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Tribune Justice Reporters
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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Wayne Carlsen, Microbial-Vac Systems vice president of engineering and operations, shows Alyssa McElreath how to use the M-Vac System at the West Jordan Police Department Wednesday October 24, 2012.
Utah cold case makes it to Al Jazeera

Krystal Beslanowitch’s murder gets national attention this Sunday on Al Jazeera America.

The network will spotlight the Wasatch County cold case on TechKnow, its half-hour program on technological advances. This week’s show specifically tackles crime scene investigation tech, and how Beslanowitch’s case is a prime example of the way advances are changing the field.

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Beslanowitch, 17, was found beaten to death on the banks of the Provo River on Dec. 16, 1995. The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office looked at the case every which way, but came up empty-handed for years — until a new DNA-sucking vacuum, called the M-Vac, came along. The vacuum allowed investigators to find the elusive "touch DNA" leftover from when the suspect held the rock, a find that led them to a 46-year-old man in Florida.

"Just because criminals got away with something five, 10 or 20 years ago doesn’t mean they’re off the hook," TechKnow producer Mark Teague wrote on the show’s blog. "As this technology advances, so does the chance that an old crime will finally be solved."

Teague’s blog entry also offers a little insight into Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner, who was the deputy who first investigated Beslanowitch’s murder. That the girl was reportedly a prostitute "didn’t matter to him," Teague wrote. He kept Beslanowitch’s photo hanging on a board at his desk all these years.

"He never met her while she was alive, but he still wanted to bring the perpetrator to justice. One of his fears was that the killer was continuing to harm other young women. After all, Bonner is a father to three daughters. He did what he would want law enforcement to do if something happened to one of his children."

TechKnow airs at 5:30 p.m.

— Michael McFall

Twitter: @mikeypanda



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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