Apparently the national media is reporting that scientific genealogy may result in leads to a cold case. The principle is simple: apparently Y chromosomal material was matched to public genealogy databases. From this the research concluded that the perpetrator is probably a male line descendant of Robert Fuller, a of Salem, Massachusetts. Contrary to the urban legends it does not seem that false paternity rates are much higher than ~1 percent in many societies (for example
CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger have covered this story in detail, so I won’t go much further in this specific case. But as more and more people get typed and sequenced I suspect that genetic material is going to be more and more “actionable.” What long term effects will this have? Will criminals start taking precautions?