Identifying the Idaho Killer
The New York Times has a long article on the investigative techniques used to identify the person who stabbed and killed four University of Idaho students.
Pay attention to the techniques:
The case has shown the degree to which law enforcement investigators have come to rely on the digital footprints that ordinary Americans leave in nearly every facet of their lives. Online shopping, car sales, carrying a cellphone, drives along city streets and amateur genealogy all played roles in an investigation that was solved, in the end, as much through technology as traditional sleuthing.
At that point, investigators decided to try genetic genealogy, a method that until now has been used primarily to solve cold cases, not active murder investigations. Among the growing number of genealogy websites that help people trace their ancestors and relatives via their own DNA, some allow users to select an option that permits law enforcement to compare crime scene DNA samples against the websites’ data.
A distant cousin who has opted into the system can help investigators building a family tree from crime scene DNA to triangulate and identify a potential perpetrator of a crime.
On Dec. 23, investigators sought and received Mr. Kohberger’s cellphone records. The results added more to their suspicions: His phone was moving around in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, but was disconnected from cell networks - perhaps turned off—in the two hours around when the killings occurred.