Northwest Passages Presents "The Forever Witness" by Edward Humes

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 7:00pm


Auntie's Bookstore is pleased to announce a Northwest Passages event with Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Humes. He will be discussing his new book, The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder on Tuesday, January 17th at 7pm at Central Spokane Library (906 W. Main) in the nxʷyxʷyetkʷ Hall (3rd floor). Doors open at 6:30pm.

Auntie's will be there with copies of The Forever Witness for purchase.


General Admission tickets are $7 and VIP tickets are $45. VIP tickets include an autographed copy of the book, reserved premium seating, and author reception hosted just up the street at the Spokesman-Review Tower (Chronicle Pavilion) 999 W Riverside Ave.

Tickets can be purchased online at

If you have any questions, please contact Northwest Passages ( or The Spokesman-Review as this is their event.

About the book

A relentless detective and an amateur genealogist solve a haunting cold case—and launch a crime-fighting revolution that tests the fragile line between justice and privacy.
In November 1987, a young couple on an overnight trip to Seattle vanished without a trace. A week later, the bodies of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend Jay Cook were found in rural Washington. It was a brutal crime, and it was the perfect crime: With few clues and no witnesses, an international manhunt turned up empty, and the sensational case that shocked the Pacific Northwest gradually slipped from the headlines.
In deep-freeze, long-term storage, biological evidence from the crime sat waiting, as Detective Jim Scharf poured over old case files looking for clues his predecessors missed. Meanwhile, 1,200 miles away in California, CeCe Moore began her lifelong fascination with genetic genealogy, a powerful forensic tool that emerged not from the crime lab, but through the wildly popular home DNA ancestry tests purchased by more than 40 million Americans. When Scharf decided to send the cold case’s decades-old DNA to Parabon NanoLabs, he hoped he would finally bring closure to the Van Cuylenborg and Cook families. He didn’t know that he and Moore would make history.
Genetic genealogy, long the province of family tree hobbyists and adoptees seeking their birth families, has made headlines as a cold case solution machine, capable of exposing the darkest secrets of seemingly upstanding citizens. In the hands of a tenacious detective like Scharf, genetic genealogy has solved one baffling killing after another. But as this crime-fighting technique spreads, its sheer power has sparked a national debate: Can we use DNA to catch the murderers among us, yet still protect our last shred of privacy in the digital age—the right to the very blueprint of who we are?


About the author

Edward Humes is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author whose fifteen previous books include BurnedMississippi Mud, and the PEN Award–winning No Matter How Loud I Shout. He splits his time between Seattle and Southern California.


Event address: 
Central Spokane Library
906 W. Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder By Edward Humes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524746278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - November 29th, 2022

“Thought-provoking true-crime thriller…the book raises urgent questions of balancing public and private good that we’ll likely be dealing with as long as the title implies.”—Wall Street Journal