The Kelroy Williamson Case

In September 2002 an 18 year old Russian girl was brutally raped and murdered in Pioneer City, Anne Arundel County, USA. The young girl was walking home when Kelroy Williamson abducted her, dragged her into the bushes, raped her and choked her. The girl was then left to perish but did not die. The police taking charge of the case decided to collect the necessary DNA for forensic DNA testing from the then suspect Williamson in a rather interesting way.

Solving the Kelroy Williamson case was difficult; the police took DNA samples found on the victim but forensic DNA testing was unable to match them to any profiles they had in their database. In 2004 however, two years after the murder of the Russian girl, the country police force sent 50 swabs for DNA testing at a lab; the swabs were all taken from unsolved murder cases. Amongst the swabs was also a DNA sample from Williamson who was allegedly involved in a rape in 1994 but was convicted of assault rather than rape as he claimed that he had not raped her and that there was sexual consent.

Police investigators sent, amongst the 50 swabs, a sample taken from Williamson for DNA testing. The forensic DNA testing results showed that the DNA on Williamson’s swabs matched the 1994 attack as well as the DNA found on the rape scene of the 2004 rape. The policewoman in charge of the case was police detective Tracy Morgan who needed to get a sample of Williamson’s DNA to further support the case. She arrested him on a passed warrant and put him in jail. She then served him a McDonald’s Meal. After he had finished Morgan sent the discarded cup to have the DNA left on it tested. The DNA found on the cup matched the DNA evidence found at the crime scene.

Ultimately there was some chicanery involved in getting the DNA sample but in the case of such brutal crime cases this may well be acceptable and many feel that ethics may be ignored. Other such instances involve deliberately ordering the hair cut of a suspect and then collecting the hair for DNA evidence. The judges in fact argued that since the cup and the hairs had been effectively discarded it means it is free for anybody to collect.

The attorney defending Williamson argued that unwittingly leaving a cup does not mean explicitly relinquishing one’s genetic material. And even if perhaps, leaving a cup may mean anybody is free to pick it up, it does not allow them to have the material on it genetically tested. The chief judge in charge of the case of Kelroy Williamson wrote that there would be no laws about how the government collects and uses genetic material for forensic DNA testing in such cases.

Other interesting murder cases

One of the most notorious serial killers in Texas and in the history of the USA; his gory story has even been made into films. The family man murdered more than 14 boys in his basement cellar, his family upstairs oblivious to what was going on in the cellar under the house. Neighbours even complained of the stench that emanated.