In some crimes, a convicted individual may spent many years in jail before DNA testing can help prove their innocence. Other times, the use of DNA profiling and testing can set free a criminal rather quickly, while leading to the discovery of the true criminal. In this article, you will learn of one such case of a quick release, as well as revealing the horrific crime committed by a vengeful doctor.
DNA Evidence and the HIV/AIDS Case
In a cruel crime, Dr. Richard J. Schmidt was convicted of attempted second-degree murder in 1998 when it was proven that there was a link between the viral DNA associated with HIV from his girlfriend and the viral DNA from one of his patients with AIDS. The doctor had injected his girlfriend with the diseased blood. This marked the first time that viral DNA fingerprinting had been submitted as evidence in a criminal trial.
A disabled man from Swindon, England named Raymond Easton was arrested and detained for seven hours in connection with a burglary that took place in 1999. Because his DNA did not match the crime scene, he was released. His DNA had been kept on file after an unrelated domestic incident occurred at a previous time.
The Criminal Who Purposefully Left his Own DNA Behind by Accident”¦
Gordon Graham murdered Paul Gault at his home in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 2000 , motivated by the affair he was having with the victim’s wife at the time of the crime. Graham thought it would be good if he made it seem as if the murder had happened after a botched burglary. He left a sports bag in the house as ‘evidence’ but wound up sealing his own fate as his DNA was on the bag. He was convicted of the murder after the evidence was collected. This marked the first time Low Copy Number DNA was used in Northern Ireland.
Murder in Queensland
The first murder in Australia to use DNA profiling as a way to solve the case took place in 2001 when Wayne Butler was convicted for the murder of a British resort worker named Celia Douty. Her dead body was found covered in a red towel that had semen and blood on it. Wayne Butler was actually arrested in 1988 for killing Douty, but was released when there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. Her case remained unsolved since 1983 before Butler’s ex-wife came forward with information after they had divorced in 1997. It took time before technology was good enough to test the semen stains on the towel. Butler had always been a suspect and with the newfound information and advanced techniques, he was found guilty of the crime.
DNA Testing Answers Decades-Old Questions
DNA testing helps answers lingering questions from the past that haunt cases for many years to come. For example, authorities were able to revisit the mysterious 1912 disappearance of Bobby Dunbar , a 4-year-old boy that disappeared during a fishing trip. Eight months later, the boy was allegedly found alive and in the custody of William Cantwell Walters. However, another woman claimed that the boy was her son, Bruce Anderson. She stated that she had placed the boy in Walters’ custody. The courts did not believe the woman and instead, convicted Walters for the kidnapping. The boy was raised as Bobby Dunbar for the rest of his life. However in 2004, DNA tests on Dunbar’s son and nephew revealed the two were not related. This meant that the boy found in 1912 was not Bobby Dunbar, who authorities to this day do not know what happened.