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Category Archives: Police Procedure

Crime and Science Radio: When Disaster Hits: Naming The Dead: An Interview With NTSB’s Paul Sledzik

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How does forensic science help us in the aftermath of disasters such as plane crashes, floods, hurricanes and other events that result in mass fatalities?  We find some answers in this episode, when D.P. Lyle and Jan Burke interview Paul Sledzik.

In this episode, he tells us about historical responses to mass disasters, such as the General Slocum disaster of 1904, which caused the loss of over one thousand lives.  He’ll also talk to us about today’s processes for dealing with mass fatality events, the role of forensic scientists in processing mass fatality incidents, and the work done on these sites by forensic anthropologists and other specialists.

Near the end of the interview, we were also able to talk to him a little bit about his work on historical remains belonging to “New England Vampires.”

Bio: Trained as a forensic anthropologist, Paul Sledzik began his career at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC, as a museum technician. By the time he departed the museum in 2004, he had become a curator with responsibilities over the museum’s unique and historic anatomical and pathological collections. From 1998 to 2004, he served as the team commander for the Region 3 Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In the response to the events of September 11, 2001, he led the DMORT team in the identification of the victims from the crash of United flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Paul joined the National Transportation Safety Board’s Transportation Disaster Assistance Division in 2004 as a medicolegal specialist and in 2010 became the division director. The division coordinates access to information and services to support victim and family members impacted by aviation accidents and accidents in other transportation modes.

He has served as a consultant and advisor to federal and non-governmental agencies on issues of human identification and disaster response. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, his scientific articles have appeared in professional journals and textbooks. He has participated in the response to over 30 mass fatality events and transportation accidents.

LISTEN: Link goes live 4-19-14

LINKS:

National Transportation Safety Board https://www.ntsb.gov

NTSB: Information for Families, Friends, and Survivors https://www.ntsb.gov/tda/family.html

NTSD: Family Assistance Operations: Planning and Policy http://www.ntsb.gov/tda/ops.html

The National Museum of Health and Medicine http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=about.index

Federal Emergency Management Agency http://www.fema.gov

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Emergency/DMORTs: http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/teams/Pages/dmort.aspx

New story on study of preservation of DNA in mass disasters http://phys.org/news/2013-09-team-dna-mass-disasters.html

The General Slocum Disaster, New York, June 15 1904 — over 1000 lives lost

General Slocum Disaster information at New York Public Library http://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/06/13/great-slocum-disaster-june-15-1904

“Sinking of the General Slocum” information at The Mariners Museum http://www.marinersmuseum.org/content/sinking-steamboat-general-slocum

General Slocum Disaster information at New York History.Info  http://www.newyorkhistory.info/Hell-Gate/General-Slocum.html

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, New York, March 25, 1911 — over 140 lives lost

Documentary on YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCB4SgXRgKg 

History Channel site http://www.history.com/news/100-years-ago-the-triangle-shirtwaist-fire

Centennial program on NPR’s “All Things Considered” http://www.npr.org/2011/03/24/134766737/a-somber-centennial-for-the-triangle-factory-fire 

The Eastland Disaster, Chicago, July 24, 1915 — over 800 lives lost, including all members of 22 families

Eastland Disaster Historical Society description of the disaster http://www.eastlanddisaster.org/disaster.htm

Montage of newspaper photographs of the event on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Qxy5yAXb4

Eastland Disaster documentary on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZp0kW3O6Uc

“Brief communication: bioarcheological and biocultural evidence for the New England vampire folk belief.” (American Journal of Physical Anthropology)   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8085617

The Great New England Vampire Panic http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-great-new-england-vampire-panic-36482878/?all

 

 

Crime and Science Radio Tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST: Interview With Forensic Specialist Lisa Black

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Working the Crime Scene: An interview With Forensic Specialist Lisa Black

Join Jan Burke and DP Lyle as they discuss working the crime scene with forensic specialist and crime fiction author Lisa Black, a forensic specialist who is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, and is certified by the American Board of Criminalistics. She has testified in court over 50 times. And, oh yeah, an excellent fiction writer.

LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/02/06/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-lisa-black

 

Lisa photo

 

LINKS:

Lisa Black Website: http://www.lisa-black.com

Crime Scene Investigator Network: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net

How Crime Scene Investigation Works: http://science.howstuffworks.com/csi.htm

The Crime Scene Investigator: http://www.feinc.net/csi.htm

Criminalistics Information from CAC: http://www.cacnews.org/membership/criminalistics.shtml

How Blood Stain Pattern Analysis Works: http://science.howstuffworks.com/bloodstain-pattern-analysis2.htm

Bloodstain Tutorial: http://www.bloodspatter.com/bloodstain-tutorial

A Simplified Guide to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/SimplifiedGuideBloodstainPatterns.pdf

Crime Library: Trace Evidence: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/forensics/trace/1.html

FBI Trace Evidence Lab: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/scientific-analysis/trace

A Simplified Guide to Trace Evidence: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/SimplifiedGuideTraceEvidence.pdf

Forensic Science Central: Trace Evidence: http://forensicsciencecentral.co.uk/traceevidence.shtml

Smithsonian Institue: Catching Killers: Trace Evidence:

http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/sc/web/series/1003122/catching-killers/3375550/trace-evidence

Trace Evidence Powerpoint: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CFcQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fphs.psdr3.org%2Fscience%2Fforensics%2Fforensicppt%2FTraceEvidence.ppt&ei=qGfMUsjMCNjmoASWjoKACQ&usg=AFQjCNEbGhd8x0QLHhl8oCPkIpjW7IbGVA&sig2=MDnlZM7IZBLM1CykZuztIw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU

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Crime and Science Radio: Former FBI Agent George Fong this Saturday 2-15-14.

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Join Jan Burke and DP Lyle as they welcome retired FBI Special Agent George Fong for a lively discussion of exactly what FBI agents do.

GFong

BIO: George Fong spent 27 years with the FBI where he was involved with things such as white-collar crime, foreign counterintelligence, bank robberies, drug trafficking, and violent crimes. He then retired and is currently the Director of Security for ESPN.

LISTEN

LINKS:

George Fong Website: http://www.georgefong.com/george.htm

FBI Website: http://www.fbi.gov

FBI Jobs: https://www.fbijobs.gov/11.asp

Famous FBI Investigations: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases

FBI Famous Cases: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/ten-most-wanted-fugitives-60th-anniversary-1950-2010/famous_cases

The 10 Greatest FBI Agents in History: http://www.howdoibecomea.net/greatest-fbi-agents-in-history/

The FBI Vault https://vault.fbi.gov  The FBI’s “new electronic reading room, containing 6,700 documents and other media that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office.”

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin http://leb.fbi.gov

State, Federal and International Law Enforcement and Corrections Agencies http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/PublicSafety/Law-Enforcement.shtml

Federal Law Enforcement: Organizations Served by Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center http://www.fletc.gov/about-fletc/partner-organizations/

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The FBI Wants You: One-Day Seminar at ThrillerFest.

ITW-B-W 215X120

 

 

Last year, just prior to CraftFest/ThrillerFest, we held a special half-day event with the FBI. It was a huge success, so much so that this year we are offering a full day of interfacing with the FBI at the New York FBI Headquarters. Come and learn directly from the source. But sign up early. Attendance is very limited.

THE DETAILS:

Lock In The Date!

Join us for a Pre-Conference Workshop

Today’s FBI: Crime Essentials For Writers

WHEN:  Monday, July 7, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:  FBI Headquarters
290 Broadway, New York, New York

WHAT:  Hear from FBI experts in Cyber Crime, International Terrorism, Criminal Investigations, and More

COST: $75/per person, which includes lunch, drinks, and snacks

Last year’s half-day course was a huge success, so we are offering a special full-day seminar this year.  Space is limited, so sign up now at www.thrillerfest.com for this informative and interactive discussion with the FBI.  If you are already registered for ThrillerFest or CraftFest, please email Dennis Kennett at registrar@thrillerwriters.org so he can add to your registration.

Whether you are checking facts, or writing and researching your next novel, if you need a better understanding of the FBI, this seminar is for you!

Kimberley Howe. Executive Director, ThrillerFest

DP Lyle, ITW VP for Education; CraftFest Director

IMPORTANT NOTE: An RSVP is mandatory. You will need to provide your full name, birth place, birth date, and your passport number if you are not an American citizen.  Your name must be on the list, so please reserve your spot today!  No Audio or Video recording, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled devices.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Police Procedure, Writing

 

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss . . . Until It’s Evidence

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Touch DNA is the new rage in DNA testing. It’s DNA obtained from fingerprints and from objects that have been touched. This contact deposits oils, debris, and skin cells on the surface touched. Cells that contain DNA. These cells can be collected, amplified through PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), and profiled by STR (Short Tandem Repeat) Analysis.

But what of a kiss? Same thing. Lips pressed to a cheek will also deposit skin cells.

Ask “Pierre G,” the as yet unnamed Parisienne jewel thief who gave his victim a peck on the cheek, apparently to “allay her trauma.” Very kind of him. Unfortunately for him, the police swabbed the woman’s cheek and found usable DNA from the thief. Some acts of “kindness” go unrewarded, I guess.

 

Eyes of the Beholder: An Old Myth Resurfaces, Sort Of.

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A century ago it was widely believed that the image of a killer was forever imprinted in the eyes of the victim. Sort of stamped on their retinas. This has been termed Optography and was a fiction staple in the 1800s and early 1900s. Of course, this isn’t the case. Not possible. Not yet, anyway but who knows what the future will hold.

However, in some situations a photo of the victim just might retain the killer’s image and this might be useful in tracking down the bad guy.

 

Stupid Criminals: Don’t Swallow Your Booty

Joseph Ramos appears to be a three-time loser. Reckless driving, in a stolen car, and, oh yeah, having a stomach full of stolen merchandise. As part of his booking process at the Pinellas, FL jail, he had to pass through a newly-installed, contraband-detection device—-a RAD PRO SecurPass Whole Body X-ray. Deputies noticed “a dark mass near the suspect’s stomach area.” Busted.

 

The necklaces can be seen resting in the stomach. The clear areas above them are gas in the stomach from his swallowing air along with the necklaces.

The necklaces can be seen resting in the stomach. The clear areas above them are gas in the stomach from his swallowing air along with the necklaces.

 

Undetectable 3D Printed Gun

3D Printed Gun

 

 

Airport security uses low level x-rays and metal detection. But will it detect a plastic gun? Like one that can be printed using the 3D printing technology?

 

3D Printer

3D Printer

 

 

Such a gun was predicted many years ago in Frederick Forsyth’s classic The Day of the Jackal. The original 1973 movie version anyway. The Jackal not only had that cool rifle disguised as crutches, but also a double-barreled handgun that was plastic and fired plastic bullets, if I remember correctly. Been a while since I saw the movie.

 

day of jackal

 

Money is the Root: Investigating Financial Crimes – Jan Burke Interviews Andrea Jacobsen of the Alaska State Troopers

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Andrea Jacobsen is an investigator with the Financial Crimes Unit of the Alaska Bureau of Investigations, part of the Alaska State Troopers. Learn how financial crimes and violent crimes are often interlinked, about the damage done through financial crimes, and some of the fraudsters methods. Learn how they are caught, and what you can do to protect yourself from them.

LISTENhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2013/10/30/crime-and-science-radio–andrea-jacobsen

LINKS:

Protect yourself and others from fraud: http://www.saveandinvest.org/FraudCenter/

Department of Justice site with videos on financial crime: http://www.justice.gov/usao/briefing_room/fin/

FinCEN (U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network): http://www.fincen.gov

Financial Crimes and Scams: http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Financial-Crime.shtml

FBI Financial Crimes Stats: https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/financial-crimes-report-2010-2011

FTC Credit Card Fraud Advice: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0216-protecting-against-credit-card-fraud

ABC News Story: Massive Credit Card Fraud Steals $200M: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/massive-credit-card-fraud-steals-200m/story?id=18409543

FBI: Common Fraud Scams: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud

FBI Internet Fraud Scams: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud/internet_fraud

Charity Fraud: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity

FTC Consumer Advice on Charity Scams: http://biztaxlaw.about.com/od/employeelawandtaxes/f/preventembezzle.htm

Interesting Financial Crime Cases:

Washington Post on Embezzlement from non-profits: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/nonprofit-groups-often-seek-restitution-not-prosecution-when-money-goes-missing/2013/11/23/d7b7ba18-51f8-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html

Ephonia Green Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of $5.1 million from Association of American Medical Colleges: http://www.fbi.gov/washingtondc/press-releases/2013/former-employee-pleads-guilty-to-embezzling-more-than-5.1-million-from-non-profit

Former Town Treasurer of Brimfield, Massachusetts arraigned on charges of embezzling over $80,000: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/ex-brimfield_treasurer_arraign.html

Former Seattle ATF supervisor indicted in embezzlement case: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022309022_atfindictment1xml.html

The former president of a Daly City charity pleaded no contest to felony embezzlement for reportedly taking approximately $68,000 and gambling it away betting on horse races: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2013-11-02/ex-charity-head-takes-embezzlement-deal/1776425112671.html

 
 

Crime & Science Radio: David Corbett: Private Investigators: Who Are These Guys?

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Join DP Lyle and former PI and gifted writer and teacher David Corbett for a lively trip through the worlds of private investigation and fictional character development. With the irrepressible Corbett this will be a wild ride.

LISTENhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2013/09/25/crime-and-science-radio–interview-david-corbett

LINKS:

David Corbett: http://www.davidcorbett.com

PIs, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_investigator

Detective Fiction, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detective_fiction

List of Fictional PIs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_private_investigators

Top 10 Fictional Detectives: http://listverse.com/2011/01/18/top-10-fictional-detectives/

How PIs Work: http://money.howstuffworks.com/private-investigator.htm

What A PI Cannot Do: http://www.pinow.com/articles/456/what-a-private-investigator-cannot-do

101 Things a PI Can Do: http://www.diligentiagroup.com/legal-investigation/101-things-a-private-investigator-can-do/

PI tactics in the era of corporate espionage: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/PRIVATE-EYES-Detective-Work-is-Big-Business-in-3304231.php

Anthony Pellicano, “Thug to the Stars” (and Inspiration for Ray Donovan): http://www.latimes.com/news/la-pellicano-sg,0,2662582.storygallery

Palladino & Sutherland: http://www.russianlaw.org/tob-pal-backgr.htm

The PI and Politics: Jack Palladino and Gennifer Flowers: http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/ois/cases/filegate/Exhibits/EXHIBIT-13.pdf

The PI and Politics: The Paula Jones Case: http://www.wnd.com/2007/11/44416/

PI Jack Palladino Explains Who He Is and What He Does: http://www.sfgate.com/magazine/article/WATCHING-THE-DETECTIVE-3491214.php#page-1

Jack Palladino, PI for Bank of New York: http://www.moscowtelegraph.com/mt070302.htm

Roy Radin and The Cotton Club Murders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Radin

Jim Jones and The People’s Temple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_Temple

 
 
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