Othram’s Genetic Testing Platform Helps Solve One of Canada’s Most Notorious Cases

This is what can happen when authorities are actually serious about solving heinous crimes.


In this case, DNA exonerated a man who was wrongfully convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop. Toronto Police continued to advance the investigation after the exoneration in 1995 to find Christine’s killer. DNA and genetic genealogy revealed the perpetrator was a man who had died in 2015.

“In 2019, Toronto Police investigators partnered with Othram to leverage Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencingâ„¢ to build a genealogical profile from the scant quantity of highly degraded DNA that remained.”

The police agency PARTNERED with a private lab, Othram (Justice Through Genomics, https://www.othram.com/) to work with a “scant quantity of highly degraded DNA.” The MSP is apparently all jammed up about using a private lab or a genetic genealogist. Sorry, but you and the FBI have been striking out for over forty years. Scared of a private lab or a genetic genealogist? Seriously? You use polygraphs constantly, for fuck’s sake–how are these approaches any more “out there”?

The MSP should be made to answer to the next Oakland County prosecutor about every step they have and have not taken with the evidence in the OCCK case. And then this case must be taken away from the MSP, the very agency that blew this case and continues to wheel-spin and spin plates to divert attention for their obvious biases and failures. If the FBI is to continue to be involved, SA Sean Callaghan must be replaced by an agent who is not biased and short-sighted.

Surely there is a talented, sharp, motivated, experienced investigator out there who can own the case for the new OCP. S/he doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel–just focus on the fails in this case and get the evidence shored up. If we are at the end of the line for DNA testing, you are at the end of the line for keeping your case files closed. Silence never causes or helps justice.

Corruption killed in this case. It’s time to expose the corruption and stop taxpayer funding of churning deception.

Maybe there will even be a judge in Oakland County who applies FOIA law correctly and forces the MSP and the FBI to release all of the documents in this case–without their bullshit redactions or facility flood lies–and orders the information be made available to anyone who wants it in a useable format for a reasonable cost. You’ve been eating your cake and having it, too, for way too long.

Thanks to a reader for the link.