Over nearly two decades, a serial killer has shot and strangled at least 11 people, often dumping their battered bodies in alleyways of Inglewood and Los Angeles. Police have determined through DNA and other evidence that the killings were the work of a single person. But the DNA does not match any of the millions of genetic profiles of convicted criminals in law enforcement databases, and detectives have few other clues.
Now Los Angeles Police Department investigators want to search the state's DNA database again -- not for exact matches but for any profiles similar enough to belong to a parent or sibling. The hope is that one of those family members might lead detectives to the killer.
You can read more about this in the Los Angeles Times' web site at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-familial25-2008nov25,0,939345.story.
Is this an invasion of privacy? Should your DNA be used without your permission to identify a close relative who is a criminal? Privacy advocates and legal experts are nervous.
My thanks to Walter Wood for telling me about this story.