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Posted: 1/11/2005 6:19:19 PM EDT
January 11, 2005 Tuesday

NEWS; Pg. 3

914 words


DNA sweep for killer divides town

Pam Belluck

The New York Times

TRURO, Massachusetts:

Stopping in the Highland Grill on a frigid Friday, Jeff Evans plunked down $2 for a brownie almost as big as a paperback book. Then, before he left the grill, a burger-and-pizza joint in the upper crook of Cape Cod, Evans handed over something else: his DNA.

At the prompting of a State Police detective and a Truro police officer parked at the Highland Grill's counter, Evans, 46, a pest exterminator, wiped the inside of his cheek with a lollipop-like cotton swab, capturing a smidgen of genetic evidence to give to the government men. Sam Scherer, 18, another Highland Grill patron, had already done the same thing. So had Jerrid Bearse, 20.

Police officers here are trying to get DNA from every man in Truro, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree. It is an unusual last-ditch gambit for clues to a three-year-old killing: the stabbing death of Christa Worthington, 46, a freelance fashion writer who had lived in New York, Paris and London, but who retreated to this quiet town a few years before.

While some residents are complying with the request for DNA, others are uncomfortable with the idea of providing such personal information. Worthington was the single mother of a 2-year-old girl, Ava, who was found alive clinging to her mother's body on the floor of their bungalow. Semen was found on Worthington's body, and over the last three years, the police have investigated a former boyfriend and several other men, including a married man who is Ava's father.

"All those people are ruled out at this point," Sgt. David Perry of the Truro Police Department said. A $25,000 reward failed to crack the case, which generated national and international publicity and a lurid book, "Invisible Eden," by Maria Flook, with explicit details of Worthington's love interests and violent death.

Then the police sought help from the FBI, which said it thought the killer had Truro ties and suggested trying to match the semen in a global genetic canvass.

"The person we're looking for is the one who deposited the DNA" by having sexual relations with Worthington before she died, Perry said. "We're not saying that this is the killer. What we're saying is we need to talk to this person, who may be just the last person to see her alive."

Perry and other law enforcement officials here say that the program is voluntary but that they will pay close attention to those who refuse to provide DNA. That has prompted complaints from some residents who feel the DNA sweep is coercive.

"I think it's outrageous," said Dick Seed, 44, a Truro sign painter who called the American Civil Liberties Union to complain.

"I really think they're usurping my civil rights," said Seed, who may know something about DNA because his father is Dr. Richard Seed, the eccentric physicist who drew worldwide attention by announcing seven years ago that he planned to clone humans. "Are they going to chase down everyone who didn't give a sample? It kind of sounds like Stalin's secret police. If there's a murder committed in a restroom, are they going to be asking for a urine sample?"

Mass DNA collection drives, as needle-in-a-haystack as they might sound, have yielded results in criminal investigations in England and Germany. In the United States, the technique has been tried in a few places, generally with less success. It is usually used in a more targeted way than in Truro.

"They're not very effective and they're certainly not voluntarily," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's either give a sample or you're a suspect. It turns the classic American concept of innocent until proven guilty on its head."

Figuring that the winter population of Truro would be similar to what it was three years ago, investigators chose the days around the anniversary of Worthington's killing, on Jan. 6, 2002, to begin passing the collection swabs for DNA all over town.

The investigators are intentionally mild-mannered in their queries, asking for help, not threatening retaliation. Sometimes they display a photograph of Ava, who is now 5 and living with her mother's friends, and ask the men to help solve the investigation for Ava's sake. The police found 75 volunteers on the first day alone, Perry said.

But they have also been rejected by men who say they are offended or uncomfortable.

"Sorry, I just don't like to be around cops," Virge Peres, 28, told Christopher Mason, the State Police detective who stopped him at the Highland Grill.

The police say they will discard any DNA that does not match their sample and will not keep a data bank of those who complied. But several Truro residents, even those who gave their DNA to the police, said they were skeptical of that, as was John Reinstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Reinstein said that as of Friday he had received three calls from Truro residents and that he was monitoring the situation.

Craig Hathaway, owner of Dutra's Market, who said he felt he had to allow the police to approach his customers, will not give his DNA.

"Don't get me wrong, I want to see this thing solved as much as the next person," Hathaway said. "I'm just not sure this is the way to do it."

And Seed said, "Why don't they just ask me where I was when the murder happened? I was playing poker. What else is there to do here in the winter?"

Katie Zezima contributed reporting from Boston.  

January 11, 2005
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:22:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:


Police officers here are trying to get DNA from every man in Truro, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree.




Guilty until proven innocent.  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:23:57 PM EDT
I would refuse

that is not the way to catch a criminal --------- process of elimination.

What next ???
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:24:31 PM EDT
Brilliant police work, boys.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:25:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cyanide:
I would refuse

that is not the way to catch a criminal --------- process of elimination.

What next ???





They tried that in DC during the Sniper incident - went around rounding up AR15's.  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:31:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:32:23 PM EDT
Three words:

"Fuck that shit!"
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:33:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:34:14 PM EDT
I would not volunteer a DNA sample.  however I think an DNA sample should be taken from every suspect at the time of booking, just as photographs and fingerprints have been for decades.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:34:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The New York Times
Mass DNA collection drives, as needle-in-a-haystack as they might sound, have yielded results in criminal investigations in England and Germany.





Baaaaah.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:37:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 6:38:18 PM EDT by Knight_Shadow]
it's starting.
"Perry and other law enforcement officials here say that the program is voluntary but that they will pay close attention to those who refuse to provide DNA."
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:39:22 PM EDT
Unless you've got a legal warrant for my DNA and suspect me specifically in a crime, my only answer is "go fuck yourself".

And what good is getting DNA from everyone in town anyway? The criminal already knows about it, so if he even lives there he's already skipped out. Dumbasses. Probably just a sneaky way of getting all the men in that town on record. Then they'll come up with other ways of getting everyone's fingerprints, DNA, and God knows what else. One bit at a time, tiny reasonable requests, until everyone's on record and we're all living in a fishbowl.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:39:24 PM EDT
So they're sure a Kennedy didn't do it....that's good...
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:39:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:


Police officers here are trying to get DNA from every man in Truro, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree.




Guilty until proven innocent.  



+1
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:39:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.



Ya I read it.
Doesnt make it right but you never had much use for the constitution.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:50:42 PM EDT
That is just plain retarded. Dear MA police, I have a song for you...

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
Who me?
Yes, you.
Couldn't be.
Then who?

This does not work. The criminal ain't gonna just volunteer his DNA sample and you KNOW this.

It a ploy.  

-Foxxz
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:53:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
And what good is getting DNA from everyone in town anyway?


Rule people out.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:06:01 PM EDT
And people always ask me about the hammer and sickle I have tatooed on my shoulder?! They say "hey, what you some kind of Commie?" To which I have to tell them, no , This is just a permanent reminder not to forget what kind of country we really live in.

Ps- It's a real cool tat BTW, I also have on my right shoulder a Bar code tattoo with the numbers 666 underneath as kind of a number of the beast statement. Yes I am kinda paranoid!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:07:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:47:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By t-stox:
And people always ask me about the hammer and sickle I have tatooed on my shoulder?! They say "hey, what you some kind of Commie?" To which I have to tell them, no , This is just a permanent reminder not to forget what kind of country we really live in.

Ps- It's a real cool tat BTW, I also have on my right shoulder a Bar code tattoo with the numbers 666 underneath as kind of a number of the beast statement. Yes I am kinda paranoid!



In a way, you have already placed the Beast on your body yourself. Why put a barcode on you when you already have identifying marks?

All scars and tats get logged at some point.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:51:22 PM EDT
You call Detroit, tell them bullshit!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:53:53 PM EDT
 If you have nothing to hide....   God damn, how many generations till we have exactly what fought our way out of?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:54:38 PM EDT
If they want your DNA just shit on them and let them dig it out.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:01:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 8:03:57 PM EDT by lippo]
Oh, don't worry, the DNA will only be put on file and the profile will "only" be put in your National ID card. Don't worry, this evidence could "never" be used against you.

I'd tell them to kiss my .


And do these officers honestly believe the murder would stay around the town? I would say, they would stand a better chance of catching this murder by getting DNA from everybody in the USA outside of this town.


Oops, did I just give them an idea?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:04:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Three words:

"Fuck that shit!"




+1
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:07:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.

I doubt very much that I will ever consider such ham-fisted efforts at detection to be anywhere near "brilliant." But that's just me.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:10:33 PM EDT
There was a murder in Detroit recently.  I need everyone here to start proving they didn't do it...or else!  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:11:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 8:11:42 PM EDT by AR15fan]

Originally Posted By lippo:

And do these officers honestly believe the murder would stay around the town?  



Most murder victims are killed by someone they know. Yes, the suspect usually sticks around.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:19:10 PM EDT
Put on your tin hats!!

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:20:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
And what good is getting DNA from everyone in town anyway?


Rule people out.



sure, 790 males, only about 3 billion more to go.

ya see, the thing is, people can travel many miles in one day today.

there is not proof the perp is even from that town.

dna?  no freaking way.

txl
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:29:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By lippo:

And do these officers honestly believe the murder would stay around the town?  



Most murder victims are killed by someone they know. Yes, the suspect usually sticks around.




Wow! I would have never have bet on that. It would seem to me, stupid, for a person to stay around an area where they kill someone.   Well, you learn something new every day!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:40:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.





This stuff will probably stay on file forever. And those who refused and become a "person of note" will probably never get that mark off their record. I'd bet it might even cause a denial or at least a delay in firearm purchases from now on.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:58:59 PM EDT
There are suckers born every minute.  What kind of idiot would submit to this crap?  You know, no matter what they say, that, just like fingerprints, they will permanently keep this dna info on file.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:01:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lazyshooter:
There are suckers born every minute.  What kind of idiot would submit to this crap?  You know, no matter what they say, that, just like fingerprints, they will permanently keep this dna info on file.




Apparently, there are quite a few.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:02:22 PM EDT
no such thing as good old detective work anymore I guess.  They may as well just hold an election to see who they think is guilty.  Was it Mr. Potato Head or was it Binky the Clown, tonight on Dateline we find out!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:05:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.



Ya I read it.
Doesnt make it right but you never had much use for the constitution.



Since when is voluntarily giving a DNA sample a Constitutional violation? Don't bother answering, you never had much use for rational thinking.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:05:39 PM EDT
Can we say Gattica?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:14:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 9:17:12 PM EDT by captainpooby]

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.



Ya I read it.
Doesnt make it right but you never had much use for the constitution.



Since when is voluntarily giving a DNA sample a Constitutional violation? Don't bother answering, you never had much use for rational thinking.



I imagine thats what you'd say to the guy you are asking for the sample before you smack him with your nightstick.
Its hardly voluntary.
I'd hate to be on either list...those that gave or those that didnt and thats where I lose my right to choose.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:22:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 9:23:19 PM EDT by Airwolf]
For those of you unaware, the Citizens of the PRK last election approved a state run system for collecting DNA samples from *SUSPECTS* in felony crimes as well as from misdemeanor sex offenders, both adult and juvenile.  They are SUPPOSED to remove the sample from the system if a SUSPECT is proven not to be one or the conviction is overturned.



Yeah, right.  I've been involved with IT long enough to know that it's damn well impossible to make any system purge data 100% of the time.  There's ALWAYS a copy floating around somewhere (unless you desperately need it that is. )  Remember we discovered the Feds were keeping Instant Check data long after it was supposed to be deleted.

BTW: The ACLU has filed suit to overturn Prop 69.

www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20041004-061206-7731r.htm

Outside View: California's DNA debate


By Bob Barr
Outside View Commentator

Washington, DC, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Ahhh, California. Home to movie stars, earthquakes and dates, the Golden State may soon become the world's DNA capital. If voters approve a proposition -- No. 69 -- on the state's ballot next month, the government in Sacramento and across the state will begin mandatory sampling, analysis and permanent storage of DNA samples on thousands of its citizens and other visitors within its borders.

Why? Well, to fight terrorism, of course. The problem is, the program would scoop up within its net tens of thousands of people each year who may never even be formally charged with any criminal activity (much less crimes of terrorism), or against whom the state decides to drop charges, or who are eventually found innocent of any criminal activity.

This is but the latest example of government and technology run amuck; one with especially frightening consequences not only for the individuals involved but also for society as a whole. The irony of the proposal is it's simply not needed to fight crime. People convicted of serious felonies in California -- as in a number of other states -- are already DNA-cataloged by virtue of their conviction.

This provides law enforcement a legitimate tool with which to help ensure people already found to be a danger to society, are less likely to pose such a danger in the future.

Not content with this power to collect and maintain DNA samples on those already convicted, California is moving to the next level: collecting samples on anyone and everyone who is arrested for a felony, regardless of whether the person is ever formally charged, and if so, regardless of whether the charges are later dismissed by the state or the person is subsequently found to be innocent.

This is a thinly veiled effort to simply expand the state's DNA database; along with those of other states and of the federal government, by virtue of the sharing of such data between government entities.

And it gets even worse when you read the fine print of Proposition 69. It applies retroactively. The long arm of the government would be able to seek out people previously arrested for crimes and force them to provide DNA samples.

If a person has had his or her DNA material erroneously taken, or if they are later found innocent of any charges, is there a mechanism by which the aggrieved citizens can ensure their DNA is not kept? "Of course there is," cries the state. The reality is, however, there is no such mechanism.

There is, on the surface, an "appeal" mechanism. In fact, it is not only impossibly cumbersome, but meaningless. The innocent party would have to take the initiative and petition the court, the prosecutor and the California Department of Justice. Even if, following a lengthy legal battle, the innocent citizen convinced the government to remove his or her DNA from the system, guess what? There is absolutely no obligation for the court to actually do anything about it, and there's no appeal! In other words, there's an "appeal mechanism" in name only.

Of course, once the DNA is forcibly collected from anyone and everyone who, regardless of guilt or innocence, finds themselves simply arrested in California, the state has to do something with it. The sample and the information gleaned from it, which includes not only data that currently identifies you, but which reveals your entire medical history and propensities, is then analyzed by some private laboratory; and forever thereafter available to other states, the federal government, and other private laboratories.

Since you have no control whatsoever over it, and insofar as the ballot measure contains no restrictions on its sharing, presumably it could be made available to foreign governments as well. "We're all in this fight against terrorism together, you know."

Why is this such a problem for the "average citizen?" After all, only really bad people get arrested, don't they? Well, no. Many innocent, law-abiding citizens are arrested in our country every year, including many tens of thousands in California. Last year, of the more than 507,000 people arrested in California on some felony charge, according to statistics nearly one-third had the charges dismissed or eventually were found not guilty. That's nearly 170,000 innocent people who would have their DNA permanently ensconced in some state-controlled laboratory, with a label attached to it that would likely follow them the rest of their natural life; and beyond if one of their off spring with the same family DNA were later arrested.

The problem for the millions of people living in California, and the many millions more of us who happen to travel to the state from time to time, is that any state -- and especially one with as many laws on the books as California -- can almost always find a reason to arrest you. Californians are, if nothing else, an imaginative people. The state has more laws on the books than most U.N. member states. If you happen to fall into a politically incorrect class of people in California -- a Second Amendment enthusiast, for example; or an abortion protester -- some law enforcement type somewhere in California can find some reason to arrest you and then, Bingo!, they've got your DNA forever.

Not a comforting thought to me. And it ought not to be for any of us.

--

(Bob Barr is a former member of Congress and a former U.S. attorney.)

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:23:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
Brilliant police work, boys.



Ever read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh? True story of exactly the same thing in England to catch a child rapist/murderer. You'd think it was brilliant if it saved your childs life.



Ya I read it.
Doesnt make it right but you never had much use for the constitution.



Since when is voluntarily giving a DNA sample a Constitutional violation? Don't bother answering, you never had much use for rational thinking.



I imagine thats what you'd say to the guy you are asking for the sample before you smack him with your nightstick.
Its hardly voluntary.
I'd hate to be on either list...those that gave or those that didnt and thats where I lose my right to choose.



You never let me down Captain. Not only did you not answer the question. You added an irrational reply. True to form as always.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:35:06 PM EDT
Lord Jesus come quickly.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:38:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 9:41:40 PM EDT by captainpooby]
By not being voluntary its a violation of rights. Is that clearer?

My point is that its NOT voluntary but coerced.

A violation of 4th and possibly 5th amendment rights.
The fear of ending up on either list amounts to being coerced. If fear of NOT giving a sample causes you you to give one you have been coerced.
Got it?


And you're right. I dont like you.

ETA: Thanks for saying I am true to form. Really. You are as well.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:39:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bvmjethead:
Lord Jesus come quickly.



You got that right. Although it may seem obvious, I just have to say that living in the end times sucks.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:54:46 PM EDT
That's messed up! I’d never give them my DNA voluntarily and I'd end up as a suspect for a crime I didn't commit. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:59:02 PM EDT
I got no dog in this fight.

The Army's had my DNA for years.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:28:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
By not being voluntary its a violation of rights. Is that clearer?

My point is that its NOT voluntary but coerced.

A violation of 4th and possibly 5th amendment rights.
The fear of ending up on either list amounts to being coerced. If fear of NOT giving a sample causes you you to give one you have been coerced.
Got it?


And you're right. I dont like you.

ETA: Thanks for saying I am true to form. Really. You are as well.



I didn't know that you don't like me. That's pretty harsh. You don't even know me really. You can't trade insults with someone on the net without hurting their feelings?
I think someone is a little grumpy tonight and his initials are C.P..
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:36:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 10:39:43 PM EDT by captainpooby]

Originally Posted By Sukebe:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
By not being voluntary its a violation of rights. Is that clearer?

My point is that its NOT voluntary but coerced.

A violation of 4th and possibly 5th amendment rights.
The fear of ending up on either list amounts to being coerced. If fear of NOT giving a sample causes you you to give one you have been coerced.
Got it?


And you're right. I dont like you.

ETA: Thanks for saying I am true to form. Really. You are as well.



I didn't know that you don't like me. That's pretty harsh. You don't even know me really. You can't trade insults with someone on the net without hurting their feelings?
I think someone is a little grumpy tonight and his initials are C.P..



Awwww.

I know you enough to know think you're a fascist. Thats why I dont like you.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:42:19 PM EDT
I think the appropriate response to anyone asking for your DNA without a warrant is to laugh and walk away.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:51:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 10:51:44 PM EDT by Digitalpunk]
They can have my DNA when they have a hot female officer come suck it out.

Digital
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:51:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

I know you enough to know think you're a fascist. Thats why I dont like you.




I don't know what you're on Captain. I just hope you can stay on this planet.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:54:37 PM EDT
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