science
Fingerprint Analysis Could Finally Get Scientific, Thanks to a New Tool

There wasn’t anything particularly unusual about the court-martial at the Fort Huachuca military base in Arizona at the end of February. But when the analyst from the US Department of Defense (DoD) forensic laboratory presented a report on fingerprint evidence, it included an element that had never been used with fingerprint evidence in a courtroom in the United States before: a number. Read More >>

whatsapp
Police in Wales Caught a Drug Dealer by IDing His Fingerprint from a WhatsApp Photo

Police in Wales managed to arrest and convict a drug dealer by identifying his fingerprint from a photo posted on WhatsApp, a technique that the local law enforcement is calling “groundbreaking,” according to the BBC. Read More >>

science
Forensic Scientist Claims to Have Solved the Amelia Earhart Mystery

Pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, and we’ve been wondering about her fate ever since. A re-examination of a forensic analysis performed in 1941 shows that bones found on a remote south Pacific island belonged to Earhart—a conclusion reached with a splashy 99 percent number attached to it. Sceptics, on the other hand, say the new analysis proves nothing. Read More >>

history
Jack the Ripper Letters Were Fake News, Linguistic Analysis Suggests

Following the brutal Whitechapel murders of 1888, London police and media outlets were deluged with letters claiming to have been written by Jack the Ripper. While discerning the authorship of these messages, a researcher from the University of Manchester has concluded that two of the earliest letters were written by the same person—a discovery which suggests unscrupulous journalists kickstarted the trend. Read More >>

science
A Deer Was Caught Gnawing on Human Remains and the End Is Nigh

Deer are generally considered one of the more benign creatures of the forest, going about their herbivorous ways in peace. But as new research shows, there’s a dark side to these ungulates. Using camera traps, forensic scientists have captured unprecedented photos of deer munching on the skeletal remains of a human carcass. Read More >>

history
The First Time We Used Cosmetics To Catch a Murderer

In 1912 forensics was still in its infancy when a pretty girl was found dead in her parent’s parlour. Her boyfriend was the immediate suspect, but he had an alibi that couldn’t be broken. Here’s how make-up, and the people who analyse it, broke it. Read More >>

science
Murder Most Foul: How to Sniff Out Bodies in Shallow Graves

Why bother with fiction when you can be horrified by everyday life? We’ve found a paper about how to locate bodies in “clandestine graves” by analysing the gas emissions they give off. Read More >>

science
The Problem With Those DNA-Based Mugshots

A little less than a year ago, researchers announced a new technique that used DNA analysis to recreate the image of a person's face. It was a stunning idea—but a new a New York Times report reveals that there's more than one big problem with the scifi promise of DNA-based mugshots. Read More >>