Dallas prostitutes are providing DNA samples in what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind database for high-risk potential victims, reports the Dallas Morning News. The samples would be used to identify the women if they are later believed to be missing, comatose or murdered. It is a phase of the nearly 3-year-old Prostitution Diversion Initiative, a police and sheriff’s program based on the belief that prostitutes are victims and that offers them a structured rehabilitation program, usually as part of a criminal sentence.
The effort comes as federal and local authorities are working together to solve at least hundreds of killings thought to be committed by serial killers, working as truckers, who often target prostitutes. Analysts have gathered information on about 500 victims and 200 potential suspects. Authorities have detained at least 10 suspects – all truck drivers – linked to more than 30 homicides in recent years. “There are potentially hundreds of serial killers associated with the trucking industry,” said Arthur Eisenberg, co-director of the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification in Fort Worth, where the samples will be sent. The victims “could get picked up, transported, murdered and dumped anyplace,” Eisenberg said. He hopes the program will eventually go national.