During the 2007 murder trial of music mogul Phil Spector, forensic experts for the defense and prosecution disagreed on how to interpret the blood spatter patterns on clothing worn by both Spector and his victim, among other disputed physical evidence. The end result was a hung jury, forcing the presiding judge to…
Controversy has long surrounded the presumed accidental death of Belgium’s King Albert I in 1934, with conspiracy theorists crying murder. Now, 80 years later, forensic geneticists have successfully matched DNA from blood found at the scene of his death with that of two of the late king’s distant relatives, hopefully…
We assume that all biological processes come to an end when we die, but new research shows that many genes remain active for up to four days following clinical death. These zombie genes can’t bring a person back to life, but this discovery has serious implications for forensics and organ donor recipients.
An international team of scholars has just unveiled plans to science the shit out of Leonardo da Vinci, the man who gave us the Mona Lisa and envisioned futuristic technologies like helicopters and tanks 500 years ago. Goals of the fledgling “Leonardo Project” include recovering the famous Renaissance figure’s remains…
A lab technician working at a New Jersey State Police drug testing station has been accused of fabricating drug test results, potentially upsetting almost 8,000 criminal cases in the state.
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.
Some crime scenes don’t have bodies. What they have is a place where a body was, and a suspiciously large amount of maggots. Up until recently, the maggots could only have been a very bad sign. Now, it seems that maggots can help genetically identify their last meals.
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.
How do forensics experts know what they know? A lot of it is due to research done on body farms, research facilities that examine how bodies decompose. Today, forensic anthropologist Dawnie Steadman, the director of the nation’s oldest body farm, is here to answer all your questions.
California is in its fire season again, and drier than usual, so many of us have spent days watching the devastation that a fire can cause. Few things survive it, even in bits and pieces. Often, though, the matches that began the fire are the most recognizable things left behind. Why is that?
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.
Oh the things we learn when we skim through forensic medicine textbooks for a living. Apparently, there is a phenomenon called “postmortem luminescence.” And it should make zombie movies both less and more frightening.