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German police testing DNA of 900 men for unsolved murder cold case

German police asked about 900 men to have their DNA tested to help solve the cold case murder of then 11-year-old Claudia Ruf, who was killed 23 years ago. In May 1996, Claudia was kidnapped while walking a neighbors dog in the western city of Grevenbroich. 2 days later, her body was found 43 miles south of her home having been strangled, raped, covered in gas, and partially burned. 

This is just one of many waves of testing investigators are pursuing to find Claudia’s killer. The men selected in this wave were between 14 and 70 at her time of death. Because DNA traces of her murderer were found on Ruf, investigators and family members of Claudia hope that this mass testing will help find the culprit. According to one source, there has been renewed interest in the case and men were voluntarily lined up  by 10 a.m. the first day of testing to help find Claudia’s killer. 

The renewed interest comes years after a first test was used on local men. Since then, “new hints...could help them find the murderer” due to advancing technology. The new samples from late November will take 4 to 8 weeks to be analyzed. 

The method used by German Police and Investigators in this cold-case could be a helpful way for the average citizen to help in brutal cases such as this one. These volunteers sign over their DNA without knowing if it could potentially connect them to a relative. Personally, I like this tactic. It is a great publicity move to spark increased interest and keep victim's names a household occurrence for longer. Additionally, with new and improving technology and science, mass testings like these could be started weeks or months after killings instead of years later, potentially saving lives of potential victims.

For example, if the technology was available at the time of Joseph James DeAngelo's(Golden State Killer) prolific murders, rapes, and burglaries, perhaps DeAngelo could have been caught sooner. The truth is, we won't know until law enforcement either uses a tactic similar to this one or creates a better one in the ever-changing fields of genetics and forensics.

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