Identifinders International has identified a suspect in the 19-year-old cold case involving the shooting of Officer Jeff Garner. The identification was made after a thorough and intricate investigation involving North Richland Hills Police, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Dallas and Oklahoma City field offices. Officer Jeff Garner was shot on March 3, 2003, after attempting to stop a man who, unknown to Garner, had just robbed a bank in Watauga, Texas. Since the incident, the suspect has remained at large. After the case sat cold for many years, in 2015, North Richland Hills Police Detective Erik Whitlock was assigned to the investigation. He [...]
Attorneys for Brian Patrick Miller fail in their bid to exclude DNA evidence collected in the Phoenix Canal Murder investigation, claiming police violated his rights in collecting surrepticious DNA. Miller's trial is scheduled for later this year. Read more.
Identifinders International, in conjunction with the King Co. WA Sheriff’s Office, has been awarded Fifth Place in the Gordon Thomas Honeywell (GTH) DNA Hit of the Year Competition out of a field of 50 entries from 20 countries for their pioneering work on the 1991 Sarah Yarborough homicide.
Through the use of DNA forensic genealogy, Rapid City police have identified the suspect responsible for the death of 60-year-old Gwen Miller. Ms. Miller, a Rapid City pharmacist, was located strangled and sexually assaulted in her bed at her home on Hall Street in 1968.
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 [...]
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 [...]
By now, everyone who reads this should know Gertrude Priess-Spiro, the woman who arranged to have Pnina Gutman smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto in August or September 1942. New information about her has recently been discovered that provides details about her marriage to Leo Spiro. It also explains why she was listed under her maiden name Gertrude Priess-Spiro on the Pawiak transport records to Auschwitz. Location of 176 Brunnenstrasse, Berlin During my recent trip to Berlin, I was able to visit the address at 176 Brunnenstrasse, where Gertrude grew up and lived for a while after she was married. The building is about three blocks south of what was once the Berlin [...]
The keynote at the 27th annual International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI27) was given by internationally recognized video journalist David O'Shea. O'Shea addressed the conference on the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Asociación Civil Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo), a human rights organization formed in Argentina in 1977 in response to the disappearance of hundreds of children who were either kidnapped or born to mothers who were "disappeared" political dissidents during the country's "Dirty War" in 1974-1983.
Flight to Berlin and Arrival Thursday, August 11, 2016 Keflavik International Airport My trip from Los Angeles to Berlin went smoothly with a layover in Keflavik Interntional Airport. It is the cleanest airport in the world. It felt more like an igloo than an airport – snug from the elements. Yet it was a beehive of activity – with people snacking in one of several cozy cafes, or browsing the stores which naturally offer beautiful Icelandic sweaters and other products. The sandwiches are the most beautiful sandwiches I have ever seen. I was tempted to exchange $10 for Icelandic krona at the money exchange, but thriftiness got the better of me. The [...]
Gertrude Spiro and Charlotte Rebhun, Warsaw c. 1942 Since 2012 we have been trying to discover the birth identity of Pnina Gutman, who as an infant was smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto with the assistance of a woman named Gertrud Spiro. We realized from the beginning that our best chance at solving the mystery was to find out as much as we could about Gertrude and her daughter Sonia, hoping they left some record behind of their activities. We have faced many challenges; when we started out, we did not even know the correct spelling of their last name. Thanks to our persistence, we can now account for most of Gertrud's whereabouts from the time she was born in Bladiau, East Prussia on 24 February 1899, until [...]