DNA Phenotyping is how it is done and the cops have been trying out the process for several years. I love science when it pokes at low life that have committed murder. I mean way back in the day if you evaded detection for a bit the chances were you could escape punishment for a killing.
Fingerprinting was the only process that might trip up a villain years after a crime. If you moved country or kept your nose clean the chances were you had it made. Then in the mid 1980s along came DNA profiling. The first person to be convicted in the UK when their DNA was linked to a scene was Colin Pitchfork. He is a child rapist and murderer who our beloved system has recently paroled.
In 1983 and again in 1986 Pitchfork raped and murdered two 15 year old girls in Leicestershire. Him being banged up started a ball rolling and over the years it has rolled over many nonsense creatures. As each year goes by a new trick is developed to take more of these morons down.
From a good sample to ever more miniscule evidence DNA has been extracted. DNA databases started in the 1990s making repeat offenders sweat a bit more. In the first decade of our century the cops were able to look at DNA belonging to relatives in the hunt for offenders. That is called Familial DNA. So some coward like Pitchfork can be traced because, for example, a brother gets charged with a drunk driving offence. You don’t even need to be in the database so long as close family member gets their DNA registered there.
That turns my attention to phenotyping. They isolate markers in your chromosome, specific ones form the basis for the new process. The uses seem at first a bit redundant. In many cases basic details about a killer will be known. When it comes to old cases though this type of DNA identification can bring a shadow into the sunlight.
Too many investigations stall with a viable DNA profile. If the offender is not in the system then it becomes a waiting game. The cops have to wait for family or the murderer themselves to be arrested and their profile recorded. Several labs are trying to jump start this stalemate. They produce a likeness of you. They use the markers and compare it to likely ancestral traits.
In 1988 a little girl called April Tinsley was abducted, raped and murdered. This took place in Indiana, USA. She was just eight years old. A lab called Parabon Nano Labs created a likeness of the man later convicted of the murder.
Another example came from the murder of 19 year old Sierra Bouzigard in Louisiana in 2009. The investigation had stalled but there was a DNA sample. The police were involved in sifting through the accounts of many people who had seen or been with the victim the night she died. They stated they had been looking in particular at a Hispanic suspect. The ‘Snapshot’ phenotype said it was a person of European ancestry.
While there have been critics of the process and I am not one to clap at every extra tool of the state without considering the spin off issues, I love the sweat factor. I enjoy the idea of this becoming a honed method and one that will make lowlife killers lose a bit of sleep.
I will leave you with a rather old video of this glimpse of the future.
Take Care and keep an eye on those journals.
Please note that Parabon is not the only player in this field. They just seem to be the operators with the highest profile online.