26 March 2009

German crime wave solved!

Police in Germany had found the same DNA at 39 different crime scenes over a period of two years. Hundreds of detectives were searching for an elusive female criminal.
Her DNA was found over and over again: in bottles, tank lids, on bullets – and once even on a biscuit! Traces were found in southern Germany, Austria and France. Thousands of saliva tests were taken but there was still no answer... They eventually offered a 300,000 euro reward to find the killer.
Yesterday a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office announced that the investigations were being called off. They had determined that the source of the DNA on the specimens was a woman who made the cotton buds used to collect the samples.

Update: Furthe discussion available at Der Spiegel, under the clever title "Q-tip-off"


  1. Um. Shouldn't those be sterile? In the states, they come in little pre-sealed plastic baggies like medical equipment does.

  2. They probably are sterile (free of bacterial contamination), but materials can be decontaminated in ways that kill bacteria but don't destroy DNA.

  3. This is hilarious. Thanks for sharing.


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