A little earlier this week, I told you about three mysteries solved using DNA. In one case, the DNA helped convict someone. In one case, it identified remains. And in another case, DNA helped exonerate someone.
You know I’m interested in justice, because of my background as a lawyer, and because of my Hunt for Justice Thriller Series.
So, a fourth case I wanted to tell you about involves DNA helping to provide poetic justice.
In 1985, 34-year-old Helena Greenwood, a British scientist, was supposed to testify against a guy named David Paul Frediani. Officials say that the previous year, Frediani had sexually assaulted Helena Greenwood, and she was going to identify and testify against him on the witness stand.
But before the trial and while he was out of jail on bond, Helena Greenwood was killed in the garden of her California home. Police immediately suspected Frediani. He ended up serving six years behind bars for allegedly sexually assaulting her. But, at the time, detectives couldn’t provide proof that he killed Helena Greenwood.
Here’s the poetic justice part: Greenwood had been a scientist. A research analyst. Who specialized in DNA. Specifically, reading DNA gene sequences. The very subject that detectives say ended up trapping her own killer.
In 1999, experts used Greenwood’s research to inform a re-examination of skin particles found beneath her fingernails. The DNA techniques that Greenwood had studied and advanced, were the same techniques that helped officials match the particles under her fingernails to Frediani, leading to his murder conviction.
If that’s not poetic justice, what is?
With that in mind, tell me: What does this image mean to you?
Press the ‘comment’ button below to chime in.
(There is no correct or incorrect answer!)