Winner 2002

DNA Protects Men of Dishonor


In a case of rape at Fort Hood army base in Texas, military criminal investigators inform the victim, an enlisted woman, that they have all the evidence, including DNA evidence, they need to secure a conviction, but they will not be using that evidence because of a Pentagon policy. Although DNA samples for every soldier in the U.S. military are on file, the policy prohibits the samples from being used in solving crimes, even those committed by soldiers against soldiers. The victim and rape crisis counselors in this case feared that other violent crimes would be committed before military authorities would permit use of DNA samples. They feared someone might be killed. And indeed, this is what happened, after KPRC’s first reports on the rape case. Following this random murder the military did crosscheck the DNA and police learned that one soldier was responsible for both crimes. That soldier is now in jail. The KPRC investigation prompted Congressional action and a new federal law now requires the military to use its DNA files in serious criminal cases. Investigative Reporter and Writer Stephen Dean presented this story with Photographer/Editors Glenn Garcia and Mark Muller and with the support of Assistant News Director and Executive Producer Rick McFarland of KPRC. For pursuing an important story in a manner that led to significant changes in the law, a Peabody Award goes to KPRC-TV’s DNA Protects Men of Dishonor