Chelsea Rustad was the genetic witness to a double homicide committed by her second cousin, William Earl Talbott II -- a cold case from November of 1987. Over 30 years later, it became the first case in the world to ever go to trial and result in a conviction due to investigative genetic genealogy.
Chelsea became an ambassador for the Institute of DNA Justice in 2019, and was a speaker at the Midwestern Conference for Investigative Genetic Genealogy at Wichita, Kansas in January of 2020.
She has been featured as the cover story for the Everett Herald, in the documentaries Is Murder In Your DNA? by CBC Fifth Estate, Family Secrets by CTV W5, and the Stripped podcast. She will also appear in the forthcoming Follow the DNA documentary for PBS NOVA, and an article in People magazine.
Inherited Secrets is the first book telling the story of the trailblazing hunt for justice for Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, and the only true crime memoir written from the perspective of the genetic witness whose DNA cracked the case.
Chelsea relates new details of the story not yet revealed anywhere else: how her DNA came to be used to find the perpetrator, the reaction by Talbott's family, the shocking discoveries revealed in the Talbott family statements, and the Rustad and Talbott family trees with in-depth profiles.
Also included are over 200 never before seen family photos and documents, new insights from the victims' families, Chelsea's personal approach to genealogy, the search for answers to her own family mysteries, her takeaways for victims' advocacy as a genetic witness and a survivor herself, and more.
Chelsea has discussed her experience with the Talbott case in the following documentaries, articles, podcasts, and more.
The Everett Herald - "My cousin, the killer: Her DNA cracked a 1987 double murder"
CBC Fifth Estate - "Is Murder In Your DNA?"
CTV W5 - "Family Secrets"
Reddit - Ask Me Anything
Stripped podcast - Episode #04
People magazine - 10/19/2020 issue at newsstands and for online subscribers, out now (digital preview here)
Coming soon: "Follow the DNA" on PBS NOVA