Welcome to Introduction to Forensic Science, the murder mystery that doubles as a university course. Enrol here.
For the first time in the United Kingdom, cat hair DNA has led to the conviction of a killer. [more inside]
Audio recordings usually include a low-level background noise caused by electrical equipment. The hum contains small frequency fluctuations which are propagated consistently over entire power grids. By storing the pattern of grid-wide fluctuations in a database forensics experts are able to use the hum as a watermark. This can determine when the recording was made, where it was made and whether it was recorded in a single edit. [more inside]
"also known as foxy… makes Ecstasy look like aspirin, and users claim it induces this childlike wonder."
Teddy Wayne and the art of "random similarities." In 2007 Teddy wrote a parody article for Radar about a "clandestine party for students at the Upper East Side private school Dalton called "Sindergarten" ... the attendees act like kindergarteners—some girls sing "Ring-Around-the-Rosie," other teens finger-paint and play children’s games, they all receive gold stars on their foreheads at the end of each party—thanks to a the club drug foxy…a hallucinogen similar to Ecstasy said to facilitate a childlike sense of wonder with the world." In 2008, CSI: NY had a story arc where, "prep schoolers act like little children ... Girls sing “Ring-around-the-Rosie,” teens finger-paint and play other children’s games, Bryce affixes a gold star to the forehead of each attendee at the end of each party, and a lab scientist describes foxy to the detectives as "methoxy diisopropyltryptamine… also known as foxy… makes Ecstasy look like aspirin, and users claim it induces this childlike wonder." But, according to CBS lawyers, these are all "random similarities."
“You know what Miami gets in their crime show? They get detectives that look like models, and they drive around in sports cars. And you know what New York gets, they get these incredibly tough prosecutors, competent cops that solve the most crazy, complicated cases. —What Baltimore gets is this reinforced notion that it's a city full of hopelessness, despair and dysfunction. There was very little effort—beyond self-serving—to highlight the great and wonderful things happening here, and to indict the whole population, the criminal justice system, the school system.” —Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, on the effect of The Wire on Baltimore’s reputation. [more inside]
The Case of the Vanishing Blonde
After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected. [printer-friendly version; behind-the-scenes video; via]
CSI Myths: The Shaky Science Behind Forensics Forensic science was not developed by scientists. It was mostly created by cops, who were guided by little more than common sense. And as hundreds of criminal cases begin to unravel, many established forensic practices are coming under fire.
No reaction allowed is the rule in Mr. Rubin's forensic science class at New Rochelle High School. Many high schools around the country are offering forensics science, including Eagle High, which will be starting next year. John F. Kennedy High School's forensic science class has their own blog.
A discovery leads to questions about whether the odds of people sharing genetic profiles are sometimes higher than portrayed. Calling the finding meaningless, the FBI has sought to block such inquiry.
Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau has been previously mentioned in MeFi. A historical quirk and geographical jigsaw, these days the complicated border criscrossing this Belgo-Dutch town had become little more than a tourist attraction. What happens, however, when a dead body is found, and nobody knows in which country it lies?
cell mobile phone helped police find the body of missing student Kelly Nolan. "The average citizen is not aware that they are carrying a location-tracking device in their pocket..."
Want to learn to be a CSI? It's the U.S. government's multimedia website to train police and evidence recovery personnel. You can try the tests - the advanced one will tell you if you convicted the accused or not. Pretty slick for Uncle Sam.
CSI helped him get away with murder ... but The Passion of the Christ made him confess. When did real life jump the shark and become a bad postmodern novel?
If Adam is to be identified, and his killers found, a whole, if short, life must be reconstructed from a tiny, bloodless torso.Two years ago a small boy's torso was pulled out of the Thames. This fascinating article details how forensic science is driving the investigation in to his murder.