Most people probably already know the common depictions of forensics are outrageously incorrect. Forensic experts work tirelessly to bring criminals to justice by examining crime scenes and victims of horrific crimes and searching for “That Damning Evidence”. Here are some interesting facts about forensics.
1. The Power of Luminol
Many TV shows most times are known to rely on futuristic advanced technologies in order to solve complex crimes to the annoyance of real-life crime investigators. However, “Luminol” is a substance that is precisely as ahead of its time as it is depicted.
The powder Luminol is prepared using nitrogen, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen; it glows a bright blue color when it comes in contact with the hemoglobin in blood. This substance can detect the minutest amount of blood, even if the spot has been washed thoroughly or even after many years! But, the glow will last for just 30 seconds and can be captured using long-exposure photography.
2. Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified
Song Ci, a Chinese Judge, was the first person to write the world’s first recognized book on forensics in the 13th century. The title of the book was called Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified (also known as The Washing Away of Wrongs). In the book, Song Ci laid down strict guidelines to ensure that public officials wouldn’t get corrupted.
The book explained just how to make a distinction between the victim of strangulation and the victim of drowning, and it also contains the very first (known) application of forensic entomology, or scientific study of insects. In one particular case, one villager’s body was discovered hacked to death. The first thing Song Ci did was to use different implements to slash at the remains of an animal and compared the cuts to the wounds on the villager’s corpse – he later determined that the slashes were caused by a sickle. Next, he asked all the villagers to bring out their sickles and lay the implements down right in the town square. Because it was midsummer, flies began to gather, and swarmed nearly on one sickle in particular. From this, Song Ci immediately knew that this was the weapon used in the murder of the dead villager, and the owner of the sickle immediately confessed to his crime.
3. The Perfect Trace Evidence is Glitter!
Believe it or not, glitter is known among forensic experts as the perfect trace evidence, because it can easily transfer from one person another and it is not quickly or easily dislodged. Most perpetrators of do not even notice this evidence and would not take proper care to remove it unlike the way they would wash up after being stained with a victim’s blood. Investigators can find glitter just by shinning torchlight at the area. It should not degrade, or it would not be admissible by the time forensic experts find it. It is best if only a very small quality need to be present to identify it with conviction. The glitter must have very specific, individualized characteristics. Thankfully, these are all the characteristics of glitter.
4. Edmond Locard – The Pioneer in Forensics
The move from crime investigations that were based chiefly on witness accounts to investigations based solely on thorough scientific consideration to physical evidence was made by Edmond Locard, with help from Alphonse Bertillon – both Frenchmen. Locard was highly influenced by Sherlock Holmes; he worked as medical examiner during WWI, finding out the location and cause of the death of soldiers by simply taking a look at the damage and stains to the soldiers’ uniforms. He set up the world’s very first forensic laboratory in 1910.
5. Ecological “Eco” Forensics
Crimes against the environment are solved using eco-forensics. For example, if plants in a localized area are dying or are beginning to develop mutations, forensic investigations could discover why. Though, there could be some kind of natural cause as to why the plants are dying or changing, but the cause may also be due to illegal pollution or dumping of toxic industrial waste.