"In his 2003 memoir Where The Money Is: True Tales from the Bank Robbery Capital of the World
, co-authored with Gordon Dillow, retired Special Agent William J. Rehder briefly suggests that the design of a city itself leads to and even instigates certain crimes—in Los Angeles’s case, bank robberies. Rehder points out that this sprawling metropolis of freeways and its innumerable nondescript banks is, in a sense, a bank robber’s paradise. Crime, we could say, is just another way to use the city."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 13, 2013 -
"No forensic background, no problem."
A journalism student pays her fee and gets credentialed by the AFCEI (American College of Forensic Examiners International).
"Wecht [the official spokesperson for the AFCEI] also dismissed the notion that the group’s use of “college” in its name could be misleading. “That’s a play on words,” he said. “Nobody believes for one moment that it is a real college.” ...
Under state and federal rules of evidence, judges decide whether prospective expert witnesses can testify, but they sometimes rely heavily on the titles and letters around someone’s name.
“Credentials are often appealing shortcuts,” Michigan circuit court judge Donald Shelton said. Fancy titles can have a disproportionate effect on juries, he added. “Jurors have no way of knowing that this certifying body, whether it’s this one or any other one, exacts scientific standards or is just a diploma mill.”"
posted by sio42
on Apr 17, 2012 -
"When legal teams need to prove or disprove the authorship of key texts, they call in the forensic linguists. Scholars in the field have tackled the disputed origins of some prestigious works, from Shakespearean sonnets to the Federalist Papers."
Decoding Your E-Mail Personality
Ben Zimmer, of Language Log discusses the Facebook case and forensic linguistics
in the NY Times. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam
on Aug 2, 2011 -
Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps
We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike. There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available)
sector as well as open-source
. Best practices
include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything. There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf
, Resource Shelf
]. But what to do next*? [more inside]
posted by rzklkng
on May 4, 2011 -
For 140 years rare manuscripts
that record the private thoughts and opinions of David Livingstone, the Victorian explorer and missionary, were hidden from the public eye due to their fragile condition and frequently indecipherable text. Today a trans-Atlantic academic and scientific team, launches a major project with the publication of Livingstone's Letter from Bambarre – a spectrally-imaged 'lost' letter from Livingstone's final African expedition, written to his friend and future biographer Horace Waller.
posted by notsnot
on Feb 4, 2011 -
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.
posted by Pragmatica
on Jul 27, 2009 -
Police find skeleton
in Oddfellows lodge. Turns out, they'd already found it, 6 years before (your guess is as good as mine why no one did anything then). Even more interesting, it's not the only one that's been found and subsequently investigated by the police around the country. Makes you wonder about those Oddfellows.
posted by tommasz
on Oct 31, 2003 -