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Arias Gains Crime Scene Access

September 3, 2014 10:31 am | Comments

It’s been more than six years since Jodi Arias brutally murdered her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, inside his Mesa, Arizona, home. The crime scene - especially the master bathroom featured so heavily in graphic evidence photos - has been changed drastically since then. So what could Arias possibly gain by getting permission from a judge to send her investigator back to "observe" the home?

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Crime scene investigators can tell what a criminal ate and drank before they committed a crime, thanks to pioneering fingerprint technology.

Improve Your Court Testimony on Latent Prints

September 3, 2014 10:11 am | Comments

Due to popular demand, another session has been added for the online course, “The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Guide to Latent Print Testimony,” on Tuesday, September 9, at 11 a.m. The course is taught by The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence at RTI International and funded through an award by the National Institute of Justice. Registration is free and open to all. 

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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

DNA Could Exonerate Two in NC Death Row Case

September 2, 2014 10:14 am | Comments

Two North Carolina men who have been behind bars for 30 years, one of them on death row, will go before a judge on Tuesday morning to present new DNA evidence of their innocence of the murder and rape for which they were convicted as teenagers in 1984.  

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Backlog Led to Delay in Police Misconduct Case

September 2, 2014 9:58 am | Comments

Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans allegedly shoved the barrel of his gun down the throat of Rickey J. Williams in Jan 2013, an act corroborated via DNA testing. So why did it take until Wednesday to charge Evans with aggravated battery and misconduct? According to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, it was because of a backlog of cases awaiting DNA testing at the Illinois State Police crime lab.

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FOReSt Improves Understanding of Human Decomposition

September 2, 2014 9:36 am | Comments

When people die, Cheryl Johnston’s work begins. A forensic anthropologist at Western Carolina University, Johnston oversees the Forensic Osteological Research Station – or FOReSt – one of our nation’s six human decomposition facilities. Over a year’s time, bodies here are exposed to light, rain, humidity, heat, cold, wind, and wildlife.

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Schuylkill County Decreases Compensation for Deputy Coroners

August 28, 2014 12:02 pm | Comments

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, has changed its policy regarding compensation rates for its deputy coroners in an effort to cut costs. Proposed by County Coroner Dr. David J. Moylan, the new per diem compensation rate will be $50 for all job responsibilities starting Friday. That rate includes mileage, photographs and documentation associated with a case.

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FBI Readies for NGI

August 28, 2014 11:53 am | Comments

The FBI says it is modernizing the way it stores fingerprint cards, criminal history folders and civil identity files by digitally converting more than 30 million records – and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards. The organization says it is fully activating its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a digital platform for biometric and other types of identity information.

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Death Microbiomes Could Catch Killers

August 28, 2014 11:50 am | Comments

Researchers have made the first study of the thanatomicrobiome – the army of gut microbes that take over your internal organs once you are dead. The results could have applications in forensic science and medicine. Understanding how microbes inside a dead body colonise it can help pathologists work out the time of death, where the body has been lying, and how its decomposition could affect the soil and ecology.   

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Forensics Unmasks James Foley's Killer

August 28, 2014 11:00 am | Comments

U.S. forensic experts have unmasked the alleged British ISIS militant who killed American photojournalist James Foley in a computer reconstruction of his face. With Arab features and seemingly in his late 20s or 30s, the reconstruction of Foley’s killer appeared in two images reported by ABC news, which added that experts consulted with the U.S. government.

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2007 DNA Sample Withheld Until 2010

August 28, 2014 10:55 am | Comments

A retired Lucas County sheriff’s detective said she kept a DNA sample from murder suspect Andrew Gustafson in her middle desk drawer for more than three years before turning it over to the Lucas County cold case unit in 2010.  

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Handheld DNA Diagnostic Unit

August 28, 2014 10:08 am | Comments

A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at the University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection. It also has many other potential uses, such as border security, forensics, or environmental monitoring.

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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

UK Police Seek DNA from Missing Woman's Family

August 28, 2014 10:00 am | Comments

When Priscilla Berry vanished from her home in 1978 a question-mark was left over the fate of the 39-year-old. But 36 years later police are hoping to solve the mystery of the missing nurse from Mochdre, Conwy county, thanks to new DNA techniques.  

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A pair of thefts have disrupted the quiet rhythms of two Connecticut towns and have up-at-dawn farmers and their loyal farm stand clientele fuming.

Crime Where Telltale Clue is a Corn Tassel

August 27, 2014 2:36 pm | by Alison Leigh Cowan, The New York Times | Comments

A pair of thefts have disrupted the quiet rhythms of two Connecticut towns and have up-at-dawn farmers and their loyal farm stand clientele fuming.                             

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State-of-the-Art Police Forensic Lab Opens in Illinois

August 27, 2014 2:18 pm | by State of Illinois | Comments

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was joined by state and local officials to open a new State Police Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory in Belleville. The facility will provide the Illinois State Police (ISP) and police agencies throughout the region with enhanced crime-solving abilities.

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Arapahoe County district attorney George Brauchler, arrives at the Arapahoe County Justice Center for a hearing on whether testimony on fingerprint comparison should be allowed at the trial in the 2012 Colorado movie theatre shooting case, Monday, August

Colorado Theater Attack Lawyers Argue Fingerprints

August 27, 2014 1:02 pm | by Dan Eliot, Associated Press | Comments

Crime analysts testified recently about how they matched fingerprint evidence in the Colorado theater shooting investigation but provided little new information about the 2012 massacre that left 12 people dead and 70 wounded.       

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