Australia - Shandee Blackburn, 23, murdered, Mackay, Qld, 9 Feb 2013

DRT

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Now it looks like it may not be all the DNA lab's fault. Gotta feel for Shandee's family.


Inquiry told process to collect blood samples 'may not be best practice'
Counsel Assisting Laura Reece today told the inquiry that at the time of Ms Blackburn's death, police used a wetting agent that contained 70 per cent alcohol to collect blood samples, which "may not be best practice".

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11...-dna-lab-inquiry-bingate-leadership/101688616

Walter Sofronoff KC, who is conducting the inquiry, responded that it could be concluded that swabs submitted by police could have been unreliable before arriving at the lab.

"It's not possible to conclude that the offender's DNA was not on Ms Blackburn's body or clothing, and it's not possible to conclude that Ms Blackburn's DNA was not present in the car of the person who had been suspected of the killing," he said.

"It was not correct to say that there was no DNA, it would have been correct to say that having regard to the methods employed, it was not possible to say whether or not there was any DNA in relevant places."
 
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Now it looks like it may not be all the DNA lab's fault. Gotta feel for Shandee's family.


Inquiry told process to collect blood samples 'may not be best practice'
Counsel Assisting Laura Reece today told the inquiry that at the time of Ms Blackburn's death, police used a wetting agent that contained 70 per cent alcohol to collect blood samples, which "may not be best practice".

Today's DNA inquiry will hear about 'Shandee's Story', the case that started it all

Walter Sofronoff KC, who is conducting the inquiry, responded that it could be concluded that swabs submitted by police could have been unreliable before arriving at the lab.

"It's not possible to conclude that the offender's DNA was not on Ms Blackburn's body or clothing, and it's not possible to conclude that Ms Blackburn's DNA was not present in the car of the person who had been suspected of the killing," he said.

"It was not correct to say that there was no DNA, it would have been correct to say that having regard to the methods employed, it was not possible to say whether or not there was any DNA in relevant places."
Looks like the police may have contributed to the mess but regardless, the lack of results should have raised alarm bells at the lab and had them exploring the process from start to finish.

Not sure if it was mentioned in the article, but who instructed the police on what type of swabs they should use and where did they get them from? Did the lab issue them to the police?
 

bfew

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Looks like the police may have contributed to the mess but regardless, the lack of results should have raised alarm bells at the lab and had them exploring the process from start to finish.

Not sure if it was mentioned in the article, but who instructed the police on what type of swabs they should use and where did they get them from? Did the lab issue them to the police?
The answer to some of those questions might be in the Commission of Inquiry into Forensic DNA Testing in Queensland exhibit EXP.0002.0009.0001 or one of the many other inquiry exhibits (published or suppressed) referred to in this expert report.
'The main purpose of this report is to comment on whether the use of rayon swabs with 70% ethanol were properly validated before being implemented by QPS. If not, what are the consequences of that and what should be done to rectify that situation?'
 
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A commission of inquiry has heard DNA samples from the scene of Shandee Blackburn's murder were unreliable, but at this stage it is impossible to say why. It sounds like samples from Shanee's clothes will be sent to a different lab for further testing.

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December 13th is the date Walter Sofronoff KC is due to come back with his findings. They will be interesting, to say the least.
 
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