Help me understand how DNA cases work

Forums Technology & Science Help me understand how DNA cases work

This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by

 IAmRight 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    I am totally fascinated but deeply confused by how DNA works, especially when it comes to solving crime…

    What are some real cases that used genetics and DNA in solving or eliminating suspects? Is DNA always accurate? Or is there a chance that the results are wrong and an innocent person get accused or arrested?


    You’re not the only one. Many people are intrigued by this topic, myself included! Millions of people also take DNA tests out of curiosity, searching for answers and many other reasons.

    DNA in forensics tends to be really accurate. It can provide pretty conclusive evidence that can exonerate someone or put someone away.

    One of the most famous serial killers of all time was Jack The Ripper. One of the victims had a shawl that had some DNA on it. To this day, nobody knows who the Ripper was. The test on the shawl was done with mitochondrial DNA, which is not as accurate. It revealed some names, but it wasn’t conclusive.


    The Boston Strangler case of the 1960s became world famous. He confessed to the killings and later recanted, I believe.

    Many believed that he may not have committed all the murders and that there was someone else who escaped. His body was even exhumed and tested for DNA and they found a match for one of the killings. Yet authorities still believed he was not responsible for killing other victims.


    Imagine the days before DNA. How many innocent people were jailed and how many guilty ones got away?


    I actually took a DNA test myself a couple of years ago. It revealed some amazing things to me. I won’t get into it here, but if you are interested, contact CRI Genetics and you can get a kit.

    One of the most famous cases of all time was the O.J. Simpson case. This case was probably more responsible for putting DNA in the spotlight than any other case. It not only gave publicity to DNA but also helped educate people on this topic. DNA linked him to his wife’s murder, yet he was acquitted.


    I remember a fellow called Gary Ridgway or Ridgeway. He was known as the Green River Killer. He went on his killing spree for many years. He was a suspect and I recall reading he gave a DNA sample. This was in the 1980s. At the time, technology was not what it is now, so he managed to get away.

    Years later, when it was re-examined, when technology was advanced, there was a conclusive hit. He was arrested and eventually confessed to many of the killings, but not all of them. I think he admitted to killing almost 50 people! It was thought he killed even more, perhaps over 40 more! He is serving a life sentence and has no chance of parole, thankfully. This was a pretty famous case.


    Earl Washington Jr. was almost twice executed, once in the 80s and once in the 90s. His confession was coerced. Eventually, DNA testing exonerated him and he was released.

    His case is often cited by those against the death penalty. He was an innocent man wrongly convicted. He should be dead now. He is alive and a free man, thanks to DNA testing.

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