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Nation in brief: DNA samples link women’s slayings

TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2009

A person known only by DNA has killed five prostitutes over two decades in Milwaukee, the city where serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer once cruised gay bars for victims, police said Monday.

More than 20 DNA samples from other unsolved homicides of prostitutes are being re-sent to the state crime laboratory to check for possible links to the killer, police Chief Edward Flynn said at a news conference.

The first two victims linked by the killer’s DNA died in October 1986, Flynn said. Another was killed in 1995, one in 1997 and the most recent in April 2007. He said all five were known prostitutes.

The killer’s DNA was also found on the body of a 16-year-old female drug abuser slain in 1995. Police believe the man suspected in the five other slayings had sex with the 16-year-old and didn’t kill her but knows who did.

Flynn said the unknown killer has never been arrested for a felony, which is Wisconsin’s basis for those who must submit to DNA testing. He also said DNA tests showed the Milwaukee cases were not linked to murders of prostitutes that are part of active investigations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mesa, Ariz.

Dahmer admitted killing 17 men and boys between 1978 and his arrest in 1991. He was serving multiple life terms when a fellow prison inmate beat him to death in 1994.


Small planes collide off coast

Two small planes collided Monday off the coast of Southern California, and crews were searching the debris fields for survivors, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Stephanie Young said two debris fields – one with a plane’s nose wheel – were spotted five miles south of the Long Beach breakwater. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said a pilot reported seeing the collision about 5:45 p.m. and asked the Coast Guard to begin searching.

One of the planes was a Cessna 172 and departed from Long Beach, Gregor said. No information was available about the other one.


Bioterrorism expert to head FDA

The Senate on Monday confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick to oversee food and drug safety, two areas that are vital to consumers and widely seen as in critical need of improvement.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a bioterrorism expert, will be sworn in as the 21st commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and only the second woman to hold the post in 100 years of agency history.

The Senate confirmed her nomination by voice vote.

Her first priority will be to help direct development of a vaccine for the new swine flu. She said she also wants to revamp food safety.

From wire reports


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