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Forensic Magazine

Suspect's Remains Exhumed in Boston Strangler Case

July 15, 2013 9:37 am | by Bridget Murphy, Associated Press | Comments

Investigators have unearthed the remains of a man who once confessed to being the Boston Strangler in a bid to use forensic evidence to connect him to the death of a woman believed to be the serial killer's last victim. A bevy of law enforcement officials surrounded Albert DeSalvo's grave on a grassy plot near a lake for the exhumation, which lasted about an hour.


Spread of DNA Databases Sparks Ethical Concerns

July 12, 2013 10:02 am | by Jill Lawless, Associated Press | Comments

Countries around the world are collecting genetic material from millions of citizens in the name of fighting crime and terrorism — and, according to critics, heading into uncharted ethical terrain. Leaders include the United States and Britain, where police held samples of almost 7 million people, more than 10 percent of the population, until a court-ordered about-face saw the incineration of a chunk of the database.


Proposed Lab Cuts Coming at Bad Time

July 12, 2013 9:41 am | by Dave Kolpack, Associated Press | Comments

The U.S. attorney in North Dakota said that proposed cuts in a federal drug prevention program that provides money to crime labs would be a blow to the state because law enforcement is trying to beef up prosecutions in the oil patch. Dave Barton, Midwest HIDTA director, said in an interview that total reductions to crime labs in a seven-state area could be as high as $900,000.


New Ontario Forensics Facility Brings Crime Under a World-class Spotlight

July 12, 2013 9:21 am | by Jennifer Pagliaro, Toronto Star | Comments

“It’s sort of like a symphony orchestra,” says Dr. Michael Pollanen, motioning to the gleaming, empty garage, imagining a team of dedicated forensic scientists, pathologists, police and other staff who will soon work together there to solve complex crimes and sudden deaths.


Break in Cold Case because of DNA LAW

July 12, 2013 8:52 am | by Meghan Millea, Times Reporter | Comments

Crediting a new law requiring inmates to submit DNA swabs, the New Philadelphia Police Department said it has been able to find a suspect in a rape case that went cold last year. DNA evidence taken from a recent sexual assault produced no hits, but then, the new state law went into effect, and New Philadelphia police got their break.


DNA Advances Might Reveal Boston Strangler Identity

July 12, 2013 8:34 am | by Bridget Murphy, Associated Press | Comments

The family of a woman who may have been the Boston Strangler's last victim could be just days away from getting answers about her slaying after decades of wondering if police pinned it on the right man. For the first time, authorities said that they have forensic evidence tying a suspect to Mary Sullivan's case.


DNA from Bone Bits May ID Train Dead Using 9/11 Experience

July 11, 2013 5:01 pm | by Michelle Fay Cortez and Gerrit de Vynck, Bloomberg | Comments

Advances in forensic science since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks may help Canadian authorities identify the remains of dozens of people killed in what may be the country’s worst rail accident in more than 100 years. Even tiny shards of bone may be helpful to scientists.


As Glacier Melts, Secrets of Lost Military Plane Revealed

July 11, 2013 4:26 pm | by Yereth Rosen, Reuters | Comments

Relics from an Air Force cargo plane that slammed into a mountain in November 1952, killing all 52 servicemen on board, emerged last summer on Colony Glacier, about 50 miles east of Anchorage. That discovery, by Alaska National Guard crews flying training missions out of Anchorage, put into motion a sophisticated recovery program carried out by the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.


NIST Offers Guidance on Building 21st-Century Forensic Labs

July 11, 2013 10:53 am | by NIST | Comments

A new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) handbook provides law enforcement agencies with a detailed how-to guide on the planning, design, construction and relocation of forensic science laboratories. The document not only outlines the process of creating a new crime lab from start to finish, it also provides guidance on integrating the latest scientific developments, efficiency improvements and sustainability practices.


Burglar Caught Using Smartwater Technology

July 11, 2013 10:39 am | by SmartWater CSI | Comments

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD) utilized SmartWater CSI in the arrest of Fort Lauderdale resident Michael Jackson who was caught and charged on Saturday, July 6th, 2013. The burglar was scanned under ultraviolet light at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department which revealed he had SmartWater on his clothing and skin.


Forensic Fly Moves North

July 11, 2013 10:19 am | by Jennifer Holland, National Geographic | Comments

Who, aside from global warming activists, cares about a tiny blowfly making its way north with the changing climate? Forensic scientists do. Such insects, when discovered on corpses, can offer vital clues about when a victim died. But when a new species starts showing up on bodies outside its known range, it can throw off the time-of-death clock.


Lac-Mégantic Victims Pose Challenge for Forensic Experts

July 11, 2013 9:44 am | by Lucas Powers, CBC News | Comments

Alongside police and emergency response crews clearing the explosion site in the downtown core of Lac-Mégantic, Que., a team of forensic investigators has begun the grisly task of recovering and identifying the remains of up to 60 people still reported missing from the horrific train crash.


Bath Salts Could Be More Addictive than Meth

July 10, 2013 2:54 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | Comments

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have published one of the first laboratory studies of MDPV, an emerging recreational drug that has been sold as “bath salts.” The TSRI researchers confirmed the drug’s powerful stimulant effects in rats and found evidence that it could be more addictive than methamphetamine, one of the most addictive substances to date.


Development of an Automated Holographic Optical Trapping Method for Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Analysis

July 10, 2013 2:42 pm | Comments

The system described in this report combines two technologies — microfluidic and machine-vision technologies with holographic optical trapping. This method of analyzing evidence allows human sperm to be separated from epithelial cells and other contaminants in the sample to address the problem of DNA from both victim and perpetrator being included in the amplification process.


Using DNA Advances to Get Guns Off the Street

July 10, 2013 10:19 am | by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian | Comments

Portland police routinely collect blood or saliva samples from a crime scene to get a suspect's DNA profile. But now, the bureau's Gun Task Force hopes to use evolving DNA technology to determine who may have pulled the trigger or gripped a gun used in a shooting.



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