Nobel winner, DNA exoneree meet

Photo of Kary Mullis and Darryl Hunt

Kary Mullis and Darryl Hunt

Darryl Hunt had always wanted to meet Nobel Prize-winning scientist Kary Mullis.

In 1983, Mullis developed a process that multiplies a single strain of DNA, allowing investigators to use tiny amounts of DNA to identify suspects in murders, sexual assaults and other crimes, and exclude other suspects.

Twenty years later, Mullis’ process was used to free Hunt, who spent 18 years in prison for the 1984 killing of Deborah Sykes, a newspaper copy editor. On Wednesday, Hunt got the chance to meet Mullis when Mullis spoke at Wake Forest University.

“This was mind-blowing for me,” Hunt said. “It shows how much of a blessing it is for me to meet the person who created the science that freed me.”

Mullis talked about the process he developed to more than 230 people, including Hunt and his attorney, Mark Rabil, in the Byrum Welcome Center at WFU.

Before the lecture, Hunt and Rabil met with Mullis and his wife, Nancy.

“I really want you to meet Darryl Hunt, a DNA exoneree,” Rabil said to Mullis. “We really wanted to meet you.”

Read the full story here.