Midwest Social Sciences Journal


In the criminal justice system, not all offenders are brought to justice; unfortunately, cold cases exist and provide long-term challenges to investigators. From historic breakthroughs in forensic DNA analysis to today’s new trends, advancements in technology continue to give investigators hope of resolving unsolved mysteries with no clear-cut suspect. This article examines the progression of DNA analysis over the past three decades and explores the recent trends in the use of genealogy websites to solve cold cases. DNA technology’s innovative uses, from its early years to modern, are explored herein. By exploring traditional DNA analysis to advances that explore the potential for family-relationship connections in genealogy databases, one can observe the path that has led to the use of familial DNA analysis from these ever-popular ancestry databases used by civilians for lineage research. In examining the recent exploratory use of ancestry DNA databases for criminal-investigation purposes, the clear promise and pitfalls of such new technology are outlined for consideration