Scientific American- The Golden State Killer Case Was Cracked with a Genealogy Website

Image of California from Flickr


Recently, the suspected Golden State Killer was arrested and taken into custody after decades of mystery. Investigators used an unorthodox tool to bring this killer into light: a genealogy website. Websites like Ancestry ad 23AndMe store millions of samples of DNA on their websites and some allow inputting of nucleotide sequences along with the usual saliva samples to trace heritage. Law enforcement entered the DNA base sequences of a sample gathered decades ago to find a pool of possible suspects the suspect’s DNA. These sites say that DNA can be revealed to law enforcement if a warrant is present, however there was no such document. The ancestry sites deny any knowledge of this investigation using their sites. Is this an invasion of privacy?

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