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 early life of Joseph Eugene Smith is a complete mystery. Joseph's son Morton and Morton's daughter Karen have researched Joseph for over 20 years, yet they still don't know who he was. Hopefully by reading his story, someone may come forward with new insight into Joseph's so far impenetrable history. Joseph Smith's Death Certificate, 25 December 1973 Over the years, Karen has gathered an impressive collection of information about Joseph starting with his enlistment in the US Army in November 1913, yet she has not been able to discover anything about him before that. Although Joseph Smith claimed he was born on 15 July 1896 in Philadelphia, his birth certificate has never been located. His life prior to WWI is unknown; nothing [...]
The Mascot is the international best-selling Holocaust biography of Alex Kurzem...After an exhaustive international three-year search for evidence, my colleague Dr. Barry Resnick and I have discovered no proof that Mr. Kurzem’s story is true, nor has it been established that he is Jewish.
The Mascot Keith Moor, Insight Editor at the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, Victoria recently published an article on The Mascot, the international bestselling biography of Holocaust survivor Alex Kurzem. To read the article in pdf format, click here. As Keith mentions, the foundation of the story is undeniably true. Alex was adopted by the 18th Kurzeme Latvian Police Battalion in July 1942 as a child in the forest around Minsk. Yet my colleague, college professor Dr. Barry Resnick and I have uncovered much that lends doubts to his claims that he was a Jewish boy who survived the Nazi massacre of his family six months earlier; a massacre that in some version [...]
All anyone knew about him was that he was born Robert Lee King in March 1949. To find Jennie King's remaining son was going to be tough with so little information to go on. Benjaman Kyle claims his birthdate is August 29, 1948 because he remembers that he was born exactly ten years before Michael Jackson. But memory is a funny thing. Carl Litel, Jennie's second known son, was adopted the day he was born, February 5, 1946. Jennie held him only once before he was taken away. Carl's adoptive parents Joseph and Cecelia Litel provided a wonderful home for Carl and his adopted brother James. The couple also had two natural [...]
Since I have been involved in trying to identify the amnesiac Benjaman Kyle, I've seen many leads come in, ranging from the casual to the very serious. Many people have contacted me that they are related to Powells or Davidsons (or both). Many people have written to direct me to websites describing missing persons who they believe might be Benjaman. Many others have sent in pictures of their relatives, friends and acquaintances who they believe resemble Benjaman, in a sincere desire to assist in his identification. One example of a Benjaman look-alike is this picture sent to me by Mary Beth Pierson who believed her former neighbor resembled him. I agreed, although the neighbor had been a pilot [...]
Hi Colleen: I read the article about you in the June 2010 issue of More Magazine, and am curious about one thing. Are you the same person who competed on Wheel of Fortune in 1991? If so, I was one of your competitors. Just curious! Margot Theresa Cox In fact, I was on Wheel of Fortune in 1991. (I lost. I was the third contestant in line, and the other two women, including Margot, mopped up on the puzzles before I could get a letter in edgewise.) When I wrote her back, identifying myself as her competitor, Margot answered: When I got your response I had to [...]
Finding Bonnie's birth father was one of our most difficult birth parent searches. Bonnie and her brother Michael knew they were born in Germany in the 1950s, but they did not know they were adopted until 2002. Although Bonnie had a copy of her birth cerificate, she had not questioned why her parents names did not appear on it, and why it was issued two years after she was born. When Bonnie's mother passed away, a chance remark by a neighbor revealed the truth. Bonnie explains: We only found out [we were adopted] because of a neighbor woman, who knew my mother through Bingo. I was walking my dogs when she approached me and offered her condolences. She casually mentioned to me [...]
When AFDIL attempted an identification through Y-DNA, I was asked by my colleague Dr. Odile Loreille to find a Y-DNA reference for Sidney Goodwin. We were just finishing up the identification of The Hand in the Snow, so she knew I was available for a new project. Of course, my first step was to search Ancestry.com to obtain information about the Goodwin genealogy. I immediately found Sidney's parents Frederick and Augusta in 1901 living in Middlesex with their four oldest children Lillian (5), Charles (4), William (2), and Jessie (1). Frederick was listed as a print compositer.Because Frederick and his sons perished on the Titanic, to find a Y-reference for the family [...]
Cell with Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA To understand what happened next, you have to know a little about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mitochondrial DNA is contained in small, football-shaped inclusions outside the nucleus of a cell. It's widely believed that mitochondria were once independent bacteria that invaded primitive cells millions of years ago. Instead of being digested, these bacteria took up residence in the cell, forming a symbiotic relationship with it. The cell provided them with food and water, and the mitochondria provided the cell with energy for metabolism and heat. The arrangement worked out so well that millennia later, a human cell has up to 1,000 mitochondria, each carrying five to ten copies [...]