The Most Dangerous Woman in Germany… ...ummmm... ...Doesn't Exist
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Police have called her the most dangerous woman in Germany. Her DNA has been found at the scene of no fewer than six murders, and one unsolved death. Serial murders by females are extremely rare, but the DNA evidence appeared incontrovertable. A person's DNA is unique, not shared by anyone else on Earth (except, of course, an identical twin). The mystery woman's DNA was popping up at scenes investigated by very different police departments in very different cases around Germany. That made it hard to blame the DNA results on contamination or poor collection technique by the investigating departments. Moreover, the cases played out over a period of no fewer than 16 years. Over this time the mystery woman's DNA turned up at multiple murders, including the strangulation of a pensioner. When the mystery woman's DNA showed up at the scene of a murdered policewoman in Heibronn, police became concerned that their murderer had crossed the line to become a cop killer. They offered a 300,000 reward for information leading to the woman's arrest.
Now, police say the mystery DNA woman probably does not exist. Or, more precisely, she may be an employee of a company which made components for the DNA sampling kits which the German police use to obtain their DNA samples. Doubts about the woman's existence began to surface after her DNA showed up in association with the victim of a fire in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Unable to identify the fire victim, police there sampled documents the dead person had handled, hoping to get a DNA match. They did. The document swabs matched the DNA of their mystery murderess.
This was getting a little too incredulous for police, so they resampled the burn victim's documents a second time. This time, no match - and no mystery woman's DNA.
Police now suspect that their DNA sampling equipment may have been contaminated, possibly at the point of manufacture. They're now sampling thousands of "sterile" cotton swabs, and are analyzing the DNA of workers in a cotton swab factory.
The justice minister for the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ulrich Goll, believes the case is now closed. He thinks the DNA found at the scene of the crimes is probably due to contamination at the factory.
"It shouldn't have happened," he told a regional radio station said.
"The investigators are not to blame. They can't tell if a cotton bud has DNA sticking to it."
The head of the union of police officers in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Josef Schneider, admits that "if the trace does belong to a woman working in the factory, it'll be very embarrassing".
Just a follow up from last night's TV-News:
The company manufacturing the swabs claimed, they were not certified for DNA samples.