Meanwhile, in a freezer in the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, alongside biological evidence from hundreds of other murders, the swab of the bite mark on Sherri Rasmussen’s arm lay waiting for forensic science—and the LAPD’s scrutiny—to catch up with it. — From The Lazarus File by Matthew McGough
A killing in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles 25 years ago is a long way from our usual beat. But hey, it’s Friday.
In the June edition of the Atlantic Monthly, Matthew McGough tells a great tale about a cold-case murder investigation, and about the invention and role of DNA forensic evidence.
“Few people could have predicted in early 1986 that the science of police work was about to take an epochal leap forward,” McGough said. “Not since 1901, when Scotland Yard validated fingerprinting for the purpose of criminal identification, had detectives’ power to solve crimes been so profoundly transformed.”
The article is a spellbinder.
It’s available here.