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If modern DNA results had been available in the 1993 capital murder case of Richard Bryan Kussmaul, it is “reasonably probable” that he and his three co-defendants would not have been found guilty, a retired state district judge has ruled.

DNA Could Have Changed Outcome of 1993 Murder Trial

October 3, 2014 12:08 pm | by Tommy Witherspoon, Wacotrib.com | Comments

If modern DNA results had been available in the 1993 capital murder case of Richard Bryan Kussmaul, it is “reasonably probable” that he and his three co-defendants would not have been found guilty, a retired state district judge has ruled.   

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Authorities are taking a fresh look at unsolved rape, murder and missing persons cases after a man was charged in the abduction of a University of Virginia student who vanished about three weeks ago.

Police Look at Cold Cases after Va Arrest

October 3, 2014 11:43 am | by Larry O'Dell, Associated Press | Comments

Authorities are taking a fresh look at unsolved rape, murder and missing persons cases after a man was charged in the abduction of a University of Virginia student who vanished about three weeks ago.               

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A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate.

Report Urges Caution in Handling Eyewitness Identifications

October 3, 2014 11:31 am | by National Research Council | Comments

A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate.       

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Currently, the most reliable biological indicator of time since death in decomposition cases is blow fly development. Because insects do not maintain constant body temperatures, development is a function of time and temperature. Consequently, having accur

Establishing Blow Fly Development and Sampling Procedures to Estimate Postmortem Intervals

October 3, 2014 10:59 am | by Leon Higley, Neal Haskell, Timothy Huntington and Amanda Roe, NIJ | Comments

Currently, the most reliable biological indicator of time since death in decomposition cases is blow fly development. Because insects do not maintain constant body temperatures, development is a function of time and temperature. Consequently, having accurate models for describing temperature and blow fly development is essential in producing accurate estimates of the post mortem interval (PMI).

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A new government study found deaths from heroin overdose doubled in just two years in much of the United States. Overdose deaths from powerful painkillers continue to be much more common, but they declined slightly as the heroin deaths increased.

Heroin Deaths Double in Much of the Country

October 2, 2014 1:33 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

A new government study found deaths from heroin overdose doubled in just two years in much of the United States. Overdose deaths from powerful painkillers continue to be much more common, but they declined slightly as the heroin deaths increased.

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The search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham now includes the use of an aerial drone -- the first time, according to authorities, one has been used in the search for a missing person in the state of Virginia.

Police Use Drone in Search

October 2, 2014 1:16 pm | by WJLA | Comments

The search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham now includes the use of an aerial drone — the first time, according to authorities, one has been used in the search for a missing person in the state of Virginia. 

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A group of researchers has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes. The researchers have provided evidence contesting the commonly accepted theory that nanop

Nanoparticles Uncover Forensic Secrets

October 2, 2014 9:07 am | by Institute of Physics | Comments

A group of researchers has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes. The researchers have provided evidence contesting the commonly accepted theory that nanoparticles are attracted to fingermarks electrostatically.

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Leica Geosystems has announced a 12-month initiative to support the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). Beginning today, 1 percent of the sale of all 3D laser scanners, multistations, total stations, GNSS instruments, unmanned aircra

Leica Geosystems Pledges Support of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

October 2, 2014 8:28 am | Leica Geosystems, Inc. | Comments

Leica Geosystems has announced a 12-month initiative to support the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). One percent of the sale of all 3D laser scanners, multistations, total stations, GNSS instruments, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), handheld distance measurement tools, software and other products to the law enforcement community will be donated to the Memorial Fund.

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Investigator Discovers Corpse Is Alive

October 1, 2014 6:25 am | Comments

An investigator from the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner thought he was recovering the body of an elderly woman from an apartment complex. As he was processing the scene, the woman moved. The 74-year-old Joan Allman was rushed to University of Arizona Medical Center. 

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Cuyahoga County Showcases Expanded Regional Crime Lab

October 1, 2014 6:05 am | Comments

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, officials show off their expanded regional crime lab, a project more than 14 years in the making. The lab, housed at the Medical Examiner's office, has enhanced fingerprinting and ballistics capabilities and more space to store evidence collected from crime scenes in Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs.

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Civil Air Patrol officials say cell phone forensics have helped authorities narrow the search area for a missing small airplane which hasn't been seen since leaving the Headland airport in Henry County, Alabama.

FSW Students Learn on Crime Scene Island

October 1, 2014 5:52 am | Comments

Florida SouthWestern students have been busy excavating a body on campus. It's the first one pulled up on the campus "body farm". It isn't a real body; it's a dummy made to mimic advanced decomposition. The "Crime Scene Island," as the professor calls it, cost about $50,000.

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To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly

Improved Tools for Challenging DNA Samples

September 30, 2014 11:43 am | Comments

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical reports: Improved Tools for the Robust Analysis of Low Copy Number and Challenged DNA Samples and Application of Proteinases for DNA Isolation of Challenged Bone Specimens.

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Beheading Crime Scene Analyzed

September 30, 2014 11:40 am | Comments

At approximately 1600 hrs. on September 24, 2014  30-year-old Alton Nolen was fired at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma. He immediately drove to the front of the business, struck a vehicle and walked into the front office area. He attacked 54-year-old Colleen Hufford with a knife until he severed her head. 

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Forensic Evidence Links Two Cases

September 30, 2014 10:13 am | by Larry O'Dell, Associated Press | Comments

And now police believe they have found a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham: Forensic evidence found in the arrest of a hospital worker and former taxi driver who fled the state when he learned police wanted to question him about the Graham case.

Cold Case: Murder of Bridget Phillips

September 29, 2014 11:06 am | Comments

Bridget Phillips was a 22-year-old graduate student at Johns Hopkins University when she was found beaten to death on March 22, 1989 in the doorway of her off-campus apartment.  She wasn't robbed or sexually assaulted, leading police to believe she knew her attacker.

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