The first murder case using DNA profiling, Alec Jeffreys
Interviewee: Alec Jeffreys. The first murder case using DNA profiling.
We could see the DNA profile of the semen from the victim, we could compare it with the suspect, complete and utter mismatch. So phoned back to the police saying it looked, on the face of it the results we've got here says that he's not tied into the first murder. Then it was a while later because they were very small samples, you have to wait a long time for the result. We got the result in on the second victim and we got semen DNA profile seemed to match that of the first victim and again didn't match the suspect. Phoned the police up, the reaction was, included quite a bit of Anglo-Saxon, I mean course he's guilty, he confessed. And what we were saying was, well you know, you've got a mismatch, you've got the wrong guy here, or the technology is rubbish. And that was what really worried me. My instinct was that the police were so sure they'd got the right guy that there's something hideously wrong about the technology. Somehow you can have a DNA profile in blood that's completely different from sperm in the same person. I couldn't figure out biologically how that could possibly arise, nobody else could. So we did additional testing, same result. Home Office Forensic Science Service, Peter Gill, they'd got our technology. They did additional testing, same result. So after a get together here at Leicester, where we had people from the Forensic Science Service, you know, along with the local police and myself, who sort of agonized over this and came to the conclusion that the DNA results were the DNA results. They'd got the wrong guy and so what do they do next?
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An image of DNA profile.
An image of Alec Jeffreys.
Alec Jeffreys talks about results of the first murder case using DNA fingerprinting
An image of Alec Jeffrey in 1989.
DNA profiling, DNA fingerprinting, gel analysis
In 1984, Alec Jeffreys produced the first DNA fingerprint. DNA-based testing methods have evolved over the years, but they still use DNA repeats as the basis for building a DNA profile.
DNA profiling, DNA fingerprinting.
Alec Jeffreys talks about making his first DNA fingerprint.
London Times article announcing the verdict of the case of Sarbah vs. Home Office (Ghana Immigration Case, 1985
Alec Jeffreys talks about new uses for DNA fingerprinting.