It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A woman's body is found in London. DNA turns up a hit, yet the suspect apparently died weeks before the alleged victim. Here, forensic scientist Dr Mike Silverman tells the story of one of the strangest cases of his career.
It was a real-life mystery that could have come straight from the pages of a modern-day detective novel.
A woman had been brutally murdered in London and biological material had been found under her fingernails, possibly indicating that she might have scratched her attacker just before she died
I arranged for the nail scissors from the mortuary to be analysed and discovered not two but three separate DNA profiles were present. Further examination found DNA contamination on several other mortuary instruments but it was only ever going to present a problem when it came to fingernail scissors.
But as we are all depositing DNA everywhere we go, the significance of finding and analysing these traces will become increasingly open to interpretation unless there is sufficient DNA material present to eliminate the possibility of secondary contact or cross-contamination, or additional evidence supporting direct involvement in the crime.