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Minneapolis police are using the newest bullet-tracing technology to match bullets to different crimes around the city. The high-tech system is a major advancement for solving gun-related crimes, and is already helping police with one of the worst mass sh

Minneapolis, Forefront of New Gun ID Technology

October 17, 2014 | by Libor Jany, Star Tribune | Comments

Minneapolis police are using the newest bullet-tracing technology to match bullets to different crimes around the city. The high-tech system is a major advancement for solving gun-related crimes, and is already helping police with one of the worst mass shootings in city history.

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Report Suggests Improvements for Trafficking Investigations

October 22, 2014 10:23 am | Comments

A new NIJ-funded study by the Urban Institute and Northeastern University explored patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S., finding that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction, and restaurants.

Battelle has been awarded a federal grant in excess of $800,000 from the National Institute of Justice to conduct feasibility and validation tests on a suite of new investigative tools that use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to unlock new clues from DNA

DNA Evidence Fails to Incriminate Toha

October 22, 2014 10:14 am | Comments

Prosecutors have finished presenting evidence against Munawar Toha, wrapping up their case against the 67-year-old on Tuesday afternoon. A prosecution witness said a key piece of DNA evidence failed to incriminate Toha as the man who dumped his wife’s body in a lake.

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An expert in crime scene investigations told a jury that evidence in the slaying of a young Stow woman showed that a “blood-shedding event” occurred inside the bedroom of defendant Roxanne Buck, and an attempt was made to clean it up.

New Forensic Evidence in Ferguson Shooting Case

October 22, 2014 10:05 am | Comments

Tensions are rising once again in Ferguson, Missouri as new details emerged about the Michael Brown police shooting. CNN reports new forensic evidence shows Michael Brown's blood was found on Ofc. Darren Wilson's gun, uniform, and inside the interior door panel of the officer's car.

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The CSI Effect

October 21, 2014 6:04 am | Comments

The “CSI Effect” — it’s a real thing. It describes the effect CSI and other crime investigation shows have had on public awareness of forensic science. As the popularity of these shows rise, schools have seen an increase in the demand for undergraduate courses and graduate programs in forensic science.

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Police Sketches Still Relevant

October 21, 2014 5:26 am | Comments

In an age of digital media, they may seem old-fashioned, but sketches can pay off at times and still have their place in fighting crime, according to Wade Dakin, coordinator of the Michigan State Police's Forensic Artist Unit.

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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 Collection Shortfall

October 21, 2014 5:21 am | Comments

Law officers are asking the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation how to best collect genetic material from people convicted of certain misdemeanors and enter the information into a national database.

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Apparent Stab Wounds Caused by Airbag

October 21, 2014 5:15 am | Comments

Hien Tran lay dying in intensive care this month after a car accident, as detectives searched for clues about the apparent stab wounds in her neck. An unlikely breakthrough arrived in the mail a week after she died from her injuries. 

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A visit to the Crime Lab can illustrate the advances that the San Bernardino   County Sheriff’s Department in California has made over the past several   years. The Sheriff's Scientific Investigations Division has handled thousands   of cases, and as tech

Nevada Implements Arrestee DNA Collection for Felony Offenses

October 20, 2014 10:47 am | Comments

A Nevada law that requires DNA samples be taken from every person arrested on a felony charge — and criticized by civil rights groups as an invasion of privacy — has seen surprisingly little pushback in the four months it has been in practice.

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DNA Error Casts Doubt on Jack the Ripper Identification

October 20, 2014 10:41 am | Comments

It was supposed to have been the definitive piece of scientific evidence that finally exposed the true identify of Jack the Ripper after he had brutally murdered at least five women on the streets of Whitechapel in the East End of London, 126 years ago. But an error of nomenclature undermines the case.

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Crime Novelist Charts the History of Forensics

October 20, 2014 10:36 am | Comments

Crime novelist Val McDermid charts the history of forensics and interviews crime scene investigators to get the maggots-and-all story. McDermid, 59, is the author of 28 crime novels; for her nonfiction work, Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, she has interviewed crime scene investigators (CSIs), ranging from blood spatter specialists to DNA swabbers, craniofacial reconstruction experts, and footprint and toxicology analysts.

Search Ends with Discovery of Human Remains

October 20, 2014 10:17 am | Comments

The search for 18-year-old Hannah Graham was called off after human remains were found in a rural part of Albemarle County. The remains that were discovered were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in downtown Richmond where test will be conducted to positively ID the body.

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Unsolved Murders to Get New Scrutiny

October 17, 2014 11:55 am | by Lester Dailey, Clearwater Beacon | Comments

Because there is no statute of limitations on murder, unsolved homicide cases are never closed. But they are sometimes put on the back burner after months or years with no new leads. Now, thanks to a pending federal grant, Clearwater Florida investigators are preparing to dust off the files on 20 unsolved murders that occurred years or decades ago.

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Expert witnesses are being subjected to greater scrutiny by English criminal courts, despite the government’s refusal to implement safeguards recommended by its own law reform advisers.

English Juries Blinded by Science

October 16, 2014 12:37 pm | by Joshua Rozenberg, the Guardian | Comments

Expert witnesses are being subjected to greater scrutiny by English criminal courts, despite the government’s refusal to implement safeguards recommended by its own law reform advisers.                   

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Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, la

Body Exhumed in Alabama Not Most Wanted Fugitive

October 16, 2014 12:26 pm | by Dan Morse and Clarence Williams, The Washington Post | Comments

Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials say.

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A fly’s sense of smell could be used in new technology to detect drugs and bombs.

Fruit Fly Sniffs Out Drugs and Bombs

October 16, 2014 8:15 am | by James Hakner, Univ. of Sussex | Comments

Brain scientist Prof. Thomas Nowotny found that the "nose" of fruit flies can identify odors from illicit drugs and explosive substances almost as accurately as wine odor, which the insects are naturally attracted to because it smells like their favorite food, fermenting fruit.

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