DNA Hit of the Year Award


Hit of the Year Finalists


The Bayin Killer - China's Jack the Ripper

A serial killer in China was caught after police tested his brother's DNA for a separate crime, and a family match was found. The suspect targeted young women dressed in red and followed them home, where he would rape and kill them, often cutting their throat and mutilating their dead bodies. The murders spanned the years between 1988 and 2002.


An Aspiring Actress

An aspiring actress was assaulted, robbed, and raped one night after work. Rape kit DNA evidence yielded neither a profile nor a match until 2015 when a Florida man was arrested. He bit the arresting officer, who subsequently took a DNA sample and submitted it into the database. It triggered a hit against the actress' rapist. He was charged under a special John Doe indictment then convicted.


Taken as a Baby

A baby girl was taken from a hospital just after birth. 18 years later, police received a tip that a particular woman may be that baby. Her DNA was taken via search warrant, and identity confirmed through DNA match.


Kotwica Serial Killer

Europe's first cross-continent serial killer murdered women in various countries, including Austria and Sweden. Authorities in Austria were able to arrest him after DNA identification under the Prum treaty.


The case of Yara Gambirasio

A girl in a small Italian village was murdered on her way home back from gym. Police discovered her body 3 months later. DNA evidence was recovered from the girl, with no database matches. Police undertook voluntary testing of a small village area near the crime scene, consisting of about 15,000 people. There was a near familial match on a village worker, but not a total match. Police investigated the family, arriving at one of matchee's uncles. The uncle was then long dead, but police recovered some of his DNA on the back of a postage stamp adhered on some 20-30 years ago. DNA match to suspect proves that the Uncle is the father of the suspect. But, none of Uncle's known children have a match, so police suspect that he had children out of wedlock. With a village reputation for being a ladies' man, police determined every woman Uncle could have had contact with during his tenure as village bus driver. 600 + women were voluntary tested. There was a perfect "mother match" with one woman, who has a pair of twins and a son for children. DNA analysis revealed amost perfect match with edlest twin son, leading to his arrest.


Case of Lisa Story & Robin Cornell

Double rape and murder of daughter and mother led to DNA evidence, but with no database matches for over 26 years. In 2016, a match came back to a Joseph Zieler, in county jail for a felony aggravated battery charge for shooting his son with pellet gun.


The Rapist Skull

Body parts were discovered on the riverbanks of a northern Spanish town. After an extensive investigation, a DNA sample was collected from a suspect's room. Four years later, DNA sample was taken from an arrestee in the Dominican Republic on an international arrest warrant. It matched with the first DNA sample entry taken from the suspect's room.


Operation Recall

A operation reexamining a cold case for rape in 1981 led police to use DNA to narrow down the suspect based on familial hits.


The Two Bad Twins

An elementary school cafeteria wroker was raped in the early moning. DNA evidence from a rape kit yielded no match in the database after 13 years of waiting on the shelf. A year later, the kit was tested again, revealing a match. It was discovered the suspect had an identical twin, both of whom had extensive criminal records and almost identical names. It was later discovered that one twin was incarcerated during the time of rape, leading police to focus on the other twin. A search warrant allowed a sample to be taken from the suspect, which was submitted for testing. The criminal case is now pending.


Muhak Mountain Hikers Murder

A woman was found dead on Mt. Muhak. Police initially did not find any DNA evidence on the victim's clothes or possessions. But later a pair of gloves from the victim was submitted for renalaysis, which matched with a profile in the DNA database just narrowly avoiding the incarceration of an innocent individual. The suspect was arrested.


Improvised Explosive Devices - Kingdom of Bahrain

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered as evidence of a series of terrorism acts in 2015 & 2016 in various parts of Bahrain. Home-made bombs were reconstructed and deployed in roadsides causing many casualties, terror, and fear among citizens. Touch DNA STRs were generated from several components of the IEDs such as the adhesive tapes, gas cylinders, bottles, and aluminum foils and uploaded into the DNA database. Based upon police investigations, several suspects' DNA samples were taken. In 2016, those reference samples were processed and a hit occurred from one of the suspects which connected him to all of the 8 cases of terrorism in 2015 and 2016.



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