Computers And Videos Limit Serial Killers Reign’s of Terror.

 Here is the official police statement involving the ” Craigslist Killer”.:

 On Tuesday April 14, 2009, at approximately 10:13pm, officers from District 4 responded to a report of an unconscious female at the Copley Marriott Hotel at 110 Huntington Ave. Upon arrival, hotel security updated the police that the unconscious female may have been the victim of an assault, possibly a stabbing. Officers observed Ms. Brisman suffering from what was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. The recent media attention to sex crimes and associated homicides may be a good thing for those of us in law enforcement.  In the past serial sex killers such as Jeffery Dahmer,  Lacey, BTK  and the Son of Sam David Berkowitz were able to elude detection for prolonged periods of time. As such they enjoyed media attention and placed citizens in a state of ” fear”.  For a list of male and female sex offenders see :http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/index.html

Cameras, Video, Surveillance, DNA and Computers Assist Police Investigators.

Today we are in the age of computers and cameras and detectives and investigators can often obtain critical evidence from both sources.  The recent capture by Boston Police http://www.bpdnews.com/ of Philip Markoff  illustrates progressive and preemptive law enforcement.  See: http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/04/bu_student_char.html  son-of-sam-sketchIn the past there was little “direct evidence ” http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/direct-evidence.htmlof  a suspect. Police had to rely on “eye witness ” identification ( which a defense lawyer can quickly discredit) , police sketch artist would do the best they could in  compiling a rendition of the suspect.

In this case there was alot of evidence. First the gun used in two similar patterns both at hotels.  Second Cameras in the hotel and street.  NOTE the ACLU strongly opposes public cameras see http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/15177res20021205.html ) This case is important to show how important public cameras are to fight crime , deter crime and apprehend dangerous felons. In addition any computer used by the victims is traceble with the IP address.  Which leads investigtiors to his Facebook page and Craigslist tracks,. In this case the alleged killer Mr. Markoff has a website promoting his wedding, and  not surprisingly his fiancee is standing by her man. See http://www.megan-philip.com/?st=wc.  While Governor Spitzer of New York never killed anyone or physically harmed a ” call girl, he also  obtained high priced ” hookers” , ( see http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0312084kristen1.html)  

Myth Busters The Rich, Privileged and Well Educated Commit Crimes

Spitzer like Markoff is an example that the high heeled boys, country club kids, children of wealth privilege and higher education are not above criminal behavior.  Those of us in law enforcement know that teens and young adults in an urban community are more likely to be arrested and have a criminal record as opposed to the wealthy who can hide their illegal behavior. In the City kids hang in the park, and streets ( house parties in multipledwelling apartments where residents call police)  easily observable. Whereas the more economically benefited communities often commit illegal behavior behind closed doors. e.g. ( dorm, country club, friends single houses when parents are away ( 2nd homes) .

Killing Periods of Serial Killers May Decline But Negligent Policing Must Be Curtailed.

In the past serial killers eluded police for substantial periods of time. Now with Cameras everywhere, Computers and social networking sites including twitter, and  serial killers are being apprehend in a shorter time period.  Jeffery Dahmer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Dahmer killed over a four year span. The BTK killer Dennis Rader  committed crimes from 1974-1991. David Berkowitz 8 people over 2 years.   As such this and the recent killing of George Weber and the quick apprehension of a his alleged killer  George Katehis ( see http://www.queerty.com/george-webers-killer-60-craigslist-teen-20090325/)  indicate we have new technology which may limit and shorten the time frame of serial and non serial killers.

Shody Police Work May Permit Criminals to Continue Crime Spree And DNA Limitations.

A recent serial sex offender in England eluded police for over four years before becoming a suspect. During this period Kirk Reid is alleged to have committed over 70 sexual assaults. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7961431.stm In this case police obtained “DNA” from prior  incident locations but failed to swap Reid in a timely manner, and  as such negligently contributing to his crime spree and rightfully eroding confidence in British Police elite sex crimes unit.

DNA, is a remarkable tool and very direct evidence to inculpate and exculpate a defendant. Recently German Police spend millions of dollars and a remarkable amount of manpower chasing an illusionary fairy”  killer female serial . DNA recovered in numerous incidents indicated a serial killer, and they actually thought the phantom killer may have killed a police officer. It turns out that the DNA cotton swabs used to gather DNA evidence had been contaminated, possibly by a female in the factory that manufactured the DNA recovery swabs. See http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1888126,00.html

As such it is highly foreseeable that the defense bar will not try to question the integrity of “DNA” based upon the sanitary, and sterilization safeguards at all facets of DNA recovery, and testing facilities. Memories are short lived but recall how Barry Scheck  ( http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/137.php ) a defense lawyer for the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial was able to establish reasonable doubt regarding “contamination of DNA.” See http://phobos.ramapo.edu/~jweiss/laws131/unit3/simpson.htm In this case the defense displayed a picture of LAPD  Detective Furhman standing in an area with a blood stain. ( They also suggested he “planted ” blood evidence. However, innocent contamination can and does occur if people mishandle evidence or contaminate same.  (i.e. walking in a victims blood than entering a car leaving blood marks, and later attempting to place the defendant in a car based upon DNA blood evidence, which may have been unintentionally transferred to the auto by sloppy police work).

One study in England ( which seems fair ) is to require DNA sampling of all police officers.  This is to improve low  template DNA testing. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584683/DNA-profile-police-to-prevent-crime-scene-contamination.html In England as well “DNA Boost” is a new technique which may open cold cases as it can seperate multiple sources of DNA ( see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/5037895/Thousands-of-cold-cases-could-be-reopened-thanks-to-new-DNA-technique.html , as such it is imperative not to further contaminate crime scenes.

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