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  1. #1
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    "DNA" From Phantom Killer?

    Credit goes to Elle 1 over at FFJ for this post....it is very, VERY interesting.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Elle_1 View Post
    http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/03/26/phantom-killer-a-myth/police-track-DNA-of-cotton-bud-maker-for-two-years.html[/URL]



    Police in Germany hunted a sinister phantom killer for two years after finding the same DNA at 39 different crime scenes - only to discover that the source was a woman who made the cotton buds used to collect the sample!


    But there was no progress, despite investigators finding her DNA at so many crime scenes.

    The police were stumped. They eventually offered a 300,000 euro reward to find the killer.
    It's no surprise the money was never claimed, however, because the so-called ‘phantom killer’ was a complete myth!

    Detectives had apparently been tracking the DNA of a factory worker who packaged cotton buds used by the police to collect samples, according to ‘Stern.de’

    Police linked the 'killer' to seven murders.
    The most notorious case was in April 2007 in Heilbronn where a 22-year-old policewoman was shot dead and her colleague (25) seriously injured. On the back seat of the police car, detectives found what they thought was DNA from the mysterious killer.
    As part of the investigation, 800 previously convicted women were questioned - but there was no match to the sample.
    Her DNA was found over and over again: in bottles, tank lids, on bullets – and once even on a biscuit!
    Traces were found in southern Germany, Austria and France. Thousands of saliva tests were taken but there was still no answer.
    In April 2008, detectives ran out of ideas, so an internal inquiry was launched.
    And yesterday Bernd Meiners, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Saarbrucken[/URL], revealed: “There are considerable doubts about the existence of the ‘phantom killer’. The DNA has instead been linked to investigation materials.”
    An employee at the cotton bud manufacturer has apparently been pretty careless!
    According to reports, the maker of the buds is a company in Hamburg, with branches in Baden-Wurttemberg and the Saarland as well as Austria and France.
    The company has been supplying the police investigators with cotton buds since 2001.
    "This time we get it right."

  2. #2
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    More from Elle 1 at FFJ

    From Delmar:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7966641.stm


    'DNA bungle' haunts German police
    Police investigating the murder of a police woman in 2007
    This 2007 murder was believed to be the work of the phantom killer

    Police in Germany have admitted that a woman they have been hunting for more than 15 years may never have existed.

    Dubbed the "phantom of Heilbronn", the woman was described by police as the country's most dangerous woman.

    Investigators had connected her to six murders and an unsolved death based on DNA traces found at the scene.

    Police are now acknowledging that swabs used to collect DNA samples may have been contaminated by an innocent woman - possibly during manufacture.

    'Serial killer'

    Police suspected the unnamed woman of being a serial killer who over 16
    years carried out a string of six murders, including strangling a pensioner.

    She was alternatively called the "woman without a face" and the "phantom of Heilbronn" after the city in southern Germany where she allegedly killed a policewoman.

    Police suspicions were based on traces of identical female DNA they found at 40 crime scenes across southern Germany and Austria.

    After finding her DNA at the scene of the murder of a 22-year policewoman from Heilbronn in 2007, police offered a 300,000 euro reward for information leading to her arrest.

    However, police did not come any closer to identifying their most-sought
    suspect.

    First doubts

    According to prosecutors in the south-western town of Saarbruecken, doubts about the existence of the "phantom killer" were raised when her DNA appeared on documents belonging to a person who had died in a fire.

    When police first tried to identify the victim, they found the phantom's DNA on the dead person's ID. But in a subsequent test, no trace of the phantom's DNA could be found on the document.



    It shouldn't have happened Ulrich Goll, Justice Minister for Baden-Wuerttemberg

    That was the point at which alarm bells started ringing and investigators
    began to suspect that the test material itself may have been contaminated with DNA, prosecutors say.

    Police in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg are now
    investigating if the cotton buds used to gather DNA at the crime scenes may have come in contact with DNA before being packed.

    Thousands of cotton buds are being tested for contamination and workers at the cotton buds factory are being asked to give DNA samples.

    'Very embarrassing'

    The justice minister for the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ulrich Goll,
    believes the case is now closed. He thinks the DNA found at the scene of the crimes is probably due to contamination at the factory.

    "It shouldn't have happened," he told a regional radio station said.

    "The investigators are not to blame. They can't tell if a cotton bud has DNA sticking to it."

    The state interior minister, Heribert Rech, wants to wait until the
    investigation is finished. "Hasty conclusions are misplaced," he said.

    The head of the union of police officers in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Josef
    Schneider, also wants to wait until the results of the investigation are
    published.

    However, he admitted that "if the trace does belong to a woman working in the factory, it'll be very embarrassing".
    "This time we get it right."

  3. #3
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    From Our Own Rashomon

    Credit goes to Rashomon for this post over at FFJ....

    -----------------------------------

    "I've just watched the 22 p.m. news here in Germany - they have identified the source of the unkown DNA: it is a female worker employed in a firm where the cotton buds were packaged."

    -----------------------------------------
    From Ames...so they have confirmed that the source of the unknown DNA came from a female worker employed in a firm where the cotton buds were packaged. Hmmmm....so to all of you IDI's out there that believe that the Ramseys were completely in the clear because of that little bit of touch DNA that was found....don't start celebrating just yet.
    "This time we get it right."

  4. #4
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    OMG, You couldn't think that one up even if you were writing a crime novel!

    What was this gal doing to leave DNA on the cotton? Was it from sweat, or from coughing? Totally bizarre!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    Credit goes to Rashomon for this post over at FFJ....

    -----------------------------------

    "I've just watched the 22 p.m. news here in Germany - they have identified the source of the unkown DNA: it is a female worker employed in a firm where the cotton buds were packaged."

    -----------------------------------------
    From Ames...so they have confirmed that the source of the unknown DNA came from a female worker employed in a firm where the cotton buds were packaged. Hmmmm....so to all of you IDI's out there that believe that the Ramseys were completely in the clear because of that little bit of touch DNA that was found....don't start celebrating just yet.

    That's absolutely fascinating, Ames. What price the DNA on JBR belonging to some morgue assistant or something?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scandi View Post
    OMG, You couldn't think that one up even if you were writing a crime novel!

    What was this gal doing to leave DNA on the cotton? Was it from sweat, or from coughing? Totally bizarre!
    It just says that she was being "careless". That is a very good question though. SO..it just goes to show that just because some unknown touch DNA was found on JB's clothing...it doesn't mean that it necessarily HAS to belong to some invisible intruder. Contamination has happened before...and DOES EXIST....unlike the intruder.
    "This time we get it right."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophie View Post
    That's absolutely fascinating, Ames. What price the DNA on JBR belonging to some morgue assistant or something?
    Totally possible! It is a known fact that the clippers used to collect her fingernails, were contaminated. Proper procedure is to use a separate clipper for each nail. Who KNOWS...what if those clippers had of been used by the ME before...on another body. That is a scary thought. And if proper procedure wasn't used when clipping the nails...who knows what other sorts of sloppy stuff went on. And we see by the article that it didn't necessarily have to be the ME, or investigators...this lady contaminated the cotton buds, in the factory...used to collect evidence. SO...IMO...the unidentified touch DNA coming from a factory worker ...isn't that far fetched of an idea.
    "This time we get it right."

  8. #8
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    Hi Ames, Yes very interesting link.

    I had read about the possibility of contamination of the plastic containers, bags which are used to hold evidence.

    here's another good one about
    contamination.http://www.policemag.com/Articles/20...t-a-Touch.aspx

    Just a few months ago, I received lab results from our state lab reference a sexual assault I'd been assigned to work. The victim reported that the unknown suspect used both of his hands to pull her underwear down. I spoke to the laboratory agent about the details of the case. The lab agreed to process the underwear for "touch DNA," concentrating on the parts of the underwear the suspect would have touched. - Angela Williamson, director of forensic casework at Bode Technology Group,


    "Bode uses either wet or dry swabs, a scraping technique, or a tape lift technique,"

    "Also, "touch DNA" is so sensitive that it's possible to pick up background DNA. For example, if a shirt is made by hand, then someone has touched the shirt even before it's packaged and sold. It's possible "touch DNA" could liberate these skin cells from the evidence, even though this person has nothing to do with the investigation.
    And of course, "touch DNA" doesn't tell the investigator how the DNA made its way onto an item."

  9. #9
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    Thank you so much for posting this. Hopefully, some of the IDI group realizes that there could be an innocent excuse for the touch DNA on JBR's clothes. I've never thought anyone from outside that household killed JonBenet. I hope MKL chokes on her tofu reading this article.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole12 View Post
    Hi Ames, Yes very interesting link.

    I had read about the possibility of contamination of the plastic containers, bags which are used to hold evidence.

    here's another good one about
    contamination.http://www.policemag.com/Articles/20...t-a-Touch.aspx

    Just a few months ago, I received lab results from our state lab reference a sexual assault I'd been assigned to work. The victim reported that the unknown suspect used both of his hands to pull her underwear down. I spoke to the laboratory agent about the details of the case. The lab agreed to process the underwear for "touch DNA," concentrating on the parts of the underwear the suspect would have touched. - Angela Williamson, director of forensic casework at Bode Technology Group,


    "Bode uses either wet or dry swabs, a scraping technique, or a tape lift technique,"

    "Also, "touch DNA" is so sensitive that it's possible to pick up background DNA. For example, if a shirt is made by hand, then someone has touched the shirt even before it's packaged and sold. It's possible "touch DNA" could liberate these skin cells from the evidence, even though this person has nothing to do with the investigation.
    And of course, "touch DNA" doesn't tell the investigator how the DNA made its way onto an item."
    Right! And did you know that if you shook my hand and I touched something...like for example a knife....then YOUR touch DNA would be found on the knife..along with mine. Pretty scary, huh?
    "This time we get it right."


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamelope View Post
    Thank you so much for posting this. Hopefully, some of the IDI group realizes that there could be an innocent excuse for the touch DNA on JBR's clothes. I've never thought anyone from outside that household killed JonBenet. I hope MKL chokes on her tofu reading this article.
    LOL...we can only hope.
    "This time we get it right."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ames View Post
    Right! And did you know that if you shook my hand and I touched something...like for example a knife....then YOUR touch DNA would be found on the knife..along with mine. Pretty scary, huh?


    Eeek! Those OCD hygiene people who can't bear shaking hands increasingly look like they were just ahead of the times.

    Seriously, when you think of the people with whom the Ramseys had contact at the Whites' party alone, it makes a mockery of the DA clearing them. Assuming she understood DNA, clearing them was almost criminal.



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