Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, the founder of Identifinders International, is widely recognized as the founder of modern Forensic Genealogy. She has worked dozens of cold case homicides for law enforcement using genetic genealogy analysis. Most notably, she is credited with solving the 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders the first case solved using genetic genealogy. Dr. Fitzpatrick and The Phoenix Police Department won fifth place in the prestigious 2018 DNA Hit of the Year contest sponsored by Gordon Thomas Honeywell Affairs, out of 61 submissions from 14 countries.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is Co-Executive Director of the DNA Doe Project (DDP), applying genetic genealogy to the identification of John and Jane Does sometimes decades old. The Project has pioneered the application of whole genome sequencing to low level and highly degraded DNA, enabling identifications that otherwise were believed to have gone beyond the reach of modern technology. The DDP identified Buckskin Girl, a Jane Doe who had defied identification for 37 years. The DDP team used genetic genealogy to solve the case in four hours.

Learn more about Dr. Fitzpatrick here...


April 4, 2020 - LIVE WEBINAR! Register at

10:00 AM - The Forensic Genealogy Revolution

Even though DNA was first introduced to genealogists about 20 years ago, it has only been recently that genetic genealogy has been used by law enforcement for forensic identification. This talk will discuss how this happened, its limitations and capabilities, along with some of the more important issues faced by both the legal system and the genealogical community.

11:15 AM - Sheeps Flat Jane Doe and Her Killer

Sheeps Flat Jane Doe was the name of a woman found shot to death near Lake Tahoe in Washoe County, Nevada in July 1982. This was the first known case where the victim and her assailant were both identified using genetic genealogy.


Handouts, when available, will be in Member's Only on the Speaker Handouts page.


General Meetings

Visitors are welcome at our General Membership Meetings! Join us and learn more about OCCGS!


Saturday October 3, 2020
DNA Day with Blaine Bettinger

Saturday March 6, 2021
BASH 2021 with
Michael L. Strauss, AG

Contact OCCGS:

Orange County California Genealogical Society
c/o Huntington Beach Central Library
7111 Talbert Avenue
Huntington Beach, California 92648

General Information:

Find more email addresses at our Board Members page.