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  1. #109


    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    • Primary and Secondary Transfer

    (Skin cells continually flake off at rate of ~35,000 dead skin cells per minute)

    The presence of DNA with a profile matching that found on an item does not necessarily show that the person ever had direct contact with the item. “It has also been shown that a full profile can be recovered from secondary transfer of epithelial cells (from one individual to another and subsequently to an object) at 28 cycles [the standard method].”
    “The full DNA profile of one individual was recovered from an item that they had not touched while the profile of the person having contact with that item was not observed. This profile was also detected using standard 28-cycle amplification

    Secondary transfer refers to the fact that, through physical contact with other people, individuals can inadvertently carry and deposit other people’s DNA onto objects of evidence. For example, two people shaking hands will transfer their own DNA to each others’ hands. If each then goes on to touch another object such as a coffee mug, baseball bat, knife etc., they could transfer the other’s skin cells to the object. If that object is a murder weapon, the identification of DNA through LCN could prove problematic and misleading.

    • Strengths and Weaknesses of touch DNA

    -CBI Laboratory Agent Schleicher
    First, "touch DNA," like standard DNA and fingerprints for that matter, doesn't tell the investigator when the DNA was left on the evidence. It could have been left an hour ago or a week ago. Of course the investigator may be able to narrow down the time range based on certain facts of the particular case.
    An example is a suspect's baseball cap left behind at a murder scene. The lab swabs the inside and outside of the hat. A DNA profile from two individuals is developed. Even if there's more DNA from one contributor than the other, you still can't say who was wearing the hat at the time of the murder.
    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. It doesn't provide the culpable mental state of the individual that committed the crime.

    What are some precautions we can all take to minimize this “trace DNA” from ourselves? This is the classic two-edged sword. We have the sensitivity to get identifiable DNA from someone’s finger touching a light switch or doorknob (such as a perpetrator); however, this same sensitivity can allow our own DNA to be found during an analysis!
    Since we are analyzing small amounts of DNA, there is also the potential of removing DNA from an item that may have significance to the case.
    Let’s address DNA concerns at the scene, in the lab, morgue or autopsy room and finally the information we can obtain from DNA analysis.

    Clothing items may contain DNA of someone who has handled the clothing of the deceased.
    Skin touched in the process of moving a victim in some fashion or dressing or undressing a victim may have foreign DNA
    A suspect (or anyone) may also leave DNA if they happen to cough sneeze, or spit accidentally (while talking) over or on the deceased. The doorknob used to enter and exit the room or other objects that may be present in the path from the entry way to the body.

    Morgue, autopsy room, or lab:
    The items mentioned above need to be handled with caution if they do end up in one of these places, especially the clothing items. Remember the removal of DNA is as significant as the addition of your DNA to an object.
    We need to think about the potential for contamination from previous deceased, autopsies, or evidence; even scissors that are used to cut clothing from one body may transfer DNA to a second body or object if not cleaned.

    Crime lab officials here and elsewhere don't like to talk about the fact that the same test that can link someone to a crime scene with a few minuscule cells left on a doorknob can also be contaminated by a passing sneeze. Or that DNA tests are only as reliable as the humans doing them -- a troubling prospect when dealing with evidence that has the power to exonerate suspects or imprison them for life.
    Thanks, Cynic. You should send a copy of this to Mary Lacy. She obviously doesn't know anything about DNA.

  2. #110

    Default Continuing On . . .

    While many may have viewed the recent Brennan and Vaughn investigative report revealed in the Daily Camera last October, if they've not been following the misinterpretations and outright lies about the DNA, they would miss how truly mind-blowing the article is. What is paramount to remember, imo, is DA ML’s drum beat that “matching DNA” between the long johns and the underwear meant there was no innocent explanation for its existence. She was emphatic that this proved it was an Intruder.

    DA ML’s claim was the big trigger for this analysis by DNA experts who reviewed the BODE tDNA reports specifically in the context of the Unk male 1 DNA. ML created the connection between the long johns tDNA and the DNA in the underwear. The facts of too many alleles on parts of the long johns pointing to multiple DNA contributors and too weak DNA on the underwear which could not be replicated for verification, simply equaled what the article references as “twin realities . . . that the genetic profile may not be from a single individual and that DNA on the girl’s clothing may have landed their innocently.”

    It’s too much to hope that the media (or some promoters of the Intruder theory) might understand the determination of experts. Their conclusions point to the irreality of DNA as relevant to the crime.

  3. #111


    I’d be remiss if I did not mention ML had help in spreading DNA falsehoods. One of the myths involved linking DNA from underneath JB’s fingernails to the DNA in the underwear. Not until Kolar’s book came out and it was discovered how much foreign DNA had been found and what DNA testing had been performed, did FFJ posters, namely cynic, uncover that the private investigators for the family had circulated an additional fable. (

    The claim of John San Agustin and Ollie Gray (private investigators for the Rs) helped construct another public myth that the DNA under the nails was the same as the DNA in the underwear. Read cynic’s post to understand why this was a huge fiction. Amazingly this tale was shared on many programs - CNN, Fox News and Nancy Grace, to name a few. San Agustin in particular became what I call an official DNA ‘puffer.’**

    One will always have to wonder why ML took this path of 'exoneration' via DNA when she had been told about multiple contributors to the tDNA. She only gave one explanation which involved discovering a butt print she knew belonged to the killer and being desperate to shield the R family.

    As for the Rs’ private investigators, it’s been shared on the Internet that Gray has recently passed away. But San Agustin has some bigger ‘fish to fry’, beyond defending his DNA fable.

    This past January former sheriff department Commander John San Agustin was scheduled to be arraigned in a fraudulent scheme. The former Commander, along with another former sheriff department supervisor Paula Presley and former Sheriff Terry Maketa, were indicted last May and accused of involvement in a plan to jail a victim of domestic violence in order to protect a former sheriff’s deputy.

    As of March 6, 2017, attorneys for Presley and San Agustin asked for their next court date to be in the summer after former Sheriff Terry Maketa’s trial, "once the dust settles." The judge settled for middle ground and scheduled their date for May 8 which will occur before Maketa's trial. Stay tuned.

    **It’s ironic that San Agustin, has been indicted for participation in a fraudulent scheme. I always thought ‘puffer’ was derived from ‘puffery’ or exaggerated endorsement. But there’s actually a legal definition of ‘puffer’ and it’s described as someone employed to bid up an item at auction for the purpose of raising the price upon bona fide bidders. (Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006) It’s considered fraud which invalidates the sale.

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