DNA Solves Crimes Too

March 29, 2001  |  CBS Evening News

Excerpts From Broadcast

Many states have started DNA data banks but this year Virginia has hit the crime solving jackpot. After 11 years, the sheer size of its database is producing a cold hit every day. And almost every cold hit means an arrest and conviction in an unsolved violent crime.

Last year Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Chip Harding had exhausted all leads in the case of a serial rapist that terrorized the city. "This predator was attacking in broad daylight. You could be walking in an area that was fairly populated and he'd drag you off into the bushes."

Then, last summer, DNA linked three of those crimes to one man, Shannon Malenowski. He's pleaded not guilty, but after his arrest those daylight attacks stopped.

"You drink from your coffee cup, we got you. Smoking cigarettes, throwing them on the ground we know who you are," explains Harding.

When asked if this is a case where the computer saw the suspect and they eye witness did not, harding said, "The computer saw the suspect and the eye witness did not."

Read more at cbsnews.com: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/03/29/eveningnews/main282554.shtml

J. E. "Chip" Harding

Albemarle Sheriff's Office
410 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902