver Lindberg and Jay Cooke are taking in their first big trip together alone. It's a short trip just one night away from home there on an errand for Jay's dad who needs them to buy a furnace part in Seattle. I recently retraced their steps. They board the fairy in Victoria Harbor in Jay's Van and head to Port Angeles uh but Kanye and Jay never make it to Seattle they left on a Wednesday and they were to return basically by mid day on Thursday was the expectation and when they didn't return on Thursday. My parents were of the firm view view that there was something wrong. That's Tana's big brother John Van Calemburg meeting him for the first time it strikes me that have tenure had lived. She might night of grown into certain traits like John Courteous Gentle Dutiful I notice a weariness in his eyes though and he fidgets with a water bottle as we talk. John tells me that six days after the couple went missing the police called his family's home they had found the body of a girl in a rural area yeah just north of Seattle and then my father and I had to identify her and which unfortunately was so Tanya yeah so that was that was the dark very dark day. What I'm about to describe is pretty gruesome? The killer had shot tenure in the back of the head execution style. A stranger semen is found on her pants and in her body Jay's as van is found the next day and his body the day after that about seventy miles away from Tanzania in another rural area Jay's head had been beaten didn't he'd been strangled a pack of cigarettes stuffed into his mouth. Were just so many questions no answers. The police couldn't give us any answers. They didn't know what the heck it happened and you know so you just had you know I think in the short term you just kind of gave up. The funeral takes place at the University of Victoria Chapel. There's standing room. Only it was huge attendance. I mean as often it happens. When young people died? I asked John about the epitaph on Tanya's grave that says she parts her wings and then she's gone. There was a lion she'd written in some of her own poetry and in hopes obviously struck my dad is being you know oddly we eerie in one sense of her having left us too soon like that. The case remains unsolved for the next few years in nineteen ninety. It's featured in an episode of America's unsolved mysteries looked story of an innocent young couple dramatic and was shattered battered by a sadistic killer show interviews a Seattle police detective at the time who says surgical gloves were left behind behind by the killer he leaves those behind as a as basically assigned to the police that you didn't look for fingerprints because I wore these gloves and he has confidence. There's nothing that's going to connect him was crying. The story generates no viable leads years peel by the families still have no answers from police then new hope. DNA is taking the place of the fingerprint as law enforcement's most cutting edge tool in one thousand nine hundred ninety four the FBI creates a DNA database called Kotas it contains genetic profiles of people who've been arrested or convicted victims of crimes police can compare DNA. They recovered from crime scenes with this database to identify suspects in ten Jays case police check that code is periodically but never find a match. The case goes cold until two thousand five detective. Jim Sharpe of the snohomish county sheriff's Sheriff's office comes on the scene. This is where we book all of the evidence and I made detective sharp at the evidence room in Everett Washington here luggage into this computer. He likes to go by Jim. He shows me the process of booking evidence using a roll of tape as an example so we're going to look into evidence so we're going to take it and we'd put it in a sack. Jim Seals up the sack race his initials on it and sticks it in the locker. I'm struck by how nine no analog. It all seems shut it. Jim has neatly trimmed Grey Moustache and his eyes are soft in the corners when I asked him about restaurants in Everett. He tells me he usually just goes to Arby's. I glimpse a pistol under his jacket. When he sits down? I was a major crimes detective and we were just getting ready to start the Cole case team. Jim Reopened Tanya Ajay's is cold case and for more than a decade he followed all kinds of leads but like the detective before him never found. DNA match in Kotas then in two thousand seventeen he hears about a new way to use DNA to identify people investigators say they were able to create these sketches of a possible suspect using DNA beano typing dino typing is this revolutionary new forensics technology it takes DNA from an unknown person and creates a computer drawing hiring of what they look like provided information of the person's like hair color eye color complexion the DNA found. Dan Tanna generates three faces of a white man I as he appears at age twenty five with Reddish Brown hair then forty eighty five and sixty five. He has deep facial lines in his going gray to detective SCHARF. It's like staring the killer in the eye for the very very first time the phenotype helps SCHARF is able to vastly shrink the haystack suspects by ruling out people who don't look like the sketch etch but still no DNA match then in April twenty eighteen news from California changes everything in the world of DNA and and crime solving tonight a four decade old search for one of history's most infamous serial killers may be over. We found the needle in the haystack police announcing the capture after a seventy two year old Joseph James Dangelo a man they say is the elusive golden state killer. I'm like WHO's the golden state killer. I've never even heard of this. Kurt Scharf goes online and learns. He's a serial killer and rapist who victimized more than sixty people in the seventies and eighties in northern California. The alleged just golden state killer was found with a mind blowing new forensic technique called genetic genealogy genetic genealogy is using DNA to learn more about someone's family my history and family tree that see Seymour. She's one of the top genetic genealogists in the world. She even appears as the DNA expert on the hit PBS Television Series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Junior. She's a detective with skills that would put sherlock holmes to shame in addition to helping people trace their ancestors. CC uses genetic genealogy to find the living usually adopted searching for their birth parents for any type of human identification nation. There really isn't anything more powerful than DNA and genetic genealogy. There are two main reasons genetic genealogy is so powerful I I because it reaches far beyond the FBI's coast database of convicts and people have been arrested and second incorporates much more genetic data. It's really complicated but here's the gist of it law enforcement uses Kotas to analyze twenty genetic markers genetic genealogy analyzes about eight hundred thousand it can identify very distant relatives and ancestors from generations ago a cast a really wide net but only works if it can access this allies of DNA profiles by twenty eighteen more than twenty five million consumers had added their DNA to the leading ancestry databases but those companies like twenty three and me and ancestry dot com keep each other locked out of their customers customer. Data police are out to unless they get a court order so what was the key in the golden state killer case well. There's this website called Jed match it allows people who get their DNA tested by one company to compare their genetic profile with customers who used other companies. It's sort of like a DNA swap meet and it's open access to the public a few tested at twenty three and me. I was at ancestry DNA we wanted to see if we share DNA we could both applaud to jet match without having to pay for another test typically only serious genealogists use jed match but in the case of the Golden State killer the cops got in and we're able to access about a million users genetic profiles investigators found the Angelo using DNA from crime scenes decades ago which they submitted to a publicly shared shared genealogy website called Jed match it worked so well that Jed match decided to make clear that law enforcement can search it and they put a big notification notification on the homepage of Jed match that said law enforcement used the database were allowing that use that's when Cece and a company called Para Nanna Labs Absalon Opportunity and decided to team up para bond made the computer drawings of the suspects face for detective Scharf he remembers getting a call from the CEO soon soon after the Golden state killer arrest he said well. If you give me written permission I'll upload our DNA profile to Jed match for you for free in other words paragon was offering to plug the DNA file from ten years crime scene into Jed match to try and find a relative of the killer killer so it was uploaded on. I think Friday and I waited no matches. No matches Saturday morning. I woke up in their matches and I got to work on it. The Algorithm points her to people who share DNA with the unknown suspect then the family tree building comes in. I I wanted to understand what it looks like so I asked C. C. to show me in her living room with a view of the Pacific Ocean aw she settles into her workplace the Sofa and opens up her laptop I see graphics pop up of Family Tree with people represented and pink and Blue Blue blocks and all eight hundred thousand genetic markers were compared to everyone else's genetic markers in the database then we get a list of people that share significant amounts of DNA a with that unknown suspect she tells me the top two matches share about three percent of their DNA with the unknown suspect which would mean that their second cousins or similar so that means that my first theory is they share great grandparents with the suspect so I have to figure out who these matches are because sometimes it's not obvious but intended and Jay's case sees very first one that could lead to an arrest. The answer comes quickly in just two hours. She finds the suspect Beck that eluded police for more than three decades. She shows me the path she took through the family tree from those second cousins. She finds a family with four children. One is a son the DNA is pointing to this one person and this is the only other option and so by Monday we communicated located that to detective SCHARF JIM is out walking his little black pug dogs when he gets a message from the CEO of Para Bond to call him. He's got good news and I'm like well. What's a good news and he says well Jim? I've got a name for you. I don't think I I can believe this. You got a name for me. He Goes Yup. We've narrowed it down to one individual. They found his mother's Obituary Varian Mitchell. Mary said that she had three daughters and only one son so it has to be that Sun and I I should can you give me the name and he said it's William Earl Talbot. The second Jim runs Talbot's name through public records finds out where he lives and works but before he can make an arrest SCHARF has to prove Talbot is the exact match to the crime scene. DNA He needs to get saliva sample from him. If you can get a cigarette butt or a Coffee Cup or soda bottle or something that's been in the person's smiles at has their saliva on it. That's a much better source of DNA to know that it's a reliable source what happens next next might sound like a cop show on TV. For several days. Jim's team of Detectives Follow Talbot Scout His workplace a trucking company Lurk work outside his house then while tailing him through Seattle they get a breakthrough and he drove up to the stoplight at Spokane Street and and stopped and for some reason he opened the door of the semi truck and when he did that somebody spotted a White Paper Cup on the street underneath the door and earn like hey I think that fell out of his truck one of the cops dashes out in the middle of traffic and grabs the cup in the street. Now sharp has something he can work with he takes the Cup to the state patrol crime lab and returns the next what's date if you're the results from the DNA supervisor she says Jim she says you have a match so I fight back. The tears and I just screamed we got him. The plan for the arrest arrest is set it goes down in the yard of the trucking company after Talbot gets off work. Detective SCHARF is waiting outside in plain clothes. There are undercover have her agents hiding in black ski masks Swat Gear as backup at about six PM Talbot walked out and I said are you William Talbot. He said yes I said I'm Jim Sharpe from a detective with Sheriff's office I reach out he reaches out shake hands with him. Jim Explains he's investigating being a homicide case and needs to rule out suspects. He tells Talbot he's one of many people on the list he says why don't you come back tomorrow or or the next day and I said well you know we've we've come a long way I says. Can you give me your driver's license so I can check I can see your ID to verify chew and he says I told you who I am so I could see that he was not going to cooperate. I said Okay you're under arrest. Turn around and put your hands behind your back and he says what four I said for first degree murder Uh Jim Arrest Talbot he'd finally cracked the unsolved murder of Tannen Bloomberg and Jay Cooke that had haunted their families families for decades. He Calls Tania's brother John so I remember. He told me that yeah. We've arrested him. John said really and he said Yeah. I said well where is he. He says in the back seat and I'm like what so all of a sudden of three years like here's Jim this great guy. He's in the same vehicle as this guy at this point and I just I remember a chill wind down my spine. I was just like it was just a real moment of realization like holy Akao like there's actually this is really really concrete and yeah it was fantastic so after three decades police arrest a suspect in a murder case that it seemed unsolvable for Tanna and Jay's family members Info police genetic Eddie Genealogy seems like the greatest invention ever for solving crime but some people worry that this powerful tool could be turned into a weapon. Wouldn't it be terrible terrible if our. DNA information was used to persecute an prosecute people that didn't agree with them politically. You're listening to reveal hey buyer Dunkin here reveals engagement reporter. I want to invite you to be part of a group. That's core to what we do. The reveal reveal insiders when we have something big for new that we're working on we sometimes turn to the reveal insiders to get feedback. It's simple to participate and it's tangible way eight to support us to sign up just text the word insiders two four seven four seven four seven. You can stop at anytime and standard rates apply again. Texts insiders two four seven four seven four seven. Thanks from the Center for investigative reporting in P. R. X. VIS is reveal amount letting we're on the trail of a killer today on May eighteen twenty eighteen one day after detective Jim Sharpe Corner William Talbot at work his boss. The Sheriff calls a news conference to announce the arrests good morning and thank you for being here yesterday took into custody a fifty five year olds SEATAC who suspected of the nineteen eighty-seven murders of Jacob so Tanya birth to take the Scharf then steps to the podium to explain how they used genetic genealogy to identify Talbot as a suspect Connecticut Genealogy. We wouldn't be standing here today. And if it's not allowed to be used law enforcement we would've never saw his case right. After Talbot's arrests police around the country start using genetic genealogy and making arrests for three decades. The death of eight-year-old April Tinsley has baffled Indiana investigators but this morning earning who believe they finally saw the murder mystery from the day police picked up talbot to a year later genetic genealogy cracked more than fifty cases of murder murder and rape. That's a rate of more than one a week. Police say they did it. Using genetic genealogy the company ran the then unknown DNA profile through a public database ace and there was a partial match. It says semester should obviously we're not gonNA quit on these cases and my hope is celebrating hope to other families that haven't had a resolve yet most cases years old but some just a few months genetic genealogists more who help Finger William Talbot is convinced her work with police is not just solving crimes is preventing them. I've worked cases that were three months old have really high chance of re offending and even escalating glading and I'm sure there are people that were potentially serial killers that have been or will be stopped because of this would even as police cracked cases faster than they ever thought possible. Some people warned genetic genealogy is moving too fast giving law enforcement too much access to personal information shen and it needs to be reined in now reveals. Emily hairs has been working with reporter. Kate McMahon on today's show and emily picks up this part of the story. One person who believes genetic genealogy needs to be reined in is this man. My name is Michael History live here in New Orleans and work in the film industry down here. It's Sunday morning. I reach Michael on the phone as he's sitting in a small office in his house. He tells me about an encounter sure he had with a precursor of genetic keeney algae back in two thousand fourteen. He was visiting his parents a few hours out of town and I got a call from the police least down here in New Orleans who told me my vehicle matched the description of a hit and run. He knew he wasn't involved. He told the police he'd be happy to chat. He could meet them at his house around to that afternoon. I pulled up at exactly two o'clock and at two one three officers serve were at my door and I have a big ninety pound Labrador and he likes to bark at people at the door so he he was all excited when they came in and within about thirty seconds to a minute they were asking me if I would mind going down onto the station to talk to Michael still has his Labra doodle Bobo you will go and as he left Bobo that day five years ago Oh getting into the back seat of the police car Michael asked one of the officers if they really wanted to talk about a hit and run at that point he said well actually we'd like to talk to you yeah about some other things to just one other thing it turned out a murder. A young woman named Angie Dodge had been raped and stabbed multiple times times in one thousand nine hundred ninety six in Idaho Michael had visited Idaho in the mid nineteen nineties his sisters had gone to college there and and he co produced a short film about people who get obsessed with killers. It's called murder. Obelia told me uh start when you entered the trailer and falls into that it's made up it's a fictional film but parts of it are pretty gruesome and one killing described described in it resembles what happened to Angie shoving her and blocking her from the door and stabbing at the lips like this is one of the things that the police saw online when they were researching me they said look at this he makes short films about men sneaking into houses and murdering young girls. How how and when did they get a sample of your? DNA probably two to three hours. Maybe into in walks what turns is out to be a Louisiana state police. I mean he was a very large man seemed like at the time he was seven feet tall. When four hundred pounds sounds he had a mouth swab to latex gloves and he was walking directly towards me right from the door and he's like we're going to take your DNA now and I backed up and I went whoa whoa wait a minute? You know what what is this. This is crazy. I should I get a lawyer and he said well D C this warrant and that means that you have to give your DNA to us right now what the officer said was true Mike with any search warrant a judge consign an order giving police the right to collect your DNA if police can explain to that judge while you're a suspect Idaho police had zeroed in on Michael after trying something they'd never done before putting crime scene. DNA collected from Angie's murder through a genealogical database Michael says his dad gave a DNA sample to that database more than a decade ago the nonprofit organization that owned the database had visited the Mormon Church. Michael's dad went to asking people to take part the Mormon faith puts. It's a lot of stock into genealogy because of religious purposes Mormons believe in identifying dead ancestors who were not members of the church and baptizing using them so the whole family can be together in the afterlife years after Michael's father gave his sample that genealogical database was sold to ancestry dot Com Idaho police searched it using DNA analysis. That's less exact than what's used today. They found a close match then they got a warrant to make ancestry. Give them the name it was Michael's dad they researched the family and honed in on Michael because his movie and his friends in Idaho basically my father other participated in a DNA sample collection and you know fifteen years later I am being pulled in as has a suspect in a murder what struck me about the case was that this was using non law enforcement database and that that struck me as quite noteworthy Natalie Ram teaches law at the University of Maryland and she learned about Michael Story in two thousand fifteen. This was the first it's known time police had searched a genealogy database instead of the usual criminal databases created four police those law enforcement databases may have problems Natalie says but at least they have supervision state labs have to follow specific procedures database searches might be limited to certain crimes and and the criminal database quotas holds only DNA profiles of people who've been arrested or convicted so by law. They've already lost some privacy rights by contrast trost the consumer genetic databases are comprised primarily of people who have decided they're interested in learning more about their DNA what it can tell them about their ancestral origins. What am I tell them about their future? Genetic medical risks etc pretty personal stuff so personal says Natalie that consumer. DNA databases need oversight laws about when and how police can use them in her view. It goes back to the basics six of the constitution we have a balance of values between privacy and crime solving between liberty and crime solving after draw law enforcement could solve lots more crimes if they were able to enter anyone's home at any time just because they wanted to. We don't allow that when privacy activists. I heard Michael Ostry story in two thousand fifteen. The criticism was quick and severe tough enough that ANCESTRY DOT COM cut off public access to the database where police had found his father Natalie says that was the right move but people working in genetic genealogy Amihai Legiti say that's wrong consumer. DNA databases should be easily available to police. I decide to visit Paragon the company that's built a business often genealogy nice inheritance so hot already welcome to DC right CEO. Stephen shows me around headquarters. It's just desks awesome computers in a bland office building in the suburbs. They outsource all their lab work. My eye catches some small iridescent pieces of plastic on display. We would always increase so those are micro ray scanner chips what's actually on them so. DNA washed over these chips they have probes robes. DNA sticks to the probes and computer analyzes it so it's the the piece of DNA that you're reading okay. So who's Dan. Is that I don't know these are expensive chips that are our partner lab gave us. Somebody's DNA turned into art for display when we sit down in his office to talk Steve Argues that police using genetic genealogy to find a suspect is just like looking for clues on facebook what if a cop he says finds a photo of a suspect suspect with his arm around a victim and he didn't post it his aunt did he didn't give his aunt permission to do that but she's made an association. Those associations associations are all around US delays another one and police use all of those associations all the time where they're doing investigation that sort of the heart of what they do so. I don't see that this is a lot different than photographs on facebook. The right to privacy can depend on what choices you make on facebook facebook or with your. DNA Steve Points out that when you send in spit sample or you share your DNA profile on a commercial website to look for relatives you're agreeing bring to the terms of service as long as people are voluntarily allowing their DNA to be searched. I just don't see where the privacy concerns arise. I asked Natalie about that argument. She says that voluntarily sharing your DNA profile is different. It's true she says the the person sending in their own sample maybe fine with police sifting through their genetic connections but it's fundamentally untrue with respect to their genetic relatives who who may have never used one of these consumer genetics services would never want to and are being implicitly made findable through this database through no involuntary conduct of the wrong people like Michael ostry after police swapped his cheek in the interrogation room. They took them home. They dropped me back on my side. I'd walk and that was it. I didn't hear anything from them and on the thirty third day they sent me an email that said hey Mr Shree your. DNA did not match the the sample from the crime scene something you already knew sorry for the inconvenience your DNA will not be used for any other testing purposes. Thank you have a nice day but he knows his. DNA was kept and looked at again and I know that because because a year and a half ago the Idaho Falls Police Department sent my sample to this company called Baraban Labs Idaho police were we're still looking for Angie's killer last summer they turned to paragon and genetic genealogy. CC More Airbus chief genetic genealogists used the genealogy biaggi website Jed match to find the man whose DNA was at the murder scene. That man confessed. He's now in prison. Michael Sri is not what but the experience has made him wish he could keep his DNA private. This information could be used for a lot of different purposes. Wouldn't it be terrible if our DNA information was used to persecute and prosecute people that didn't agree with them mm politically. We all think that things like that couldn't happen and yet we will we will see it's impossible to know where DNA technology will take us. Hollywood has some ideas they're going to find me put in place where any so from any part of your body can be trained out. Do you hide welcome to Gatica but in real life here are some signs of where we already are. The trump administration has just announced they're working on plans to take. DNA samples from MM detained migrants and enter them into quotas vastly expanding the database and using it to enforce immigration law they say this complies with a two thousand five is law until now the Department of Justice had a carve out for border police and last month North Dakota prosecutors filed felony conspiracy charges against instant man who protested the Dakota access pipeline three years ago they found his DNA on a cigarette but at the scene and tracked him down because of a past arrest then there's China where the government is rounding up a Muslim minority called the weaker senator. That's a remarkable number a million Chinese Muslims in camps because the Chinese government cracks down on them because of their religion. Why is that true true and B? Why don't we hear more about it? It's absolutely true. They're collecting the DNA of these individuals by the way as well forcefully and using potentially American technology to you're concerns about police use of DNA have even been raised in the Supreme Court six years ago the court considered whether it was okay for police to take DNA samples samples from people who are arrested but not convicted the now late Justice Antonin Scalia argued against that this will solve some extra crimes to be sure but so we're taking your DNA whenever you fly on the on an airplane surely the TSA must know the identity of the flying public for that matters taking your children's DNA when they start Public School Scalia lost the argument. The court ruled that police can collect DNA. If if you're arrested Michael Ezra was never arrested he was only a suspect in the murder of Angie Dodge but he was so freaked out. Oh by his experience with the police he decided to learn as much as he could about genetic genealogy and about the Idaho killing along the way he got drawn into details about Sanjay her death and her life she was the youngest of four children year out of high school when she was killed an online tribute her family posted remembers how as a teenager Angie drive with one hand on the wheel and one foot out the window Michael's friends with Angie's Mom Carol Carol always referred referred to Angie as her angel or little angel. The man who killed Angie Bryan drips lived across the street from her in a small bungalow with a wide the front porch and police questioned him along with other neighbors after the murder but they couldn't connect him to the crime until they tried genetic genealogy two decades later Dr this makes Michael Field Torn. Do I want murderers rapists to be caught and prosecuted yes of course I do but he's also told hold aunties mom about his fears Musset Carol. You know I have to say I'm kind of opposed to this technology. it just scares me you to think about the world that we are going towards with this in both Michael lustrous case in the murders of tenure Van Calemburg and Jay Cooke police normally only get access to the Vienna databases if private private companies are willing to share law enforcement so what happens when those private companies changed their minds. That's next on reveal from the Center for investigative the gate of forty. NPR Ex from the Center for Investigative Reporting Impe are ex. This is reveal a melody today. We're looking at genetic genealogy a new crime fighting adding tool. The police are using to solve cases that have gone cold for decades. The first was the golden state killer since that arrests eighteen months ago police use this technique it to find suspects in dozens of violent crimes around the country. Some of those suspects had died already a handful plead guilty in which straight to prison but in the case of Tenure Vancouver Lomborg and Jay Cooke that we heard about at the beginning of the show the accused killer pled not guilty William Talbot became the first criminal suspect identified. NFL BY GENETIC GENEALOGY TO FACE TRIAL REVEALS EMILY Harris watched it unfold in a courtroom in Everett Washington a few months ago and just a heads up this story as some graphic details William Talbot's murder trial opens on a mile June morning warning a Friday friends and family of the victims and reporters fill the public viewing area of the no frills courtroom jurors take seats in two two rows along one wall from there they can easily see the judge the prosecutor and the alleged murderer Talbot has been in custody for more than a year he hardly hardly move says Prosecutor Justin Harlem lays out the case against him centered on his DNA evidence in this case will show you that there is only one reasonably possible asu perpetrator Talbot's defense lawyers never contest that his DNA matched the semen samples recovered from clothing and James As van and tenuous body but public defender Rachel Ford tells the jurors that that doesn't prove anything except that he intended had sex. They never stop ought to consider that perhaps the person who left the DNA was not the murderer if we were talking about DNA obtained from a murder what or even DNA obtained from the blanket that was wrapped around Jay's body. There might be a better it stronger inference that DNA was related to the killer. The defense never offers jurors a full alternate story. They don't have to prosecutors. Prosecutors have to prove their case but as I listened in court I wonder okay what really happened so later in an interview in Rachel's office I ask I mean who knows thirty years ago if someone lived a lifestyle where they frequently had one night stands with people that they never met again. How would you ever be able to come up with a story about how you met someone that was completely insignificant in and the trajectory of your life? Is that what happened was that his lifestyle then we don't really know I mean it was again. This is all part part of the picture that was impossible to recreate we leave our DNA everywhere every day. Thank you off your served. In the trial lasts three weeks. The jury deliberates three days we the jury find the defendant William Earl Talbot the second guilty of the crime of first degree burder as charged in count one Talbot's slumps down at the verdict and whispers. I didn't do it for you you in the end this jury appeared to accept a positive identification of the DNA as a positive identification of the killer tenure. Donges family and friends were thrilled with the verdict. It seems to seal genetic genealogists power at uncovering criminals tablets defense team never tried I to discredit it in court. I wanted to know where cece Moore who worked on this case and many others thinks genetic Aneta Kenya is heading now a few weeks after the trial my reporting partner Kate McMahon catches up with cece at a law enforcement conference in Portland Oregon how are you I'm in a brown and gold ballroom at a Red Lion Hotel. CDC is standing in front of the room with a powerpoint deck projected on a screen behind hind her well. It's always wonderful to be here in the Pacific northwest. The room is filled with cops and forensic scientists and it's noteworthy a murder mystery writer all seated classroom style wanting to learn trade secrets from CC. This is a turning point for crime solving in American. I think we've seen not over the last fifteen months very clearly. I came to this conference thinking I would find a crowd of detectives eager to join the ranks of C. C. More but that wasn't all I found there's also uncertainty. It turns out that along with all its wins. Genetic genealogy has hit some shaky ground it started with a case of aggravated assault in Centerville Utah late last year a crime that even police can't comprehend somebody attacking innocent seventy one year old female in a church play in the Oregon. Police are anxious to find the attacker so they reached out to the owners of Jed match. Remember Jed Ed match is the genealogy website where people can compare DNA profiles from different companies but jed matches terms of service said police could only search the database in cases cases of rape and murder Utah beliefs asked for an exception jed match agreed but the database owners didn't tell their customers whereas they changed the rules that created a backlash within the genetic genealogy community so jed match change their policy again this time swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction it completely cut off access to police unless customers specifically opt in overnight law enforcement lost I access to all one million or so genetic profiles on Jed match since then people have started opting back in. CC explains the current status to her class so we only have about one hundred thousand profiles to compare against now which is a huge blow obviously but it doesn't mean that cases are unworkable Kabul. It's just a lot harder after CC's talk. I want to know what police think about all this and are you also in law enforcement. Would you mind chuck. Anderson is a detective give in Oregon. He tells me police need to be careful about how they used Annetta genealogy so they don't lose it once we start using some maybe legal but not necessarily savory techniques to get information in there. I think that's when we're GONNA start having problems. What comes to mind is as an example I'm not really a fan of the submitting the anonymous profiles for that individual site so that would be like crime-scene. DNA is has put up onto ancestry but it's not disclosed that it's law enforcement posted it there. I see that can be done. I I have no idea but I guarantee you. If if it's possible somebody is trying it in fact something like this has been done in the very first case using genetic genealogy to catch a killer the alleged golden state killer investigators created an alias to not reveal themselves as law enforcement then they uploaded applauded crime scene. DNA into genealogy site and found a relative. It's you know a mistake or two away from overzealous agency before they decide that they're not open to law enforcement anyway. One person who'd like to see genetic genealogy taken away from police is a Maryland legislator named Charles said nor we need to combine breaks. Go look at what's going on on Charles believes it's wrong for innocent people to be scrutinized denies by police for no other reason than sharing. DNA found at a crime scene. There's no suspicion of that. Law Enforcement should have about us yet we are now caught in this. DNA Dragnet almost as if we I've turned the whole concept of innocent until proven guilty on his head in fact he's so against it he wouldn't even WanNa let it help his own family family my cousin he shot and killed in in Baltimore and to this day I I don't think the case has been resolved wouldn't wanna find out by going through Jed match and letting the police comb through other people's People's. DNA No no this too much constitutional collateral damage Charles's mistrustful of code the national criminal DNA database because it holds a disproportionate number of minorities DNA and he points to police overreach as why they should not have access to them much more powerful consumer DNA databases when they're looking into my DNA they're looking at my parents. They're looking at my children this past year. He tried to get a bill through the Maryland legislature to ban police searches in these databases but the bill failed without state or federal rules to regulate when police are allowed to access these databases and when they're not it's it's been pretty much a free for all with individual companies having the biggest say as we heard jed match decided to restrict access but another company family Lee tree. DNA is marketing itself as the DNA service. People should use to help catch killers there is more DNA available at crime scenes than any any other evidence if you're one of the millions of people who have taken a DNA test your help can provide the missing lake now for the first time time. The federal government is stepping in the Justice Department has announced an interim policy on genetic genealogy to be finalized next year. It says for example that genetic genealogy can't be a shortcut for cops. They need to try other investigative tools. I and it says DNA samples used in genetic genealogy. NEOLOGISM must have a clear connection to the crime. It can't just be any. DNA found at the crime scene paramount calls a new policy well reasoned and well researched. There's nothing that would slow or stop business. Even Professor Natalie Ram who advised Charles Sydney nor likes parts of it if forensic genetic genealogy is here in here to stay stay then this policy is very first good cut at what a policy should look like but she doesn't like that private companies companies still get to define what crimes police can use this for and she's against a new power. This gives to local prosecutors they can use genetic genealogy goes to investigate any attempted violent crime not just rape or murder. The policy also doesn't address her central concern about the constitutional rights rights of people who don't put their own DNA databases nor stumbling backwards into a national or a comprehensive database we ought to at least have a conversation station about whether a comprehensive database is really what the people want if people keep uploading their DNA as fast as they are now scientists predict that in a few years a majority of Americans will be traceable by genetic genealogy back in Everett Washington detective. Jim Sharf is still excited about the promise of genetic genealogy he solved the murders of Tanny of Anti Lindberg and Jay Cooke and was planning to retire but this powerful new way of catching criminals is keeping him on the force when when I was a little boy all I wanted to do was help people and put bad guys in jail. Why would I retire when I've got at this opportunity? I'm not finished as for the man detective SCHARF arrested for Double Murder William Talbot. He's appealing his conviction. Our show today was co produced by Kate McMahon. A journalist based in Portland Roland and reveals. Emily Harris tacky tells Anita's edited this week show thanks to Seattle Public Radio Station K. U. O. W. for their help with trial take our production managers Wendy Wendy in a hosa original score and sound design by the dynamic duo J. Breezy Mrs Jim Briggs a financial my man Yo Arruda that helped this week from the Gbi mean Amy Mustafa our. CEO is sharp Berg. Matt Thompson is our editor and chief are executive producers Kevin Sullivan our theme music is by Colorado Lightning support support for reveals provided by the leave and Dave Logan Foundation the John D and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation the Ford Foundation the Housing Simon's foundation station the Democracy Fund and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation reveal is a CO production of the Center for investigative reporting. NPR X. Amount. 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