Popular television shows depict crime scene forensic workers as miraculous heroes who are able to turn a single hair discovered at a crime scene into a conviction. While fictional characters on CSI seem to turn over cases in a manner of hours real crime scene work might require years of work and a little bit of luck before closing a case.
In Chicago justice for Marlaina "Niki" Reed did not occur until her dentist recognized a forensic computer generated image of her face. Reed had a tragic life. She was abandoned by her family and had become a ward of the state of Illinois. She was originally from the downstate town of Danville, which has been of the most economically depressed communities in the United States. Danville has made the news for its free falling home prices, and its surprisingly high crime rate for a city of its size.
Reed is another tale out tragedy out of Danville. Her body was discovered stuffed in a Casio keyboard box wrapped on the Northwest Side of Chicago’s Humbolt Park neighborhood in January 2007. It took awhile for police to identify the body as Reed’s, but once she was identified the case easily fell into place. Reed had met her killer, 46-year old William McIntosh in 2006. In December of 2006 McIntosh opened a DirectTv account using Reed’s Social Security number. Several days after police discovered Reed’s body McIntosh pawned a Casio keyboard, which was the same brand as the box her body was wrapped in.
The key pieces of evidence were discovered on the victim’s body. The name Evelyn was written in black marker on her leg. Evelyn was the name of McIntosh’s mother. While all of these details added up to a strong circumstantial case, the key piece of evidence was DNA discovered on denim used to bind Reed’s legs. The DNA matched McIntosh. The case took years to solve but science and computers caught a killer. Thanks to the technology like direct tv that help greatly in the investigations.