A cold trail of DNA - bad labwork

Talk about stunningly bad lab technique. From German newspaper Bild:
Police track DNA of a cotton bud maker for two years
Police in Germany hunted a sinister phantom killer for two years after finding the same DNA at 39 different crime scenes - only to discover that the source was a woman who made the cotton buds used to collect the sample!

The case was one of the most puzzling in recent times. Hundreds of detectives in six specialist committees were set to work hunting the ominous female serial killer.

But there was no progress, despite investigators finding her DNA at so many crime scenes.

The police were stumped. They eventually offered a 300,000 euro reward to find the killer.

It's no surprise the money was never claimed, however, because the so-called �phantom killer� was a complete myth!

Detectives had apparently been tracking the DNA of a factory worker who packaged cotton buds used by the police to collect samples, according to �Stern.de�.
Why a person was even allowed to touch the buds with their bare hands, let alone using commercial machine-packaged ones (sterile and contaminant-free) boggles the mind. A perfect case for the application of Occam's Razor

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 26, 2009 7:25 PM.

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