Here's a Nice Tool to Use in a Police Procedural, Guest Post by Kylie J Burgener


Just last year, a cold case almost two decades old in Midway, Utah, was finally solved using cutting edge wet vacuum DNA collection technology called the M-Vac System. The DNA evidence was found on the murder weapon, a rock that had been sitting in an evidence room for the past 18 years. Krystal Lynn Beslanowitch was found bludgeoned to death with the rock in question, which was still near her body. However, the evidence found at the scene was not enough to tell Krystal’s story. Fortunately, in the world of forensic science, technology is always moving forward, offering newer and more effective ways to catch criminals. Through an innovative process, Krystal’s case would eventually be closed.

Originally designed to collect pathogenic bacteria off of food surfaces, bio warfare agents from the battlefield and viruses from critical areas in hospitals, the M-Vac wet vacuum system is amazingly adept at collecting DNA material, even from porous surfaces such as a river rock, a hoodie sweatshirt or from a victim’s skin. This system is the most effective method available for collecting DNA, and is known to be effective even after other collection methods have failed to collect sufficient DNA for analysis.

The wet vacuum method works through the combination of a sterile spray impinging the substrate surface and vacuum pressure being applied simultaneously. This allows investigators to pick up much more of a sample than through the swabbing or taping method. The samples can then be spun in a conical vial or filtered through an inexpensive filtering method. The results have been validated by a private lab in Utah, which found that the M-Vac collected 40 percent more DNA from a saliva stain on polyester and 88 percent more from a bloodstain on nylon fabric than swabbing. In fact, when sampling the material AFTER the swab in a separate product verification, the M-Vac still pulled up 22 times more than the swab did.

So far, the wet vacuum system has been used in several very difficult cases that had either stalled or gone completely cold and the investigators were running out of options.  In one of the first cases, a little girl had been murdered and possibly raped, and then her body had been discarded in a body of water where she lay for 8-10 hours.  During that time, as every investigator knows, the DNA evidence on her and her clothing was washing away and degrading at a rapid rate.  Not surprisingly, by the time she was pulled from the water and her clothing was swabbed, no suspect DNA could be detected, even with the most sensitive lab equipment and processes. 

Fortunately, the forensics lab had an M-Vac System available and they were able to resample the victim’s underwear.  Amazingly, the M-Vac was able to collect enough DNA material to generate a partial profile of the suspect and the case was able to move forward.  Additional cases have seen similar results.  Of course, not every case, but the bottom line is if there is DNA material on the evidence, even when it is minute amounts of touch DNA, the M-Vac System is the best tool to collect it.

In the case of Krystal Beslanowitch, the M-Vac wet vacuum method was able to provide critical DNA collections to close the case. Eventually this evidence led to an arrest and closure for the family.

No doubt this new method would add a compelling element to any true crime fiction story, particularly those surrounding cold cases or seemingly “clean” crime scenes. For more in-depth details on the forensics, including a video showing the DNA collection, visit http://www.m-vac.com/forensics.


Jared Bradley is the President and CEO of M-Vac Systems, based in Sandy, Utah. 

Cover Reveal for Geoff Hudson-Searle's Book

As many of you know I'm a retired police detective turned crime fiction writer. I've done a lot of other things in life prior to police work and I wish I had a book like Freedom After the Sharks when I got started. It still looks like a worthy read, even in retirement. Following is a little bit about the book and the author.

 Cover Freedom After The Sharks

Geoff Hudson-Searle's book "Freedom after the Sharks" is coming out soon. The book covers how to survive regardless of a lack of resources and finances in a declining economy. The book discusses business failures, success, and includes business models that can be implemented immediately. The primary target audience are entrepreneurs. Starting up, they may not be sure of the path to take. Even if they can visualize the path, it is good to learn from other people’s mistakes and failures. Other groups of readers are middle management or junior executives who are looking for a fascinating life story of courage, drive, and inspiration. The secondary target audience are graduates and college students who will find information that will prepare them for their career.

About the author: Geoff Hudson-Searle is a very passionate and innovating international director whose leadership is characterized by sharing information, round-table discussions, and strategic growth and deployment. Embracing cultural diversity in business, Geoff is a thought-leader. Now, he has added being an author to his impressive resume. Geoff blogs about his business insights and workshops here.

A Death Remembered (Not Fiction)

I know he wondered why the world suddenly fell beneath his feet, and why the seconds felt like the duration of life, as he tumbled into the darkness that passed over like wind.

London Book Fair 2013

A Detailed Man is in good company at the London Book Fair. I'm very excited to be included with these great authors.

Gelfman Schneider: London Book Fair 2013

The Confidential Life will be the second book in the Detective Ezra Simeon series.

The Mystery Bookshelf's Best of 2012

   I recently found this, and thought I'd share it. It's very nice to be included. Blogs like this play a huge role in building readership.  The Mystery Bookshelf

   Working hard on book two, The Confidential Life, which I will have finished by Spring.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2012


If anyone read, and liked A Detailed Man, you can vote for it at the following link as one of the "Top Indie" books of 2012, under #5.

There are also some other great reads, especially the authors I spent time with in Quebec for the 2012 Quebec Literary and Mystery Writers Festival - Mons Kallentoft, Peggy Blair, Wayne Arthurson, Chris Holm, Owen Laukkanen, Robert Pobi, John Connolly, Michael Robotham and Peter Kirby.

So cast your vote here -  House of Crime and Mystery

Quebec City's 2012 Crime and Mystery Literary Festival


It has taken me a few days, but I've finally found the time to put a little pictorial together on the Quebec Crime Festival that took place October 25th - 27th, 2012.
This doesn't come close to capturing the atmosphere of the event and all the wonderful people I met. 













A little prop plane from Montreal to Quebec. Coincidentally  I sat beside a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff who was on leave and visiting a friend. Needless to say, I gave him a copy of my book.

Left to right 1st row - Archer Mayer, Linwood Barclay, Michael Robotham, John Connolly, Brian Freeman, Peggy Blair, Giles Blunt and Mons Kallentoft. Left to right 2nd row - Chris Holm, Owen Laukkanen, Mark Billingham, Laura Lippman, David Swinson and Wayne Arthurson. Not pictured here - Robert Pobi.
 
Organizers Jacques Filippi and Guy Dubois introducing the first panel.                                                
Touring Old Quebec (Wayne Arthurson, Mons Kallentoft, David Swinson)
Later with Rob Pobi, who actually was a fan of Roadside Prophets, the 1991 film I co-produced. Go figure.