Subscribe to Forensic Magazine
View Sample

Forensic Magazine

Ethics at the Crime Scene

September 25, 2015 1:54 pm | by Dick Warrington | Comments

By definition, “ethics” refers to “the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.” But what does ethics mean for a Crime Scene Officer? In particular, what do we expect from a CSO at the crime scene?


The Width of a Human Hair

September 25, 2015 1:50 pm | by Dixie Peters, Kelly Grisedale, Lisa Schade, Jonathan Tabak and James Anstead | Comments

In a typical crime laboratory operating today, what are the chances of obtaining an informative nuclear DNA profile from a rootless hair shaft? Or from extremely degraded skeletal human remains? The answer, as many forensic DNA analysts will attest, is somewhat discouraging—it is not likely at all.


Identifying the Angel of Death: The forensic examination of Josef Mengele

September 25, 2015 1:43 pm | by Dolly Stolze | Comments

When the gravediggers reached the wooden coffin, they were ordered to smash it open with their metal tools and pulled out the bones. That’s when the assistant director of the police department’s forensics lab jumped inside the excavated grave and held up the skull they believed belonged to Mengele


Defining a Face: What can DNA phenotyping really tell us about an unknown sample?

September 25, 2015 12:12 pm | by Jim Dawson | Comments

Within every person, somewhere among the approximately three billion DNA base pairs, hidden in the alleles and single nucleotide polymorphisms, is the information that defines much of an individual’s physical appearance. This DNA-determined appearance, or phenotype, is what creates family resemblance and, in the words of geneticist Richard Spritz, is “what your grandmother is responding to when she says you look like your father.”


An Open Letter to India: It’s time to pass the Human DNA Profiling Bill

September 25, 2015 12:05 pm | by Chris Asplen | Comments

For over twelve years now, officials in India have been discussing and debating, researching and studying the different dynamics of a forensic DNA database. While I wish that the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015 had had a name more fitting of its crime fighting nature, it needs to be passed nonetheless.


DNA Designed for Human Rights

September 25, 2015 11:19 am | by Sara Katsanis | Comments

Exploitation of vulnerable people around the world is a continuing reality, and unlikely to be resolved with any single effort. But measures can be taken to provide resources and assistance to address these human rights abuses. In the world of forensic sciences, this can include identification of displaced or deceased persons, and the reunification of children with their biological relatives.


Moving Toward a Better Life

September 25, 2015 11:04 am | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

In the upcoming issue, experts weigh in on DNA and humanitarian crises that are unfolding around the world. Duke University professor Sara Katsanis says there’s a “humanitarian crisis” happening on the US border, where 137 children turn themselves in to immigration authorities every day, according to her findings. Every three days, there is another body found.


9,000-Year-Old Decapitation Discovered in Brazil

September 24, 2015 12:06 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

The discovery of one of the oldest decapitations ever found in the New World has some researchers reevaluating what's commonly accepted about prehistoric burials.


When the Womb Becomes a Crime Scene

September 23, 2015 1:33 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

When methamphetamine bowled into Alabama, the state wrote some of the strictest child chemical endangerment laws on the books—laws that some argue are falling behind the medical research, and quickly becoming fossils from the “crack-baby” era of the 1980s.


Oregon Lab Analyst Allegedly Stole Prescription Pills from Evidence Locker

September 22, 2015 1:19 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

An Oregon crime lab technician is accused of stealing prescription pills and other drugs, and replacing them with over-the-counter medication, or “dummy pills,” in an investigation confirmed by Oregon State Police over the weekend.


'Baby Doe' Identified

September 18, 2015 12:24 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

“Baby Doe,” the name given to the unidentified toddler who was found dead on a beach in Boston Harbor last June, finally has a name.


Oregon State Crime Lab Analyst Under Investigation for Evidence Tampering

September 17, 2015 1:26 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A forensic analyst at an Oregon State Police laboratory has been placed on leave after she was accused of tampering with evidence, according to local media reports. Hundreds of cases featuring drug evidence handled by the analyst could now be called into doubt.


Studying Gunshot Backspatter by Shooting Live Pigs?

September 16, 2015 3:18 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A team of New Zealand researchers shot pigs in the head to help forensic science understand the mechanics of entrance wounds in suicides and homicides. But some question the science of the method, due to the different biology of the animals, and whether it translates to human death investigations.

In the first part of this paper we talked about the most common - and also some of the simplest - ways suspects can try to cover their tracks in an attempt to slow down an investigation. Now, we adress the more advanced techniques that can, at times, be v

Countering Anti-Forensic Efforts - Part 2

September 16, 2015 11:44 am | by Oleg Afonin, Danil Nikolaev and Yuri Gubanov | Comments

In the first part of this paper we talked about the most common - and also some of the simplest - ways suspects can try to cover their tracks in an attempt to slow down an investigation. Now, we adress the more advanced techniques that can, at times, be very challenging to deal with. We look at some of the possible workarounds for deleted or encrypted data.


1,000-Year-Old Homicide Unearthed in Ireland

September 15, 2015 12:49 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A winter storm toppled a huge beech tree in rural western Ireland. The uprooted base of the 215-year-old tree brought up something even more ancient: the remains of a 1,000-year-old homicide.



You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.