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This is the remarkable and gripping true story of a murderer and his victim, and the tiny molecule that linked their fates. It is both the history of a science overlaid with human drama, and a human tragedy inextricably entwined with science. It is about two lives made and destroyed by DNA—and by each other.
In 1984, Helena Greenwood, a young British DNA scientist, was sexually assaulted in her San Francisco cottage. A year later and 500 miles south, she was strangled to death. The alleged rapist, Paul Frediani, was the prime suspect, but police and forensic experts failed to link him to the murder. The crime was consigned to the cold case file.
Over the next fifteen years, Frediani continued his life—with a job, children, and apparently nothing to tie him to Greenwood’s death. Scientists, meanwhile, were beginning to use DNA to unravel the riddle of human identity. Their discoveries beat…[more]