Wonder or fake—investigations in the case of the stigmatisation of Therese Neumann von Konnersreuth
We investigated two compresses used by Therese Neumann (T.N.), a woman who lived from 1898 until 1962 in Konnersreuth, Germany. The compresses were soaked with blood during the appearance of stigmata on T.N.'s body on a Friday. T.N. became very popular among the faithful in Germany at this time. The question was whether this blood was from T.N. herself or from a family relative or an animal. The comparison of the HV1 and HV2 mtDNA sequence obtained from the compresses with the sequences from a reference sample from a maternally related niece of T.N. revealed an identity. Furthermore, we obtained a short tandem repeat (STR) profile from the bloodstains that were identical with the STR profile from a gummed envelope. The envelope contained a letter written by T.N. in the 1930s. Therefore, our investigations gave no indication for any manipulation.
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