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Occupy DNA 'Murder Link' Now Thought to Be Lab Error

The Atlantic
Occupy DNA 'Murder Link' Now Thought to Be Lab Error
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Occupy DNA 'Murder Link' Now Thought to Be Lab Error

It's not quite Dewey Defeats Truman, but The New York Post may come to regret its "OWS Murder Link" headline now that The New York Times is reporting that a DNA match supposedly linking a 2004 killing to a March protest was the result of a laboratory error. The Post is already citing a source calling it "a total screw-up."

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The latest report is still pretty thin but it sure casts doubt on an already unlikely story. On Tuesday, NBC New York first reported that a chain found at a March protest had DNA that was also found on a CD player belonging to Sarah Fox, whose 2004 murder has never been solved. As The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett noted earlier, "the chain could have come from anywhere and been handled by dozens of people in the past eight years," so the link always was pretty tenuous.

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A source inside told The Times' William Rashbaum that the DNA found on a chain used by a protester to lock a subway door open, which matched DNA found on a CD player belonging to Sarah Fox, whose 2004 murder has never been solved, came from a lab technician. "The O.C.M.E. tainted the samples and it was the O.C.M.E. supervisor’s whose DNA was on both," Rashbaum quoted his unnamed source as saying. Spokeswoman Ellen S. Borakove said "We’ve excluded all medical examiner personnel."

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Anyway, there's one thing we've learned from all this, it's that the New York Police Department took DNA samples from a piece of evidence involved in a protest whose greatest crime was vandalism.

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