Hi. I am John F. Suggs and my expertise is in genetic analysis, forensic research and investigation in the field of genetic genealogy where I assist “persons of unknown parentage” such as: adult adoptees, sperm and egg donor’s adult children and others searching for their biological roots. In addition, using the same investigative methods, I have recently expanded my services to include assisting members of Law Enforcement in the solving of criminal cold cases.
DNA Testing and Analysis is an exciting and rapidly evolving field.
Back in the Spring of 2002 when I submitted my New York University Masters Thesis entitled: “Genetic Testing and Privacy: The Role of Anonymous Genetic Testing and Information Technology”, I wish I could say that, in it, I successfully predicted the utter transformation DNA Testing would shortly have on so many aspects of our society. But I didn’t.
Since the first groundbreaking commercial autosomal DNA testing for genealogy was introduced by 23andMe in 2009, the dramatic growth and explosion in this field has been nothing short of astounding. At this point, we are able to reach back 7 generations on both parental lines. The results are connecting us with literally hundreds of hundreds of millions of people long passed and are proving critical in solving even some of the most difficult cases.
And now, in 2018, another major tectonic shift has happened. This past spring it was revealed that, for the very first time, law enforcement had successfully used these same unknown parentage search techniques along with the public DNA database GEDmatch to identify and arrest the (alleged) Golden State Killer. In the ensuing weeks and months more and more cold cases have been successfully solved the same way.
The most prominent and undisputed leader in the field is my friend, colleague and mentor, CeCe Moore, who was recently featured in the New York Times regarding her groundbreaking work using these methods in Law Enforcement Cold Case Investigations.
Last month, just as in the past four years, I spent an entire week with CeCe Moore in her intensive advance DNA Analysis Training program. We discussed the Golden State Killer case and the cutting edge role our profession is now playing in law enforcement. I believe that this moment in time is going to be recognized to be just as significant in the field of law enforcement as the original establishment of two way communication systems in police vehicles. Remember before the “squad car radio”, police had to “report in” using Police Call Boxes on the streets.
And now, just a few days ago we have witnessed yet another significant leap in our field. Instead of solely focusing on decades old cold cases, it was announced that CeCe Moore had successfully used these DNA techniques to identify and arrest an (alleged) 31 year old rapist who had committed the crime in April of this year. This was the 7th arrest that she has been responsible for and this is the first one in “real time”. We are in whole new territory now!
Going forward, it is now going to become virtually common practice for law enforcement organizations to use the very skills and techniques that our field has painstakingly developed and mastered in our searches for birth families of adult adoptee and other persons of unknown parentage to solve not only criminal cold cases but “real time” cases.
Over the years, adult adoptees and their searchers had no choice but to develop these critical skills and techniques precisely because their adoption files and original birth certificates have historically been sealed by the courts. And now it is that very same legal system, which for decades has routinely denied them their original identity and birth records, that is now turning to our fields unknown parentage methods and tools to solve both long standing cold cases and “real time” cases.
That is what this new blog is about. I want to explore with all of you these cutting edge issues of DNA analysis and how it is transforming not only law enforcement and the adoption world but our entire society. I hope that you will join me here and that we can jointly learn from each other. Remember: DNA Doesn’t Lie.