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  1. #1

    Default Problems with DNA results & DNA tutorials

    I've seen several articles about the problem of DNA contamination at crime scenes and mortuaries by investigators and lab techs. Since it seems likely that Patsey Ramsey wrote the ransom note, how did the minute amount of foreign DNA (the amount in a sneeze) get into the blood spot in JonBenet's underwear? Maybe just by someone talking over it?

    "Results show that contamination by talking in both kneeling and sitting positions occurred almost immediately (<30 seconds, but not from just one sentence) up to 69 cm from the subject. When standing, contamination could be observed up to a maximum 115 cm from the subject, and was only present in one of three repeats when talking for only 30 seconds. This article illustrates how rapidly a static person can potentially contaminate an area in front of him or herself within a laboratory or scene environment, just by talking."

    From "How long does it take a static speaking individual to contaminate the immediate environment?"

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/16461813157pqk46/

  2. #2

    Default Fallible DNA evidence can mean prison or freedom

    From a subscription-only New Scientist article (a link to a free article covering the same territory is in my next post):

    "But DNA is not as objective as you might think. In the first of a two-part investigation, New Scientist reveals that much of the DNA analysis now conducted in crime labs can suffer from worrying subjectivity and bias. We asked forensic analysts to interpret a sample of real DNA evidence and found that they reached opposing conclusions about whether the suspect matched it or not. Our subsequent survey of labs around the world also shows that there are significant inconsistencies in the guidelines on how to interpret a sample. The findings suggest that the difference between prison and freedom could often rest on the opinions of a single individual....Interpreting alleles in a mixed or partial sample is where the subjective opinion of an analyst could play a part...."

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...r-freedom.html

  3. #3

    Default Evaluating forensic DNA evidence: Essential elements of a competent defense review

    "In our experience, examination of the underlying laboratory data frequently reveals limitations or problems that would not be apparent from the laboratory report, such as inconsistencies between purportedly "matching" profiles, evidence of additional unreported contributors to evidentiary samples, errors in statistical computations and unreported problems with experimental controls that raise doubts about the validity of the results. Yet forensic DNA analysts tell us that they receive discovery requests from defense lawyers in only 10-15% of cases in which their tests incriminate a suspect.

    Although current DNA tests rely heavily on computer-automated equipment, the interpretation of the results often requires subjective judgment. When faced with an ambiguous situation, where the call could go either way, crime lab analysts frequently slant their interpretations in ways that support prosecution theories."

    http://www.bioforensics.com/articles...champion1.html

    Although told from a defense attorney's point of view, obviously this could cut either way, depending on who's doing the hiring.

  4. #4

    Default

    Good work, fr brown. Do you post at Websleuths? We're having a throw down or two there over just this very thing. I don't know if it's been posted there, but it should be.

    Thanks. I'm going to bring a post here addressing some of these issues I wrote this afternoon. No need to rewrite it because it took me so long to write it the first time. It's not as scientific in basis, but I ponder issues like bias and the lack of credibility for the results because of those involved and their agendas, etc.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
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    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
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  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase View Post
    Good work, fr brown. Do you post at Websleuths? We're having a throw down or two there over just this very thing. I don't know if it's been posted there, but it should be.

    Thanks. I'm going to bring a post here addressing some of these issues I wrote this afternoon. No need to rewrite it because it took me so long to write it the first time. It's not as scientific in basis, but I ponder issues like bias and the lack of credibility for the results because of those involved and their agendas, etc.
    I only post here and occasionally at topix. Feel free to post those articles on Websleuths, if you like.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fr brown View Post
    I only post here and occasionally at topix. Feel free to post those articles on Websleuths, if you like.
    Thanks so much. You might want to join WS, though. There's good discussion there and it's more civil than topix, with differing points of view, too. There are some really knowledgeable posters there, too.

    Here's the post I mentioned. I was responding to some good points by posters who are much better at the DNA issues than I:

    [Hope Tadpole12 doesn't mind me using a quote.]

    Quote Originally Posted by koldkase
    Originally Posted by Tadpole12
    heyya cynic.

    Ya maan.
    Thanks for that. You do present the dna info well,
    and I have been able to discern ...

    The mere existence of a DNA profile is not indicative of
    innocence or guilt- C

    .... that reality.

    And cynic, that touch dna test, as its methodolgy was selected to examine only the two waistband areas, can not eliminate the possibility that the longjohns were previously worn by a male, or that a Ramsey did not handle those longjohns.
    Don't want this to get lost in my diatribes.

    Exactly on point: the Bode tech said she discarded some "DNA" in her testing for the "matching" DNA. That implies she had a goal, not a random testing for whatever results were found.

    She never said whose DNA she discarded. I remember because I was watching her "run through/demo" of her "touch" testing methods with a reporter, where she was in her lab, she scraped a pair of jean shorts to demonstrate the technique, vaguely showed how she took the materials she'd scraped off and processed them, and stated she'd discarded other DNA. I jumped and said, "WHAT?! WHOSE DNA? WHY?" But she didn't hear me. The reporter didn't ask, either. Bummer.

    This is the issue that weakens the DNA = intruder argument: when you're manipulating the evidence for a press conference, it's not lost on generally intelligent people that's what you're doing. If you have an outcome in mind before you start, that is the definition of biased results.

    While I can understand if you can "match" the partial profile of DNA markers already developed, it's important, what I can't understand is why you ignore other DNA and call a press conference in an open murder investigation and declare you've found the intruder. That's not Bode's job, but that's what the company did. Since there is no way an investigative agency would use a lab that announced evidence results in a press conference willy nilly, it's a pretty safe bet that was Mary Lacy's agreement with Bode all along: find the result I want, and you can get advertising money can't buy. And they did--both.

    So that brings up lots of issues, as well. Was this a legit test at all? Was it a set up? Where are the lab reports? Was the whole thing a manufactured result after all? Why discard some DNA, donor unspecified and not included in the announcements? Who's running this show and what the heck is going on? What happened to "No Comment" Lacy, who then turns it into an "Exhonerate the Ramseys" media circus, complete with media blitz, love letter to the Ramseys, and tears in Lacy's eyes.

    Puhleeze. I've been watching this Team Ramsey circus for too many years not to identify another propaganda campaign. Lacy knew she was leaving office and she had one final goal in mind, having failed to manufacture an intruder in spite of the PERV Karr confession: exonerate the Ramseys. As if that were her job.

    What Lacy didn't do was find the intruder. Team Ramsey still blames the BPD for no intruder, but Lou Smit, Ollie Gray, John Douglas--they all had their hands in Lacy's 6 years of looking for that intruder, among many other Team Ramsey shills. Where is Intruder? Are you closer to finding him? As Dr. Lee said, nothing new with the DNA. From 9 markers to 13--still no intruder.

    Explain to me why Lacy wasn't testing the cord and releasing that info? Writing a subpoena for those Ramsey phone records at long last? Finding out what happened to that "lost cell phone"? Testing the "Bloomies" package the Ramseys finally turned over as (tainted) evidence five years after the murder? What were THOSE results? Hm? Where's the press conference there?

    This is why all the evidence against the Ramseys can't be thrown out in favor of a few DNA markers allegedly recovered after 12 years by a lab with an obvious agenda. I wasn't born yesterday. I know a hard sell when I see one. I get that the outcome was not to find a killer, but to "exonerate" the Ramseys. That kind of unprofessional behavior by a DA who constructed the whole episode with the end result designed from the beginning loses any belief that she acted in good faith as an officer of the court.

    I think she is as capable of twisting and manufacturing evidence as Lou Smit, who clearly got facts of evidence very wrong under oath. If that wasn't intentional, too bad, because it destroyed an honest civil action process. Smit had no regrets I ever saw when Team Ramsey smirked over the "dismissed" judgment by Judge Carnes, citing Smit's errors as evidence of an intruder.

    Which "No comment" Lacy immediately called the media to endorse, as well. That's Lacy, who knew so little about the facts of evidence in this case, she arrested PERV Karr and flew him half way around the planet to parade as the "intruder." OOps. Most people who read the JB forums knew within minutes of learning Tracey spent four years prompting PERV Karr it was a set up that wasn't going to work, because we know the evidence, and clearly PERV Karr didn't. Fortunately, Tracey wasn't up on the facts vs Team Ramsey spin and disinformation, either, so his coaching of PERV Karr only resulted in PERV Karr getting some key details wrong. Lacy and her dream team, whom she called a press conference to slap on the back and praise--dummy--didn't know those simple case evidence facts, either, turned out.

    Egg on Lacy's face--no problem! Time to find some more DNA and sell it!!

    Sorry. I drove that old used car already, and it broke down the first time.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.

  7. #7
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    Love you, KK.
    This is my Constitutionally protected OPINION. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  8. #8

    Default

    Back atcha, DeeDee.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.

  9. #9

    Default

    A poster at WS asked a question as to what scenario could explain the "foreign" DNA on the underpants and longjohns from secondary transfer, and here are my thoughts, which I want to put here just to keep the discussion going, because this is obviously the Ramseys' trump card, they believe. I don't, and here's why:

    KoldKase
    Registered User Join Date: Jul 2008
    Posts: 518

    Interesting, Cathy.

    [snipped--off topic]

    You asked how could innocent [secondary] transfer have occurred, and there are many scenarios I've seen speculated, but here's one that Ollie Gray actually made me think about when on TV he brought it up himself, oddly enough: the paintbrush.

    If the paintbrush was inserted into the child, and I think it's logical to conclude that it was used for that purpose, it could have had DNA on it belonging to someone else. I think Ollie was pointing out it could have had the "intruder's" DNA on it and that's how it got in the blood spot in the panties, inserted and the flow of blood from the injuries picked it up in the vagina and deposited it on the panty.

    But if that's true, then there was "other" DNA on the paintbrush, which the person who inflicted the sexual assault clearly handled. That means the DNA would have gotten on the hands or gloves, either one, and then was transferred on the longjohns when they were pulled back on the child, at the waistband.

    Here's why I find that very possible: if you've ever used a paintbrush, you know it's like a writing pen and you unconsciously put it into your mouth, are handling it with hands that have been rubbed across your face, scratched your body, etc. the usual things we do unconsciously all the time.

    Now I know it was Patsy's paintbrush. So how did someone else's DNA get on it? She took painting classes and that was the purpose of the tote tray, if memory serves. So what if she was in a paint class and someone near her sneezed? No one who has ever seen that documentary they played on PBS where someone sneezes against a back-light will have trouble imagining droplets of mucous and saliva spraying the surrounding area. A cough can do the same. Or perhaps she dropped the brush and someone picked it up and handed it to her. Or maybe she loaned it to a paint partner. Or maybe her teacher took it out of her hand to show her a technique--had that happen before.

    How about she dropped her paint tote at a random spot, like walking to her car, and someone stopped and helped her pick up its contents--that's very common, believe it or not, and I'm speaking from experience, as people are helpful in that way.

    What if the paint tote was knocked over by someone working in the home, a catering employee or delivery person, who then picked up its contents?

    Since the paintbrush was a large part of the crime scene and weapon used to strangle JonBenet, we know it was in the hands of whomever committed this crime. Breaking that paintbrush is also something that required a lot of pressure on it, in someone's hands, unless they stepped on it, which brings up other possibilities. If those hands also pulled the underwear and longjohns down and then back up, then this could very well be where the transference occurred, IMO.

    Is this stretching? Ollie Gray must not have thought so. I don't think so, either. We don't live in a vacuum. If anyone interacted with more people than Patsy Ramsey while running her busy life, they must be exhausted.

    Did LE get samples and test the people in her paint classes? I doubt it. But it didn't have to be one of those people, either. Did they test all the children who'd ever been in the Ramsey home? Maybe one of them picked up the brush and pretended to be painting--stuck it in the mouth, scratched an itch with it, wielded it like a weapon. The Ramseys said the kids from the neighborhood were in and out all the time and not only played in the basement, but she complained they didn't flush the toilet, didn't she? Kids are very spontaneous and curious about things like that.

    So that's just one "scenario" of how the DNA could have gotten there, not being deposited by the donor while committing the crime. Is it "the" explanation? No way to know, is there?

    But it does bring me back to the question of that Bloomies package the Ramseys finally turned over in 2002 and if it and its contents were tested. There are so many unanswered questions we have about those Bloomies. Where were they when they got missed by LE collecting JB's underwear out of her drawer? Patsy said she put them in the drawer, but LE did not find them. Then the package was turned over to Lacy in 2002--where was it all those years? Jams said in a box packed at the Boulder home and never unpacked; an employee found it, allegedly, and if that's true, he knew what he had. Meaning they held onto it--destroying evidence is a crime--but didn't turn it over until they got Ramsey supporter Lacy in charge of the case. (Lin Wood himself has stated several times, even once in the past couple of weeks, that the Ramseys were instrumental in getting the case into Lacy's hands. Think about the implications of that for our justice system.)

    So what were the results of testing that package? Where's that press conference? Were there fingerprints on it? Whose? Was there "touch" DNA on it? Whose? Did the other panties in it have "foreign" DNA on them? If DNA was found that matched the "foreign" DNA, then how'd that happen, when Patsy said she put the Bloomies in JB's drawer? Where was that package located in the home when it was packed by someone? (The Ramseys never returned, so it wasn't them.)

    You see, this is why I cant' just say, oh, unknown skin cell DNA=intruder. Okay then! There are always too many unanswered questions, and usually the confusion comes straight from the Ramseys not telling LE the truth so many times, it's amazing LE never pinned them down. But no--LE was too busy tiptoeing around the Ramseys and their lawyers, who threatened to leave if an uncomfortable question was asked or who interrupted the answers and made arguments cuing their clients what to say in this dangerous territory.

    How can anyone trust the "touch" DNA results if Lacy didn't ask the Ramseys questions about the Bloomies package, when Patsy obviously lied to LE about it already? If Lacy didn't test that package and the cord and duct tape and paintbrush for "touch" DNA, if she didn't subpoena the Ramsey's old phone records at long last, then she wasn't investigating this case in good faith any more than the Ramseys were looking for an intruder all those years, with their WORLD-CLASS DETECTIVES, as John Ramsey so often announced, then said under oath those same detectives were actually only working on the Ramseys' defense and that's why they never found that intruder. When the Ramseys were constantly changing their stories, how can anyone trust them? Much less a district attorney?

    Well, just my opinion.

    "University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos declared the letter a 'reckless exoneration.' He went on to state, 'Everyone knows that relative immunity from criminal conviction is something money can buy.
    Apparently another thing it can buy is an apology for even being suspected of a crime you probably already would have been convicted of committing if you happened to be poor.'"
    FF: WRKJB?

    ~~~~~~~
    Bloomies underwear model:
    3 Dimensional

    ~~~~~~
    My opinions, nothing more.

  10. #10

    Default

    I'm not quite sure where to put this--Problems with DNA or just Problems.

    "Ghouls are at play in the city's morgues.

    The people employed to respectfully handle the remains of the deceased have instead turned cadavers and body parts into macabre playthings, The Post has learned.

    And they shockingly documented their depraved foolery in photos taken as keepsakes.

    Grinning mortuary technicians use corpses as props in dozens of disturbing Polaroids obtained by The Post.

    Perhaps most disturbing of all is mortuary technician Kaihl Brassfield holding a severed head in a classic Heisman Trophy football pose.

    The creepy pictures, some undated and others from 2004, show Brassfield and unidentified co-workers hamming it up. "It was foolish," he conceded. "Now I'm older. It stopped."

    Brassfield, a $35,000-a- year technician at the Brooklyn morgue of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, had been out of work on disability, but was suspended without pay after inquiries by The Post.

    He says that for several years, everyone working in the Staten Island and Brooklyn morgues, from cops to coroners, participated in the gory games.

    But in recent years, after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner took over from the Health and Hospitals Corp., staff got more professional, Brassfield said.

    "We are looking into the allegations," said Office of the Chief Medical Examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove. "This is the antithesis of the mission of our agency to always treat families and decedents with the utmost respect and sensitivity."

    The probe by the office's inspector-general began after the queries were made about the photos, and the city's Department of Investigation has begun interviewing ME employees.

    Brassfield said the photos were stolen in November. He said he received calls blackmailing him in December, but refused to pay."


    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/f...#ixzz12EDzjNfi

  11. #11
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    One word comes to mind, fr brown! Macabre!
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.

  12. #12
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    Remember that creepy morgue worker who was arrested for trying to sell the morgue log that listed the pick up of JB's body? He would be just the kind of creep who would pull down her panties and longjohns and take a look. Or touch.

    Why hasn't HE been tested as a donor for the male DNA?

    Oh...I remember. That would take a REAL DA to ask for a warrant to swab his cheeks. Do we have a real DA there yet? I have a favorite saying about things like that....

    It's like the puppy who peed behind the sofa. It remains to be seen.
    This is my Constitutionally protected OPINION. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.



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