03-28-2009, 03:52 PM #1
03-28-2009, 03:55 PM #2
More from Elle 1 at FFJ
'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.
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
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.
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
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."
03-28-2009, 04:00 PM #3
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."
03-28-2009, 04:10 PM #4
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!
03-28-2009, 04:31 PM #5
03-28-2009, 06:27 PM #6"This time we get it right."
03-28-2009, 06:33 PM #7"This time we get it right."
03-30-2009, 05:51 PM #8Bufo americanus
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
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
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."
03-30-2009, 10:41 PM #9
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.
03-30-2009, 11:03 PM #10
03-30-2009, 11:04 PM #11
03-31-2009, 06:02 AM #12
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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