This letter is about crime and DNA. It’s been spawned by two recent incidents where decades-old cold-case murders were solved through DNA analysis. Both were the most heinous of crimes involving the rape/killing of teenage girls and where law enforcement had no leads.
Then, with the advent of modern DNA analysis, multiple websites have sprung up where with a simple saliva sample they will give you feedback on anything from heritage to health problems. The popularity of these websites has led to millions of people sending in samples of their DNA.
Apparently it’s legal for law enforcement to access these databases, and since both cold-case murders had DNA samples from the crime scene, these were compared to the website information. In both cases, matches were found to family lines and then the detectives went to work. Long story short, they narrowed things down to a couple of suspects, then legally obtained their specific DNA and got perfect matches. Both perps are now awaiting trial for murder.
This has got to be the most encouraging advancement in crime fighting ever. Just imagine – it would be virtually impossible for someone to not leave behind at least some retrievable DNA at a physical crime scene, especially anything involving sexual assault. And if everyone’s DNA was on record, criminals would know they could always be identified.
Deterring crime should be much preferred to successfully prosecuting it, especially for potential victims. Everyone’s DNA should be recorded at birth.