Real-life crime dramas on television intrigue us with the details of postmortem examinations leading to the arrest of murder suspectsbut how do forensic pathologists, the doctors who investigate unnatural deaths and chilling crime scenes, actually bring criminals to justice? The story lies in the body of evidence. Literally. The human body provides a wealth of scientific evidence that allows forensic pathology, or legal medicine, to help resolve criminal cases and convict even most elusive perpetrators. The human body records the story of a crime in the language of cuts, wounds, and bruises, and in the fingerprints and bloodstains. Forensic pathologists are trained to scrutinize and interpret this evidence in ways no other scientist can. Examining victims remains from the outside in, forensic pathologists investigate every inch of the human landscape to discover when, how, and why the victim died. Sometimes, a time of death is all a jury needs to convict a suspect of murder, and forensic pathologists are experts at uncovering this crucial evidence. Visiting crime scenes, collecting bodies in the middle of the night, and excavating suspicious burial grounds are all in a days work for the sake of bringing justice to victims who can no longer speak for themselves.
The Internet is a great tool for learning. Its also a lot of fun for games, keeping up with friends, or reading about the things you love. But there are also dangers on the Internet. You cant always know for sure to whom youre talking. Information you put online that you think is safe may become a target for people who are up to no good. Pictures you share with one person can end up in the hands of people youd never have sent them to. The Internet can become a scary place.
A flake of skina strand of haira fleck of salivaa drop of bloodeverywhere we go we leave behind bits of ourselves that are as unique as fingerprints. Each cell contains genetic material called DNA, which holds information that scientists can use to learn about the person who left those cells behind. In the past twenty-five years, researchers have made significant advances in all disciplines of science, including the study of genetics. As science has leapt forward, the effect on forensics has been remarkable. New knowledge of DNA has dramatically changed the amount of information available to forensic scientists at the scene of a crime, opening doors that were never open before.
The famous Lindbergh kidnapping in the 1930s was solved, in part, through a detailed analysis of the kidnappers handwriting. Other criminal cases, such as selling phony manuscripts, forgery, and fraud can be broken with detailed analyses of handwriting, typewriting, photocopied documents, and the inks and papers used on documents. The science of analyzing documents has been growing for more than a century. In this book, readers will learn how to document analysis has helped solve various crimes, from kidnappings and famous forgeries, to bombings and other violent crimes. Readers will also see how document examiners present their findings in court. Crime leaves a paper trailand document analysis provides the techniques for following that trail.
Who committed the crime? When? Even the smallest of witnesses can tell scientists stories that will make or break a criminal case. Insects and pollen grains help forensic scientists bring criminals to justice. A suspect escapes a crime scene, leaving not a trace of evidence behindexcept for the hind leg of a grasshopper, which helps convict him of murder. A thief runs through a cornfield, relieved that no one saw him commit the crimeunaware of the tiny grains of pollen stuck to his shirt. Plants and insects hold clues to guilt or innocence. Evidence from nature is all around us, silently and swiftly leaving fingerprints, unnoticed by even the most cunning of criminals.
Welcome to the exciting world of forensic investigationthe science of solving crimes. This introduces the field of forensic anthropology, where scientists and criminal investigators use the human skeleton to solve some of the worlds most mysterious and violent crimes. From the nineteenthcentury murderer who boiled his wife in a vat of acid, to the modernday pig farmer accused of murdering more than sixty women, forensic anthropology shows how even the tiniest fragments of bones can reveal the identities of victims as well as killers. From mass-transit accidents to war to genocide and terrorist attacks, this science also pieces together the most scattered and seemingly unidentifiable remains. Using recent finds such as bags of bones in the woods, or the five-thousand-year-old skeleton of a victim of foul play, forensic detectives use the smallest clues, revealing a massive crime-recording device: the human body. See how the dead do tell tales to those who know how to listen!
Why are programs such as CSI, Law & Order, and Cold Case so popular? Our culture is fascinated with crime, and these television shows reveal investigators’ procedures and secrets. With so many forensic-based television programs, it might seem that North America’s morbid curiosity is a new phenomenon. The truth is, however, that humanity has always been fascinated by that which also frightens them. What’s more, humans are attracted to puzzles, and forensic science offers opportunities to solve mysteries, while at the same time catching the bad guys. Modern media has only magnified the tendencies of previous generations. This book takes a look at the ways this fascination with crime shapes modern news media, television programming, movies, and the Internet. It also provides information on the real-life opportunities for forensic careers. Forensic Science is more than just a cultural obsession: it is a fast-growing professional field. Forensics in American culture will reveal this field’s intriguing mixture of science, mystery, excitement, and justice.