This Week in Forensic Science – ISHI News

Oct 04 2019

This Week in Forensic Science


No one has hours to scour the papers to keep up with the latest news, so we’ve curated the top news stories in the field of Forensic Science for this week. Here’s what you need to know to get out the door!




Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter and Gene By Gene Join Forces to Shape the Future of Investigative Genetic Genealogy (CISION – 9/27/2019)

  • Genetic genealogist Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter, recognized for her groundbreaking work in the Golden State Killer case, has been named Director of Gene By Gene’s newly formed Investigative Genetic Genealogy Unit.



The Messy Consequences of the Golden State Killer Case (The Atlantic – 10/1/2019)

  • Tools meant to reunite families are now being “used essentially to get families to put their members in jail.”


The Massive, Overlooked Potential of African DNA (WIRED – 10/1/2019)

  • Genetic studies rely almost entirely on DNA from people of European descent. A startup called 54gene wants to fix that, and fast.


Missing Box Contains Bones of Britain’s Early Inhabitants (Smithsonian – 10/1/2019)

  • A box of bones stored in an archive for 55 years has turned out the contain some of the oldest human remains ever found on the island of Great Britain. Carbon dating reveals that the bones found in a cave in Somerset are as old or even older than those of Cheddar Man, the earliest-known inhabitant of the island, also found in Somerset.

Sexual Assault Kit Task Force to Use Genealogical Searches to Track Down ‘John Doe’ Rapists ( – 10/1/2019)

  • The Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force will pilot a project that uses a federal grant to do genealogical database searches to identify ‘John Doe’ rapists they have indicted based on DNA profiles found in rape kits.


U.S. Government Plans to Collect DNA from Detained Immigrants (The New York Times – 10/2/2019)

  • The Department of Homeland Security said it would begin testing on hundreds of thousands of immigrants in federal detention facilities.



Arrest Made in Death of Federal Way Teen Nearly 30 Years After Her Body was Found (Seattle Times – 10/3/2019)


Despite DNA Evidence, Statute of Limitations Prevents Prosecution of Ohio Rape Cases (ABC5 Cleveland – 10/4/2019)

  • Our exclusive three-month 5 On Your Side Investigation reveals how Ohio fails sexual assault victims. We uncovered dozens of cases that will never be prosecuted, despite compelling DNA evidence, because of Ohio’s current statute of limitations.