4 Univ of Idaho Students Murdered, Bryan Kohberger Arrested, Moscow, Nov 2022 #94

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Snipped by me--if this is argued, it will be based on IGG and 4th amendment questions. This has been addressed over and over in this thread by a verified expert and based on my understanding of what she's said, I think you're mischaracterizing it. JMO

Where has the defense said BK's dna is not a match to the dna on the sheath? They have worked so hard to get the dna thrown out on the investigative techniques of the IGG because they know it's a match.
JMO
IMO there is a two-pronged approach going on in regards to the DNA evidence.

1. At the first hearing in regards to DNA, Dr. Leah Larkin said shared DNA is not always reliable to show how closely related one person is to another.


Notice at 12:18 AT is asking if a fair amount of DNA is needed and then what happens if you don't have that and Dr. Larkin says whole genome sequencing. She is specifically pointing out that depending on the amount of DNA and if it is degraded or not, different processes must be used. So clearly one of the subtextual questions AT had in her mind at that time is if there was enough DNA to run an IGG and, if so, which technique was used. Next Dr. Larkin goes into great detail about the complexities of determining family relationships. IMO, if AT ONLY thought that LE got the DNA illegally, she would not be asking about any of this at all.

Later, in the last 20% of her testimony, Dr. Larkin talks about what DNA databases LE is permitted to use. Her testimony is very interesting and well worth watching, IMO

2. At that first hearing there was also testimony in regards to illegal use of DNA by LE, a little discussion of this by Dr. Larkin and a whole lot by Gabriella Vargas.

So, I think both points are at issue in this case.

The Defense DNA experts had not seen any of the IGG materials at the time of the first hearing. Now the Defense DNA experts have seen the IGG materials that JJ permitted them to see. As a result of whatever the defense DNA experts found, the Defense has now requested that the IGG materials be permitted to be shown to the Defense investigators. So clearly, something WAS found that needs to be investigated. The Defense will be back in court this week WITH their DNA experts, so it is likely we will learn more about their findings this week unless the hearing is suddenly closed. BUT, IF, they have discovered any kind wrongdoing by LE, then that hearing should be open, IMO.

Here is the document showing that the Defense DNA experts were expected to attend the May 16, 2024 hearing which was postponed to this week via Zoom:

Here is the motion to allow defense investigators to view IGG materials:

There is a separate motion about the issue of violation of BK's rights in regards to the IGG: https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/.../042624-Motion-Unseal-Parts-IGG-Materials.pdf

Here, they are re-setting the hearings to this last Thursday and this week:

Permission for Defense DNA witnesses to attend this Thursday via Zoom:

Leah Larkin is a biologist who specializes in genealogy and DNA. She solves complex family mysteries. I don't think she would be called into the hearing Thursday to testify on the possible violation of BK's rights.

Bika Barlow is a lawyer who specializes in DNA cases. She might be there to testify about any possible wrongdoing and violation of BK's rights.

IF there was wrongdoing by LE in regards to the IGG it must be exposed.

IF the IGG is wrong, then that needs to be exposed.

I hope to find out more on these subjects during the hearing Thursday.

All JMO.
 
A concern with touch DNA as with all DNA is degrading.

When a DNA sample is left for days or weeks in the sun, rain, wind, etc.... It can degrade.

Let me make this clear....

BK's snap DNA was preserved on the snap and found immediately inside. This snap DNA was not found outside degrading over days or weeks in rough weather conditions.
It is known that DNA degrades when it is on metal surfaces, especially brass. The snap on KBar knife sheaths is made of untreated brass. It is not polished or painted. Further the inside of the snap especially would not have any treatment, even IF it had been treated due to friction from opening and closing the snap.


"The composition of brass, generally 66% copper and 34% zinc"


"Brass showed the strongest inhibitory impact, followed by zinc with copper 10-40 times less inhibitory. Brass and zinc also caused higher DNA degradation than copper. "


"Generating STR profiles from ammunition has traditionally been challenging, resulting in few complete profiles [1], [2], [3], [4]. This is due to the trace amounts of DNAdeposited on the surface of the ammunition [3], [5], as well as the presence of metal ions that can damage the DNA [6] or inhibit its amplification [7]. Studies have demonstrated that ammunition composed of copper alloys, such as brass, adversely affected genotyping success more so than those made of other metals such as aluminum, nickel, or steel [4], [8], [9], [10]. The copper ions can induce conformational changes in the DNA template by intercalating with the strands and causing single and double stranded breaks [11], [12]."


If the sheath was a KBar BRAND sheath, then the DNA was sitting on an untreated brass surface for hours. At minimum it was there from around 4:06am until 12 noon when police were finally called to the scene. We know from the PCA that the ISP CSI was setting up to start processing the crime scene at 4pm on November 13. So it is likely that the DNA was sitting on the untreated brass for at minimum 12 hours. However, I suspect the DNA would have been deposited many hours before the murders if not days. All of this suggests that the DNA sample was degraded.

If it was a small sample of only 20 cells or less, as stated by Howard Blum, AND it was degraded, then it is very likely that the STR may have been partial and the IGG may have identified the wrong person.
 
.....

If the sheath was a KBar BRAND sheath, then the DNA was sitting on an untreated brass surface for hours. At minimum it was there from around 4:06am until 12 noon when police were finally called to the scene. We know from the PCA that the ISP CSI was setting up to start processing the crime scene at 4pm on November 13. So it is likely that the DNA was sitting on the untreated brass for at minimum 12 hours. However, I suspect the DNA would have been deposited many hours before the murders if not days. All of this suggests that the DNA sample was degraded.

If it was a small sample of only 20 cells or less, as stated by Howard Blum, AND it was degraded, then it is very likely that the STR may have been partial and the IGG may have identified the wrong person.
RSBM. None of this SUGGESTS the DNA Sample was degraded, though it does open a door for a possibility. The study mentioned above used Buccal cell suspensions. There are many other studies to read out there which question if Buccal cell suspensions and actual touch DNA are similar in stability. The study quoted only suggests that Buccal cell suspensions could be degraded.

From https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/304991.pdf
"However, it is unclear whether the stability of actual touch DNA samples is similar to that of purified DNA or cell suspensions."

And Howard Blum is questionable at best. He keeps claiming things from his "sources" that others say are untrue. I'll have to wait and see how that pans out, but I, personally, won't be taking anything he says at face value. I've read some of his stuff. The embellishments are.... interesting.

All IMO.
 
RSBM. None of this SUGGESTS the DNA Sample was degraded, though it does open a door for a possibility. The study mentioned above used Buccal cell suspensions. There are many other studies to read out there which question if Buccal cell suspensions and actual touch DNA are similar in stability. The study quoted only suggests that Buccal cell suspensions could be degraded.

From https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/304991.pdf
"However, it is unclear whether the stability of actual touch DNA samples is similar to that of purified DNA or cell suspensions."

And Howard Blum is questionable at best. He keeps claiming things from his "sources" that others say are untrue. I'll have to wait and see how that pans out, but I, personally, won't be taking anything he says at face value. I've read some of his stuff. The embellishments are.... interesting.

All IMO.
Questionable at best is right. A bane to the case and misinformative at worst Imoo. The embellishments are cringe worthy. Thank you so much for providing some examples. Moo
 
It is known that DNA degrades when it is on metal surfaces, especially brass. The snap on KBar knife sheaths is made of untreated brass. It is not polished or painted. Further the inside of the snap especially would not have any treatment, even IF it had been treated due to friction from opening and closing the snap.


"The composition of brass, generally 66% copper and 34% zinc"


"Brass showed the strongest inhibitory impact, followed by zinc with copper 10-40 times less inhibitory. Brass and zinc also caused higher DNA degradation than copper. "


"Generating STR profiles from ammunition has traditionally been challenging, resulting in few complete profiles [1], [2], [3], [4]. This is due to the trace amounts of DNAdeposited on the surface of the ammunition [3], [5], as well as the presence of metal ions that can damage the DNA [6] or inhibit its amplification [7]. Studies have demonstrated that ammunition composed of copper alloys, such as brass, adversely affected genotyping success more so than those made of other metals such as aluminum, nickel, or steel [4], [8], [9], [10]. The copper ions can induce conformational changes in the DNA template by intercalating with the strands and causing single and double stranded breaks [11], [12]."


If the sheath was a KBar BRAND sheath, then the DNA was sitting on an untreated brass surface for hours. At minimum it was there from around 4:06am until 12 noon when police were finally called to the scene. We know from the PCA that the ISP CSI was setting up to start processing the crime scene at 4pm on November 13. So it is likely that the DNA was sitting on the untreated brass for at minimum 12 hours. However, I suspect the DNA would have been deposited many hours before the murders if not days. All of this suggests that the DNA sample was degraded.

If it was a small sample of only 20 cells or less, as stated by Howard Blum, AND it was degraded, then it is very likely that the STR may have been partial and the IGG may have identified the wrong person.

I don't consider Howard Blum as credible.... Is he testing the DNA? No. Is he a LE investigator on this case? No.

There is nothing wrong with that DNA from the sheath or AT would have filed a Motion by now to exclude it from trial.

It was very intact. It gave a clear match to BK.

AT has never filed any Motion saying that this is not BK's DNA and she consistently refers to it as BK's DNA.

All she can do is attack the genealogy, she is not attacking the Octillion Idaho lab results.

2 Cents
 
The Defense will be back in court this week WITH their DNA experts, so it is likely we will learn more about their findings this week unless the hearing is suddenly closed. BUT, IF, they have discovered any kind wrongdoing by LE, then that hearing should be open, IMO.
It won't be "suddenly closed" imo, because the upcoming hearing regarding Defense's fifth Motion to compel, which basically relates to the IGG, is already scheduled to be closed I believe. This was stipulated to by both sides some time ago. There's confirmation in the docs somewhere via Judge's order and AT confirms the stipulation in one of D's motions IIRC. Perhaps early to mid May. The stipulation didn't disappear when the hearings were rescheduled.
Moo

Edited for clarity
 
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It won't be "suddenly closed" imo, because the upcoming hearing regarding Defense's fifth Motion to compel, which basically relates to the IGG, is already scheduled to be closed I believe. This was stipulated to by both sides some time ago. There's confirmation in the docs somewhere via Judge's order and AT confirms the stipulation in one of D's motions IIRC. Perhaps early to mid May. The stipulation didn't disappear when the hearings were rescheduled.
Moo

Edited for clarity
I'm not sure what is going on in regards to the previously scheduled closed hearing as there is no court document thus far showing a closed hearing this week or on Thursday or even next week.
 
I'm in agreement with everyone in regards to how accurate Howard Blum's writing in regards to this case may or may not be. He was likely working to deadlines and that affected what was in the articles. However, it is hard for me to imagine where he could have come up with 20 skin cells if he has not talked to someone in LE who was "in the know." That is a bragging comment that they were able to finger the suspect from so little touch DNA. Who else would brag about that? I don't think it came from the local barista. I would not expect Mr. Blum to know enough about DNA to think that was impressive, so it is reasonable to think that someone in LE told him that.

JMO.
 
AT has never filed any Motion saying that this is not BK's DNA and she consistently refers to it as BK's DNA.
RSBM
She hasn't so far. In fact she hasn't filed any motions to suppress yet. But as she stated two hearings ago, "those are coming".
You might be right that she won't contest it. But I will not be surprised at all if she does try to get such a central element of the prosecution's case dismissed.
 
I don't consider Howard Blum as credible.... Is he testing the DNA? No. Is he a LE investigator on this case? No.

There is nothing wrong with that DNA from the sheath or AT would have filed a Motion by now to exclude it from trial.

It was very intact. It gave a clear match to BK.

AT has never filed any Motion saying that this is not BK's DNA and she consistently refers to it as BK's DNA.
Thursday would be the first time in a hearing after her DNA experts have actually seen the IGG and other DNA materials. IMO, she could not have filed any motions in regards to the processing of the IGG prior to the forthcoming hearing.
All she can do is attack the genealogy, she is not attacking the Octillion Idaho lab results.

2 Cents
I don't think we know that yet.
Let's see what happens Thursday.
 
Thursday would be the first time in a hearing after her DNA experts have actually seen the IGG and other DNA materials. IMO, she could not have filed any motions in regards to the processing of the IGG prior to the forthcoming hearing.

I don't think we know that yet.
Let's see what happens Thursday.

Yes. Let's hope something more definitive comes to light. I'm looking for rulings.

Judge judge is not going to toss this case .... so......

What is AT's end game here?
 
IMO there is a two-pronged approach going on in regards to the DNA evidence.
I am genuinely trying to understand your points on this, so I did spend an hour re-watching Dr. Larkin's testimony.
1. At the first hearing in regards to DNA, Dr. Leah Larkin said shared DNA is not always reliable to show how closely related one person is to another.
This really has nothing to do with BK--she wasn't trying to say his matches suggested a certain relationship and that's not always reliable so the IGG results are not reliable.

She was talking about the percentage of dna shared between matches, which are called centimorgans, or cMs. When you have a match list, it will tell you how many cMs the matches share with the profile you're working with. Some cMs are pretty obvious--if you share in the 3400 cM range, this is almost always going to be parent/child.

But if you share around 800 cMs, this could be a first cousin or a half niece. I have a match that ancestry suggests based on shared cMs is my first cousin once removed or my half first cousin, but I know through research he's actually my second cousin.

And that's all she's really saying. The amount of cMs shared can suggest the likely relationship, but many times you'll share more or less than the usual amount so you need to do your research. But the cMs are useful in genetic genealogy because when you map out the tree you can use the cMs to kind of check your work--if I have this person over here in this branch, do the shared cMs make sense with his match over here in the other branch. Do all the shared cMs on this tree make sense for how they all relate to each other.

Notice at 12:18 AT is asking if a fair amount of DNA is needed and then what happens if you don't have that and Dr. Larkin says whole genome sequencing. She is specifically pointing out that depending on the amount of DNA and if it is degraded or not, different processes must be used. So clearly one of the subtextual questions AT had in her mind at that time is if there was enough DNA to run an IGG and, if so, which technique was used. Next Dr. Larkin goes into great detail about the complexities of determining family relationships.
I don't think she was suggesting this. We know there was enough dna to do IGG. AT wouldn't even be holding this hearing if there wasn't enough dna to do IGG. There would have been no match list, no tip generated, no use of the genetic genealogy sites, etc. Everything she's asking to look is the product of the IGG.

A microarray is generally used for a variety of reasons, but whole genome sequencing/next generation sequencing can be used for smaller amounts. If the dna produced matches and those matches led to BK, there was enough dna to do IGG.
IMO, if AT ONLY thought that LE got the DNA illegally, she would not be asking about any of this at all.
Are you saying AT thinks LE got the dna illegally through the IGG?

If she thinks LE got the dna illegally via the IGG, then she doesn't think there wasn't enough dna to do IGG.
Later, in the last 20% of her testimony, Dr. Larkin talks about what DNA databases LE is permitted to use. Her testimony is very interesting and well worth watching, IMO

2. At that first hearing there was also testimony in regards to illegal use of DNA by LE, a little discussion of this by Dr. Larkin and a whole lot by Gabriella Vargas.
Yes. Keep in mind neither Dr. Larkin or Gabriella Vargas have seen any details from the investigation. Dr. Larkin testified that there are some workarounds in GEDmatch to be able to see matches that didn't opt-in to be visible to law enforcement. That's a violation of their terms of service. She has seen other genealogists do this and knows how to do it herself. We don't know if LE in this case used that workaround but AT definitely wants to find out in hopes of getting the dna thrown out. Because it's a match to BK and she knows it. And remember also that Gabriella Vargas reneged on her testimony and admitted that she inadvertently agreed to some of what she signed without fully reading it. I'm not sure she will be called again.
So, I think both points are at issue in this case.
Both points are not at issue because one point is the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. This has not been disputed by the defense and they have made no issue of it.

The other point involving dna is the IGG process used to generate the lead that the dna came from this family and likely from BK. The lead itself is not the issue though. The issue is the defense wants to look at the techniques used and sniff out any violations of terms of service.
The Defense DNA experts had not seen any of the IGG materials at the time of the first hearing. Now the Defense DNA experts have seen the IGG materials that JJ permitted them to see. As a result of whatever the defense DNA experts found, the Defense has now requested that the IGG materials be permitted to be shown to the Defense investigators. So clearly, something WAS found that needs to be investigated. The Defense will be back in court this week WITH their DNA experts, so it is likely we will learn more about their findings this week unless the hearing is suddenly closed. BUT, IF, they have discovered any kind wrongdoing by LE, then that hearing should be open, IMO.
Yes, before the defense experts were speaking in hypotheticals. They had no knowledge of what actually occurred in this investigation. AT wanted the court to see why it was important for her to examine the materials the FBI believed to be investigative techniques and not subject to discovery.
Here is the document showing that the Defense DNA experts were expected to attend the May 16, 2024 hearing which was postponed to this week via Zoom:

Here is the motion to allow defense investigators to view IGG materials:

There is a separate motion about the issue of violation of BK's rights in regards to the IGG: https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/.../042624-Motion-Unseal-Parts-IGG-Materials.pdf

Here, they are re-setting the hearings to this last Thursday and this week:

Permission for Defense DNA witnesses to attend this Thursday via Zoom:

Leah Larkin is a biologist who specializes in genealogy and DNA. She solves complex family mysteries. I don't think she would be called into the hearing Thursday to testify on the possible violation of BK's rights.

Bika Barlow is a lawyer who specializes in DNA cases. She might be there to testify about any possible wrongdoing and violation of BK's rights.

IF there was wrongdoing by LE in regards to the IGG it must be exposed.

IF the IGG is wrong, then that needs to be exposed.

I hope to find out more on these subjects during the hearing Thursday.

All JMO.
I have no idea what might or might not be exposed regarding the techniques and processes used by LE to generate the match list--people in general are not happy when LE doesn't follow the rules and most users of genetic genealogy are not happy when something discourages people from using these services.

But if the IGG was wrong--what are we doing here? Why try so hard to get it thrown out if it's wrong? The IGG has nothing to do with the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. The IGG doesn't determine in any way that he is or isn't a match. The IGG could be wrong and wrong again all day long and he would still be a match.
JMO
 
If it was a small sample of only 20 cells or less, as stated by Howard Blum, AND it was degraded, then it is very likely that the STR may have been partial and the IGG may have identified the wrong person.
SBM--if the IGG identified the wrong person, it's actually bad news for the defense. It means the IGG was irrelevant and generated a lead that was a dead end. It means the IGG generated a lead whose dna did not match to the dna on the sheath. It means the IGG goes into the file of all the other tips that didn't pan out. It means they can't try to use the IGG to get the dna thrown out.
JMO
 
Yes - but the possibility that the second person leaves no DNA is vanishingly small. That's why the initial report says "single source" DNA (as opposed to, say, the glove box DNA in the Morphew case - which contained partial profiles of two or more different people).

That's why the SNP's are studied - these are the places where we vary. The chances of even siblings having the same betaglobin marker + same neuregulin marker are about 25%. For those two siblings to share a third unusual (highly variable marker) such as for proline dehydrogenase is much smaller. And so on. Each time we add a locus that has 400-1000 alleles, we have the possibility of many individuals who are distinct.

It would be very unlikely for there to be blood on the sheath and not have it mentioned in the same sentences as we already have seen for the DNA. And it doesn't matter - except that if there were blood, we would expect an injury on BK, which so far, seems not to be the case.

Since the DNA was on the use point of a tool, and we know that humans use their hands and fingers to operate such items, it would highly surprising if it were not epithelial DNA. As someone who reads a lot of forensic DNA research, I'd say it almost goes without saying in the forensic community that epithelial cells are the major source of forensic DNA.

If the profile had been mixed (some other man + Kohberger) then yes, the defense could argue that he shook hands with someone at a knife shot who then immediately grabbed a sheath (that had been cleaned off for some reason) and now there would be TWO people's DNA there. Knife shop people do not usually wear gloves, IME.

My best guess is that while BK did try to clean up the knife sheath, he had used that snap many times and each time, another few layers of epithelial cells were deposited. He might even have been able to wipe off or destroy the upper layers. But, just as epithelial cells do on our bodies, they do layer nicely and protect each other - the bottom layers, pushed down by the use and reused of the snap - had enough for several DNA samples.

ALL of which belonged to BK.

I've mentioned before that we suit up in the lab and in crime scenes to avoid our own epithelial DNA from being deposited or BREATHED onto the objects.

So if we allege that some other person collected and deposited BK's DNA deep inside the snap, they had to have decided for some reason to use DNA as a foil in an elaborate crime set-up. While suited up much like an astronaut.

And what tools would they need to get the DNA from Kohberger and onto the sheath? Well, only tools that one would find in a lab. Also sterile or even more stranger DNA would be found. There's no way to know, after a handshake, just where the other person's DNA Is - on your hands (gloved hands in this case). BK himself seems way too particular and into crime scene analysis to be NOT wearing gloves - but the store clerk is? Doesn't pass Occam's razor IMO.

IMO
I certainly agree with all the DNA science you've presented -- it makes good sense. And I think BK is the killer.

But I also think AT is on her game, and frankly, I would be surprised if she let the idea of secondary transfer via an object or an intermediary go unexplored. Since convictions have been overturned based on known complexities with touch DNA, I think the Defense will bring in its own DNA analyst.

Even the term "touch DNA" is increasingly being called "transfer DNA" to describe the nature and behavior of this type of forensic evidence.

I expect the Prosecution to argue, as you have, that the "single source" of DNA makes it problematic for anyone but BK to have wielded the knife. Still, the Defense has a growing number of cases, like that of David Butler, it can cite to show how touch DNA has been used to arrest/charge the wrong person.

It's an interesting case to be sure.
 
The IGG portion of fifth Motion to Compel scheduled for May 30th at 1.30pm will be closed to the public per Judge's order dated 14th May

Parties had already stipulated it be closed prior to 14th May.

No new stipulation was filed by 24th May to open it.

The hearing is tomorrow and no notices for family have been filed.


"Based on
the agreement of the parties, the hearing scheduled for May 16, 2024, at 3:00p.m. for the IGG portion of Defendant's 5th motion to compel is VACATED and re-set for
May 30, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. This portion of the hearing will include arguments on
Defendant's Motion to Allow Defense Investigators to Review IGG Materials and
Defendant's Motion to Unseal Parts of IGG Materials. At this juncture, the hearing will be
sealed as stipulated by the parties. In the event that the parties determine that the hearing can
be open to the public, the parties must file a stipulation to open the hearing no later than
May 24, 2024, to provide adequate notice to the victims'
families."


 
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I'm not sure what is going on in regards to the previously scheduled closed hearing as there is no court document thus far showing a closed hearing this week or on Thursday or even next week.
It was sorted out on 14th of May by judge's order as already mentioned. Stipulated to be closed unless parties filed otherwise in the interim.
 
AT can spin the DNA all day, it comes down to BK's single source DNA found on the sheath button snap laying next to Maddie at the crime scene. 5+ Octillion odds that is was BK.

LE had BK's DNA, they ran it through CODIS. No hits because BK was not in the CODIS database. They had many other things pointing to his probable guilt, ie. Surveillance video, CAST information, his vehicle driving by the CS 3 times at the time of the murders and 12 trips to the home prior from Aug 22 until the murders, all but one of those made late at night. An eye witness who saw and described BK almost perfectly, a latent shoe print outside her bedroom door...and the list goes on.

They retrieved discarded trash and the IGG evidence excluded 99.99% of the population being anyone other than BK as the son of contributor, Dad Kohberger.

LE has BK locked in tight, I'm confident he won't be going anywhere thankfully.

JMO
 
Earlier reports said the victims were likely sleeping, however, new court records show at least one victim -- Xana Kernodle -- was likely awake during that 25-minute window. Records show she was getting a DoorDash delivery at 4 a.m. and minutes later was on TikTok.

Idaho murders: Xana Kernodle likely awake when killed, court records reveal
We don't know what time XK placed her DD order. We have no evidence she was seen by the DoorDash driver. It may have been a contactless delivery. There would have been zero reason for meeting the driver since the payment is electronic via credit or debit card, SNAP or EBT card, Venmo, DD Gift Card or Cash App Pay. Cash App Pay requires that you link a debit card and fund Cash App Pay for payments - it's not a way of paying with cash in hand. Since everything is done electronically, there is no need to ever meet your DoorDash Driver or for them to meet you.
 
I am genuinely trying to understand your points on this, so I did spend an hour re-watching Dr. Larkin's testimony.

This really has nothing to do with BK--she wasn't trying to say his matches suggested a certain relationship and that's not always reliable so the IGG results are not reliable.

She was talking about the percentage of dna shared between matches, which are called centimorgans, or cMs. When you have a match list, it will tell you how many cMs the matches share with the profile you're working with. Some cMs are pretty obvious--if you share in the 3400 cM range, this is almost always going to be parent/child.

But if you share around 800 cMs, this could be a first cousin or a half niece. I have a match that ancestry suggests based on shared cMs is my first cousin once removed or my half first cousin, but I know through research he's actually my second cousin.

And that's all she's really saying. The amount of cMs shared can suggest the likely relationship, but many times you'll share more or less than the usual amount so you need to do your research. But the cMs are useful in genetic genealogy because when you map out the tree you can use the cMs to kind of check your work--if I have this person over here in this branch, do the shared cMs make sense with his match over here in the other branch. Do all the shared cMs on this tree make sense for how they all relate to each other.

I don't think she was suggesting this. We know there was enough dna to do IGG. AT wouldn't even be holding this hearing if there wasn't enough dna to do IGG. There would have been no match list, no tip generated, no use of the genetic genealogy sites, etc. Everything she's asking to look is the product of the IGG.

A microarray is generally used for a variety of reasons, but whole genome sequencing/next generation sequencing can be used for smaller amounts. If the dna produced matches and those matches led to BK, there was enough dna to do IGG.

Are you saying AT thinks LE got the dna illegally through the IGG?

If she thinks LE got the dna illegally via the IGG, then she doesn't think there wasn't enough dna to do IGG.

Yes. Keep in mind neither Dr. Larkin or Gabriella Vargas have seen any details from the investigation. Dr. Larkin testified that there are some workarounds in GEDmatch to be able to see matches that didn't opt-in to be visible to law enforcement. That's a violation of their terms of service. She has seen other genealogists do this and knows how to do it herself. We don't know if LE in this case used that workaround but AT definitely wants to find out in hopes of getting the dna thrown out. Because it's a match to BK and she knows it. And remember also that Gabriella Vargas reneged on her testimony and admitted that she inadvertently agreed to some of what she signed without fully reading it. I'm not sure she will be called again.

Both points are not at issue because one point is the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. This has not been disputed by the defense and they have made no issue of it.

The other point involving dna is the IGG process used to generate the lead that the dna came from this family and likely from BK. The lead itself is not the issue though. The issue is the defense wants to look at the techniques used and sniff out any violations of terms of service.

Yes, before the defense experts were speaking in hypotheticals. They had no knowledge of what actually occurred in this investigation. AT wanted the court to see why it was important for her to examine the materials the FBI believed to be investigative techniques and not subject to discovery.



I have no idea what might or might not be exposed regarding the techniques and processes used by LE to generate the match list--people in general are not happy when LE doesn't follow the rules and most users of genetic genealogy are not happy when something discourages people from using these services.

But if the IGG was wrong--what are we doing here? Why try so hard to get it thrown out if it's wrong? The IGG has nothing to do with the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. The IGG doesn't determine in any way that he is or isn't a match. The IGG could be wrong and wrong again all day long and he would still be a match.
JMO
Awesome post! Agreeing with your understandings. Though I'm a layperson. am learning one heck of a lot and trusting more and more in my own logic and considered inferences. moo
 
I am genuinely trying to understand your points on this, so I did spend an hour re-watching Dr. Larkin's testimony.

This really has nothing to do with BK--she wasn't trying to say his matches suggested a certain relationship and that's not always reliable so the IGG results are not reliable.
Dr. Larkin wasn't talking specifically about BK because they did not have any DNA evidence to examine at the time. She WAS talking about possibilities that could happen from the processing of DNA and why it was necessary for the defense to be able to examine the evidence. She also spoke about how relationships are determined in IGG which is a combination of science and also experiential judgement, she talked about problems that which can occur with developing an IGG. However, I don't think any of this would have been brought up if AT didn't have questions about the DNA in this case.
She was talking about the percentage of dna shared between matches, which are called centimorgans, or cMs. When you have a match list, it will tell you how many cMs the matches share with the profile you're working with. Some cMs are pretty obvious--if you share in the 3400 cM range, this is almost always going to be parent/child.

But if you share around 800 cMs, this could be a first cousin or a half niece. I have a match that ancestry suggests based on shared cMs is my first cousin once removed or my half first cousin, but I know through research he's actually my second cousin.

And that's all she's really saying. The amount of cMs shared can suggest the likely relationship, but many times you'll share more or less than the usual amount so you need to do your research. But the cMs are useful in genetic genealogy because when you map out the tree you can use the cMs to kind of check your work--if I have this person over here in this branch, do the shared cMs make sense with his match over here in the other branch. Do all the shared cMs on this tree make sense for how they all relate to each other.

I don't think she was suggesting this. We know there was enough dna to do IGG. AT wouldn't even be holding this hearing if there wasn't enough dna to do IGG. There would have been no match list, no tip generated, no use of the genetic genealogy sites, etc. Everything she's asking to look is the product of the IGG.

A microarray is generally used for a variety of reasons, but whole genome sequencing/next generation sequencing can be used for smaller amounts. If the dna produced matches and those matches led to BK, there was enough dna to do IGG.

Are you saying AT thinks LE got the dna illegally through the IGG?
No, I'm saying if Blum was right, there were not enough diploid cells to get a complete STR profile. A partial profile could lead to a false identification. If it was a partial profile, and the identification was false, then the IGG would be wrong, too.
If she thinks LE got the dna illegally via the IGG, then she doesn't think there wasn't enough dna to do IGG.

Yes. Keep in mind neither Dr. Larkin or Gabriella Vargas have seen any details from the investigation. Dr. Larkin testified that there are some workarounds in GEDmatch to be able to see matches that didn't opt-in to be visible to law enforcement. That's a violation of their terms of service. She has seen other genealogists do this and knows how to do it herself. We don't know if LE in this case used that workaround but AT definitely wants to find out in hopes of getting the dna thrown out. Because it's a match to BK and she knows it. And remember also that Gabriella Vargas reneged on her testimony and admitted that she inadvertently agreed to some of what she signed without fully reading it. I'm not sure she will be called again.

Both points are not at issue because one point is the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. This has not been disputed by the defense and they have made no issue of it.

The other point involving dna is the IGG process used to generate the lead that the dna came from this family and likely from BK. The lead itself is not the issue though. The issue is the defense wants to look at the techniques used and sniff out any violations of terms of service.

Yes, before the defense experts were speaking in hypotheticals. They had no knowledge of what actually occurred in this investigation. AT wanted the court to see why it was important for her to examine the materials the FBI believed to be investigative techniques and not subject to discovery.

I have no idea what might or might not be exposed regarding the techniques and processes used by LE to generate the match list--people in general are not happy when LE doesn't follow the rules and most users of genetic genealogy are not happy when something discourages people from using these services.

But if the IGG was wrong--what are we doing here? Why try so hard to get it thrown out if it's wrong? The IGG has nothing to do with the dna on the sheath being a match to BK. The IGG doesn't determine in any way that he is or isn't a match. The IGG could be wrong and wrong again all day long and he would still be a match.
JMO
IMO, IF the DNA was partial due to being degraded by sitting on brass, and the ID was made on the partial DNA, THEN, both the STR profile and the IGG developed from the STR profile could be completely wrong. It would all come down to GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out.)

Howard Blum wrote that the sample was "20 skin cells (maybe less.)" in Eyes of a Killer, Chapter 4. All the literature I can find online about how many skin cells are needed to get an STR indicates that normally 80 skin cells are needed. The literature also indicates that some of the cells are destroyed in processing. So I have to really wonder how good is the STR in this case? Was it complete or partial?

Just to put into perspective how tiny the sample found on the snap of the sheath was: "A single square inch of skin has about 19 million cells."

"Currently, the optimum DNA input to the PCR for STR profiling is around 500 pg [[1], [2], [3]], which equates to approximately 80 diploid cells (∼6 pg/cell [4]). If the potential of DNA loss through workflow processing is not considered, any item from which 80 cells are collected should generate a full DNA profile."

If Blum is right they collected only 20 diploid cells or less.

"Many laboratories use commercially available STR amplification kits. Depending on the kit and reaction volume, the optimal concentration of input DNA will be in the range of 0.5ng – 2ng. Adding too much or too little DNA to the amplification reaction can result in problems in the analysis."

A further problem with such a minuscule sample is that the entire sample would be used up in the testing process leaving the defense without any option to have another lab run the same testing process on part of the sample to see if the results are identical or not. In this case, we have a prosecutor who initially told the court that they were going to have to "trust them" on the DNA identification. From that point forward he has proceeded to drag his feet about giving the defense any information about the DNA testing process at all. IMO, it's not a good look nor should it be tolerated. A fundamental of the scientific process is the reproducibility of results - that you have to be able to replicate the results to prove if the process worked correctly or not.

Here, the sample is too small to give half of it to the defense, so the next option would be to give complete documentation of the findings and then the defense can run BK's DNA to see if it matches LE's findings.

What is going on in this case is one of the reasons why I don't like non-scientists being in control of scientific evidence. In this case we have one lawyer trying to hide a scientific process from another lawyer and her DNA experts. It is really ridiculous. There should be no reason for that whatsoever. Either the scientific process worked correctly or the results were questionable or it did not work. Regardless of which outcome, it must be completely exposed and examined. Further, the Judge, also a non-scientist, got involved in deciding what parts of a scientific process the defense may view. How would JJ know what is Germaine about the testing? This is certainly not his area of expertise.

IMO, we need to do better. Our court system owes that to all of us.
 
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