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Strange Cases of True Crime

The science of forensics has come a long way. Now more than ever before, evidence tested at a crime lab often plays a significant role in solving a case. The main forensic disciplines include fingerprints, blood spatter, DNA, odontology, and other bodily fluids known as serology. However, occasionally, police can track down suspects in strange ways because of weird forensics. 

Weird Forensics and LEGOS

In 1991, Lucille Johnson, a grandmother, was found by a family member deceased; the manner of death was homicide. Lucille Johnson had been clubbed to death and robbed of some of her jewelry. Investigators at the scene did not find any sign of forced entry, so it was assumed that her killer was let into her home. 

She was known to be a neat person, and law enforcement noticed kids’ LEGOs all over the living room. Lucille had these for her grandchildren to play with. Her family insisted she would not have let someone in whom she did not know. However, she may have let someone in if they had a child in need. Law enforcement collected the LEGOs and DNA that was found in fingernail scrapings. The case then went cold for two decades. 

In 2013, Detectives in Utah at the Unified Police Department opened the case again. A nephew related to a man named John Sansing offered up a tip that led investigators to the Lucille Johnson case. The nephew heard an argument between John and his wife. During that exchange, he stated that an elderly woman had been killed in Utah. Law enforcement analyzed the LEGOs found at the scene and found latent fingerprints. 

They matched John Sansing’s sons’ prints to the LEGOs, meaning John was there and had committed the crime while his son played with Lucille Johnson’s LEGOs. Sansing was charged in 2014 and pled guilty. 

(Photo by iStock)

One Bite at a Time

In Michigan in 2015, on a cold winter’s night, a vehicle sped out of a bank parking lot and crashed into a snowdrift. A witness noticed two men exit the vehicle and push it out of the drift. They succeeded, got back into the car, and left. 

It was later found out that a bank robbery had occurred at the bank, where the two men were seen leaving the parking lot and driving erratically. After speaking with the witness, law enforcement figured out where the crash site in the snowdrift occurred. In addition to the route the alleged thieves took from the bank, investigators found a piece of evidence that had enough DNA to link one of the suspects to a string of bank robberies. What was the evidence? It was a half-eaten cheeseburger in the snow where they crashed the car. That DNA linked him to Dominick Johnson. Later on, he and his half-brother Nathan Benson had been robbing banks at gunpoint. The two men remain currently incarcerated. 

Piece of Evidence 

Another case where food evidence broke the case open was in a very high-profile murder case. The Savopolous murders were horrific and brutal. This particular case was a quadruple murder and had several characteristics that were extremely dark. The Washington, DC, murders involved the torture of a child, and the motive may have been the family’s wealth. However, law enforcement did not have much evidence to build a case. Ultimately, a piece of pizza would link the killer to the scene. Daron Wynt was apprehended based on his spit being present on a pizza at the scene of the crime. 

That Bloody Rock

In 1995, in Utah, Krystal Beslanowitch lay dead, apparently bludgeoned to death. She was only 17. Investigators found a bloody rock lying next to the body, but at the time, they could not pull any usable DNA. At the time of the incident, DNA databases and testing were not as extensive as they are today. 

Fast forward 18 years, and investigators looked at the rock again. Investigators used a much more modern tool that collects microscopic DNA sources to vacuum other parts of the rock near the bloodstain. The M-Vac was able to collect 21 nanograms of DNA material. Since there are many people to create a DNA profile, the forensic evidence was processed further. The DNA profile provided the identity of a man named Joseph Michael Simpson. 

Due to his criminal history, his DNA was already in the database. It turns out Simpson had once been an airport shuttle driver and was already incarcerated for another murder he committed. Three years after reexamination, he was convicted of Krystal Beslanowith’s murder. 

Weird forensics pushes the limits way past the standard fingerprinting techniques.,
(Photo by iStock)

Evidence that Sticks

In Birmingham, England, in the year 1994, Nova Welsh, a 24-year-old woman, was found murdered. She lay dead inside a cupboard in her home. Welsh appeared strangled and had been in the cabinet for three weeks. Approximately 22 years after murdering her, Osmond Bell became charged with Nova Welsh’s homicide. He had been the victim’s partner.

An old piece of chewing gum held the answer to the murder. At the time of the crime, police found a piece of gum stuck to the cupboard where her body lay. Bell, the suspect, stated that he put the gum there prior to her death as an easy fix for the lock. Investigators charged Bell with murder due to DNA collected on an envelope belonging to him. 

Why did he bother to write the letter? He had attempted to throw the police off of his track by saying another man was at fault for her murder. The victim had recently left him after he had abused her on multiple occasions. The suspect later recieved 12 years in prison for manslaughter. 

Looking for more weird forensics and tales of true crime? Be sure to check this out: Officer Involved Stabbing
A deputy stabbing leads to a true crime investigation worthy of Hollywood.
(Photo by Skillset Staff)

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