The New Detectives
2021 11 27 4 00
Faces of Tragedy
Forensic sculpting: Forensic sculptors retrieve people from oblivion. Using clay and an intricate knowledge of anatomy, forensic arts place a face on an unidentified skull, recreating the victim's likeness, which often leads to his name.
2021 11 27 5 00
Without a Trace
Missing person: Approximately 1.8 million americans are reported missing each year. Worldwide, the number of missing persons nearly triples. In addition to pictures on milk cartons, store windows, and in mass mailings, authorities use nationwide computer databases to help locate missing persons or match them with unidentified bodies. Even so, many of the missing are never seen again.
2021 11 27 6 00
Identifying burned remains: It's difficult to have a murder investigation without a body, and burning up the victim is a time-honored method of destroying physical evidence. But what happens when the charred remains are found, unrecognizable, seemingly impossible to identify? Dr. John verano and dr. Doug owsley of the smithsonian have faced these challenges, identifying the burned remains of two american journalists found in guatemala seven years after their reported disappearance. It seems as though fire can unveil lies, as well as conceal truths.
2021 11 27 7 00
Explosives investigations: The crime lab is the place where science meets murder. In new york state, eleanor fowler opened a small package, which as mailed to her home. When she lifted the lid the box exploded killing her instantly. Within minutes, five other bombs exploded proving to be as fatal as the first. The investigation into this serial bombing case became one of the most massive investigations in history.
2021 11 27 8 00
Fingerprinting: The identification division of the fbi relies on fingerprints as one of the most effective ways to identify criminals. Fingerprints, along with palmprints and footprints are an indisputable, time-tested method to establish someone's id beyond a shadow of a doubt. Computerization has all but eliminated the old inkpad, and print identification that used to take months now takes minutes.
2021 11 28 4 00
Signed in Blood
Handwriting analysis: We’ve all heard that our handwriting tells more about our personalities than we think. Are we risk-takers, have low-esteem, fun loving, or are we capable of murder? While our handwriting may not reveal the nuances of our personalities, the dotting of the "i's and crossing of the "t"s is an important business in criminal investigation. Apparent suicide notes, letters from suspected offenders and signatures are scrutinized down to the last dot. Handwriting comparisons can tell if the victim really did sign that new life insurance policy, or if the person who had everything to live for actually wrote the eloquent suicide note.
2021 11 28 5 00
Witness to Terror
Black boxes: Little evidence is left after an airplane takes a deadly plunge from the sky. Investigators' best hope for an answer comes from the flight data recorder known as a "black box." Virtually indestructible, the black box could be the only witness to the final horrifying moments of a doomed flight.
2021 11 28 6 00
Trail of the Century
Forensics in the o.J. Simpson murder trial: Millions watched on television as the jury rendered their verdict. Orenthal james simpson was found not guilty of murder. The jury heard hundreds of hours of testimony and every twist and turn of the trial was played out in the media, but what was the evidence? Forensic scientists reconstructed the events that took place on the night nicole brown simpson was murdered. But was their report accurate, and could the evidence be trusted? We'll examine what forensics could and could not tell us about the trial of the century.
2021 11 28 7 00
Ballistics: A corpse is found with a gunshot wound to the head; the weapon lies next to the victim. It looks like suicide, but could it be murder? It's a question best solved by ballistics experts. Gunshot residues, the pathway of the bullet into the body, shells and the guns themselves all hold important clues. The ability to determine whether an individual has actually fired a gun is vitally important in homicide and suicide investigations.
2021 11 28 8 00
Forensic psychologists delve into the minds of serial killers, explaining why, most often, they can be a friendly neighbor or the tenacious co-worker - the one who hides his or her dark side better than anyone else. Detectives show us what forensic techniques, the vicap system and clever investigating have done to bring these killers to justice.