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The Lead

Freud's Famous Couch Gets Analyzed by Forensic Science

October 27, 2015 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A police forensic team looked for DNA samples, hairs, dust and other trace “evidence” which may belong to the many famous and infamous patients who essentially laid the foundation for modern psychoanalysis.

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Graphic Dash-Cam Video Released After Chicago Cop Is Charged With Murder

November 25, 2015 11:08 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

More than a year after a black man was fatally shot by police in the middle of a Chicago street, the white officer who fired some of the fatal shots has been charged with murder – and a dashcam video of the killing has been released to the public.


DNA Frees Man After 16 Years, Links Infamous ‘Teardrop Rapist’ to Crimes

November 24, 2015 11:15 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Follow-up DNA testing on the samples of the rape kit proved Vargas did not commit the crime – and that the eyewitness testimony which was the basis of his conviction was based on a similar facial tattoo.


Monday's Briefing: Week 48

November 23, 2015 12:13 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

Hope you had a wonderful weekend—here’s what you might have missed, and what you’ll want to know to get you through your work week.


Identifying Gender From a Fingerprint

November 23, 2015 11:31 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Race, and exposure to drugs and explosives have been the focus of recent studies. But now, even gender can be determined from the concentration of amino acids in a fingerprint, according to the latest study published by a University at Albany team in the journal Analytical Chemistry.


Hunting the ‘Eastbound Strangler’

November 20, 2015 12:24 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A $25,000 reward is now being offered in the case of four women who were found in a drainage ditch behind a seedy motel, facing east toward the bright casino lights of Atlantic City.


Oxygen Isotopes Offer New Details in 30-Year-Old Multiple-Murder Case

November 17, 2015 4:45 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

DNA early on established the woman and two of the girls were closely related, perhaps mother and daughters. But now advanced new technology has authorities making a push to solve one of the most baffling and gruesome cold cases in U.S. history.


Prehistoric DNA Sheds Light on Mysterious Human Ancestors in Siberia

November 17, 2015 11:44 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

An obscure branch of the human tree of evolution survived for thousands of years in a remote mountain range in Siberia – and even though it eventually died out, left genetic traces within living Homo sapiens.


Western Law Enforcement, Militaries Tighten Ranks in Wake of Paris Attacks

November 16, 2015 4:56 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The terrorist attacks that slaughtered 129 unarmed people and wounded hundreds more in Paris on Friday have prompted airstrikes on the Islamic State in Syria, and a manhunt for the sole remaining killer on the run in Europe.


DNA Mixture Calculation Method Just ‘Random Number Generator,’ Says New Study

November 16, 2015 12:50 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Match statistics, which give detectives and juries the likelihood of someone being misidentified, are accurate when looking at a single source of DNA. But mixtures at bloody or messy crime scenes add a molecular wrinkle for forensic scientists. 


DNA Analysis of an Incan Mummy Reveals a Lost Genetic Profile

November 13, 2015 9:57 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

His mitochondrial DNA, preserved by the dry Andes air, shows a rare genetic profile that has nearly vanished from the Americas – a molecular ghost of the past.


Suicide Cop’s Double Life: Harassment, Embezzlement and Murder-for-Hire

November 12, 2015 11:30 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Now investigators have revealed that Gliniewicz had more than just embezzlement on his mind: he was even planning on hiring a hit man to kill the village administrator who was looking into his financial dealings.


Colorblindness Might Benefit Search and Rescue Missions

November 11, 2015 12:58 pm | by Lauren Scrudate, Laboratory Equipment | Comments

Long-standing restrictions have limited employment opportunities for those affected by colorblindness - but now, a team of researchers is re-evaluating the condition to see if it provided any advantages in search and rescue missions.


$10M Crime Lab Opens in New York to Handle Toxicology

November 11, 2015 12:40 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

Officials said the new 10,000-square-foot lab will handle more than 5,000 cases involving seized controlled substances and driving-while-intoxicated cases each year.


Why Post-Conviction DNA Testing Works: An Interview with Kirk Bloodsworth

November 10, 2015 12:10 pm | by Sean Allocca, Editor | Comments

In 1985, the State of Maryland used testimony from five separate witnesses to convict a 22-year-old ex-marine in the brutal rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. The only problem: the real serial rapist and murderer remained free to endanger the lives of more innocent women.


Secondary Transfer a New Phenomenon in Touch DNA

November 9, 2015 12:07 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Now is a crucial time to begin understanding how touch DNA works, and how it needs to be interpreted and analyzed – not just by forensic analysts, but also by prosecutors and defense attorneys. 



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