A Murder Trial Will Allow DNA Evidence from a Genealogy Site

June 11, 2019

(Wired) – Today, jury selection began in the trial of William Earl Talbott II, who was arrested last year for the 1987 murders of a young Canadian couple after police began surveilling him and matched his DNA from a discarded cup to a sample from the crime scene. The break in the decades-old cold case stemmed from work by a small forensic firm that used a genealogy website to trace unidentified DNA back to a particular branch of a family tree. The legitimacy of the method, so far untested in a court of law, was expected to be a major flashpoint in the potentially precedent-setting case. Last week, the defense filed motions to make the DNA evidence inadmissible.