Thursday, March 26, 2009

Serial killing Q-tip

The extraordinary career of a serial killing East European woman - the Phantom of Heilbronn - whose crime spree ranged over much of Europe and 17 crime scenes turns out to be an artifact of terrible forensic science: the series of Q-tips used to gather evidence at the various scenes was contaminated by the DNA of the same woman working in the plant that made them.

Another great European DNA story: German police know that at least one of two identical twins committed a crime, but can't charge either because they have identical DNA. Since only one of them may have done the crime, the DNA is simultaneously inculpatory and exculpatory. I'll bet a Law & Order script is being written right now.
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