December 9, 2008 |
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.
May 16, 2004 |
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.
October 18, 1997 |
Despite promising to seek an experienced crime lab scientist, the FBI has hired the former head of a government nuclear weapons laboratory with no background in forensic science to direct its troubled laboratory. The new director is Donald M. Kerr Jr., 58, a physicist-engineer who headed the government's Los Alamos National Laboratory, where nuclear weapons research is conducted, from 1979 to 1985.
May 28, 2006 |
The FBI is no longer analyzing gunshot residue in its investigations, a blow to the once-highly regarded evidence used to suggest that a suspected criminal had fired a weapon. Lawyers, scientists and law enforcement officials across the country said that they were astonished by the decision and that it could sound the death knell for the evidence. It also could become a weapon for defense lawyers in pending cases and in efforts to overturn convictions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 1991 |
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.
January 26, 1989 |
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 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 1994 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 1990 |
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.
July 19, 1991 |
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.