July 2010 Consultant, Elmer Crawford Murder Case, Melbourne, Victoria Police Department - Assisted Melbourne law enforcement in locating a mitochondrial DNA reference in Ireland and Australia for fugitive killer Elmer Crawford who murdered his wife and three children in 1970 in Australia, to establish whether or not a look-alike drifter in Texas was Crawford. (He was not.) See Identifinders Blog entries August 29- [...]
The best part of our projects is the good friendships we form with the people whose lives we touch. On our recent trip to Ireland, Andy and I visited with Maurice Conway and his family in Co. Limerick. Maurice provided the DNA match that confirmed that the remains found in the wreck of Northwest Flight 4422 were those of his distant cousin Francis Joseph van Zandt. During our time together, Maurice took us to the old Conway farm where Frank's mother Margaret Conway was born and grew up. We walked the road she walked with her sisters and brothers as they started from home for America. And of course we paid our respects at the Conway [...]
Our blog would not be complete without a mention of The Hand in the Snow. This was our first big military identification case with the Armed Forces DNA ID Laboratory, performed with a dream team of top forensic scientists. Our successful identification of the frozen arm and hand found in the Alaska glacier as belonging to crash victim Francis Joseph van Zandt was featured in 300 newspapers worldwide, and will be published as a feature article in Scientific American in the next few months.
I have been fortunate to have been a key member of several projects that have challenged my abilities as a forensic genealogist. Several have been posted on my Identifinders International site. The Hand in the Snow, James Jake-Smithers-Gray, and Benjaman Kyle are just three. I have also been involved in the exposure of two Holocaust literary frauds. To see a brief description of each of these, please see www.identifinders.com. Click on Case Histories. Colleen