Home DNA AncestorHow DNA Analysis Led Police to the Golden State Killer
How DNA Analysis Led Police to the Golden State Killer

How DNA Analysis Led Police to the Golden State Killer

The Golden State Killer was finally caught last week after more than 40 years, but the science behind it wasn’t just your everyday DNA forensics.

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49 thoughts on “How DNA Analysis Led Police to the Golden State Killer

  1. K Vol says:

    I'm just happy his was still alive so that he could be arrested and outed.

  2. score one for science

  3. The double murder referred to at 2:50 was that of the Smiths in Ventura.

  4. Ro says:

    Data privacy? Sorry but if peoples lives are at stake, we should do anything we can to help. And if that involves giving a DNA sample or info, i'm in.

  5. SirJMDDK says:

    4:25 relatives that only share 2% of the same DNA? What are they? Aliens?

  6. Fred Smith says:

    I wonder how long it will take for some defence lawyer to wake and smell the coffee? The "experts " keep quoting the same line " the chances of a match are 1 in ( insert improbable figure)"  Since the incidence of identical twin births is about 1 in 200 of live births, the chances of an IDENTICAL DNA sequence has to be the same 1 in 200.  There is also the question of how many of the large number they quote in their identical match speech would result in a live and how many a dead ( genetic problems killing the foetus) birth. It seems to me that the " experts" are deliberately misleading the courts and the people.  I do not deny the usefulness or the accuracy of DNA matching or the fact its usually pretty conclusive for either the prosecution or in some cases the defence. I just wish they would stop trying to "over egg" the pudding.

  7. Betrayed by his own kin

  8. banimanFJ says:

    Is DNA analysis 100% infallible?

  9. NHarmonik says:

    Here's an idea: Uploading DNA from unidentified bodies to ancestry websites in hopes of finally identifying them!

  10. Interesting I was watching a show about this criminal a month ago and of course they hadn't caught him at the time of this documentary. ..

  11. the reason police want to take his D.N.A an picture him!!! these are true FACTS . never made the phone call's either . these are proof police lied !!!

  12. they never uploaded proper D.N.A and got a FALSE match !!!

  13. Not DeAngelo ! he never made the calls. miss managed D.N.A and only a few matchs in code he is not a true match to murderer !!!

  14. Moral of the story: kill all of your relatives and never leave DNA on the scene so do it from a distance

  15. cyberlucy says:

    FYI. The site name doesn't spell out the first 3 letters. It's referred to as GEDmatch (one word with a J sounding G). GED refers to file type known as a GEDcom (also said as one word with a J sounding G). That is the file type used for family trees. The sites original purpose was for comparing family trees.

  16. Serial killers can be very smart Edward Kemper had a iq over 140+ if hadnot turn himself in no telling how many people he could of killed very scary heis so smart he himself knows he should've never be let out of prison

  17. Blue Sap says:

    Stupid rapist use a condom

  18. No one else will submit their data to gedmatch.

  19. evilferris says:

    When are y’all gonna learn to burn/submerge/dissolve your evidence/victims? THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE!

  20. I read the title as "Golden Skate Killer" and immediately thought I was about to hear that Paranoia Agent was based off of true events.

  21. John Faria says:

    I really hope those cops had to get a warrant

  22. Cruelvader says:

    Interesting video, if people are interested in other methods that are used. There's a video from James Corbett that goes over other types of methods that forensic scientist use and gives reason to doubt some types of forensic analysis. -peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbu0nRLaL8

  23. So a US agency got data from 23andme or ancestry.com ? If that's true, that is a serious security breach. You tiptoe around where the police got the data from – but I doubt "thousands of relatives" were in a criminal database.

    And you talk about it like it was the most normal thing. The US gov has access to the DNA of its population – great, 1 suspect caught. /s Benjamin Franklin is turning in his grave. Sad and disgusting.

    Shame on you SciShow – not for picking a side – but state the facts, say where the data came from.

  24. We want to know if it matched?

  25. How did they search his trash without a warrant?

  26. new advertising possibilities

  27. Was that Red Jon from The Mentalist series?

  28. The Ancestry DNA kits have gone down in price by about 50% recently. Hopefully people will wise up now so Ancestry and the others won't be able to give them away.

  29. Round Pi says:

    This is the perfect video for a sponsorship.

  30. Lichoff says:

    Confusing when mixing 13 and 20 STRs (@2:13), especially when saying them as "used today".

    Also whats up the mentions of an episode (vaguely hinted in this one) being a complexly production ?

  31. I don't really object to this, but it does raise an interesting ethical issue regarding the 'ownership' of genetic information. You, as an individual, can't entirely stop authorities, insurers or the public at large knowing about your DNA because you can't control the actions of those related to you. When people make DNA data publicly known, it isn't only their data. Most legislation on privacy, to my knowledge, doesn't really take that into account because it's geared (understandably) towards the rights of the individual.

  32. shouldn't DNA always be a 100% match? it's not like a fingerprint that can be smudged, it's DNA.

  33. Future criminals take note. Don't upload your DNA to GED and stop all your relatives from uploading theirs. Good luck with the latter though.

  34. Willowdove says:

    Going through the comments here is a ride. It is not a violation of privacy to use DNA voluntarily submitted to a public database to construct a profile. And it isn’t as though just by virtue of being a relation the guy was convicted. There were still thousands of possible suspects that had to be narrowed down, and the forensic team still cross referenced their primary suspect’s actual DNA to confirm a match. And now he will go through traditional criminal proceedings. There’s nothing about this process that strikes me as illegal or a “slippery slope”. I think this is a fantastic use of new technology that will hopefully put more criminals away and de-incentivize crime.

  35. There was an Australian called Ned Kelly….

    As I need to leave in 120 seconds I will just give the short version:
    This technology targets a suspects family till the police use other tests to narrow it down.
    How long till they have several 'possible suspects' because they can not narrow it down and simply harass the whole family as 'bad apples?'

  36. Really thought DNA was going to slowly disappear from courts because it can be manufactured now, can essentially make it look like anyone has done anything… (not saying that is what has been done with this case!)

  37. feldar says:

    If there's a 1 in a billion chance of a false match, doesn't that mean that if we had a database of everyone's DNA that we would get 6-7 false positives on average for every DNA test? This seems way too high to do anything other than eliminate suspects to me.

  38. I learned everything from the CSI dramas on TV.

    I know that the real world doesn't work that way, but I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.

  39. RickySTT says:

    I don’t know anything from CSI. CSI is a TV show!

  40. Now science just needs figure out how to stop or reverse aging. So that the golden state killer could serve his time, since he already lived a long life and is about to expire himself.

  41. P Square says:

    Interesting. Thanks.

  42. Jake Clay says:

    This tickles my genome.

  43. Preskynet says:


  44. HeSheXie says:

    A lot of people seem to be concerned that the police can cross-reference DNA across a database like this, but… it's a public database. You could do it too, if you had the tech. And even if it wasn't public, if you get a 23andMe test, congrats. You've sold a copy of your genetic profile to a company, and now they can do whatever they want with it. As well as a link to all of your other relatives, forever. Until they create a law that says otherwise, you've essentially "first sale doctrine"'d yourself.

  45. Catch The Zodiac Killer and you will really have accomplished something miraculous!

  46. TheSliderW says:

    in short :
    – DNA isn't enough as contamination is a huge issue.
    – Corruption and abuse by police officers is a huge issue.
    – Companies like 23 and Me selling private data is a huge issue.

  47. loved this video!!!!!!!!!

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