Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Daniel Williams

A Cold Hit

Newton Division cold case detectives Salaam Abdul and Dennis Fanning reopened the Daniel Williams case in 2003. Nearly six years had passed since Daniel's murder.

Detective Dennis Fanning
Detective Dennis Fanning

With the new DNA database up and running in Sacramento, there was a chance that if the LAPD Crime Lab could pull a DNA profile from the slim sample of epithelial cells taken from the condom and send it to the Department of Justice for comparison, they might get a hit. Then again, they might not. And with such a small sample of DNA source material there would be no second chance to develop a DNA profile.

Detective Salaam Abdul
Detective Salaam Abdul

Abdul and Fanning decided to roll the dice. They asked SID to try to extract DNA from the cells, and then they held their breath.

It worked.

Using one of its most experienced criminalists, SID extracted two DNA profiles from the cells found inside and outside the condom. One profile matched Daniel. The other was that of an unknown male.

Testing in the Lab
Testing in the Lab

SID sent the profile of the unknown male to Sacramento.

The results took a week.

On September 10, 2003, they got a match.

"It was what we call a cold hit," Baitx explains.



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