Victim or Vindication?

A while ago we looked at how the Dinky Amigos could help solve the mystery of whether a Spanish Fortune Teller was really the daughter of artist Salvador Dali.

Dali’s body was exhumed and DNA from his teeth extracted and analysed. The results concluded that the painter was not Senora Pilar Abel Martínez’s father.

The markers within the genome of both Dali and Pilar Abel Martínez did not show any match.


Markers are specific strings of Dinky Amigos which bind to complementary sequences within the genome. Once they have bound, these regions can be amplified to produce a larger volume for analysis. These markers differ between individuals by their size. Someone may have lots of repetitions of the marker. Someone else may only have a few.  Unless two people are related, it is highly unlikely that their markers will all be a similar length. The amplified markers are separated by size. The markers with the least repeats move faster. The longer sequences move slower.


This separation is then visualised – producing black bands.

A child inherits half of its DNA from its mother, and half from its father.  In paternity testing where all parties (mother, father and child) are tested, 50% of the bands should match those of the mother, and 50% those of the father. In cases where only the paternal DNA is tested, more reliable results are achieved by testing with a greater number of markers. No matching bands would suggest no biological connection.

Where there is a genuine relationship between child and parent, there will be a corresponding marker pattern. The black bands will show a similar order to both the father and the mother.  Where there is no relationship, there will be no corresponding pattern.

This was the climax of a ten year fight by Senora Pilar Abel Martinez to try and prove her paternity.

So where does this result leave her, apart from €7,000 worse off? Is this negative result a vindication for the Dali museum and its supporters?  They believed their hero when he claimed he had not produced offspring. The vast fortune that he bequeathed for his museum also remains intact.

Or is she the victim who has spent the past decade on a fruitless search to find her father and her ancestry?