Brickbat: You Have Nothing to Fear


Police in Germany have asked some 800 men to submit DNA samples in an effort to solve the murder of a little girl 23 years ago. The men would have been between the ages of 14 and 70 at the time and living in the where Claudia Ruf was kidnapped and killed. Police say none of the 800 men are suspects, but they believe one of them might be related to the killer and they could ID the killer through the connection. Nine years ago, police obtained DNA from about 350 men but did not find the killer.

NEXT: Brickbats: December 2019

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  1. There is no fear in life
    We must learn not to be afraid of anything in life
    If we are to succeed, we must learn to be brave
    Follow me here:

  2. Nothing says crackerjack police work like casting a wide net using still dodgy science.

    1. Identifying family connections among DNA samples is relatively straightforward. We’ve been doing it in mice for thirty years.

      Applying it to criminal Justice is rather Orwellian, I’ll grant you that.

      1. It puts a rather bizarre spin on third party doctrine. If my DNA can implicate my brother in a crime, is it a violation of his rights for me to submit to a test?

        1. Well, the really curious question is if the DNA shows a familial connection, is that sufficient for a warrant compelling a DNA sample from the relatives?

          If it is, then the third party doctrine question you’re mentioning applies – and it gets extremely messy. If it’s ruled to be insufficient though, then most of the headaches are avoided, and the cops have to do some actual police work to see if they can connect their favored suspect to the crime through the more traditional methods, at which point they can get the sample via standard evidentiary guidelines.

          Personally, if this happened in the US, I’d expect the appellate court to rule the latter way simply to avoid the enormous mess they’d have to resolve otherwise. As it’s Germany, I’m not sure. Despite its claims of being for liberal democracy, lots of the EU member states allow infringements on their citizens that would be considered impossibly Orwellian here and be immediately struck down with prejudice by a unanimous SCOTUS.

  3. I’m assuming they did the cops first, have they done all public employees yet?

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  5. The bots are busy this morning.

    1. I know, right? They have grown numerous in time for the holiday season…

      1. Like elves.

  6. Are we sure the word “asked” was translated correctly?

  7. “….but they believe one of them might be the killer,”

    And they already collected DNA from 350 people and couldn’t find the killer? They can’t narrow the list down to less than 750 people? Shitty police work.

    1. Dude come on. The issue with the first 350 was that they hadn’t collected DNA from enough people. Surely another 800 will get us the answers we demand. Unless, of course, you think child murders should simply go unsolved.

  8. might be “related” to the killer

    But hey, why should police be the only ones not paying attention, right?

  9. Why do they care so much about this case? When you consider all the people who live and die, you’d think there’d be more productive ways to improve public safety.

  10. Next step: arrest 800 people and make each prove they did not do it.

  11. Hello everyone, I am Peter. I can’t believe I did not know this site existed sooner.

  12. Identifying family connections among DNA samples is relatively straightforward. We’ve been doing it in mice for thirty years.

    Applying it to criminal Justice is rather Orwellian, I’ll grant you that.

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