Episode 217 – The Golden State Killer and Your Genealogy and DNA
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 217
with Lisa Louise Cooke
In this special episode, host and producer Lisa Louise Cooke takes a look at the Golden State killer, one of the most notorious crime sprees in recent memory. She’ll talk about the role that DNA testing played in an ultimate arrest, and the impact that these events are having on genealogists and the use of DNA in genealogy.
The Golden State Killer
“Golden State Killer: It’s Not Over” docuseries. (As an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases)
“The Golden State Killer,” 48 Hours episode on CBSNews.com (44-minute episode)
Between 1974 and 1986, activities attributed to the Golden State Killer include at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 through 1986.
The criminal’s methods led some investigators to believe that these differently-labeled criminals were very likely one in the same.
In 2001, DNA definitively linked several rapes in Contra Costa County believed to have been part of the East Area Rapist series, a series of murders in Southern California.
In 2011, DNA evidence proved that the Domingo?Sanchez murders were committed by the same man, known as the Golden State Killer.
BONUS CONTENT for Genealogy Gems App Users
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Help solve DNA mysteries with these resources:
- “A DNA Match with No Tree? No Problem!” and “Take Control of Your Family Tree,” Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning video classes
- The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox by Lisa Louise Cooke
- Breaking Down Brick Walls with DNA by Diahan Southard
Caution: In this episode, Lisa shares her personal opinions on the use of technology for crime fighting and the implications for DNA testing for genealogy. She encourages everyone to do their own homework and make informed decisions in line with their own values, opinions, and objectives.
Reality check: “The only way to ensure privacy is to never put anything of any kind online. Just like the only way to ensure you will never be in a car accident is to never, under any circumstances, get in a car.”
Read more about DNA testing company partnerships:
“Another personal genetics company is sharing client data,” Wired.com article by Katie M. Palmer, published 21 July 2015, on Ancestry.com’s partnership with Google-owned Calico biotech firm
“23andMe teams with Big Pharma to find treatments hidden in our DNA,” Wired.com article by Davey Alba, published 12 January 2015, on 23andMe’s partnership with Pfizer
Several ways we already use DNA matches:
- Genealogists use to build family trees
- Adoptees use to identify birth parents (or other biological relatives)
- Orphans trying to find long lost siblings and relatives
- Anyone looking for estranged family members
- Researchers identifying unidentified human remains, including POW/MIAs
Lisa Louise Cooke uses and recommends RootsMagic family history software. From within RootsMagic, you can search historical records on FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.
Keep your family history research, photos, tree software files, videos and all other computer files safely backed up with Backblaze, the official cloud-based computer backup system for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Learn more at https://www.backblaze.com/Lisa.
More information on DNA testing
How to download, transfer and upload your DNA with various testing companies by Diahan Southard
“How DIY genetic testing kits can be used against you,” News.com.au article by Gavin Fernando, published 3 May, 2018.
“When you test, you are also making a decision on behalf of your parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, and future descendants. Regardless of good intentions or stated ethics codes in the genealogy community, it isn’t possible to write and get the express permission of everyone who could be affected by you having your DNA tested.” ?Lisa Louise Cooke
Genealogy Gems can help you whether you test or not!
Keep listening to the Genealogy Gems Podcast for genealogy news, tips, inspiration and strategies (DNA is one of many tools talked about!)
Read free online articles at GenealogyGems.com. Click here to read dozens of articles on DNA.
Click here to view our complete line of DNA quick reference guides
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Lisa Louise Cooke, Host and Producer
Sunny Morton, Editor
Diahan Southard, DNA Content Contributor
Hannah Fullerton, Audio Editor
Lacey Cooke, Service Manager
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