A brief history of forensic DnA
              1990 – 2010

 marking 20 years of DnA analysis for the
  new Zealand crimina...
It seems hard to believe that only a little more than two decades ago, using
                                             ...
forensic DnA timeline                                                                               2001
                 ...
A brief history of forensic DnA analysis in                                              1990 DnA evidence presented      ...
the national DnA Database                            In the UK in 1993 –‘94 Dr Gill was         Between 1996 and 2000, ESR...
2006 Low copy number                         2006 y-str introduced                      2008 familial testing assists
    ...
LooKinG forWArD                                                                           the neW ZeALAnD nAtionAL DnA DAt...
Historic ‘cold cases’
             One of the most important and valuable qualities of DNA profiling is its
             a...
Wayne Jarden case                                                                                                         ...
indecencies in Mt Albert. The offender           Low Copy Number DNA profile
pleaded guilty and is serving 18 years       ...
©ESR February 2010


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Forensic 20 Years Dna Book Web2

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ESR document looking back at 20 years of DNA forensics in New Zealand

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Forensic 20 Years Dna Book Web2

  1. 1. A brief history of forensic DnA 1990 – 2010 marking 20 years of DnA analysis for the new Zealand criminal justice system 2100 2400 27 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 22 B: 22•2300434405 / EPOS 22 Y: 22•2300434405 / Page 1 www.esr.cri.nz www.esr.cri.nz
  2. 2. It seems hard to believe that only a little more than two decades ago, using DNA to fight crime was unheard of. The development of DNA ‘fingerprinting’ revolutionised forensic science and the investigation of crime worldwide. In the early years DNA profiling was primarily used to solve serious crimes. It is now routinely used to investigate a range of crimes from burglaries, to homicides. Often the investigation of a major crime using DNA technology has led to a number of different and often completely unrelated crimes being solved. When confronted with DNA evidence many offenders plead guilty, saving resources and money in criminal investigations, and through the court system. The continual development and improvements in the use of forensic DNA technology has enabled some of New Zealand’s most challenging cold cases to be solved. and it is also an extremely important tool in exonerating the innocent. Behind the scenes it can be the tool that excludes suspects or changes the focus of a police investigation. New Zealand has continually been at the forefront of developing and utilising forensic DNA technology. Our forensic scientists have been instrumental in major technological advances; most notably in the development of low copy number trace DNA and interpretation of DNA profiles. New Zealand’s ‘hit rate,’ linking individuals to crimes through the databank, is one of the highest in the world. Our DNA expertise is recognised throughout the world and our forensic systems and scientists are sought after by other jurisdictions particularly in Australasia. The New Zealand criminal justice system has benefitted from two decades of continuous development and implementation of forensic DNA. The partnership between users of the criminal justice system, and particularly between ESR and the ESR provides independent impartial forensic service expertise to support the New Zealand justice system. This comprehensive forensic service is New Zealand Police, should ensure that New Zealand retains its place as a underpinned by robust research and the latest DNA technology. world leader in the use of this crime fighting technology. Page 2 Page 1 www.esr.cri.nz
  3. 3. forensic DnA timeline 2001 Theresa Cormack ‘cold case’ solved using improved 2007 Mid 1990s – 2000 DNA technology Increased ESR introduces more discrimination 1985 sensitive and discriminating between DNA British scientists, Drs Peter Gill, DNA technology profiles Alec Jeffreys and Dave Werrett publish “Forensic application of 2004 DNA fingerprints.” New Zealand exports 2006 forensic database Y-STR introduced expertise early 1990s Introduction of DNA profiling into casework 1987–1988 in New Zealand NZ scientists begin training in the new technology Introduction of DNA profiling into casework in New Zealand 2006 Low Copy Number technology introduced to NZ casework 2005 Robots introduced to the DNA laboratory 2008 New extraction technology 1995–1996 introduced National DNA Databank established 1990 First DNA evidence 2002 presented in NZ court NZ’s purpose built forensic 2009 – 100,000th DNA laboratory opens individual profile added to databank Page 2 Page 3 www.esr.cri.nz
  4. 4. A brief history of forensic DnA analysis in 1990 DnA evidence presented violation and 68 other offences and was in new Zealand court sentenced to 30 years in prison. new Zealand In 1990 Dr Lawton presented DNA In 1995 seven rapes and a homicide in evidence for the first time in a New South Auckland were linked by DNA 1985 Zealand court in Q v Pengelly. testing. In 1996 DNA linked another In 1985 British scientists, Drs services for the series of rapes in central Auckland to the Michael James Pengelly was accused of Peter Gill, Alec Jeffreys and Dave New Zealand Police South Auckland rapes. A mass DNA the murder of an elderly woman in her Werrett published a paper in Nature, including the screen of several thousand men was Auckland home. Various bloodstains “Forensic application of DNA identification and undertaken. Malcolm Rewa headed the were located in the house. These were fingerprints.” grouping of bloodstains suspect list but couldn’t be located. In blood typed, then DNA tested. It was and semen stains. This was May 1996 Rewa was arrested following This provided a method for found that some of the bloodstains done using blood typing. an attack on a 16 year old girl. His identification of individuals by DNA could not be from the deceased. DNA The new DNA-based method DNA profile matched the DNA linked profiling and was the beginning of testing showed that the blood could be would prove to be far crimes. On the first day of his trial he DNA testing in forensic science. from the accused, and Pengelly was later more discriminating than pleaded guilty to all cases where there It’s proved to be the biggest convicted of the murder. conventional blood typing for was DNA evidence except for the single advance in the field since the identification of individuals homicide. He was found guilty in 26 conventional fingerprinting. involved in crime. Early 1990s Amplification other cases. A second trial found him In a paper to mark 20 years since the of DnA guilty of the homicide. discovery Drs Gill and Prof Jobling said – “Sherlock Holmes said ‘it has 1987-1988 new Zealand The first PCR-based methods were long been an axiom of mine that the scientists begin training in the introduced into NZ in the early 1990s. new technology This meant the DNA could be extracted little things are infinitely the most and amplified (copied many times) to important’, but he never could have In 1987 forensic scientist Dr Steve obtain a DNA profile. Results were imagined that such a little thing, the Cordiner was awarded a fellowship to obtained within a few days rather than DNA molecule, could become perhaps study the new technique with Dr Geoff the previous timeframes of weeks. the most powerful single tool in the Chambers at Victoria University. multifaceted fight against crime. Twenty Police recognised that a large number At the same time Dr Margaret Lawton, of sexual assaults in South Auckland years after the development of DNA Government Analyst at DSIR Auckland, between 1983 and 1994 occurred with fingerprinting, forensic DNA analysis is was given responsibility for managing the same modus operandi and developed key to either conviction or exoneration the introduction of DNA profiling into a profile of an assailant. ESR reviewed of suspects. It is also central to the casework in New Zealand. old cases and was able to link 15 of identification of victims of crimes, accidents and disasters, driving the Funding was provided to establish new the sexual assaults using the new development of innovative methods in DNA testing facilities, and in 1988 a DNA testing. molecular genetics, statistics and the use group of NZ forensic scientists went A mass DNA screen was undertaken of massive intelligence databases.” to the UK to train at the Home Office and 700 suspects were eliminated from It was these types of investigations Laboratory with Drs Gill and Werrett the investigation. One male on the that provided the impetus for the At the time of the DNA breakthrough in the UK, New Zealand’s DSIR When they returned to NZ they began suspect list matched. Joseph Thompson establishment of the NZ National DNA Chemistry Division provided forensic establishing DNA profiling laboratories. admitted a total of 61 charges of sexual Databank. Page 4 Page 5 www.esr.cri.nz
  5. 5. the national DnA Database In the UK in 1993 –‘94 Dr Gill was Between 1996 and 2000, ESR increased leading the team which confirmed the number of STR loci tested from 3 to the identity of the remains of the 6, then 10. contains DNA profiles from Romanov family, murdered in 1918, Discrimination between individuals and the subsequent investigation which improved from likelihood ratios of individuals and the crime disproved the claim of Anna Anderson one in 100s in the early days to one to be the Duchess Anastasia. in hundreds of millions. Sensitivity sample Database contains This work led the way for the use of also improved with modifications to forensic DNA analysis methods in technology and equipment used. DNA profiles from unsolved the investigation of historic crimes of international significance, and ultimately the use of these and similar crimes. by comparing the two techniques in the investigation of mass disasters, including war crimes. databases, possible suspects 1995-1996 national DnA can be identified and crimes Databank established The introduction of the Criminal linked. Investigations (Blood Samples) Act 1995, legislated for a “DNA Profile Databank”. The New Zealand National When introduced, the new DNA Databank was implemented in August 1996 and is composed of two Zealand national DnA Databank separate databases; • the National DNA Database was the second national DnA • the Crime Sample Database. Databank in the world, the first Mid 1990s – 2000 In 1995 ESR introduced the more 2001 cold case solved using being established in the United sensitive and discriminating STR improved DnA technology (Short Tandem Repeat) technology into Due to advances in genetic Kingdom in 1995. forensic casework. This involved the fingerprinting, a minute sample of analysis of three STR DNA loci plus semen from the Theresa Cormack case a gender test. The increased sensitivity was able to be profiled. allowed for results to be obtained from smaller forensic samples such as Fifteen years after Cormack’s death, bloodspots and saliva stains, as well as police arrested Jules Mikus for Image depicts raw data from forensic DNA sequencer small numbers of spermatozoa. Cormack’s murder. Page 6 Page 7 www.esr.cri.nz
  6. 6. 2006 Low copy number 2006 y-str introduced 2008 familial testing assists technology introduced to nZ In Y-STR analysis, specific regions of with murder case casework DNA on the Y male chromosome are Familial DNA testing, successfully led In the first years of forensic DNA a large targeted and copied many times. Y-STR to the apprehension of a suspect in the bloodstain the size of an old 50 cent DNA profiling system selectively targets historic Marie Jamieson homicide. coin was thought to be the minimum male DNA even in the presence of large amount of sample required for successful amounts of female DNA (e.g. traces of DNA analysis. By 2006 a mere smudge, male DNA on a vaginal swab which will such as a nose-print against a glass, was have lots of female DNA present on it). enough to give a DNA result that could This means that results can be obtained be linked to an offender. from very small amounts of male DNA. The Forensic Science Service, led by Dr Gill, developed and implemented Low Copy Number DNA profiling in the late 1990s and early 2000s. ESR Principal Scientist, Dr John Buckleton, 2002 nZ’s purpose built DnA worked with Dr Gill and others at the laboratory opens UK Forensic Science Service to establish Since the outcome of such a search the technique and develop interpretation requires careful consideration and much In May 2002 ESR opened a purpose guidelines. investigative follow-up by the Police, built DNA testing facility in Auckland. familial searching is only recommended NZ is one of only a few countries After a period of extensive validation in a small number of selected cases. to have purpose built forensic DNA and upgrading of ESR’s forensic laboratory facilities designed to laboratories in Auckland, Christchurch These are typically homicides or serious minimise contamination. and Wellington, the technology was sexual assaults where no link has been implemented into forensic casework. established with the national DNA databank and all other persons of 2004 exporting databank interest have been eliminated. To date expertise The LCN technique copies a DNA familial searching has been undertaken Forensic DNA systems developed sample through 34 cycles compared 2007 increased discrimination in fewer than 20 cases. by ESR are introduced in Thailand. with 28 under standard DNA ESR increased the number of loci Following the Boxing Day Tsunami, tested to 15, allowing even more methods. This equates to a 50-fold 2008 new extraction ESR assisted with DNA expertise and discrimination between profiles and increase in sensitivity. It can be technology introduced systems for disaster victim identification. assisting in cases where discrimination used to obtain profiles from items between closely related family members DNA IQ™, allowed for the development that have only been touched, and 2005 robots introduced to on samples where standard DNA is required. of robotic methods for the extraction of parts of the DnA laboratory case samples. testing is unsuccessful. FaSTR DNA, a software programme, Automation enables faster processing It is only used in a limited number designed and built by ESR for the and help ensures consistency, of appropriate cases. automated interpretation of DNA 2009 100,000th individual minimising handling errors. profiles was also introduced. profile added to databank Page 8 Page 9 www.esr.cri.nz
  7. 7. LooKinG forWArD the neW ZeALAnD nAtionAL DnA DAtAbAnK ESR will introduce the definitive Current areas of research and The New Zealand National DNA 2100 2400 2700 3000 3300 3600 identification of human body fluids development in the DNA/RNA Databank has two databases: and tissues by mRNA profiling. This area include: • National DNA Database (profiles of 1800 innovative technology will be initially individuals) 1600 • the identification of botanical applied to selected casework samples. 1400 evidence including DNA profiling of • Crime Sample Database (profiles from 1200 It allows for the identification of cannabis seizures to establish common unsolved crimes) 1000 body fluids, (vaginal fluids, menstrual origins and the discrimination of Now most individual profiles loaded 800 blood and saliva) at the same time as psychoactive cannabis from hemp to the databank come from buccal 600 determination of the DNA profile. (fibre producing cannabis) scrapes (taken from inside the mouth). 400 The introduction of this technology is a • investigations of the behaviour of low Once a DNA profile has been taken the 200 direct consequence of ESR investment level contributions to DNA mixtures sample is destroyed and only the profile 0 22 B: 22•2300434405 / EPOSOb 22 G: 22•2 in research and development. is retained. The profile is a string of 22 Y: 22•2300434405 / • ageing of injuries and bruises using numbers that are stored on the profile Also coming is the Laser Microdissector. molecular biology and proteomic database. The only genetic information very seriously. The databank system is This combination of microscope and methods that can be obtained from this profile on a separate dedicated secure system dissection apparatus will allow ESR • development of cell identification is gender. that is physically isolated and contains a scientists to identify and select cells methods using proteomics (the large- number of security features. individually for further profiling. Thus, The overall success rate in DNA scale study of proteins, their structure spermatozoa will be able to be selected matching in NZ is world-leading. External parties, including the New and functions) and processed independently of other 63% of all unsolved cases loaded to the Zealand Police, cannot access any cells and body fluids in case samples. • ageing body fluid stains at crime scenes crime sample databases are linked to information on the database. individuals, and more than 30% linked Access by ESR staff is extremely limited, to another crime. physically and by system security ESR and the New Zealand Police features, to only those working with the comply with all requirements of the forensic DNA facility. CI(BS) Act in order to maintain the ESR’s DNA laboratory has three teams: integrity of the DNA Databank as a forensic investigative tool. The Act • the National DNA Database team is designed with a strong focus on • the Crime Sample Database team the rights of the individual. It places rigorous requirements on the police as • the Priority Casework team. investigators and collectors of samples, The Priority Casework team in the DNA and also on ESR as custodians of the laboratory analyses forensic samples databank. for major criminal investigations. ESR has strict protocols in regard to Priority cases are commonly run under management of the National DNA extremely tight timings, with scientists Databank and takes its custodial role often in the laboratory around the clock. Page 10 Page 11 www.esr.cri.nz
  8. 8. Historic ‘cold cases’ One of the most important and valuable qualities of DNA profiling is its ability to solve historic cases. DNA technology allows for samples from unsolved historic crimes to be analysed. This has often led to the arrest of a suspect many years after the offence was committed. teresa cormack case In 1987, six-year old Teresa Cormack went missing. Eight days later her body was discovered. Hairs found on her body were examined and stored. Swabs were sent to Britain for testing but contained insufficient material to provide a profile. In the 1990s the remaining swabs were retested – again there was no result. Maureen McKinnel case Then in 2001, following significant Following the success of the Cormack developments in DNA technology, case, the officer-in-charge of a 16-year- the remaining forensic evidence was old homicide case in Arrowtown asked examined. This time a profile was that samples be retested using new extracted from a very small amount of DNA testing methods. The victim’s semen saved on a microscope slide. reference profile was determined from the remains of a blood sample, and this A massive screening exercise began to was compared with DNA obtained from identify a potential match. One was her nail clippings. The clippings resulted found – Jules Mikus. To confirm the in DNA profiles of two males. match, the hairs stored for 15 years were flown to the United States and exposed The Police began the process of to mitochondrial DNA extraction (the reviewing their suspects. One of the DNA located in structures within cells profiles belonged to a legitimate male that convert the energy from food). contact. The following year, Jarrod The resultant DNA profile matched the Mangels provided a voluntary blood profile obtained from Mikus’ blood. sample. Further blood samples confirmed The database recorded a profile match the match. to the McKinnel case. Sixteen years after Fifteen years after the murder Jules the murder, Mangels was arrested and Mikus was found guilty of the charged. In February 2004, he pleaded abduction, sexual violation and murder guilty to the crime, apologising in the of Teresa Cormack. courtroom. He was sentenced to life. Page 12 Page 13 www.esr.cri.nz
  9. 9. Wayne Jarden case operation backcapture In 1988 a woman was brutally attacked generated from the biological samples Changes to the New Zealand Criminal and raped in her flat in St. Albans, did not match any individual profiles Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act, Christchurch. Samples were analysed, held on the DNA database. In 2007 (1995), allowed for the compulsory but at the time there was insufficient the case was re-examined using a new collection and storage of DNA profiles DNA to be useful. technique of familial testing. This from imprisoned offenders. involves looking for people who may be Twelve years later, ESR scientists The Act permits comparison of these closely related to the offender. analysed the biological samples using DNA profiles to DNA profiles obtained new DNA technology. It indicated that Police obtained DNA samples from two from crime scene samples stored on the the attacker was responsible for another family members. A profile was generated New Zealand Crime Sample Database. unsolved Christchurch rape, that of a which matched crime scene profiles This operation identified 87 links to 90-year-old in April 1996. from the two rapes and in 2009 Wayne crimes. Of these links, 65% were ‘cold Robert Jarden pleaded guilty to both Despite this, a suspect was not links’, meaning a previously unreported rapes. identified, as the DNA profiles suspect was linked to a crime through Janelle Patton case DNA. ESR’s LCN DNA laboratory and Recent DNA forensic stories - every contact leaves a trace operation oakley expertise in trace DNA analysis were used for a high-profile Norfolk Island The case started with the discovery of the hair as belonging to 23-year-old homicide case. of semen on doorknobs and car door Whetu Te Hiko. handles at an address in Mt Albert over Australian Federal Police sought ESR’s several months. Samples submitted to In addition, shoeprints invisible to the expertise in the case of 29-year-old the Crime Sample database showed naked eye were discovered at the scene Sydney woman Janelle Patton, murdered that these cases were linked to the of the crime, leading from the classroom on Norfolk Island on Easter Sunday same offender. to a bathroom. ESR scientists lifted 2002, the first homicide on the island the prints using an electrostatic dust- for 150 years. Using a covert lifting kit. surveillance camera, ESR scientists were able to obtain the Police arrested a The soles of the shoes were identified a DNA profile corresponding to male suspect, who Lois Dear case as a brand sold at The Warehouse in the murder victim from a sample consented to providing Tokoroa. Police discovered only three extract from the boot of the accused’s In July 2006, the body of 66-year-old a DNA sample. The suspect’s profile pairs had been sold, only one in the size car, supporting the prosecution case that teacher Lois Dear was discovered in matched that of the samples from the that Te Hiko wore. Police then trolled 28-year-old New Zealand chef Glenn her Tokoroa classroom at Strathmore crime scene, and he received a six- through store security tapes for that Peter McNeill had killed Miss Patton, Primary school. There were no month suspended sentence. particular occasion and found video of then moved her body by car to another fingerprints, nor any blood found at the Te Hiko purchasing those shoes. location. . . . but the story doesn’t end there. scene; however, there was a hair and a shoeprint. Ten years earlier it wouldn’t Te Hiko pleaded guilty to the murder He was found guilty of murder in Later, a series of serious sexual assaults have been possible to collect DNA from and in May 2007 was sentenced to life March 2007, and sentenced to 24 years on young females began. Samples from a single strand of hair. However, new imprisonment with a minimum of in jail with a minimum non-parole the scenes linked the assaults not only technologies led to the identification 18 years non-parole. period of 18 years. to each other, but also to the earlier Page 14 Page 15 www.esr.cri.nz
  10. 10. indecencies in Mt Albert. The offender Low Copy Number DNA profile pleaded guilty and is serving 18 years Other uses for forensic DNA links rape and murder imprisonment. ESR scientists were able to generate a Distribution of blood DNA profile using low copy number Attempted child abduction DNA profiling is also highly useful for technology. A DNA profile was resolving the distribution of blood at a Two attempts were made to abduct generated from the rope used to strangle crime scene and for investigating crimes young girls off an Auckland street. The a Dunedin student in a rape. where more than one person has been first girl got away with a ripped jacket, The profile linked to Liam Reid, who killed or injured. but a second was forced into a car. She was also identified through standard managed to escape from a rear door By identifying the likely source of DNA testing as the likely perpetrator in of the moving car, dragging an item a bloodstain at a crime scene, the the Emma Agnew murder case. from the car with her. Urgent forensic investigation team can determine the examination of this item yielded a DNA The two cases were heard together in location of people during the offence profile, which linked to a person not on a combined trial in November 2008. and track how individuals moved the suspect list. Reid was found guilty and sentenced through the crime scene. to a minimum non-parole term of As a result, the police were able to make In 2007 when Graham Burton went 26 years. a speedy arrest. A full confession was on a shooting spree in hills near obtained and the girls were spared the Wellington, Police were concerned ordeal of facing the offender in court. that there may be more victims than were immediately found. Urgent DNA analysis from the multiple blood trails came from victims that were accounted for. DNA profiling is used as a powerful and accurate forensic tool in many different Prolonged abuse ways by the New Zealand Police, in A case using profiling results has more than three thousand cases per proved that physical abuse occurred at year. Some of the less well-known uses a dwelling over a long period of time. include: The result was achieved by positively identifying the source of minute Post-mortem examination bloodstains distributed throughout the crime scene as belonging to the victims. DNA profiling can be used in post- mortem examination where identification of the deceased is difficult due to incineration, drowning, or complete or partial decomposition. It is used in cases where the more common methods of A DNA profile using low copy number technology was generated from the rope used to strangle a radiography (X-rays) and odontology Dunedin student in a rape. (forensic dentistry) are unsuitable. Page 16 Page 17 www.esr.cri.nz
  11. 11. ©ESR February 2010 Page 18

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