Fingerprints may be unique, but without an existing record they can’t help identify a person. Now, though, researchers can use chemical analysis of the prints to identify the gender of whoever left them behind.
The dramatic raid on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis that left two dead and eight arrested followed the discovery of a mobile phone by police that was discarded by the terrorists who days earlier had launched their bloody attack. It’s understood that the data police were able to extract from the phone…
Bad news for all greedy aspiring murderers out there: a new technique allows companies to more easily date documents — like wills —by examining a chemical component of the ink.
15 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down, a group of experts convened by the Netherlands have finished studying the crash. Their report explains what happened, and gives us a glimpse at the advanced technical forensics they used to painstakingly recreate the attack.
Bad news, hypochondriacs: You’re walking in a massive cloud of bacteria. In fact, it’s kinda an extension of your body, and no amount of showering will rid you of it. Even better: It grew out of your mouth, poop and skin.
In September 1935, two women were found buried at the spot marked on this photograph of a grassy ditch next to a Scottish road. To find their killer, investigators would need to identify the women first—a task that would require piecing together their scattered, dismembered bodies.
Stand back behind the yellow tape, everyone! The CSI techs are on their way and they are coming to science—and it’s driving the real forensics experts crazy.
Carbon emissions aren’t just changing the climate — they’re making it harder to solve crimes. As our atmosphere fills with fossil carbon, scientists will have a tougher time using radiocarbon dating, a standard forensic technique, to analyze human remains and wildlife tissues.
High school sophomore Brynn Myers decided to tackle a forensics topic for her science fair project this year. And in the process, she discovered how to commit murder and hide the evidence thoroughly.
Fingerprints were used for identification in ancient China and Babylonia to mark business deals and correspondence. Though they were studied extensively since then, their value as a crime-solving tool wasn’t embraced until the 1880s — and it wasn’t until 1892, in Argentina, that they nailed their first murderer.
If you’re a detective who needs to find a corpse, there are lots of ways to look: you can comb the woods in a line search or hunt for hidden graves with ground-penetrating radar. In most cases, though, the most versatile and reliable method has four legs and a wet nose.
Earlier this week, the ongoing FBI forensics scandal — in which it was determined that hundreds of convictions were handed down based on flawed hair analysis — made headlines. But this sort of thing is nothing new, as evidenced by a case that gripped Australia in 1921.
Stuck to the bottom of your shoe is humble dirt that gives away where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. It’s up to science to figure out it out. Nature has a fascinating profile of forensic geologist Lorna Dawson, who has used soil to solve decades-old cold cases.
The FBI and the Justice Department admitted that flawed forensic testimony over more than 20 years — particularly pertaining to hair analysis — may have led to wrongful convictions in hundreds of cases, including 14 instances where a possibly innocent defendant was executed or died in prison.
Forensic photographer Nick Marsh discusses his 20-year career in David Beazley's five-minute documentary. Among the revelations: lighting, composition, and keeping an open mind are of utmost importance — and technology has actually harmed his profession by flooding the field with undertrained shutterbugs.
Forensic photography is such an important part of solving crimes and getting a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on throughout the process is so fascinating. Like most photography, forensic photographers utilize light to capture what they need to see. They match different crimes to different light wavelengths to…
On April 9, 1984, Margaret Backhouse's car wouldn't start. Her husband, hairstylist-turned-sheep farmer Graham, quickly offered up his vehicle instead. But as soon as she turned the ignition, a bomb rocked the English countryside. Scandal — and impressive feats of forensic science — soon followed.
While many historical whodunnits were solved not long after the supposed crime was committed, sometimes it's up to modern science and history to determine how and why a person died. Here are cases where murders were revealed or refuted decades or even centuries after the fact.
To make it difficult for law enforcement to trace stolen cars or weapons, thieves will usually grind off their metal vehicle identification numbers or serial numbers. And while techniques for trying to recover those numbers do exist, they're not as accurate as a new method developed by researchers at the National…