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on henry Lee - CBS
The news that Boulder Police had unearthed a possible explanation for the unknown male DNA found in JonBenet’s panties was leaked to Charlie Brennan who subsequently wrote about it in the Rocky Mountain News on November 19, 2002 under the following headline:


Investigators in the JonBenet Ramseycase believe that male DNA recovered from the slain child's underwear may not be critical evidence at all, and instead could have been left at the time of the clothing's manufacture.
In exploring that theory, investigators obtained unopened ``control'' samples of identical underwear manufactured at the same plant in Southeast Asia, tested them - and found human DNA in some of those new, unused panties.
If investigators are right about possible production-line contamination - perhaps stemming from something as innocent as a worker's cough - then the genetic markers obtained from JonBenet's underpants are of absolutely no value in potentially excluding any suspects in the unsolved Boulder slaying.
And, investigators know the DNA found in the underwear - white, with red rose buds and the word ``Wednesday'' inscribed on the elastic waist band - was not left by seminal fluid.
Brennan then quoted an ‘anonymous investigator’ as saying: 
(An) investigator with expertise on forensic issues, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the theory that the underwear DNA might be the result of point-of-production contamination.
And, wherever it came from, that investigator said, ``We certainly don't think it is attributable to an assailant. That's our belief. When you take everything else in total, it doesn't make sense. I've always said this is not a DNA case. It's not hinging on DNA evidence.''
So that was it from Boulder Police as far as the panties DNA was concerned. The DNA found on the panties was from an Asian factory worker. It had nothing to do with the sexual assault on JonBenet that immediately preceded her murder, nothing at all. There was no unknown male in the house that night. Boulder Police could thus maintain the view that know that the family is guilty because they have dealt with and disposed of that pesky non-family DNA present at the crime scene as simply a red herring. As reported in the Associated Press, Denver November 20 by Katherine Vogt:
A theory made public this week suggests that DNA evidence found inJonBenet Ramsey's underwear after her slaying may have come from the clothing manufacturing process — not her killer
In the same article grand jury prosecutor Michael Kane was quoted as saying:
"There is always a possibility that it got there through human handling," former prosecutor Michael Kane told the News. 
"You have to ask yourself the possible ways that it got there: whether it was in themanufacture, the packaging or the distribution, or whether it was someone in the retailstore who took it out to look at them," said Kane, who ran a 13-month grand juryinvestigation that yielded no indictments. 

As has always been the norm with Boulder Police, they didn’t ever show anyone outside their own department the actual lab results. They interpreted and evaluated them for us and we have been expected to trust that they have have done all this correctly and appropriately. 

We know that it was the ever-obliging Dr Henry Lee who got these results, so welcomed by the Boulder Police. As Lee stated to Catherine Crier in 2004:
Transcript of Crier Live w/ Dr. Henry Lee, August 25, 2004: 

Dr. Lee: Right. We did some a test um, new garment. A lot of time the new garment, a panty, just come out of package, you found foreign DNA. Because today we use a very sensitive method of STI, that’s the third generation of DNA testing now. You multiply the DNA millions of copies then you test that multiplied copies.

Information confirmed by Barry Scheck to Wolf Blitzer in 2006:

“I know Dr. Henry Lee went out and bought underwear of the same kind and took it out of the plastic wrapper and took a cutting and extracted DNA and got some profiles from it.”

A case follower, Carol Martin of Walnut Creek, California was intrigued enough to seek more information about Henry Lee's results and whether they supported the police claim that the unknown male DNA in the panties might have nothing to do with the crime. After a 48 Hours program where the DNA from unopened packages had been discussed, she reported in a letter to the editor of Westword that was published in the July 12 2006 edition, that she had written to 48 Hours about it and had received replies from both Erin Moriarty and the producer of 48 Hours:

I e-mailed 48 Hours because I had problems with statements like "the evidence shows blah-blah" without the show telling us what that evidence might be. The producer and Erin Moriarty both wrote me back. The most interesting thing the producer said was that while traces of DNA have been found in unopened packages of underwear, the foreign DNA in JonBenét's was ten to twelve times that amount. That was news to me. 
This was all very interesting. But why should we believe what Carol Martin said and how does it impact on Henry Lee’s findings anyway?

Fast forward to 2016 and thanks to the producers the CBS documentary screened September 19, 2016 - The Case of JonBenet Ramsey Episode 2 part 1 with Jim Clemente and Laura Richards - we get to see some of Lee's raw data of DNA collected from fresh-from-the-package panties.

Right at the beginning of the show Henry Lee states his opinion about the panty DNA:

KOLAR: But what would account for the blood in her underwear? 

LEE: Underwear was only spot, could be from any other transfer. It’s really no sexual assault here. 

To prove his theory Lee offers to re-test some fresh-from-the-package panties. Clemente and Richards are shown going to Lee's lab in Connecticut where Richards produces some packages of panties she has bought from local stores. Lee shines a UV light over the panties to locate areas where there might be traces of biological fluid and when he finds such areas he swabs them and hands the swab to a technician for DNA testing. As he does so he makes a few statements:

LEE: The principle of this is to find out a new panty, whether or not we can find foreign DNA.

LEE: What we do, we make a microscopic examination, look at any indication and body fluid. So this has just come out of the package, nobody touched this package? 
LEE: Try to see any material, can you see that? 
LEE: Can you see that two dot? That even could be a blood stain, too. DNA found on the panty, not necessarily the suspect deposited. 

LEE: Because this is a new panty, we know nobody wear it. So we just collect a sample. If we have DNA, then that DNA has to be during the manufacture process.

Two weeks later Clemente and Richards return to the lab to see the results. Here is Henry Lee sitting in front of an electropherogram of a DNA sample he had analysed after obtaining it from one of the items that he had tested as a demonstration for the show. 
[Image: *24.20%20copy.jpg]

Henry Lee's comments of the test results for the fresh-from-the-package panties DNA went as follows: 

LEE:  . . .  the panties, did not match any of us because we did not touch. New, never worn before but had DNA on them. 

CLEMENTE: The new panties— 
LEE: The new panties—just random package—remember we opened it up? 
LEE: We all wear the gloves, so nobody touched the panty, and the panty had DNA. 
LEE: Which indicative that DNA was left on during the manufacture process, when a worker handled the panty. And more likely a female because we found an X chromosome.
LEE: DNA recovered from the case sample probably should be ignored.  

But looking closely at Lee's experimental results on DNA obtained from unused panties it is clear that his comments that the unknown male DNA profile identified by Denver Police from JonBenet's panties should be ignored is based on a very flawed interpretation of both his own and Denver Police's results. For one thing, it appears that while Denver Police obtained 10 DNA 'markers' from JonBenet's panties, Lee obtained zero clear 'markers' from unused panties. All that showed up on Lee's unused panties was the sex determining marker amelogeninX 

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