The Champion

December 2013 , Page 44 

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The Erroneous Fingerprint Identification Of Lana Canen

By Kathleen Bright-Birnbaum

Helen Sailor, 94 years old and blind, lived at the Waterfall High Rise apartment complex for the elderly, disabled, and handicapped in Elkhart, Ind. On Nov. 28, 2002, Sailor spent Thanksgiving Day with relatives who drove her back to her apartment that evening. The next day, her home healthcare provider and two of Sailor’s relatives entered her apartment and made a terrible discovery. Helen Sailor was dead; her body had been badly beaten. The apartment was ransacked with dresser drawers emptied, a lock box partially pulled out from under the bed, and Sailor’s keys and money that were hidden inside a Bible were missing. The subsequent autopsy reported significant injuries to her neck, face, and hands. The forensic pathologist ruled it a homicide with strangulation as the cause. Two years later, police filed murder charges against Lana Canen.

The Investigation

Detectives from the Elkhart Police Department began their investigation believing that robbery was the motive for kil

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