The New Detectives
2022 07 06 5 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.
2022 07 07 5 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.
2022 07 08 5 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.
2022 07 09 5 00
Bodies of Evidence
It is difficult to convict a murderer if the body can't be found. But forensic science is finding ways to do it. Devious killers can think up many was to dispose of their victim's remains, but they are often no matches for creative and devoted investigators. A speck of blood, a piece of a fingernail or a strand of hair may now be enough evidence to prove a murder and capture a killer.
2022 07 09 6 00
Shreds of Evidence
Hairs and fibers: The tiniest filament can become a mark of distinction in the most singular and intimate of ways. Investigators have come to rely on forensic evidence as fine as a carpet fiber or as innocent as an eyelash to crack difficult cases.
2022 07 09 7 00
Seeds of Destruction
Forensic botany & geology: Plants help provide oxygen and nutrients for existence. Soil is the fertilizer of life. Yet both can yield clues to the time and location of a person's death. In criminal investigations, a simple seedpod can provide the missing link by placing a suspect at a crime scene. Dirt left on shoes, tires or clothes can pinpoint a crime scene.
2022 07 09 8 00
Toxicology: While drugs can cure disease and ease pain, they can also be agents of murder. Toxicologists can examine blood and tissue to uncover cases where death is not as natural as it may seem--from slow arsenic poisoning to quick cocaine overdoses.
2022 07 10 4 00
Tools of Death
Tool marking: A tool used to commit a crime can often be the same tool used to solve it. The pattern a machine leaves on an item, the unusual way a tool crimps a wire, and even something as innocuous as the shape of a wood chip can lead to a killer.
2022 07 10 5 00
Out of the Grave
New forensic techniques used to solve old cases: Advancement in science and technology are encouraging people to revisit the past in hopes of answering questions that have remained unanswered, and solving crimes that seemed unsolvable. Techniques from the 20th century are applied to cases from as far back as ancient times.
2022 07 11 4 00
High tech forensics: Investigators are always on the cutting edge of new forensic techniques that can help them solve cases more accurately. An experimental "brain fingerprinting" technique has already won the acquittal of a police officer accused of a drug charge. Solving crimes by computer and robotic police offers provide investigators allow crime-solving to take on a new-age dimension, and provide safer and more efficient ways to capture an embezzler, a drug-dealer or a killer.