So, while we await the announcement of what was found during the exhumation, I started wondering, “What’s next?” In the scenario that enough usable organic material is taken to be able to perform DNA testing, then:
Will the data from the testing be in the public domain, or privately held?
If privately held:
- Would the owners consider keeping the data unpublished until a potential “heir” came forward with substantial proof that they were indeed related to the “Old Leather Man”?
- Will the data be made available to any interested party for independent research?
- Where will the data be stored? (Digital genealogical database, filing cabinet at the OHS, other? )
The alternate scenario of finding no organic material to test makes all these questions a moot point. Of course, it’s the one I’m hoping for. But all I can do until Wednesday, is think back to that famous Geraldo Rivera T.V. special with my fingers crossed.