I Know Who You Are: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever

Ballantine. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780593358894. $28.99. CRIME
After retiring as a biotechnology patent attorney, Rae-Venter decided to volunteer as a genetic genealogist for DNAAdoption. Her first case as an amateur sleuth was to help find the true identity of a child abductee using genetic genealogy, and she was successful. She was eventually asked to work on a case that had haunted law enforcement for nearly 50 years. Over the course of 44 years, the Golden State Killer had committed 13 murders, dozens of rapes, and 160 other violent offenses. It took her only 63 days to identify the killer, but there was backlash when people realized that their DNA had been used to identify the culprit. Still, Rae-Venter is now viewed as a leader in the field of investigative genetic genealogy, the newest tool used by law enforcement to solve both cold cases and current crimes. It’s limited, however, since not all major genealogy/DNA analysis companies have agreed to make their data accessible.
VERDICT Rae-Venter describes other cases she helped solve, which is fascinating, but she uses genealogical terms that may be challenging for some readers to follow. Nevertheless, this book belongs in libraries that have a solid true crimes collection.
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