That DNA Evidence Identifying Jack the Ripper Was Wrong After All

Last month, the notoriously dubious Daily Mail announced it had finally unmasked Jack the Ripper with DNA evidence. Now, in what's not that much of a surprise, it seems this all may have been a mistake. The scientist in the investigation made multiple errors, according to the Independent, the most damning of which is… » 10/20/14 6:15pm 10/20/14 6:15pm

Inside the Forensic Lab That Fights Crime and Counterfeits With DNA

What you're looking at is me, being blasted by a fog machine. It's not a prop for a rave or a haunted house; it's vapor laced with custom DNA particles that could prove I was at the scene of a crime. And it's just one way a cutting-edge security firm is using life's building blocks to detect counterfeits and bust… » 9/26/14 1:26pm 9/26/14 1:26pm

The Coldest Case: Using DNA to Identify Century-Old Remains

In a dusty, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond in the hazy heat. "There are 7,000 people between us and that next fence there," she says. » 8/18/14 1:08pm 8/18/14 1:08pm

What Will We Find On Passengers' Cell Phones From Flight MH370?

Bearing in mind that CNN is the same network that suggested Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 might have flown into a black hole, it was nonetheless interesting to hear the network speculate that the cell phones of the flight's passengers might hold an archive of unsent emails, texts, photos, and videos of whatever… » 4/13/14 1:00pm 4/13/14 1:00pm

How a 1940s Gangster Film Foresaw the Surveillance Tech of Today

White Heat is a classic gangster film from 1949, starring James Cagney. It is a thoroughly Los Angeles flick, filmed almost exclusively in the Greater Los Angeles region, including scenes shot at Warner Brother Studios in Burbank. The film is considered a classic for many reasons—but what's interesting in terms of… » 1/28/14 3:40pm 1/28/14 3:40pm

The Crime-Lite System Can Spot a Culprit's Invisible Fingerprints

"Dusting for prints" has been a mainstay of forensic investigations since the late 1880's—employing a developer powder to add enough contrast for the fingerprint to show up in photographs. But what about latent prints or those on visually dense, multi-color surfaces? The Crime-lite ASV System can image them—with… » 11/28/11 11:00pm 11/28/11 11:00pm