Tuesday’s Need-to-Know Forensic News Round-Up

If you’re looking for your weekly forensic fix, look no further. We’ve summarised the need-to-know news for the start of the week. From an interview with a suicide crime scene cleaner to cutting-edge forensic science, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for right here.

 

How Science Is Putting a New Face on Crime Solving (National Geographic Magazine)


 
“On the morning of November 23, 2009, a cyclist riding near Lake Charles, Louisiana, discovered the body of a young woman lying near a country road. Her face had been beaten beyond recognition, but an unusual tattoo led the police to identify her as 19-year-old Sierra Bouzigard. Investigators from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, headed by Sheriff Tony Mancuso, immediately set about reconstructing her final hours. The people who last saw Bouzigard alive had let her use their phone. The number she dialed gave police a lead. Continue reading…

 

What Dead Pigs Can’t Teach Us About ‘C.S.I.’ (New York Times)


 
Forensic scientists have long used dead pigs and other animals as stand-ins for humans to better understand how the body decomposes after death.

Their research on decomposing animals has informed the views of forensic experts in police investigations. Expert witnesses have cited studies in court testimony, and the research has enjoyed star turns on television shows like “C.S.I.”

But recent work by a team of scientists at the University of Tennessee suggests that for anyone trying to draw conclusions about a person’s time of death or the way that decomposition progresses, pigs may be a poor substitute for humans. Continue reading…

 

DNA evidence and family secrets snare Italian child murderer (The Guardian)


 
One of the most sophisticated murder investigations in Italian history concluded on Friday with the key suspect jailed for life after being caught through a combination of DNA evidence and the revelation of family secrets.

Massimo Bossetti, 46, was found guilty of killing Yara Gambirasio in November 2010 and dumping her body in a field where she was found three months later. The 13-year-old had been on her way home from a gym class in Brembate di Sopra, a town close to Milan, when she was abducted and suffered multiple injuries. Continue reading…

 

Interview with a suicide scene cleaner (Ozy)


 
In this occasional series, OZY takes to streets and neighborhoods across the globe to ask a simple question: “How was your day?”

“It’s a pretty good day so far. We had a call first thing this morning for an attempted homicide and suicide at a local business, so we were dispatched to that. I sent my crew to clean up — it ended up not being as messy as we had expected. From what we know, someone broke in and took somebody hostage, and somebody got shot in the hand. Whoever it was, dripped a trail of blood through the store into the back of the warehouse. Continue reading…

 

Vaughn Bryant Uses Pollen to Pinpoint Where a Victim has Been and Maybe Solve a Crime (Houston Press)


 
Working in his lab at Texas A&M University in College Station in August 2006, Vaughn Bryant, garbed in a lab gown and gloves, gently lifts the blood-spattered clothes from the brown paper bags they’ve been stored in for decades.

He lays the clothes out, a button-down plaid cotton shirt, tan corduroys, blue socks, brown ripple-sole shoes, a pair of underwear, a bra and an oversize red windbreaker with black stripes down the arms, too large for the petite frame of the girl who wore it. Bryant has everything but the turquoise necklace the girl, known only as “Caledonia Jane Doe,” was wearing on November 10, 1979, when she walked into a cornfield in western New York and was shot twice, once in the back and once in the back of the head. Continue reading…

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