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Forensic Magazine

Boston Bombing Suspect Feared Voices in His Head

December 17, 2013 11:32 am | by Emily Thomas, The Huffington Post | Comments

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old suspected Boston Marathon bomber, was haunted by voices and feared that someone was gaining control over his mind prior to the devastating attack, according to a new report by The Boston Globe.       


Police Use New Forensics on Mother's Disapearance

December 17, 2013 11:05 am | by BBC | Comments

New forensic tests could provide a "breakthrough" in the 22-year investigation into the disappearance of Coventry, UK mother Nicola Payne, say police. A statement said "cutting edge forensic techniques" would be used and experts in DNA and palynology (the study of pollen) were being consulted.


A Study in Forensics, Through a Favorite Sleuth

December 17, 2013 10:36 am | by Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times | Comments

What would Sherlock Holmes make of “How Sherlock Changed the World,” a Tuesday night special on PBS? The program lines up assorted experts, among them Dr. Henry Lee, the forensic scientist, to testify that Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes character was performing detailed crime-scene analysis before real detectives had adopted the approach.


Texas Leads Trend in Challenging Forensic Evidence

December 17, 2013 8:57 am | by Rick Jervis, USA Today | Comments

The U.S. Justice Department and FBI last year launched a review of thousands of criminal cases involving hair and fiber examinations. Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced the creation of the National Commission on Forensic Science to investigate the techniques. Somewhat surprisingly, Texas, home to one of the toughest penal codes in the USA and the nation's leader in executions, is at the forefront of the effort.


Updated Data on the State of DNA Backlogs in Public Laboratories

December 16, 2013 2:31 pm | by NIJ | Comments

The capacity of crime laboratories continues to grow due to increased automation, hiring of more personnel, use of overtime and improved testing procedures and methods. But the demand for DNA testing continues to outpace the ability for laboratories to complete the analysis causing backlogs to persist. This newly-released special report provides a more complete and accurate picture of DNA backlogs than previous editions of the report.


Insects Don't Bug Homicide Investigations

December 16, 2013 12:34 pm | by Anita Hassan, Associated Press | Comments

The pungent smell aside, it was the buzzing sound — just a bit softer than a beehive — that assured Michelle Sanford there would be a lot of evidence to collect. After a short trek through the brush in the east Harris County woods, her notion was confirmed. Lying in the thicket, decomposing human remains were swarmed by flies. And the body was covered from head to toe in maggots. 


Validity of Toolmark Identification in Forensics

December 16, 2013 11:57 am | by NIST | Comments

Researchers are seeking to strengthen the scientific basis of the toolmark identification process through the use of mathematically objective similarity metrics applied to direct measurements of the surface topography.         


Theories, But No Answers, in Decades-ago Death

December 16, 2013 9:29 am | by Kayla Regan, Associated Press | Comments

Two file drawers full of crime scene documents, interviews and letters. That's what Don Wilson has left of his niece, Kelly Lynn Albright, who was murdered at age 12 more than 43 years ago in Reno County. It's one of a few local unsolved homicide cases, and although law enforcement believes her killer died in jail, 80-year-old Wilson, along with others close to Albright, are working so that his niece's case won't be forgotten.


Scientists Discover Double Meaning in Genetic Code

December 16, 2013 9:11 am | by Univ. of Washington | Comments

Scientists have discovered a second code hiding within DNA. This second code contains information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.       


Development and Analysis of Electrical Receptacle Fires

December 13, 2013 2:57 pm | by Matthew Benfer, Hughes Associates, Inc. and Daniel Gottuk, Hughes Associates, Inc., NIJ | Comments

Laboratory testing evaluated the impact of a range of variables on the formation of overheated connections in residential duplex electrical receptacles. The authors documented the damage to the receptacle, faceplate and outlet box, including any arcing, overheating or melting.


Newlywed Pleads Guilty to Second-degree Murder

December 13, 2013 11:56 am | by Matt Volz, Associated Press | Comments

After lying to family, friends and police about what happened to her new husband when he disappeared in July, a Montana woman finally came clean to a federal judge in a surprising end to her murder trial. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy told Jordan Graham on Thursday that before he accepted her last-minute deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Cody Johnson, he wanted to hear what really happened.


Jury Deliberates in Cold Case of 1991 Rape-killing

December 13, 2013 11:38 am | by Vivian Ho, SFGate | Comments

Twenty-two years ago, Karen Wong was found slain in her home in San Francisco's Richmond District. The onetime San Francisco Opera employee, who was 39, had been raped, stabbed and hogtied. But it wasn't until 2008 that the cold case warmed up, thanks to a fortuitous legal turn.


North Carolina Crime Lab Can't Keep Analysts

December 13, 2013 11:25 am | by Laura Leslie, WRAL | Comments

North Carolina State Crime Lab director Joseph John told a legislative oversight committee recently that the lab is making progress on its backlog of cases. But he says the problem won't be resolved until staffing levels improve — and that will require higher salaries for scientists. 


Ex-Brooklyn Judge Seeks Reversal of His Verdict in 1999 Murder Case

December 13, 2013 11:01 am | by James McKinley Jr., The New York Times | Comments

The judge’s conscience gnawed at him a little more every year after he retired from the bench. With every news article he read about a wrongful conviction, Frank J. Barbaro, the former Brooklyn judge and assemblyman, would return to a particular murder case in 1999, and question whether he had made the right decision to send a man to prison for 15 years to life.


CDC: 221 Sickened by Synthetic Pot in Colorado

December 13, 2013 10:48 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Synthetic marijuana is believed to have sickened 221 people in Colorado during a monthlong outbreak this year, according to a federal report. The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on a joint investigation with state health officials launched after Colorado hospitals started seeing an increase in emergency room visits by people who had used synthetic pot in late August.



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