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Dutch Police Ask 8000+ Citizens To Provide Their DNA 374

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-swab-between-the-cheek-and-gums dept.
sciencewatcher writes "In an attempt to solve a rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, the Dutch police have asked 8080 men to provide their DNA. All these people lived 5 km or less from the crime scene at the time of the murder. This reopened cold case is the first large-scale attempt not to hunt the rapist and killer but to locate his close or distant male relatives. All data gathered will be destroyed after the match with this particular murder. There seems to be great public support for this attempt." Shades of The Blooding.
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Dutch Police Ask 8000+ Citizens To Provide Their DNA

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  • Re:I'd do it. (Score:4, Informative)

    by rve (4436) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:29PM (#41251385)

    Even so, I sincerely doubt that this will lead to the perpetrator, for obvious reasons.

    They're not doing this assuming the killer will volunteer; they're looking for his relatives - something that was apparently not possible 20 years ago, when they also did a DNA screening. Everyone has a creepy cousin somewhere, right? Most guys will probably volunteer. Everyone in that town wants the crime to be finally solved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:30PM (#41251413)

    When they tried this in Toronto a few years back it was accompanied by a lovely threat to publish the name of anyone who didn't cooperate.

  • Re:Thus... (Score:2, Informative)

    by fearlezz (594718) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:39PM (#41251557) Homepage

    Why not 6km/10km? I'm not sure, but I guess it's because the village where she was found is only 500meters long and surrounded by meadows. 5km radius = 10km diameter. This means all nearby villages are included as well.
    Any further is a lot less likely: most crimes are commited within a certain distance of the criminals home. Because the infrastructure at the site doesn't allow to travel very fast, this distance decreases I think.

    The Marianne Vaatstra case will probably never be solved. There was a lot of evidence pointing towards a center of asylum seekers nearby. The most likely suspects fled the country within a few days.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @02:58PM (#41251895) Homepage Journal

    Somewhere, there has to be a sense of common human rights, and what's extractable by the state-- any state. If there are no matches, then what? Is the DNA destroyed? Or is it part of a new database to vet our ostensible innocence of other crimes?

    I know that not reading TFA is common enough, but this is answered in the fine submission - yes, it's a one-time effort, and the samples will not be kept.

  • Re:Thus... (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @03:12PM (#41252071)

    The Marianne Vaatstra case will probably never be solved. There was a lot of evidence pointing towards a center of asylum seekers nearby. The most likely suspects fled the country within a few days.

    And later evidence pointed to it likely being a local (second bike), possibly somebody she knew (likely perp's lighter in her bag), and most likely western European (from DNA); not quite the Iraqi/Afghani asylum seeker profile.

    At this point it could be her neighbor, somebody from Amsterdam, or even an American with Western European heritage. No use pointing fingers anywhere.

    I do agree that this likely will never be solved, though. This and dozens of other cases that don't get nearly this much (media) attention.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 06, 2012 @04:19PM (#41253015)

    I've lived in Toronto for 20+ years. I don't recall any such attempt, nor threat.

    He's referring to the Holly Jones case [www.cbc.ca] in 2003.

    May 21, 2003
    Police intensify search, sifting through hundreds of bags of garbage in the hopes of turning up additional evidence in the case. They start collecting DNA samples from residents of Holly's neighbourhood.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @05:56PM (#41254005)
    A few years back there was a bit of a test done where samples were submitted to several different testing companies to check if the 'suspect' matched. 75% of the companies returned positive results. Too bad the reality is they were unrelated samples. So it looks like the companies were returning false positives 3 out of 4 times if they thought it would help the police/prosecution.

    It's not always like that, and it's a good reason for the defense to do tests as well, but it does bring in to question the usability of such techniques when they are so commonly and easily misused & abused.
  • by BenoitRen (998927) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @06:05PM (#41254081)

    Please don't use or link to W3Schools. You can read why at http://w3fools.com/ [w3fools.com]

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