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Forensic Science

December 9, 2008 | Sarah Weinman, Weinman writes the Dark Passages column at
Patricia Cornwell's name comes with more than a whiff of myth and expectation. Almost every woman writing thrillers with extreme violence gets compared to Cornwell's bestselling work featuring forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta. Interviews focus less on the books and more on Cornwell's Armani suits, personal security concerns or her obsession with solving the Jack the Ripper murders.
October 8, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
It's elementary--or is it? Sherlock Holmes and his investigative powers are the subject of an interactive exhibition opening Thursday at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Visitors will learn about Holmes and his methods, the world that inspired Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the history of forensic science. Expect footprints and splatter patterns too.  Museum-goers also will have a chance to develop their detective powers by using a book of clues instead of the museum map while trying to crack a Sherlock Holmes mystery written especially for the show by Conan Doyle biographer Daniel Stashower.
A few years ago, when deoxyribonucleic acid was the latest and hottest tongue-twister to hit the forensic community, Keith Inman recalls that there might have been a single session on the topic at the annual forensics convention.
May 16, 2004 | Wayne Parry, Associated Press Writer
Near the tennis courts at Centenary College, a student is itching to set something on fire, and only too happy to oblige when asked to toss a lighted match into a plastic garbage can filled with newspaper. A thin wisp of smoke appears after a few seconds and flames curl lazily upward. Another trash pail, this one filled with paper doused in gasoline, is set ablaze.
January 26, 1989 | STEVEN R. CHURM, Times Staff Writer
Bone fragments found near the desert campsite where Laura Bradbury was last seen more than four years ago apparently are the remains of the missing Huntington Beach child, authorities said for the first time Wednesday. Acknowledging that a sophisticated DNA analysis, known as "genetic fingerprinting," had been performed on the skull fragments, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said that the genetic composition of the fragments was "consistent with Laura Bradbury."
November 13, 1997 | From Times Wire Services
DNA evidence, used for years to bolster criminal cases, now is technologically advanced enough to specifically identify murderers, rapists and other criminals, the FBI said Wednesday. The improvement in technology has spawned a change in FBI policy that has already helped convict a Wisconsin rapist, even though he had four alibi witnesses that distanced him from the crime, FBI officials said at a news conference.
March 25, 1994 | KAY HWANGBO
Magnum the dog has a nose for narcotics. The golden retriever--a seven-year veteran of the Port of Los Angeles police department--showed how keen his olfactory senses were at a demonstration put on by detectives at James Monroe High School in North Hills. After containers of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine were hidden in a music classroom, Detective Leo Stekkinger led Magnum on a search of the room.
February 16, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK
Orange County's new genetic testing laboratory, with its computers, radioactive incubators, freezers and cameras, was officially opened Thursday with authorities saying it will be ready for its first case in two weeks.
February 15, 2014 | By Kari Howard
When I was editing the Valentine's Day Great Read (which showed you there's no expiration date on love), one song was a true soundtrack: I played it on repeat for the entire time I was editing it. That song, the spanking-new “Always Forgetting With You,”   was a Valentine from the band Spiritualized to its fans. With lyrics like “If you want a shooting star/I would be a shooting star for you,” it had my heart doing flips and really got me in the mood to see the band Friday night.
Dead men can too tell tales. At least, James E. Starrs, a George Washington University professor who specializes in forensic science, insists they can. And to prove it, he plans to exhume the body of Carl Weiss, suspected of murdering Louisiana Gov. Huey Long in 1935. Starrs points out that controversy has long surrounded the deaths of Long and his alleged assassin, since Weiss apparently had no motive for the murder.
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