1975 Rape Solved after casual chat at a law enforcement confab and use of modern DNA technology.Posted: October 10, 2020
A conversation at a law enforcement conference in Florida last year led to an arrest in the cold-case rape of a Tulane University student 45 years ago.
The evidence was tested using the most modern DNA testing.
“It’s a truly remarkable story and a credit to all the dedicated people involved,” said Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
The new Oakland County prosecutor must demand an accounting from the Michigan State Police of the status of all of the evidence in the OCCK case.
- List all evidence in the four cases.
- List all DNA test results whether nuclear, mtDNA or Ystr.
- Was evidence extinguished during testing? Describe.
- Was evidence subjected to multiple tests? Describe.
- Is there any evidence as yet untested using the most modern technology?
- What labs were used for testing?
- Dates for all tests.
- Has the physical evidence been returned?
- Where is the physical evidence stored and how is it being stored?
- If it is not all being stored at the same facility, why is that?
- Do any local PDs or the FBI have any of the evidence?
- What evidence should be retested using the most modern methods?
- Has a genetic genealogist been consulted?
- Consult with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy about the difficulties getting the MSP to locate and test evidence over the years.
- Have the actual pieces of evidence–anything from these cases, or the actual physical files been used over the years for POST training, thus contaminating it?
- Why was the evidence unaccounted for and mishandled and improperly stored for decades in the biggest unsolved serial murder case in Michigan history?
The MSP and the current Oakland County prosecutor have unfairly elevated this case to a DNA-hit-solve-only case. If investigators are at the end of the road with DNA testing (samples extinguished during testing or in such poor condition they will not yield usable samples), that’s it. The case can no longer be considered “open” under FOIA law (and as of this minute I would argue authorities can no longer hide behind the “active investigation” exception) and steps must be taken to open all of the files for public examination. There must be an accounting to the public about where the case stands. I would also argue for an accounting of all of the funds allegedly spent in this case.
Let web sleuths or a Michelle McNamara solve these cases. At a minimum, the state police have to explain themselves. They have provided cover not only for their inadequate investigation but for the local PDs and the Oakland County prosecutors over the years who did not want to touch this case. Time’s up.