April 7, 2008 |
Vidal Herrera has heard every joke about death. But death has been a godsend to Herrera, who runs three growing businesses out of a gray, two-story building along a dreary El Sereno strip of auto body shops and small warehouses. After a back injury ended his career as a deputy field investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner's office, Herrera started 1800Autopsy.com, performing private autopsies, DNA tests and other forensic services. So successful, he turns away business at times.
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.
August 23, 2008 |
How do you tell the age of a Chinese gymnast? Don't bother with those government-issued passports or birth certificates. Go for the X-rays. For all the global hand-wringing over how international gymnastics officials will ever figure out whether three members of the Chinese women's team were old enough to compete, doctors and forensics experts said it's actually not too difficult. The science of determining age is has been honed by decades of treating patients with growth disorders, identifying youthful homicide victims and determining the deportation status of illegal immigrants.
January 12, 1994 |
Jeanne Boylan, free-lance forensic artist, never travels in a straight line. Like a child's connect-the-dots puzzle, her life zigs and zags--from trauma to trauma, crime to crime: * New Year's Eve in a roach-filled motel on Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, called in after the slaying of Police Officer Martin Ganz. * Dec. 28 in the San Fernando Valley, on case of the serial child molester, still at large. * Dec. 23 in Antioch, Calif.
January 13, 1998 |
The National Park Service on Monday rejected a forensic scientist's request to exhume the body of 19th century explorer Meriwether Lewis. Scientist James Starrs had sought to prove that Lewis was murdered and did not commit suicide in 1809. Jerry Belson, director of the National Park Service's southeast region, said in a letter to Starrs that the exhumation would be inconsistent with policies barring the disturbance of burial sites in national parklands unless threatened with destruction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 1989
Every article pertaining to the Randy Kraft case states that it will be the most expensive case in California history. The British have established DNA "genetic fingerprinting" as a workable and expedient means of establishing the facts in at least one case where the same type of evidence--that is, a direct physical connection to the victims in question--was needed. Using this method of detection, it was conclusively proved who the rapist--murderer was in two cases in England. Can someone tell me why we have not yet accepted this method in our forensic science?
October 8, 2013 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2004 |
Maybe it's farsightedness -- the ability of Richard Smith to read freeway signs before anyone else in the car. Or maybe it's his high tolerance for boredom. No one, least of all Smith himself, is sure how he does it -- how this once ordinary Los Angeles Police Department patrol officer sees what others miss, and how he came to be, as one supervisor put it, "a one-man weapon against crime." But whatever the basis of his gift, the LAPD is cashing in.
February 15, 2014 |
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.
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.