While every true crime afficianado has heard about the Golden State Killer case and is probably aware of how the use of genetic genealogy was imperative in solving the multitudes of crimes committed by Joseph DeAngelo. Many have not heard of the woman behind the scenes, the lady who cracked that case, Barbara Rae-Venter.

Barbara, a retired patent attorney turned genetic genealogist was the lady who identified the Golden State Killer using cutting age techniques along with genetic geneaology. But did you know less than a year before identifying GSK Barbara Rae-Venter worked another case.
A case still mired in mystery.
A case often referred to as Bear Brook.

Bear Brook is as complicated as it gets, weaving back and forth from coast to coast for decades. The mystery that remains intact to this day, are the identities of four bodies. They are that of a woman in her 20’s and three young girls all of whom were found in two large barrels in Bear Brook National Park, located in Allenstown, New Hampshire. Amazingly the barrels were found a full 15 years apart but positioned just 300 feet away from another.

The podcast called Bear Brook dives deep into this case which many believe is about to break wide open, thanks to the recent advances in autosomal DNA collection and identification.

Which brings me back to Barbara Rae-Venter. Advancements in this field have been so dramatic, what once took Barbara 10,000 hours now takes only ten.The case of Bear Brook is literally pushing the boundaries of forensic science and I highly recommend the podcast which I’ve linked below. It offers so much insight into the inner workings of all of these scientific techniques and takes highly complicated subject matter and presents it in an easy to understand format while unraveling the tale of the bodies in the barrels. Give it a listen here:

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