Kristin Smart Murder Trial Confirms Human Blood in Soil From Flore’s Home

Kristin Smart, a 19 year old girl and a student of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), who went missing on 25 May 1996 was declared legally dead on 25 May 2002. She is presumed to have been abducted, raped and murdered at the end of her freshmen year at Cal Poly. Paul Flores, who was also a student of Cal Poly had been the prime suspect for the murder of Smart because according to witnesses, Smart was last seen with him. But since Smart’s body has never been found and due to lack of evidence he never got arrested. The case was reopened in 2019 after a witness named Jennifer Hudson gave a statement that she heard Flores bragging about killing Smart and burying her under his skate ramp back in the summer of 1996, months after Smart disappeared. Jennifer Hudson was one of Flores’ skating […]

Will ‘Tylenol Murders’ Case of 1982 Ever Be Solved?

It was in Chicago in the year 1982, where seven people between the ages of 12 and 35 years old died after ingesting extra-strength ‘Tylenol’ capsules that were found to have been laced with cyanide, a deadly chemical. At that time ‘Tylenol’ was a bestseller painkiller in the United States. Still after 40 years of incident, no one has been charged with the murders. The investigators say new evidence and a potential motive may be enough to finally solve the case. The police officers in Arlington Heights outside of Chicago said that they still have the evidence- pills, bottles, boxes and more which are waiting for a break in the case, saying it was still an active homicide. The panic stemming from the Tylenol murders resulted in a permanent change in the packaging of medicine. Tamper-resistant pill containers were introduced with packaging that allows consumers to notice if a bottle […]

New Genealogy Strategy to Speed Up Cold Case Investigations By Upto 10 Times

Stanford University professors Lawrence Wein and Mine Su Ertürk are the two scientists who had applied their mathematical expertise to improve forensic processes such as fingerprint, sexual assault kits and ballistics analysis has identified their next area of interest that is ‘forensic genetic genealogy’. The duo is aiming  at maximizing the probability of finding a descendant solution in the shortest time possible. In fact, in simulated runs using data from the DNA Doe Project (DDP), the team solved cases 10 times faster than the current average. In a typical genetic genealogy investigation, the DNA sample is first taken from the unidentified remains or the samples from the suspect left at the scene of crime. The DNA profile is uploaded into a DNA database that generates a list of “matches” which is where the puzzle starts for genealogists. It is a puzzle because the matches could be in hundreds or thousands, […]

Fang Lu Arrested After 8 Years of Killing Boss’s Family

The incident happened in Houston, United States, where a whole family was wiped off in their own home. The bodies of Maoye Sun (50), MeiXie Sun (49), Timothy Sun (9), and Titus Sun (7), were found in separate bedrooms with bullet holes in their heads, on 30th January 2014. The investigators worked on the case and came to know about an accused named Fang Lu, who was a junior worker of Maoye. The police suspected Fang Lu because he was mad that Maoye, his superior at work, did not recommend him for a promotion.  But before the police could get strong evidence to arrest Fang, he flew back to his home town in China. After 8 years of the incident Fang came back to the United States and was arrested on 11th September by the police after a few moments he reached the San Francisco airport.  The arrest was possible […]

Adnan Syed Vacated From Murder Conviction After 20 Years

A Maryland judge on Monday vacated the 1999 murder conviction of Adnan Syed after prosecutors said there were grave problems with his trial, including two other possible suspects in the killing of his ex-girlfriend who were never disclosed to the defense. Adnan Syed was 19 when he was sentenced to life in prison for the death of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, whose body was found buried in the woods in 1999.  Adnan and Lee were seniors at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County in January 1999 when she disappeared. Her strangled body was discovered in a city forest three weeks later. The case gained national attention when the podcast “Serial” raised doubts about his guilt. More than a decade after Syed was sent to prison, Rabia Chaudry, a Baltimore-based lawyer and family friend of the Syed’s, emailed a journalist named Sarah Koenig and asked her to re-investigate Lee’s murder. […]

Methamphetamine: A New Research Gives Potential to its Accurate Detection

Methamphetamine is a psychoactive drug that has stimulating effects on the central nervous system. It is used as a recreational drug and sometimes as a second-line treatment for obesity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is taken through injections or by smoking. However, it is classified as a class A drug in the United Kingdom and its recreational use is criminalized in many countries throughout the world, including India. Although it is an illegal drug, people still deal with it. But one barrier for law enforcement in tackling methamphetamine is a difficulty in detecting low concentrations of methamphetamine residues on surfaces, stymieing any forensic investigation. Recently a research conducted with The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), New Zealand, that analyses the retention of methamphetamine residues on different surfaces. The study was done in New Zealand, where methamphetamine is an illegal drug. The study notes that many concerns […]

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

AFIS is a biometric identification system which uses the digital imaging technology to obtain, store and process the fingerprint data. AFIS has the ability to classify, match and store fingerprints and palm prints from both criminal and applicant records. Development of AFIS has brought the revolution in the field of forensic fingerprint examination. It has helped not only in accurate analysis as well as time effective analysis. The very first AFIS was created in 1974 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Earlier this system only contained the minutiae or important features of fingerprints because it was expensive to store the whole fingerprint image. The processing of 1,00,000 prints took 30 minutes and now it’s even faster just in the blink of eyes. FBI uses the terms AFIS and IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) interchangeably because of the longevity of FBI’s IAFIS. Now the identification systems support palm prints, […]

Idaho Police Celebrates National Forensic Week From 18th to 24th September

The Idaho State Police (ISP) are celebrating the National Forensic Week from 18th to 24th September. The week is being celebrated in recognition of the vital role that forensic science plays in the investigation of crimes throughout the nation, from exonerating the innocent to identify the guilty and to recognize the scientific and technical professionals who serve our communities in this vital role. The ISP employees support law enforcement investigations through their analytical work and objective evidence plus they also engage and educate the community and educational organizations by giving demonstrations and lectures. There are three forensic laboratories across Idaho State(USA)- Coeur d’Alene, Meridian and Pocatello. The laboratory system provides services in biology/DNA, chemistry, trace evidence, toxicology, firearms and equipment marks, covert prints, documents and digital evidence. Technicians help with crime scene processing, evidence examination, firearms analysis, covert print processing and comparison, imprint evidence collection and comparison, trace evidence examination […]

Rare Case of Genealogy That Revealed The Identity of Both Victim and The Murderer

A murder case of 1988, which remained unsolved for decades have been cracked now after 34 years by the Georgia law enforcement agency. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, has used the forensic genealogy to solve this murder case. It was in December 1988, when two Department of Transportation workers in North Georgia found a young woman’s body on Interstate 59 in Dade County, about five miles from the Alabama state line. The woman had been strangled and abandoned on a northbound lane. But her identity and that of the killer remained unknown till 34 years. In March 2022, the investigators announced they had identified a body found on a Georgia highway in 1988 as Stacey Lyn Chahorski, a Michigan woman who had been missing for more than three decades. Due to anonymity, she used to be known as Rising Fawn Jane Doe. Further investigations were […]

Kindergarten Student Raped by School Bus Driver in Bhopal

A three-and-a-half-year-old kindergarten student was raped allegedly by her school bus driver inside the vehicle in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on September 8. The driver has been arrested along with the vehicle’s woman attendant who, according to the child’s parents, was present at the time of the crime. The heinous crime committed by Driver Hanumat Jatav surfaced after the girl went to the home in a different dress which raised suspicion by her mother and after which the atrocity with the three and a half year old surfaced. Urmila Sahu, the caretaker of the bus, was aware of the driver’s actions. She used to accompany the driver but never opposed the driver even after seeing what was wrong with the girl. The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Nidhi Saxena said “The kindergarten girl, studying in a leading private school in the city, was returning home in the bus when the incident […]

Top 5 Cases Solved Using Fingerprints in United States

Can fingerprints play a crucial role in solving any criminal case? Well, we can think of this because the technology has been much faster than before and even a single needle can expose the main culprits then why not fingerprints. Although we have got so many new skills and technology in the present time there was a time when these things were just like rocket science. Many cases in the past were so easy to solve but they took time due to the lack of proper knowledge and discoveries. Here, we are going to discuss the top 5 cases solved in the United States with the help of fingerprints either related to the victim or the culprit. Some cases, given here, were so easy to solve but due to the lack of proper knowledge at the time, the procedure took more time. Cases Solved Using Fingerprints 1) Murder Case of […]

Two Minor Dalit Girls Found Hanging on Tree in Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh

On Wednesday, 14 September, the dead bodies of two minor sisters 15 and 17 years old, belonging to the scheduled caste community, were found hanging on a tree in Lalpur Majra Tamoli Purva village under the Nighasan police station of Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar pradesh. The family of the deceased has alleged that the girls were abducted, raped, and then murdered. Locals and relatives of the victims also blocked the Nighasan road by keeping the dead bodies and demanded a thorough probe into the matter. Lucknow range inspector general (IG) of police Laxmi Singh and Lakhimpur Kheri superintendent of police (SP) Sanjiv Suman, reached the protest site to assure villagers that strict action will be taken against the accused. Also an FIR is registered for the case. UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said the police team has reached the spot to establish the sequence of events. He […]

Two Psycho go on Shooting Spree in Begusarai Killing 1 Person, 11 Injured

On 13 September, in a bizarre incident, one person was killed and 11 others were critically injured after two bike-borne criminals on a motorcycle went on a rampage during a shooting spree in Bihar’s Begusarai district on Tuesday evening. The incident has caused panic in the general public. The police have advised the people to stay safe at their homes.  The police are clueless about the attackers, who shot pedestrians coming in their way in different police stations of the district. Begusarai police closed the district borders and launched a manhunt to nab the shooters. The deceased was identified as Chandan Kumar. While two persons were shot at in Mallehpur, three persons shot at near Barauni thermal power station chowk, two in Barauni city, two in Tihra block, and two in Bachhwara block. A thorough probe into the incident has been initiated by the police. CCTV footage of the incident […]

Challenges in Wildlife Crime Investigation

Wildlife forensic is the field responsible for scientifically examining, evaluating and identifying the evidence found at the wildlife crime scene. It is applied usually at the places where the animals are killed for trade, trafficking or personal enjoyment. Forensics plays a crucial role in curtailing the wildlife trade and human-wildlife conflicts. Poaching (killing wild animals that are protected from hunting), is one of the most serious crimes investigated by wildlife forensic scientists. The various branches of forensic science involved in wildlife forensics are: Forensic Serology Forensic Toxicology Forensic DNA Analysis Forensic examination of Impressions (pugmark examination) Forensic Firearm Examination Forensic Documentation Cyber Forensics Forensic Veterinary Pathology All the above mentioned divisions use a variety of techniques for the examination but still there are a lot of challenges that limit the analysis process. Challenges in Wildlife Investigation 1. Wide Area of Habitat Wildlife crimes are usually committed in the restricted areas […]

Gyanvapi Case: What Did the Varanasi Court Say?

On September 12, Monday, the Varanasi district court gave its first verdict in the Gyanvapi dispute. The court dismissed the challenge by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee against the civil suits that sought the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri and other deities within the Gyanvapi mosque premises.  Varanasi District Judge Dr Ajay Krishna Vishvesha said, “I have come to the conclusion that the suit of the plaintiffs is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 (Act no.42 of 1991), The Waqf Act 1995 (Act no.43 of 1995) and the U.P. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 (Act no.29 of 1983) and the application 35C filed by the defendant no. 4 is liable to be dismissed.” The Muslim side argued that allowing the civil suits would alter the character of the mosque as it has existed for over 600 years. However, the suit filed by Rakhi Singh […]