Sunday, April 17, 2016

DNA testing

Click here to see a video about a DNA trial carried out this weekend in a French village, Trélivan (Côtes-d'Armor), in the hope of identifying a local youth who had attempted to rape a 22-year-old jogger a year ago.

This criminal investigation reminds us of the terrible affair involving the rape and murder of a 13-year-old English girl, Caroline Dickenson, in July 1996, in a youth hostel in another Breton village, Pleine-Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine, near Saint-Malo). In spite of systematic DNA trials, the murderer— a Spaniard named Francisco Arce Montes—was only captured by chance, 5 years later, thanks to a bright US detective, Tommy Ontko, when the criminal happened to be holidaying in Miami.

Ontko's fortuitous work played a fundamental role in enlightening the French public on the amazing possibilities of DNA testing to track criminals. Today, in the village where yesterday's testing was carried out, I would imagine that everybody was motivated by the fantastic possibilities of this kind of scientific police investigation.

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