I missed this the other day, but decided it would be a good DNA Saturdays post – The Messy Consequences of the Golden State Killer Case: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/10/genetic-genealogy-dna-database-criminal-investigations/599005/.
This summer should have been a triumphant time for genealogy and forensics. It marked a year since a genealogist had helped law enforcement track down the man suspected of being the notorious Golden State Killer, and in the ensuing months genealogists had helped police identify suspects in more than 40 other cases. In June, such work led to its first conviction. In July, the first exoneration.
And yet, it was also a summer of controversy. Police officers were uploading crime-scene DNA to genealogical databases without any formal oversight, and prominent genealogists disagreed bitterly on how far they should be let in. The debate became so toxic that genealogy groups on Facebook banned any discussion of law enforcement. Decades-old accusations—unrelated to genealogy—were dragged up to discredit vocal members. People were blocked. Friendships ended. At a genealogy conference in June, the different sides ignored each other from opposite ends of the bar.
Glad to see the Department of Justice has handed down guidelines recently that address some of the issues.
Other DNA Saturdays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/DNA-Saturdays/