Solving one of history's mysteries, Mark Stoneking

Interviewee: Mark Stoneking. Solving one of history's mysteries.

Now one could argue that these hairs were not actually those of Anna Anderson, and even though that's what the envelope indicated, but fortunately and completely by chance, at the exact same time that we were doing this analysis, the original group in Britain that had analyzed the Romanov remains, this is Peter Gill, a forensic scientist, had petitioned a hospital in Virginia, where Anna Anderson had died and where they had done a, previously done some, a tissue biopsy for cancer and as, how hospitals do, had maintained an archival slide with that tissue. He eventually received permission to obtain that tissue sample and to conduct a DNA analysis on that tissue sample. So completely independently and completely unbeknownst to us, he was carrying out this analysis at the exact same time we were analyzing the hairs. And then, right at the time that we finished our analysis, we became aware from a reporter that he had just finished his analysis, so we got on the phone and checked our results and our results exactly matched, which to me really is sort of the nail in the coffin if you will, because one could argue just the hairs alone could've come from a different person and therefore they don't match. One could also argue that if he only had his tissue, that Peter Gill only had the tissue sample, that the tissue sample was mixed up, those hospital archives are notorious for doing this sort of thing, and that therefore that's why it didn't match, because it wasn't really her tissue, but the fact that these two very independent sources, our hairs and his tissue sample, matched in their DNA sequence, but did not match the known maternal reference for Anastasia, is a pretty strong indication that she was not Anastasia.

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