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How Insects and Microbes Reveal Crime Scene Clues

June 9, 2014 1:21 pm | by Sathya Achia Abraham, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. | Comments

In a thick wooded area, a dead body lies. Within 5 to 10 minutes, a slew of tiny winged visitors — blow flies — are the first on the scene. Experts say that where there be carrion, this metallic blue-green looking fly is often the first insect to arrive because it can smell death from up to 10 miles away.

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OJ Simpson Case Taught Police What Not to Do

June 9, 2014 1:03 pm | by Tami Abdollah, Associated Press | Comments

The O.J. Simpson murder trial cast a harsh light on police and forensic work, and gave law enforcement a textbook example of what not to do at a crime scene. Among the lessons: follow procedure, make sure evidence is always accounted for and properly logged and be brutally honest to a jury even if it hurts.

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Crime Scene Photography Requires 'Systematic Approach'

June 6, 2014 12:49 pm | by Roberto Cruz, Poughkeepsie Journal | Comments

Crime scene photographs are powerful pieces of evidence in the hands of prosecutors, which is why investigators must be meticulous while processing a crime scene.                         

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No Easy Answers in 'Slender Man' Case

June 6, 2014 12:25 pm | by Greg Toppo, USAToday | Comments

The arrest this week of two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin in the attempted stabbing death of a classmate has focused attention on the role media play in violent crimes.                       

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DNA Shows Man Innocent of 1980s Minneapolis Murders

June 6, 2014 12:14 pm | by Trisha Volpe, InForum | Comments

Newly discovered DNA evidence may prove that a man known as a Minnesota serial killer might be innocent and that the real killer is someone else.                             

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Children's Mass Grave Found in Former Irish Orphanage

June 6, 2014 12:06 pm | by Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press | Comments

The Catholic Church in Ireland is facing fresh accusations of child neglect after a researcher found records for 796 young children believed to be buried in a mass grave beside a former orphanage for the children of unwed mothers.     

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How Does Bias Affect Forensics Experts?

June 5, 2014 12:21 pm | by Bettina Chang, Pacific Standard | Comments

A new study examines how the complex nature of forensic analysis and pressures on forensics experts could lead them to incorrect conclusions.                               

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Student Redirects Grief to Studying Forensic Science

June 5, 2014 11:50 am | by Celia Darrough, Columbia College | Comments

Past personal experiences can be a dominant driving force that compels a person regarding day-to-day decisions. For Samantha Macht, a cruel and gruesome incident transformed her life and led her from Minnesota to Missouri to study forensic science at Columbia College.

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Police Investigating Death Unreported for Months

June 5, 2014 11:43 am | by Associated Press | Comments

An 88-year-old Lafayette man's body remained in his home for nine months before it was discovered by police, authorities says. Neighbors said wife lived in the home during that time and acted as if everything was normal.         

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DNA Leads to Cell Phone to Catch Alleged Killer in Three Days

June 5, 2014 11:29 am | by Rocco Parascandola, Tina Moore, Erik Badia, Corky Siemaszko and Ginger Adams, New York Daily News | Comments

A cell phone trace and a DNA hit led cops to the Brooklyn butcher, sources said. A citywide manhunt ended in Queens late Wednesday with the arrest of the man suspected of fatally stabbing Prince Joshua (P.J.) Avitto.         

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Did DNA Make Them Do It?

June 5, 2014 11:08 am | by Cell Press | Comments

Studies suggest that some people may be at increased risk of criminal behavior due to their genes. Such research holds potential for helping judges and juries with some of the difficult decisions they must make, but it also brings a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse within the legal system. 

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Dutch Forensic Scientists Discover How to Date Fingerprints

June 4, 2014 11:54 am | by AAP | Comments

Criminals' days may be numbered after Dutch forensic experts discovered how to accurately date fingerprints, a breakthrough that could one day let police date crime scene prints from years ago.                

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Tattoo Evidence, or Just being Cool

June 4, 2014 10:48 am | by Dave Collins, Associated Press | Comments

Criminals have long used tattoos as indelible ink on their own bodily rap sheet. And for just as long, police have used tattoos as a way to identify suspects, a distinguishing characteristic to jog a memory or catch the public's eye. But only rarely does body art play a pivotal role as evidence posited as proof of wrongdoing.

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FBI Addresses Laser Threat to Aircraft

June 4, 2014 9:40 am | by FBI | Comments

The FBI is lauching a national campaign to deter people from pointing lasers at aircraft, a federal violation that presents danger to pilots, passengers, and those on the ground.                   

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Facial Recognition Software Continues to Improve

June 4, 2014 9:03 am | by NIST | Comments

NIST reports that results from its 2013 test of facial recognition algorithms show that accuracy has improved up to 30 percent since 2010.                               

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