About Austin Bethell

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So far Austin Bethell has created 66 blog entries.

Identifinders Assists Orange County DA's Office in Solving the Oldest Jane Doe Case in the County

By |2020-07-23T14:18:20-07:00July 23rd, 2020|

Identifinders International is honored to have assisted the Orange County District Attorney's office in solving the oldest Doe case in Orange County.  In March 1968, a woman was discovered badly beaten, raped, and with her throat slashed in a field in Huntington Beach, CA.  All attempts to determine her identity failed until May 2020 when investigative genetic genealogy was used to identify her as 26 year-old Anita Louise Piteau from Maine.  Her family reported she had driven out to California in 1968 with two friends, hoping to break into the movie business. She wrote one letter to her mother after her arrival, but then was never heard from again. Identifinders wishes to [...]

Press Conference on Cold Case – Rapid City SD – 2 pm – 17 Jun 2019

By |2019-06-17T10:01:39-07:00June 17th, 2019|

RCPD MEDIA ADVISORY: Press conference to discuss new findings in cold case The media is invited to attend a press conference discussing new findings in the cold case investigation into a Rapid City homicide from 1968. The press conference will be held Monday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m. in the second floor large training room at the Public Safety Building (300 Kansas City Street) in Rapid City. More information will be posted on https://www.facebook.com/RapidCityPD/

DNA-The Next Big Gold Rush?

By |2017-05-29T18:05:24-07:00May 29th, 2017|

The discovery of gold at Sutters Mill, CA in 1848 promised untold wealth for those who had the resources and stamina to outlast the competition.  At the dawn of the California Gold Rush, there were no laws governing property rights; prospectors depended on a system of staking claims to protect their discoveries. Early prospectors did well, earning many times what they would have taken in as common laborers. But within a short time, the techniques of extracting gold became more efficient and sophisticated - far beyond the financial resources of the individual 49er. The tens of billions of dollars of gold recovered from the hills of California were ultimately controlled by only a few.  Many later prospectors returned home empty-handed. We are now experiencing a [...]

Big Business or Big Brother?

By |2022-07-08T21:30:57-07:00May 2nd, 2017|

At the recent American Academy of Forensic Science meeting in New Orleans, I attended the workshop The Opiate Crisis, Dirty Bombs, Big Data/Big Problems, and Driverless Cars:  On the Leading Edge of Forensic Science - 2017 Theoretical Forensic Sciences "Think Tank".  It seemed like a good session to discover where forensic research is going, aside from the serious look the community is taking at standards of proof within the various forensic disciplines.The talk Who You Are Out in the World and What Do You Think? by Lucy Davis presented an interesting look at the big business side of genetic genealogy.  The substance of the talk was a discussion of the informed consent, the terms and conditions of service (TOS), [...]

Who Am I? What is My Name? – Part XII – Taking Stock

By |2022-07-06T01:22:19-07:00December 8th, 2016|

INTRODUCTION As with all research projects, there have been so many zigzags in this story, it's only reasonable to take a break to take stock of where we are in solving the puzzle of Pnina's identity.  We haven't solved all the mysteries yet, but we know so much more now than we started with a few years ago. Pnina Gutman is in her 70s and lives in Israel. She leads a normal life as a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother, but she has an unusual story.  Pnina was smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto in late 1942 when she was an infant and hidden on the Aryan side by Charlotte [...]

Who Am I? What Is My Name? Part XI – Berlin, Warsaw, and the German Soldier

By |2022-07-06T01:19:58-07:00November 8th, 2016|

I recently traveled to Berlin and Warsaw to personally research in the various German and Polish archives.  My hope was to find more information about Gertrude Priess-Spiro and her circle of acquaintance and friends, towards the goal of finding the birth identity of Pnina Gutman, whom she helped smuggle from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.  I feel that if we can identify the people and organizations that Gertrude was involved with during the War, we may be able to find clues that lead us to Pnina's family. Although my initial search of the German and Polish archives was not successful, I later discovered information that may lead to the identity of the German soldier, the most [...]

For Immediate Release – Grant from the Elie Wiesel Jewish Studies Center, Boston University

By |2016-11-07T16:42:13-08:00November 7th, 2016|

The Center for Professional Education at Boston University has been awarded a competitive grant from Jewish Cultural Endowment Fund of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies to hold a one-day workshop "Holocaust Survival and Reunion Stories:  Separating Fact from Fiction Using Genealogical Research Techniques". The workshop will be conducted by internationally recognized forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, founder of Identifinders International.  Dr. Fitzpatrick will focus on stories of child survivors and their efforts to connect with their birth families, covering five topics:  Introduction to Holocaust Research Discerning the True from the False when the Impossible is the Norm The Mascot - A Holocaust Literary Fraud? Holocaust Archives and Repositories Who Am I?  What [...]

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