Anthro Notes – Nov. 15/12
- Key points from previous lecture: 1. All forensic anthropology cases, whether they are level 1 or level
2, provide useful experience in forensic protocols. 2. A forensic expert must know and follow all chain
of command protocols dealing with the investigation. 3. In level 1 cases on reserves, the chief of the
band council makes most of the calls. 4. Level 2 cases can involve cold cases from within a half
century. 5. There is a movement towards likelihood ratios in forensic anthropology (there is difficulty
in making courts understand this concept – reference samples, statistics).
- Key points on level 1 cases: River street man case (1979) significance – historical case, name
sleuthing for mtDNA, TISD. Kakabeca Falls case (1981) significance – pathologists do not do bones
well, awareness of forensic anthropology. White water lake case (1998) significance – pathologists
do not do bones well, misleading accounts, continuity forms. Grayson lake case (1998) significance –
responsibilities of forensic anthropology dictated by coroner. Manitou man case (2000) significance –
team work in forensic anthropology, culture material for TISD, first case for DNA identification,
genealogical sleuthing, citrate technique.
- Evolution of forensic DNA analysis: The pioneering work of Dr. Jeffreys in the mid-1980s (RFLP
technique) was the first revolution in DNA. The first case was the Pitchfork case of 1986-88. PCR was
developed in the mid-1980s and was the major reason RFLP analysis was replaced by short tandem
repeat (STR) methodology in the mid-1990s. This was the second revolution of DNA. RFLP was first
used in Canada in 1988-89 in the McNally case (John Waye was a DNA expert witness). The first
homicide case it was used in was the Legere case in New Brunswick. The first case for the CFS in
Toronto was the Terceira case (his victim was Andrea Atkinson) in July 1990. PCR and STR analysis
was introduced to the RCMP and CFS in 1993-94 (GP Morin was freed on the basis of STR analysis).
DNA legislation was introduced in Canada (1995 DNA warrant legislation and 1998 DNA
identification act). The Canadian national DNA databank was developed by the RCMP (Ron Fourney)
in 2000 and was linked to CODIS. DNA is used in mass disaster situations (Branch Davidian 1993,
TWA flight 1996, Swiss Air 1998, 9/11).
- PCR: The concept for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology was developed by Kary Mullis
at Cetus Corporation in 1984. He was awarded a Nobel laureate in chemistry in 1993. This machine
revolutionized forensic DNA analysis in the late 1980s once it was perfected. In Canada it was first
used in the R. vs. Guy-Paul Morin case.
- RFLP was replaced by STRs in a decade. At least 10 of the 13 STRs are required for CODIS.
- Sir Alec Jeffreys’ work and DNA fingerprinting: He did research on genes and muscles at Leicester
University. He developed markers that would map human genes, looking for regions that differ
between people. He used a technique called restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), which
is a VNTR. He called these DNA genetic fingerprints. He began studying family groups (half of his
bands came from the mother and half from the father). Jeffreys’ work on identification was made
public in an immigration case. A boy born in England to two Ghanaian parents was living in Ghana
with his father and he applied to return to England to live with his mom. Authorities turned him
down and said it was an aunt. Using DNA from the boy, the mom, and other children from the father,
they proved that he was the son. Journalists publicized the case in the Leicester Mercury newspaper.
DNA fingerprinting can also be called DNA typing.
- The Colin Pitchfork case: Two 15-year-old girls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, were found raped
and murdered in 1983 and 1986 in an area southwest of Leicester. Within a couple of weeks, police
had a confession on Dawn’s case from a 17-year-old kitchen porter. His dad read about the
immigration case in the paper. Initially they screened for ABO blood type to eliminate individuals.
Colin Pitchfork, a baker with a criminal record, did not come forward. He told friends that his record would make him a suspect. He persuaded Ian Kelly to get the test taken on his behalf. He cleared the
test. Ian Kelly later talked about what happened and a female manager at the bakery overheard and
reported the story to the police six weeks later. Pitchfork confessed and was convicted of double
murder Jan. 22, 1988. The Blooding was a book written by Joseph Wambaugh about this case. Several
thousand men between the ages of 17 and 34 gave blood.
- Alec Jeffreys and the Josef Mengele case: When Russian soldiers entered Auschwitz Poland in 1945
they glimpsed a high-tech genocide. There were corpses of 1.5 million Jews, but the people behind
the genocide were gone. Dr. Josef Mengele was unknown to the allies. The Americans had him but set
him free because they were unaware he was the Angel of Death. He went to Argentina in 1948 with a
fake name. Another war criminal (Adolf Eichmann) told people that Mengele was hiding out in Embu,
Brazil. A german couple led authorities to a grave in Brazil in 1985 that contained the
putative/supposed remains of Mengele. He had lived under the alias Wolfgang Gerhard (he
apparently drowned at age 67). The skeleton was fragmentary, but the hip, skull, femur, tibia,
humerus, and some teeth were present. Dr. Clyde Snow suggested that from anthropological analysis
it was a match using bone and dental records (poor). He determined it was a caucasian (nasal area)
and male (hip). There was an incisive canal (gap in teeth), stature was 173.5cm, and dental attrition
suggested the person was 60-70 years old. Dr. Richard Helmer used a technique called video-
superposition and concluded a match with known pictures of Mengele. Many doubted the
anthropological results. In 1992, bones from the skeleton were sent to Jeffreys for DNA analysis.
Mengele’s mother and son agreed to provide blood samples. The results produced a match using
- R. vs. Guy-Paul Morin: On Oct. 3, 1984, 9-year-old Christine Jessop went missing from her home in
Queensville, 60km NE of Toronto. Police immediately suspected her neighbour GP Morin, a 24-year-
old man who, although lacking a record, was considered an oddball (liked big band music and not
rock n roll). Her badly decomposed body was found Dec. 31, 1984 in a field partly hidden by brush
50km east of Queensville. The body was on its back, it was badly decomposed, and there was
evidence of antemortem trauma (stab wounds). There was evidence she had been raped. Her
underwear contained traces of semen. Police reasoned that Morin had opportunity (he arrived home
shortly before Christine went missing) and they thought it was suspicious that he did not take part in
the neighbourhood search. They received a preliminary report on one hair found on Christine’s
necklace and that it might be similar to Morin’s scalp hair. They charged him with first degree
murder on April 22, 1985.
- Acid phosphatase colour test – Acid phosphatase is an enzyme secreted by the prostate gland into
seminal fluid. Its concentration in seminal fluid is at least 400x greater than in any other body fluid.
Its presence can easily be detected when it comes in contact with an acidic solution of sodium
alphaphthyylphosphate (APP) and fast blue dye. It does not necessarily contain DNA. A male that has
had a vasectomy does not have DNA in his semen. Some males have oligospermia (semen with low
sperm concentration) or aspermia (lack of semen).
- P30 or prostate specific antigen: PSA is unique to seminal plasma. When P30 is isolated and injected
into a rabbit, it will stimulate the production of antibodies (anti-P30). The sera from these
immunized rabbits can now be used to test suspected semen stains. Semen extract and anti-P30 are
added to separate wells. Antigen (semen) and antibody are moved towards each other. Formation of
a visible precipitation line midway between the wells shows the presence of P30 in the stain and
proves the stain is seminal in nature. This test does not necessarily mean there is sperm/DNA.
- The trial in early 1986: The trial was held in 1986 in London, a neutral site not in York and Durham
regions. The trial went on for 5 weeks before Mr. Justice Craig and a 12-person jury. Clay Ruby was
Morin’s defense attorney and he was loathed by the crown attorney. His defense was that Morin did
not commit the crime and if he did, he could not be charged because he was mentally ill (simple schizophrenia diagnosed by a clinical psychologist). Morin did not think himself crazy, nor did
anyone who knew him. In his own defense, Morin said he was not crazy and he was unequivocally
innocent. The crown’s evidence against Morin – Hair evidence (3 incomplete fractured hairs) from
Morin’s car seem to match the hair found on her necklace, fibres on Christine seem to match those
found in Morin’s car and they did not originate from CJ’s clothing, and two prison informants Robert
May and Mr. X testified that Morin had confessed to them about killing Christine. The verdict was not
- Post-trial events: The crown appealed and on June 5, 1987, three judges from the Ontario court of
appeal handed down a split decision two to one in favour of overturning the first trial and directing a
second trial. One of the judges wrote that Judge Craig’s error on the instruction to the jury on the
issue of reasonable doubt necessitated a retrial. The other judge jumped on Ruby’s double defense,
innocent or innocent on the grounds of insanity, as grounds for a new trial.
- The second trial: It was also held in London. The judge was James Donnelly (son of Frank Donnelly
who defended Steven Truscott in 1959) and Morin’s defense attorney was Jack Pinkovsky.
Preliminary motions in the second trial took 1.5 years and the trial finally began in Nov. 1991 and
lasted to the end of the summer in 1992. This was the longest and most costly trial in Canadian
jurisprudence. The evidence was the same and was no weaker or stronger than the first trial. This
time the verdict was guilty and Morin was sentences to 25 years in jail. At the trial, there was no DNA
- The new evidence: In 1989, a court order divided the small sample of semen on the underwear for
testing by the defense and the crown. The crown submitted their share of the sample immediately to
Cellmark in Maryland and Edward Blake’s lab in California for RFLP analysis. Both labs said the
sample was too small and degraded for the current technology. The defense came closer as they sent
their sample to the Centre of Blood Research in Boston, trying PCR. They got a result but couldn’t
interpret it because of a c-dot problem (it turned out that the profile was not a match to Morin). In
1994, James Lockyer, a criminal lawyer and partner with Pinkovsky, appealed Morin’s conviction to
the court of appeal. This appeal was made not on the grounds of DNA, but on fibre evidence from the
metropolitan London police in England. The fibre expert in London’s lab suggested that the CFS has
misinterpreted his report and that the fibres did not establish CJ’s presence at any time in Morin’s
car. Also, Robert May admitted he lied about Morin admitting to the murder.
- The DNA evidence: James Lockyer and crown attorney Ken Campbell decided to try the DNA
evidence again because PCR technology was improving. It is the appellant on the appeal who is most
entitled to introduce fresh evidence. Lockyer represented the appellant (Morin) and he wasn’t too
keen on trying for new DNA evidence, but the respondent (the crown) were eager for the new
evidence. Lockyer agreed under one condition – the scientists would have to agree that there was a
strong likelihood of obtaining an interpretable DNA result and that three independent scientists
would run the tests (Dr. John Waye for the crown, Edward Blake for the defense, and David Bing from
the Boston lab). The testing was to take place at Bing’s lab in Dec. 1994. First they determined that
there was enough DNA for the tests. Second Blake suggested there was semen with no DNA and
semen with DNA. They injected anonymous DNA into the non-DNA samples and then developed the
cleanest, least wasteful technique for extracting the DNA by getting rid of inhibitors.
- The results: On Jan. 17, 1995, the three scientists met to resume their testing. The appeal was set for
Jan. 23, 1995. On Jan 18, Blake told Lockyer that they had a method to guarantee interpretable results
and needed authorization from the appellant to proceed. Permission was granted with the condition
that the testing had to be done blind. Semen from the underwear was tested first and then Morin’s
blood was tested. The testing indicated an exclusion. The DNA profile from the semen on the
underwear did not match Morin’s DNA. This trial shows how the early stages of PCR using STRs had