Industry News: Detective in Golden State Killer case to open ISHI 2019 conference

The 30th International Symposium on Human Identification will take place on September 23-26 in Palm Springs, California

07 Aug 2019

The 30th International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) September 23-26 in Palm Springs, CA will open with a first-hand account by the detective who helped track down the infamous Golden State Killer. Paul Holes, former investigator with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, will detail how investigative genealogy techniques finally led to an arrest in the case that had remained unsolved for more than 20 years.


ISHI, the largest annual scientific symposium focusing entirely on DNA forensics, draws nearly 1000 law enforcement professionals and scientists from around the world to explore the latest developments in forensic DNA research, process and technique. Now in its 30thyear, ISHI has been witness to emerging technologies, changing policies and significant advances in forensics. This year’s meeting will cover current issues in forensic DNA analysis including legislative updates, use of rapid DNA technology, prosecution of cold case sex crimes, genetic genealogy and more.

Workshop offerings include:

  • The Revised FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing and Databasing Laboratories – What’s Changed?
  • Keys to Evaluating Published Data and Summarizing Your Validation Studies
  • Probabilistic Genotyping Expert Testimony; Communication, Challenges, and Examples
  • Family Ties: Using Genetic Genealogy to Solve Violent Crime
  • Interpreting and Reporting Contaminated DNA Profiles


ISHI keynote Paul Holes had been looking for the Golden State Killer for more than 20 years. Nine months before he was set to retire, he wanted nothing more than to solve the case. In a conversation with another detective, Holes learned of a 2002 case in which a young kidnapping victim was identified using her DNA and a genealogy website. After doing research into a website called GEDmatch, he wondered if the same tactic might be useful in the Golden State Killer case. Holes will open ISHI30 by recounting how a little-used investigative genealogy technique finally brought one of the most infamous serial killers to justice.


Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA 92262 Partner Hotels:

  • Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, 888 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
  • Hilton Palm Springs, 400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262


September 23–26, 2019

Find out more information about the event here>>

About Promega

This symposium for forensic experts and suppliers is offered through Promega Corporation, a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. Promega Corporation has provided products for DNA-based human identification for more than 25 years. Promega is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 4,000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. 

Do you use Promega products in your lab? Write a review today for your chance to win a $400 Amazon gift card>>