Wednesday, January 19, 2005

DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?

Breakthrough? ....Johanne Coral Hatty, was murdered 21 years ago now police say they have DNA evidence? But what they have is Mind-Set!

Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.

It has been almost 21 years since the night Johanne Coral Hatty was murdered in a Neutral Bay scenic reserve when the Sydney restaurant hostess returned home from work.

The hunt for her killer waned as the decades passed. But it gained new focus six months ago when the newly formed NSW Unsolved Homicide Unit reopened her case file after watching 'CSI' on CH/9 for the last three weeks at 8.30 pm on Sunday night? - Just in case you missed it!

Now in the remote south-west Victorian grazing hamlet of Willatook yesterday, police from the unit took another step in attempting to solve the unsolved case, no mystery?

At 7am they knocked on the door of David Graham Fleming. The 51-year-old wheelchair-bound invalid pensioner with one leg was arrested on a warrant for the murder of Ms Hatty, 24, on Saturday, February 18, 1984, in the Spains Wharf Lookout Reserve.

Fleming, a married man, is the first person - in a case book of 400 unsolved murders in NSW spanning back to 1970 - to be arrested by the unit, which was formed to see if new forensics could shed light on unsolved cases.

One wonders where they got his DNA evidence from?

The arrest came after it was revealed that the nine-member unit believed it was close to cracking its first case?

Just before 4pm yesterday an unshaven Fleming, who has lived in Willatook for three years, wearing a workman's orange fluoro jacket, was wheeled before the Warrnambool magistrate, Michael Coghlan.

He said 'nothing' as Mr Coghlan read the warrant seeking his return to Sydney, 'nor did police reveal in open court how they had come to link him to the crime or his ties to the North Shore in 1984? The homicide squad's commander, Detective Superintendent Paul Jones, did say, however, that the breakthrough in the case resulted from DNA evidence?

Fleming's lawyer, Cherianne Lenehan, opposed the application, saying Fleming had a severe spinal problem that affected his ability to travel, made it difficult for him to sit in one spot for too long, and forced him to sleep sitting up because he had difficulty breathing.

She said Fleming's wife, who sat alone in the court, was his sole carer and relied on Centrelink for support.

But Mr Coghlan said he would grant the extradition for his appearance in Sydney's Central Local Court tomorrow, saying to Fleming: "Do you understand?" A loud "Sir" was the reply.

The Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, yesterday praised the detectives involved, saying: "This result is a combination of the very best technology and persistence and sheer hard work."?

Rubbish this is a promotion for noble cause corruption and Maroney is in on it. In short a blatant lie by the commissioner of police to promote unsound evidence for noble purposes and validate the expense of the Cold Case operation.

Just read the links about DNA and then get Maroney to tell us how he got this man's DNA? Then get an independent witness to test the evidence before you disrupt other people's lives!

It looks bad. A bunch of NSW cops in the media spotlight to solve old cases for which a lot of the evidence will be gone and no one will be able to confirm alibis any more. Sounds like a recipe for dodgy investigations and unsafe convictions. But that's hardly anything new in this state.

In a prepared statement Ms Hatty's parents, Bill and Coral, thanked detectives.

"It has been 20 years since the murder of our daughter Johanne and this has been an extremely difficult time for our family," they said.

"We would like to sincerely thank the NSW Police Unsolved Homicide Team for their perseverance and efforts in the investigation of the crime, and their courtesy in dealing with us during their investigations.

"As the matter is now before the court, we of course are not able to comment further. We request the media respect our privacy and not attempt to contact the family at this difficult time."

It would be nice if they actually got their act together to allow prisoners access to DNA to prove their innocence instead of always spending so much time and effort using it to arrest and harass people - but that's never going to happen under a Carr government of course.

Mind Set

Welcome to the Cold Case guide at TV Tome.

Cold Case stars Kathryn Morris as Lilly Rush, the lone female detective in the Philadelphia homicide squad who finds her calling when she's assigned to "cold cases" -- crimes that have never been solved. When she hits a dead-end, Lilly seeks advice from her respected mentor, Lt. John Stillman (John Finn). Also on the team are Det. Scotty Valens (Danny Pino), Rush's confident and strong-willed partner, Det. Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), who's been around long enough to know where all the bodies are buried and Det. Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford), a tough cop who's considered the go-to guy for getting a confession. Lilly makes it her business to ensure that no victim is ever forgotten.

Produced by Warner Bros. Television
In association with CBS Productions.

No link available

Noble Cause Corruption

A corrupt way to treat the community?
NSW: CH/9 Sunday: "The suicide of one of NSW's most senior investigators in August has underlined a crisis gripping the state's police service"? [police force.]

Trial By Media

Ch/9 News? Or Ch/9's Department of Public Prosecutions?
Channel Nine is thinking of taking over from the Department of Public Prosecutions in the Falconio case.

Supreme Court rejects Nine appeal
CHANNEL Nine lost a Supreme Court appeal today to have a suppression order on details of the case of missing backpacker Peter Falconio lifted. The Full Bench of the NT Supreme Court today ruled Magistrate Alasdair McGregor had the power to make the order banning from publication some details of the case.

Changes to Evidence Laws
Evidence law reform a boost for business: ALRC
"The Evidence Act regulates the way in which evidence is collected, presented and evaluated in criminal and civil court proceedings. The rules of evidence contained in the Act are, therefore, central to operation of the whole justice system.

By Les Kennedy, Glen Bernoth and Just Us 19 January 05


Safeguards demanded for DNA database
Privacy safeguards are required to combat the intrusive effects of the police DNA database, it has been claimed.

I tracked down Janine's killer, says MP
A Miscarriages of Justice ... MP Peter Breen and Inset Innocent Stephen Wayne "Shorty" Jamieson cemented into Goulburn Prison for Life and Victim Janine Balding.

Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.

DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.

PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.

'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.

New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.

Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.

QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.

Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.

A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.

Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.

JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.

DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.

Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?

The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.

Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank. The Herald reported 25 Nov 02 "a DNA saliva swab led to the charging of a former prisoner with the bashing murder of a woman. Police had been unable to find any witnesses or suspects following the murder in Sydney's inner city two years ago. Detectives had admitted they faced a tough job finding the killer."

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.

DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.

DNA - A Shadow of Doubt
One case points to misinterpretation of evidence that helped put a man behind bars. The other shows just how easy it is to plant falsely incriminating DNA evidence. As our forensic techniques become ever more sensitive, so the possibility of abuse continues to grow.