The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder

Books on Tape. Nov. 2022. 10:27 hrs. ISBN 9780593627068. $85.50. CRIME
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Humes (Burned: A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn’t) delivers insight into this thrilling cold case that was resolved through the history-making use of genetic genealogy. In 1987, a young couple set off from Canada for Seattle on an overnight errand to pick up some equipment from a hardware store. When they did not return, their parents reported them missing, and a massive manhunt ensued. It appeared that the perfect crime was committed. In 2018, a break in the case occurred when cold-case detective Jim Scharf worked with genetic genealogist CeCe Moore to use GEDmatch DNA technology, resulting in the arrest, trial, and conviction of the killer. Also included are additional cases Scharf resolved using DNA matching, including Precious Jane Doe. Humes infuses his performance with empathy as Scharf interviews the two grieving families and keeps them updated on developments in the case. He is professional when Scharf interacts with Moore and interviews witnesses, and clinical as Scharf describes the grisly details of each murder and the evidence collected during the investigation.
VERDICT This nail-biting account of a double-homicide cold case is still in the news today. An excellent addition to any true-crime collection.
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