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Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. She earned a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and a B.A. double major in Psychology and Biochemistry (Special Projects) and a Ph.D. in Biology (Biochemistry) at the University of California at San Diego. She is licensed to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and the State Bar of California (inactive).
Barbara is a Search Angel with DNAAdoption.org helping adoptees find their birth relatives and also helps teach the online autosomal DNA (atDNA) classes that DNAAdoption.org offers to help adoptees use their atDNA to find birth relatives.
Barbara’s identification of the mother of Lisa Jensen, abducted in infancy and then abandoned
by her abductor as a 5 year, led to solving the murder of the Allenstown Four in Allenstown, NH.
Barbara subsequently determined the true identify of Lisa’s abductor, a man of many aliases, as
Terry Peder Rasmussen.
More recently, using the same technique as she used to identify Lisa and Rasmussen, Barbara
helped identify a suspect for the notorious Golden State Killer as Joseph James DeAngelo. The
technique Barbara used in these three cases, dubbed “Investigative Genetic Genealogy” is now
being used to solve many previously “unsolvable” cold cases.
For her work, Barbara was recognized by the journal Nature as one of “10 people Who Mattered
In Science In 2018.” She has also been recognized as one of Time100’s Most Influential People of 2019.
Barbara continues to work with law enforcement assisting with identification of suspects in
violent crimes and the identification of unidentified remains.