Crime Lab

Forensic drug analysts have confirmed the emergence of yet another highly potent synthetic opioid on the drug market—this time it’s carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer. It’s the latest blow to those trying to fight the opioid epidemic sweeping the...
12:12pm
6.28.2017
Police are considering filing manslaughter charges related to the fire at a west London apartment tower that killed at least 79 people. In its most detailed briefing on the criminal investigation, the Metropolitan Police on Friday confirmed...
by Danica Kirka, Associated Press
10:30am
6.23.2017
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For years, investigators have relied on the Paint Data Query database to identify the make of a vehicle by matching the physical attributes, chemical composition and infrared spectrum of the paint, primers and clear coating layers. National...
by National Institute of Justice
10:31am
6.20.2017
When investigating a burglary, is it necessary to do a full comparison of dozens of latent prints left on a doorknob by the homeowner, their children and their friends? The Houston Forensic Science Center says there is a better way. They have found...
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1:22pm
6.16.2017
Forensic scientists can sometimes feel like they are fighting a losing battle when it comes to drugs. The opioid crisis continues to grow, and drug manufacturers continue to stay a step ahead by slightly modifying the chemical structure of synthetic...
12:53pm
6.13.2017
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Four major scientific organizations have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to institute an independent committee to look at the “scientific and technical gaps” in forensic science. Their letter, dated Friday, is in response to the Department of...
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10:38am
6.12.2017
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police forensic specialist from Ottawa testified several items he received from Regina police had blood on them. The prosecution says the three men currently on trial beat and robbed victim Shawn Douglas in August 2014....
by Christa Dao, Global News
10:17am
6.8.2017
A Fort Detrick laboratory slated for closure has processed about 14,000 pieces of evidence in criminal investigations involving biological threats such as ricin and anthrax, the FBI confirmed this week. It’s the only laboratory in the country that...
by Danielle E. Gaines, The Frederick News-Post
9:04am
6.6.2017
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The scientific look into disciplines from blood spatter to drug testing, from fingerprints and odontology to futuristic facial recognition, continues among the hundreds of experts within OSAC, basically all of whom are volunteers.
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2:55pm
6.5.2017
The four locked steel boxes, each about the size of a coffin, were unusual enough to attract the attention of authorities as they were being shipped through Singapore in 2010. X-rays of the boxes revealed they contained elephant tusks, tightly...
by Jim Dawson
2:19pm
6.5.2017
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Robotics will speed up the processing of DNA samples at the new Unified State Laboratory as Utah tries to cut through a backlog of rape kits, officials said at the lab's opening Thursday. Earlier this year, the legislature mandated the testing of...
by Tiffany Frandsen, The Salt Lake Tribune
11:50am
6.5.2017
Tackling the problem of illegal logging is particularly challenging as it is often nearly impossible to tell where a piece of wood came from. Now, researchers in Oregon have developed a technique that uses the chemical fingerprint of a wood sample...
by Botanical Society of America
10:51am
6.2.2017
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A stunning litany of problems uncovered at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Motherisk laboratory has prompted Ontario to launch a review of the oversight and accountability of its forensic labs. The Motherisk scandal has cast doubt over thousands of...
by Rachel Mendleson, The Toronto Star
10:57am
5.30.2017
Polish prosecutors who are investigating the 2010 plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others have sent samples from the plane for laboratory tests in Britain to help them determine whether an explosion caused the disaster.
by Associated Press
10:07am
5.30.2017
Defense lawyers are urging the courts to dismiss all cases related to the misconduct of Sonja Farak, the forensic chemist who stole from narcotics samples to feed her addiction, in a move similar to the resolution of cases related to another drug...
by Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe
12:12pm
5.23.2017
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A crucial $1 million in funding from the federal National Institute of Justice was removed earlier this year, and state and local agencies can no longer get the free testing they have come to expect. Previously, investigators who had unknown bodies...
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12:44pm
5.19.2017
A forensic scientist at the Arizona state crime lab intentionally hid her backlog of cases for years, failed to test DNA submitted in 40 cases and kept evidence from those cases in her possession, according to a Department of Public Safety audit.
by Wendy Halloran and Elizabeth Wiley, KPNX
10:38am
5.18.2017
A forensic analyst has conceded in the Western Cape High Court that it’s highly unlikely that hair found in the clenched fist of axe attack survivor, Marli van Breda, belongs to her brother Henri. Henri van Breda stands accused of murdering his...
by ENCA, South Africa
12:57pm
5.16.2017
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Improvised explosive devices (IED) like pipe bombs are the weapon for choice for some terrorists and lone-wolf attackers who want to wreak havoc while keeping themselves out of harm’s way. The attacker gets a running start to escape even before the...
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12:27pm
5.16.2017
The Department of Justice has asked for public comment on the state of forensic science in the United States, following the disbanding of the National Commission on Forensic Science in early April. One month remains for the public to make its...
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12:33pm
5.10.2017
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Police fear scores of convictions, including in rape and murder cases, may face challenges because of the suspected manipulation of forensic test results at a private laboratory in Manchester. Two employees of the the lab are currently under...
by Vikram Dodd, The Guardian
10:49am
5.10.2017
Possible errors in nearly 227 gunshot residue tests done in State Law Enforcement Division labs have caused the agency to launch a review of those tests, delaying some criminal prosecutions around the state and calling other cases into question.
by John Monk, The State
10:25am
5.8.2017
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Baltimore has experienced its highest murder rate in history through the first four months of 2017—but authorities there are now receiving federal help in the form of a mobile gun-tracking van from the ATF.
12:24pm
5.3.2017
Fourteen analysts undergoing a crash course in DNA forensics at the National Forensic Science Technology Center in Florida could represent the beginning of a potential revolution in criminalistics in a group of Latin American countries: Honduras,...
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12:23pm
5.3.2017
A Virginia sheriff is supporting a bid for freedom for Jens Soering, a German national convicted of the 1985 murders of his girlfriend’s parents in Bedford County. A new report from an expert requested by Soering’s lawyer questions the work done by...
by Frank Green, Richmond Times-Dispatch via The Roanoke Times
10:53am
5.3.2017
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Handwriting experts in India say their role is getting tougher in the digital age. The experts who examine potential forgeries, as well as threat letters, suicide notes and other documents, say their practice has evolved to include the examination...
by Manoj Sharma, Hindustan Times
10:34am
5.1.2017
The Western Australia government is demanding answers after a man was wrongly convicted of a crime over a decade ago because of a DNA mix-up at state-run pathology service PathWest. The DNA analyzed apparently belonged to someone with the same name...
by Eliza Laschon, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
11:59am
4.27.2017
A former state forensic scientist was sentenced Monday to spend up to life behind bars for sexually abusing two children. Michael Hepworth, 55, was given the maximum sentence for each of the five counts and will serve the sentences concurrently.
by Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune
12:07pm
4.25.2017
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The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in January that all cases on which disgraced forensic scientist Annie Dookhan worked had to be reconsidered by April 18, 2017. The staggering load is 24,000 cases, according to some estimates.
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12:20pm
4.18.2017
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions disbanded the National Commission on Forensic Science earlier this week. But the “forensic overhaul” is still underway. The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science continues on the course...
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12:12pm
4.13.2017
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When 22-year-old Rutgers University student Darsh Patel was mauled to death by a bear while hiking, Nicole Chinnici was the one to perform the necropsy on the bear in question and unequivocally link it to Patel’s death based on the bear’s stomach...
8:13am
4.11.2017
The National Commission on Forensic Science held its 13th and final meeting today, after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this morning that the Trump administration is taking stock of the state of forensic science aside from the Obama-...
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11:59am
4.10.2017
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Scott Milne was hired by the Austin Police Department as their new chief forensics officer, in hopes he would help revive the department's troubled DNA lab. Milne was placed on administrative leave within 30 days of his hiring due to questions about...
by Tony Plohetski, KVUE/Austin American-Statesman
11:49am
4.7.2017
Forensic scientists are trying to understand what tears and distortions in the fabric around a stab wound can say about the knife type, angle of attack and stabbing technique that caused the wound. A team of forensic scientists and engineers...
by Sarah Fecht, Popular Science
9:34am
4.7.2017
The dismissal of West Australia's leading DNA scientist for breaching testing protocols is an "unprecedented disaster" in the state's criminal history, Attorney-General John Quigley says. Quigley said the scientist, Laurence Webb, had been dismissed.
by Graeme Powell, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
10:11am
3.31.2017
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The Centre for the Forensic Sciences at University College London wants to do more to explore the forefront of minute trace evidence—but they need new facilities to do so. So they have adopted the most modern of calls for assistance: online...
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12:18pm
3.30.2017
District crime lab officials are reviewing more than 150 firearm examinations for accuracy after the lab discovered errors by three D.C. forensic analysts who wrongly matched bullets or shell casings recovered at crime scenes to individual weapons.
by Spencer S. Hsu and Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post
11:46am
3.24.2017
Two men and a woman will have drug charges against them dropped after a state forensics lab lost evidence needed to prosecute them, officials said Friday. An envelope containing suboxone, a narcotic involved in the case, went missing after being...
by Kirsten Fiscus, The Anniston Star
10:12am
3.20.2017
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The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences achieved two major milestones this month: opening a massive $75 million facility which was a decade in the making, and receiving continued accreditation from the National Association of Medical...
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12:54pm
3.17.2017
A former high-level manager in the Denver Police Department’s crime lab quit rather than accept a demotion and a large pay cut following allegations he violated numerous city rules—including allegations that he repeatedly altered crime scene reports.
by Kevin Vaughan, KUSA/9NEWS
10:09am
3.2.2017
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