Imagine You Get A Knock On The Door. You Open It, Hesitant,

1359 WordsApr 13, 20176 Pages
Imagine you get a knock on the door. You open it, hesitant, knowing you have prior convictions, to see multiple police officers and detectives. They invite themselves inside and begin asking you questions about a “cold case” potentially involving a someone in your family. They ask if anyone in your family matches the description of a suspect in the case and if you can provide an alibi for them. After answering their questions, they leave and the next week you find out your brother was arrested for murder; his DNA matched the sample taken from the crime scene. You helped solve a decade-old murder case and turned in your brother simultaneously. This is the result of familial searching. The formal definition of familial searching,…show more content…
One in particular is the arrest of Lonnie David Franklin Jr. aka the “Grim Sleeper” last August in Los Angeles, California. He was arrested for killing a confirmed 10 victims between 1985 and 2007 thanks to a partial DNA match. Franklin had initially left DNA at the crime scene, but because he wasn’t in CODIS (the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System) investigators hit a dead-end. Finally, in 2010 they found a partial match (15/16 alleles): one of Franklin’s offspring. This led them right to Franklin where they collected DNA and compared it to the sample taken from the crime scene and matched it. This is one of the most convincing success stories of familial searching; finding a serial killer and bringing him to justice almost a decade after the murders is an outstanding accomplishment for a police department, so many others are following their lead and experimenting with the technique. But, as of the end of 2016, only nine states allow it (McBride, 2016). Because of the many recorded successes of this technique, many people are advocating for its use, especially family members of victims whose killers have never been identified. One example of an advocate is the family of Katrina Vetrano, a 30 year old woman from New York who was murdered last summer (Rosenberg, 2017). The family believes that since all other investigative efforts have been exhausted, its time to start pushing for its use and as of March 2017, the DNA subcommittee of

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