By Crime Historian Laura James, Esquire (c) 2005-10 WELCOME to my study of historic true crime, a literary blog where the chairs rest at the intersection of history, journalism, law, and murder, and the shelves are filled with the finest true crime literature. STEAL FROM THIS LIBRARY AND IT'S PISTOLS AT DAWN.
It's a clever business strategy, I'll give them that.
It goes like this:
One, in your dungeon laboratory, develop a way to fabricate forensic samples of DNA from a particular person -- a way to create a "fake" sample.
Two, write a paper that explains precisely how anyone with a chemistry background can fake a DNA sample and publish it on the internet.
Three, call into question the fundamental reliability of every DNA sample ever taken into evidence anywhere, because, after all, you've now proven they can theoretically be faked.
Four, form a corporation to develop a patented method of detecting faked DNA evidence.
Five, market your sorry-not-free "authentication assay" to every law enforcement agency on earth as "necessary for maintaining the high credibility of DNA evidence in the judiciary system." Ideally, land a feature in the New York Times.
Alas, all this has already happened. The company is called Nucleix.
It is immoral, unethical, and offensive to me that these men have done this. But they have. One small group of misguided souls has actually managed to think up a way to undermine the best method of forensic science ever discovered.
They managed to craft whole new arguments for defense attorneys (and the occasional stupid prosecutor) to try on unsophisticated jurors. Already the ACLU is yapping about it.
I hope this fake DNA boondoggle is not taken seriously and gets no more media attention than it already has. I also hope others will call them out on this.
That Andrew Pollack and the New York Times helped to promote this obscenity with no apparent regard for the ethics of doing so was in and of itself offensive to me and only confirms my low opinion of that publication, f/k/a a newspaper, as in this piece the Times again proves itself a corporate tool.
If this company (meaning Nucleix, not the Times) had an ounce of integrity, the cure it is marketing for the disease it invented would be as readily available on the internet as the instructions for "faking" DNA results.
NewspaperArchive My most very favorite site on the internet. Millions of digitized, text-searchable newspapers from across the U.S. and the world. If my computer somehow froze up and I had access to only one website, this would be it.
Paper of Record Another pay-to-play website that features searchable historic newspapers. Canada is particularly well represented in its collection.