Serological Research Institute
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SERI in the Media

Although often not mentioned by name, the scientific lab work performed by the Serological Research Institute has played an important role in thousands of cases, many of which have been the subject of newspaper articles, books and television specials. Here is a sampling of the cases we’ve been involved in.

Recent News:

Auto Suspect Caught and Charged with Kidnapping

Oakdale police partnered with a forensic serologist from the Serological Research Institute forensic laboratory in Richmond CA which led to the arrest of a Modesto man who allegedly stole a car in Oakdale that had a young child inside.

Tainted Halloween Candy was a Hoax

Oakdale Police arrest a local man for food tampering and making a false report. Serological Research Institute's participation in the investigation was key to identifying the suspect by using DNA analysis.

Cold Murder Case Closed

Tracy Police Department closed a 9 year old homicide cold case with the assistance of DNA testing conducted by Serological Research Institute.

DNA Links Sexual Assaults

SERI's Forensic Serologist Angela Butler conducted DNA Testing for the East Bay Regional Park District on this case. Her analysis was completed within 10 days of receiving the evidence, contributing to the timely arrest of the suspect.

YSTR Results Deemed Admissible in Trial

Massachusetts Superior Court ruled that Y-STR analysis performed by SERI Senior Forensic Serologist Angela Butler will be admitted at the trial involving a Boston dorm room rape.

Judge Denies Motion to Exclude DNA Evidence

SERI analyst Casseday Baker successfully defended his analysis of DNA recovered from a handgun from challenges brought forth by the defense expert Keith Inman.

Major Cases:

Ex-teacher Slits his Throat in Court After Being Convicted

SERI provided DNA analysis and testimony for the prosecution in the Jeffrey Scott Jones case, tying Jones to the samples collected in the sexual assault kit. The case ended in a conviction and a dramatic throat slitting by the defendant.

Michael Hanline’s Conviction Reversed

The longest wrongful incarceration in California came to an end  on the 24th of November after new DNA evidence demonstrating Hanline's innocence came to light.  SERI's analysis, which generated a profile that clearly excluded Hanline, was instrumental in securing the release.

Judge Grants New Trial
(Innocence Project)

Jules Letemps was granted a new trial after SERI's examination of the original notes and reports revealed that the serological examination performed over 25 years ago were performed and reported incorrectly. SERI is one of the only laboratories in the country with the expertise and legacy to have made this discovery.

Larry Gillard Exoneration

Chicago Settles Larry Gillard Case

Following his exoneration, the attorney for Larry Gillard’s civil suit contacted SERI for an expert review of the data that had led to the original conviction. Our analysis extensive experience with both the new and original technologies of body fluid identification allowed us to demonstrate that the Chicago lab should have excluded Larry Gillard when they first tested the evidence.

Dinnertime Burglar’ Sentenced to 45 Years to Life Behind Bars

Paul Layton Keesling’s criminal career came to an end after SERI analysts were able to detect and generate a CODIS unloadable DNA profile from two drawer pulls. The cold hit gathered from the data SERI generated was a critical step in putting this career burglar back behind bars.

Richard Hirschfield

At the behest of the defense counsel for Hunt and his cohorts, SERI examined the blanket found in the van and discovered the semen stains that lead to the dismissal of the charges against them. Hirschfield, who was located by a CODIS cold hit, was eventually convicted of the crime.

1991 Murder Conviction Dismissed

Johnny Tallbear was sentenced to life in prison in 1991. A judge vacated the sentence and dismissed the case against him due to new DNA evidence. Senior Forensic Serologist Gary Harmor's work over the span of two years assisted the Innocence Project in exonerating Mr. Tallbear.

Judge Frees Convicted Man

After SERI Director Gary Harmor provided a review of the documentation from the original case, Centurion Ministries was able to convince the judge that the absence of a serological expert constituted a critical failure on the part of the original defense counsel.

Major Cases:

DNA testing on Tennessee man executed in 2006

The daughter of a Tennessee man executed in 2006 for rape and murder filed a petition seeking DNA testing of crime scene evidence that she hopes will prove her father's innocence.

David Allen Lucas

Serological Research Institute performed the early serology testing linking the critical bloodstain to Lucas. The prosecution spent a year fighting in the courts to introduce this critical evidence into trial. The admittance of this evidence eventually lead to his conviction in 1979.

Life Without Parole for Killer In Miracle Mile Triple Homicide

SERI was able to match DNA from hairs found at the scene with the suspect Robin Cho, providing a critical piece of evidence for the Los Angeles District Attorney in the Miracle Mile homicide case.

Ivan Henry Awarded for Wrongful Imprisonment

Drawing on SERI's long history and legacy in Forensic Biology, Chief Forensic Serologist Gary Harmor provided reports and affidavits on the state of forensics and forensic document reviews when the original trial took place. His expert opinion helped demonstrate the advice and value Mr. Henry could have received, had the forensic information been provided prior to the original trial.

Jules Letemps to be Released

Working with Centurion, SERI's chief forensic serologist Gary Harmor uncovered errors in the state forensic laboratory's testing, inaccurately labeling the semen stain as a match instead of an exclusion. The prosecutor subsequently declined to bring the case back to trial.

DNA Evidence Could Clear Oskaloosa Man Floyd Bledsoe

Floyd Bledsoe was released from custody in December based in part on DNA testing performed at SERI. Forensic Serologist Casseday Baker performed the testing which found Tom Bledsoe on the rape kit, and his father on the girl's clothing.

Fresno man convicted of brutal beating death of longtime girlfriend

Gabriel Rosiles was convicted in December of murdering his girlfriend thanks in part to the work of analysts at SERI, whose work helped demonstrate that the attack was not the result of another, unknown male.

Defense’s DNA Expert Says Kareem Lane’s DNA May Not be on Knife

SERI analyst Tom Fedor testified to his findings in an ongoing case, where he found several issues with another lab’s work during a detailed case review.

Ex-LAPD Det. Stephanie Lazarus Gets 27 Years to Life for Murder

Once again demonstrating unrivaled sensitivity, SERI is able to recover a profile from a 1986 swab of the bite mark found on the victim and provide the evidence critical to closing this long standing cold case.

West Memphis Three (Wikipedia)

SERI provided mitochondrial and YSTR testing on a wide collection of items to support the defense’s work to free the wrongfully convicted “West Memphis Three”. This case was the subject of the HBO documentary “Paradise Lost” films.

Jingle Jangle (Book)

During Ray Krone’s second trial, SERI’s analysis found exculpatory DNA that was heard, but ultimately ignored by the jury who convicted him a second time.

Vargas Found Guilty of 1st-Degree Murder in December 1995 Beating Death of Wife
DNA Expert to Testify in Ogden Murder Trial

Ogden PD turned to SERI to identify and develop a DNA profile from minute traces of blood among the leaf fragments found in Stephen Vargas’ car.

Dominguez Exoneration

SERI’s ability to generate DNA profiles from old samples, which were 13 years old in this case, was critical to proving Alejandro Dominguez’s innocence.

Davis ‘Sweetheart’ Killings
Justice Waits (Book)
Cold Case Files #21 (Television)

For nearly twenty years, SERI was involved in the Davis murder case providing the evidence that lead to the charges against the first four suspects being dropped. Years later, SERI also performed additional mitochondrial DNA analysis on the case.