August 13th Online Meeting

The Rocky Mountain MWA monthly meeting will be held via Zoom on August 13th starting at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time, and will feature DNA evidence pioneer and former Denver D.A. Mitch Morrissey. Members will receive the link and password by email, groups.io, and our newsletter. Non-members may send an email to chapterpres@rmmwa.org to request access. Hope to see you August 13th!

Program:

After years of prosecuting criminals, former Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey turned to solving cold cases using cutting edge DNA technology through his company United Data Connect.

For example, take the 1996 murder of Tangie Sims in Aurora. Sims was found fatally stabbed, and during their investigation detectives discovered that her attacker had cut himself. Later, through genetic analysis of this evidence, UDC was able to provide investigators information that lead to the identification of the murderer.

Or, take the case of Charles Banister, a serial rapist in Wisconsin. Banister was not in the official DNA database, but connecting the genetic dots from this database to genealogical search software to a Banister family member lead to a guilty plea and a fifty-year prison term for sexual assault.

Join us for a fascinating discussion of how DNA is used to ID perpetrators of violent crimes, and how that evidence is used in courtrooms across America to put violent felons in prison or bring closure to families who have spent years wondering if their cases would ever be solved.

Speaker Bio:

Mitch Morrissey

A career prosecutor for 33 years, Mitch Morrissey was elected District Attorney of Denver, Colorado for three terms from 2004-2017. Morrissey introduced the first DNA evidence used in a criminal trial in Denver, and is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology and its application in criminal prosecutions. He has trained law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges throughout the United States, the Middle East, Central America and Canada.

Morrissey also has shared his knowledge beyond the legal and law enforcement communities. He hosted the television program Dialogue Denver DA, and continues to be interviewed frequently for television, radio and print media. His support for familial DNA searching was the topic of a report by 60 Minutes.

Prior to leaving the D.A.’s office, Morrissey spearheaded the Denver Cold Case Project, which reviewed over 4,200 unsolved sexual assaults and murders to use DNA technologies to solve these old cases. In addition, he and the Denver Police Crime Lab introduced the use of DNA to solve burglary cases and other property crimes. During his tenure as Denver District Attorney, Morrissey became the leading proponent in the United States of using Familial DNA Database Searches to solve violent crime.

After leaving the Denver D.A.’s office in 2017, Morrissey co-founded United Data Connect to continue his work in applying advanced technology to the field of investigation.

“Mystery Writers of America does not support or tolerate discrimination of any kind. We stand proudly with our Black members, and implore our entire membership to start listening, speaking out, and amplifying the voices that have been silenced for far too long. Listening leads to understanding, and action leads to change. We cannot move forward as a society or culture without recognizing the disparities that permeate both.”

The complete text of this statement, and suggestions on how to get involved, can be found on the MWA national site.


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Murder by Kindness

Semester of our Discontent

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CHAI ANOTHER DAY by Leslie Budewitz

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Murder at the Petroglyphs

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That Churchill Woman

Survive or Die

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