April 13, 2023 (10am to 12 noon)
Since the National DNA Data Bank went online a quarter century ago, detective work has relied on a largely unchanged system that requires DNA samples from crime scenes to be matched to samples taken from convicted offenders. But recent advances in forensic genealogy, or "genomics", have revolutionized the investigation of cases where a DNA match has proven elusive using the legacy technology, and have shown that cases once deemed unsolvable can finally be resolved. From unsolved murders to unidentified remains, in this talk we will learn about the evolution of forensic DNA technology and dive into some of the most interesting cases where killers and victims alike have been identified sometimes decades later through their family trees.
Dr. Michael Arntfield is a professor and criminologist at Western University where he founded the Cold Case Society, an unsolved crimes think tank that pairs students with subject matter experts. He is also the author of the new book, How to Solve a Cold Case, along with over a dozen other titles. As a co-director with the Murder Accountability Project in Washington DC (murderdata.org), he currently appears as an expert on crime and policing in television series airing on several networks. He has previously served as a visiting professor in the United States and Australia, and routinely provides training for police services and forensic associations around the globe.