state killer

The Hidden Personal Cost of Genealogy Websites

Discovering our family history can greatly affect our sense of identity and belonging. But what are the potential costs? Source: Nathana Reboucas / Unsplash Fueled by a burgeoning pantheon of business websites, genealogy has become a popular pastime, almost to…

Why a Data Breach on a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried

In Dr. Edge’s article, he warned that it was possible to create fake profiles to identify people with genetic variants associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses. “If something is just a geeky genealogist screwing around, that’s okay,” Dr. Larkin…

Police used a genealogy website to solve a cold case from Iowa. The tool raises concerns elsewhere.

The cold-blooded murder of Cedar Rapids teenager Michelle Martinko went unsolved for decades, until last month when prosecutors secured a conviction based on a 40-year-old crime scene years and on a family genealogy website. It is one of the first…

New hope for cold cases

The popularity of genealogy websites seems to help law enforcement find answers to cases that are decades old. Earlier this year, investigators found the suspected Golden State Killer who murdered more than a dozen people in a crime spree that…

The Ethics Behind Using Genealogy Websites to Find Crime Suspects

In April, the Golden State Killer, a former police officer responsible for a spate of rapes and murders in the 1970s and 1980s, was finally arrested – thanks to a genealogy website. Armed with the killer’s DNA from various crime…

Should law enforcement be able to use DNA data from genealogy websites for criminal investigations?

Have you used or would you like to use a genealogy website like GEDmatch, Ancestry.com or 23andMe? How concerned are you about privacy issues and sharing your DNA data online? In “The Golden State Killer Is Tracked Through a Thicket…

Detectives Submit Zodiac Killer DNA to Genealogy Websites

Zodiac killer sketch. Photo: Bettmann Archives / Getty Images Just a day after Sacramento Police arrested the man they believe to be the Golden State Killer, a serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s, detectives…

Fourth Amendment Privacy Rights on Genealogy Websites

GRANTS PASS, Oregon. – We now know that a genealogy website was used to help capture the alleged Golden State killer. He is accused of murdering at least a dozen people and raping 50. GEDmatch is a website where you…

DNA from Genealogy Websites Used to Track the “Golden State Killer”

Update, Friday, April 27, 1:24 p.m. ET: San Jose Mercury News identified the genealogy site used by investigators like GEDmatch, a free and open source service based in Florida. Think twice before sending your saliva to businesses. A suspected serial…