I have an idea how I can get away with premeditated murder (from a DNA typing perspective)
In a recent DNA typing project, I was again ‘swabbed’ and my DNA profile determined and loaded up into a Country/National DNA database as an ‘elimination sample’. My DNA profile was also retained in the local organisations database. Basically the argument is … if I were to accidentally contaminate the lab or samples by my presence, things could be investigated and corrected before the DNA profile was reported and the police start an investigation looking for the wrong person (ie. me). Having my DNA profile loaded up to the National DNA database would also mean that things can be detected and resolved relatively quickly, hopefully without freeing the real suspect and allowing him to walk free or abscond. Most police officers and forensic scientists that visit crime scenes also have their DNA profiles loaded as ‘elimination samples’ too, for similar obvious reasons.
Nowadays DNA typing is for the most part a commodity service. The process in the labs is very much a conveyer-belt operation. DNA samples come into these organisations in a number of forms, and ultimately the DNA profile is spat out at the end, and once subject to interpretation, approval, and electronic dispatch, the workflow is complete. Controlled samples for a single individual are usually provided in the form of buccal swabs, hair (root) samples, or occasionally blood (although because red blood cells have no nucleus, and therefore no nuclear DNA, they are not the sample type of choice).
Although human DNA typing is used for a number of purposes, including relationship testing and inheritance or alimony obligations, and genetic predisposition to certain diseases of syndromes, my interest is primarily in criminal investigations. Although the feedback is often second hand and delayed, it is always nice to hear that ‘we got him’, ‘it isn’t him’, or ‘it is likely that the criminal is closely related to the current suspect (a brother or uncle for example [known as familial matching])’.
In forensic DNA typing from crime scenes, the sample under investigation is varied (and not necessarily a buccal swab): a cigarette butt left at the scene, an empty soft drink can, dandruff or hair root, semen left behind, a used condom, stains from panties, ‘touch’ residues left from handling a car steering wheel, a piece of partially eaten food or food wrapper, and much more. The sample is sent to the lab, extracted, the DNA amplified up, and some hours later the DNA profile produced (and notably this isn’t a full genome, just 20-30 numbers and letters that that differentiate you from someone else). The DNA profile may be a mixed sample too; in a female rape incident the swab will contain cell samples from the victim, and the semen possibly from many men.
As a known ‘elimination sample’ (along with scene of crime police officers), the detection of my DNA in the lab could be overlooked as contamination. The detection of my DNA could also mean that although I committed the murder, the laboratory result may have to be dismissed or at least a big question raised in court regarding whether my DNA came from me previously being in the lab, or the crime scene.
However, and more to the point, as I know the type of samples that are retrieved from the scene-of-crime, and how they are retrieved, and that for routine screening there are only a couple of handfuls of samples, for complete certainty and to ensure I get away with my premeditated murder I cannot rely on the ‘elimination sample’ option. I need to muddy the waters a bit and approach things differently.
I have mulled over three ideas:
- Clean the crime scene
This is well documented, and apparently I would need to employ a “Cleaner“. I also don’t know any cleaners, nor how to recruit them. After I commit my murder, a splash of petrol and a spark sounds more efficient and less risky.
- Contaminate the crime scene with foreign DNA
In contrast to the “Cleaner”, I need a “Dirtier” (noun) – someone that comes in and contaminates things post caedes. Crime scene investigators would be inundated with evidence, flooding them with information pointing them in all the wrong directions. A random knife or two at the scene, cigarette butts containing saliva, hairs and other human bits and bobs … the cost of processing all this is prohibitive … For me, while planning my premeditated murder, it is just a matter of going to a public toilet with a brush and shovel and collecting samples, or carefully retrieving stuff from a rubbish bin in a toilet or public place in London, and scattering them around the scene of my murder (basically loads of DNA, from a whole bunch of random people).
- Contaminate and overload the crime scene with my DNA
This approach is my thesis, yet builds upon my “Dirtier” idea. I need to absolutely flood the crime scene with my DNA, my hair and dandruff, my touch samples, my semen, my blood, my …… everything. In court, the prosecution opening argument is that unquestionably the DNA extracted from samples left at the murder scene came from me, but it doesn’t mean I was there (and the case relies on forensic techniques of last century, or hearsay – I’ve considerably increased the chances of getting away with my murder). The lawyer can argue that my DNA is found everywhere. How? My plan – to sell my DNA, clearly a sideline to my current business:
Here’s a tentative and non-inclusive price list
piece of chewing gum chewed by me, £100
empty coke can can handled by me, saliva (mine) around the opening, £200
5 stands of hair (with root), £500
wineglass with my finger prints and saliva around the rim, £400
fingerprint on bloodied knife, £1000
(minimum order, £6000, includes P&P and local taxes, and subject to 10% cancellation fee. Other sample types available on request. Note to self: Modify website to include ‘Add to Cart’ functionality and that I accept PayPal).
With the aid of a £2 garden sprayer, and a bit of water, my blood or other samples of DNA can be sprayed around the room, car, door knobs; with a 5p pair of gloves, the coke can, wine glass etc can be positioned at the crime scene too. The whole crime scene is flooded with my DNA, for crimes committed all over the world, even in countries that I have never visited and never will. My DNA would swamp that of the murderer; detection of my DNA alone has little value and won’t materially contribute to the case in my murder conviction. It’s just as well really – we all leave samples that contain our DNA everywhere.
For me this is an interesting business proposal. I might pitch the idea on Dragons’ Den (known in the US as Shark Tank, apparently), it’s a niche business clearly, with the basic business model of selling samples containing my DNA. When it comes to my murder/conviction defence: the argument is simple – it wasn’t me, I sell my DNA, anyone could have planted it there, and I have many clients that have purchased my ‘products’ above.
I actually have a copy of my SGM+ profile available and if you would like a copy, please write to me.
I have my Genetic Predisposition Report available as well (click the hyperlink), indicating amongst other things that I am at risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration and have a 3.3% total lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
I market a product known as C$WILDNA1 making Oracle DNA profile aware, including SGM+ profiles. This is, as I have mentioned above, interesting stuff, with many interesting applications. Informatics, in general, is very interesting!
— Published by Mike, 12:04:26 16 September 2016