Jun 19 2023
Seismic Shift: How genetic genealogy transforms criminal investigations and the lives of survivors
Genetic genealogy has the potential to solve up to 90% of crimes including cold cases that have gone unsolved for decades. We first witnessed the power of this technology in the case of the Golden State Killer (GSK) in 2020. But it's more than just a tool for identifying perpetrators: genetic genealogy transforms how - and how quickly - crimes can be solved, and it accelerates both justice and potential healing for survivors of those crimes. In this episode we explore the impact of genetic genealogy with survivors of GSK Gay Hardwick and Kris Pedretti, as well as retired Sacramento County D.A. Anne Marie Schubert who led the investigation of the GSK case, to understand how solving this cold case after more than 40 years of silence has transformed their lives and how it will potentially change the future for all.This episode includes a discussion about sexual violence and homicide.Gay Hardwick Advocate, Sexual Assault Survivor Gay Hardwick is a former Marketing Director for a Real Estate Development firm, a retired California Elementary School Teacher, and a survivor of the Golden State Killer. Ms. Hardwick has been an outspoken supporter of sexual assault survivors, both on social media, in televised interviews, and in the HBO documentary, I’ll be Gone in the Dark. She has participated in the Sacramento Victims’ Rights Coalition, and police department training in Elk Grove, California. Ms. Hardwick’s goals are to alleviate the silence and shame that victims of sexual assault take on as they move through the legal system or suffer in isolation as their cases remain unresolved. In conjunction with Kris Pedretti, her fellow survivor, Ms. Hardwick helps moderate the Facebook site, Sexual Assault Survivors, It’s Time to Tell Your Story. Kris Pedretti Survivor Advocate & Educator , Sexual Assault Survivors Kris Pedretti was 15 years old on December 18, 1976, when she became Victim #10 and was raped multiple times by the Golden State Killer. After refusing several requests to discuss her attack publicly, and undergoing much therapy, Ms. Pedretti found her voice with the positive support from friends and the community. She participated in television interviews and documentaries on the GSK stating that it was freeing for her to say out loud, “This happened to me.” Today, Ms. Pedretti has started a support group for sexual assault survivors, a private Facebook group titled “Sexual Assault Survivors: It is Time to Tell Your Story.” She also began hosting monthly gatherings for sexual assault survivors. Ms. Pedretti also speaks with groups and individuals to take away the stigma of sexual assault on victims. She believes deeply if we stand together, we can take back the control of our bodies and our lives. Anne Marie Schubert Strategic Advisor, Government Affairs, Verogen Anne Marie Schubert has over 32 years of law enforcement experience and is a nationally recognized expert in forensic DNA. She was elected District Attorney for Sacramento County, California in 2014 and served in this capacity until December 2022. Notably, in 2018, her office led the investigation and prosecution of Joseph DeAngelo, the “Golden State Killer using Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy (FIGG). Since the arrest of DeAngelo, her team has used FIGG to identify the NorCal Rapist, unidentified human remains and partnered with the California Innocence Project to exonerate Ricky Davis after 15 years of wrongful conviction. Today, she is nationally recognized in her knowledge of forensic DNA and has trained law enforcement across the world on the use of Forensic investigative Genetic Genealogy (FiGG) to solve violent crime, exonerate the innocent and identify human remains.