A few years ago, there was an infamous murder in the Chicago suburbs that was only cracked after several years based on a DNA sample that was taken from some half-eaten chicken. As crazy as it seems, the prosecutors apparently consulted with someone from the Field Museum in an attempt to identify the bone in questions. Check out the very end of this article:
Brown's `last meal' evidence hit
Juan Luna's "last meal," which prosecutors in the Brown's Chicken massacre say is a key to the case, is a myth, defense lawyers for Luna said Monday. Cook County prosecutors have alleged that Luna ordered a four-piece chicken dinner just before the 1993 massacre he is accused of committing along with co-defendant James Degorski. Luna allegedly put the boxed meal in the garbage, and in 2002 DNA testing performed on saliva found on one of the pieces of chicken linked Luna to the crime. But defense lawyers said at a hearing in Circuit Court Monday that they don't buy the argument that Luna had the "last meal."
They plan to argue that the chicken piece with Luna's DNA on it--known as "Bone C"--came from older loose scraps already in the garbage. "We think the evidence excludes the possibility [that Luna's DNA] came from the last meal," defense lawyer Stephen Richards said outside of court Monday. The piece that yielded the DNA was nearly picked clean of meat, Richards said, but the chicken in the box was almost completely uneaten. Richards said that although the killer or killers ordered the meal--it was shown on the last register receipts from the restaurant--the evidence shows it was not Luna who ordered it.
It's not possible to tell exactly what chicken pieces had Luna's DNA on them--pieces found in a meal box or in scraps under it--because forensic scientists in 1993 dumped the contents of the box into a garbage bag before preserving the evidence for testing. But prosecutors argue that photographs of chicken in the box before it was dumped into the bag show one piece was almost completely eaten. That is Bone C, they contend. Issues surrounding the chicken evidence were raised during the hearing Monday after an expert for the defense said he needs more access to evidence, including the bones. The expert, Alva Busch, told Judge Vincent Gaughan he thinks the chicken, much of which is now frozen in a single block, should be thawed so it can be determined exactly how many pieces are in evidence.
Defense lawyers said they think there could be as many as seven pieces, which helps their claim that Luna's piece of chicken was not from the killer's last meal. Prosecutors said they believe all the scraps in the bag, along with french fries and biscuits, are from a single four-piece meal.
Before allowing closer inspection of the chicken, Gaughan asked defense lawyers to speak with an ornithologist from the Field Museum who initially looked at the bones.