Just got the new cover for Forensics For Dummies, 2nd Edition.
It will be released from Wiley on 2-29-16
Just got the new cover for Forensics For Dummies, 2nd Edition.
It will be released from Wiley on 2-29-16
There has been a long running debate on whether those labeled as psychopaths, or sociopaths, have an anatomical, or perhaps a chemical, basis for their aberrant behavior. It’s actually a debate that has raged for many years. Back to the days of phrenology, and before. Phrenology was the study of the shape of the skull and its use in predicting behavior and personality. It didn’t, it couldn’t, but it was a belief that had its loyal followers.
Dr. Kent Kiehl has spent years studying the possible connection between brain anatomy and physiology and behavior. As part of his research he performed MRI brain exams on thousands of prisoners. His findings have shown that the amygdala—an area of the brain involved with emotions and decision making—-tends to be smaller in psychopaths.
Also he uncovered evidence to suggest that assessing the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), an area of the brain involved in error processing, might be useful in predicting which inmates might be prone to re-offend after prison release. Those with reduced ACC activity were twice as likely to re-offend when compared with those with high ACC activity.
This, of course, will require further study but it’s an interesting concept and could be useful. It could also lead to the creation of a real “Minority Report.” Remember that movie? A futuristic sci-fi story that dealt with the ability to predict future crime—called predictive policing. The future just might have arrived.
The case depends upon a digital recording, but does it tell the whole truth? Can you know if an image, video or audio recording in discovery is a forgery? Join Jan Burke and me Saturday, June 20th at 10 a.m. PDT as we welcome audio, video, and image enhancement expert Doug Carner to the show where he will explain how to detect and prove file tampering, how to prevent it, and the easy steps to enhance the details that can prove a case.
BIO: Douglas Carner is an audio, video and image enhancement and authentication expert. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, holds several industry certifications, is a diplomat for the American Board of Recorded Evidence, and has processed evidence in thousands of cases worldwide. Mr. Carner’s forensic career has spanned nearly every jurisdiction and case type, including the George Zimmerman video, military deaths, train crashes, arson, murder, rape, 911 calls, excessive use of force, industrial accidents, slip-n-fall, theft, custody cases, and airline disasters. Mr. Carner has been featured in legal and trade publications, and upon radio and television. His work is widely praised by both defense and prosecution for aiding in a quick settlement, and his expert opinions have helped to exonerate the innocent and discredit junk science. As a respected industry educator and innovator, he lectures for the International Association for Identification and American College of Forensic Examiners Institute, and was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on Forensic Research and Technology. Mr. Carner is an active creator and contributor to advanced forensic software used by thousands of analysts and agencies internationally. In his spare time, Mr. Carner donates to innocence projects, the restoration of historical recordings, and heading a 6,000 member audio-video forensic collaboration forum.
Tampered File Lecture: http://www.forensicprotection.com/Lecture_outline.pdf
Detect Tampered Image: http://fotoforensics.com/
Metadata Software: https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo
Hash Value Software: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/hash_my_files.html
Video Enhancement Software: http://videocleaner.com/
Does “Body Recognition” Compare With DNA?
The forensic anatomy researchers at the University of Adelaide think this just might be the case. If so, this technique might be useful in identifying criminals and missing persons from photos and videos where facial features aren’t clearly shown.
Anthropomorphic measurements for identification aren’t new. In fact, they are over 100 years old. One of the pioneers in this endeavor was Alphonse Bertillon who devised a system hat became known as Bertillonage. It was the standard until fingerprints proved more reliable and discriminatory.
From HOWDUNNIT: FORENSICS:
ANTHROPOMETRY AND BERTILLONAGE
Anthropometry (anthrop means “human”; metry means “to measure”) is defined as the study of human body measurements for use in anthropological classification and comparison. Simply put, it is the making of body measurements in order to compare individuals with each other.
Using anthropometry, French police officer Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914) developed the first truly organized system for identifying individuals in 1882.
Believing that the human skeleton did not change in size from about age twenty until death and that each person’s measurements were unique, he created a system of body measurements that became known as bertillonage.
According to Bertillon, the odds of two people having the same bertillonage
measurements were 286 million to one. This belief led Bertillon to state that all people could be distinguished from one another by key measurements, such as height, seated height from head to seat, length and width of the head, right ear length, left little finger length, and width of the cheeks, among others. His greatest triumph came in February 1883, when he measured a thief named Dupont and compared his profile against his files of known criminals. He found that Dupont’s measurements matched a man named Martin. Dupont ultimately confessed that he was indeed Martin.
For many years, this system was accepted by many jurisdictions, but by the dawn of the twentieth century cracks began to appear. The measurements were inexact and subject to variation, depending upon who made them. And because the measurements in two people who were of the same size, weight, and body type varied by fractions of a centimeter, flaws quickly appeared and the system was soon discontinued. Its death knell tolled with the famous Will West case.
FORENSIC CASE FILES: THE WILL WEST CASE
Though landmark in its importance, this case was an odd comical coincidence.
On May 1, 1903, Will West came to Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas. The records
clerk apparently thought that the man looked familiar, but the new inmate denied ever having been in the prison before. As part of his intake examination, anthropometry was performed and officials were surprised to find that Will’s measurements exactly matched those of William West, another inmate at Leavenworth. The two men even looked eerily similar as if they were twins.
They were brought together into the same room, but each stated that they were not brothers. Fingerprints were then used to distinguish between the two Wills after which Leavenworth immediately dumped anthropometry and switched to a fingerprint-based system for identifying prisoners. New York’s Sing Sing prison followed a month later.
But was the similarity between Will and William West just a bizarre coincidence?
Not really. A report in the Journal of Police Science and Administration in 1980 revealed that the two actually were identical twins. They possessed many fingerprint similarities, nearly identical ear configurations (unusual in any circumstance except with identical twins), and each of the men wrote letters to the same brother, same five sisters, and same Uncle George. So, even though the brothers denied it, it seemed that they were related after all.
In 2010 and also in 2012, I posted on Bertillon’s technique:
3-14-15: Crime and Science Radio: Spy vs Spy vs Spy: An Interview with the Queen of Espionage Gayle Lynds This Saturday, 3-14-15 at 10 a.m. PDT, join DP Lyle and Jan Burke in conversation with best-selling author and Queen of Espionage Gayle Lynds and learn about the world of clandestine activity, both real and fictional. BIO: Gayle began her writing career as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, where her investigative reporting made such an impact that it led to changes in state legislation. Later she was an editor with rare Top Secret security clearance at a government think tank, where assorted shadowy figures passed through silently and not only ideas but people seemed to bounce off the walls. She was inspired. Soon she began writing literary short stories, which were published in literary journals, and at the same time in what some considered schizophrenic, she also wrote male pulp novels in the Nick Carter and Mack Bolan series. She is now a New York Times bestselling author of ten spy novels. Library Journal has called her the Reigning Queen of Espionage. Her latest espionage thriller is The Assassins, which you can preorder now. It will be in stores June 30th.
LINKS: Gayle Lynd’s Website: http://www.gaylelynds.com
Gayle Lynd’s Spy Files: http://www.gaylelynds.com/spyfiles.html
CIA Homepage: https://www.cia.gov/index.html
CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service): https://www.sis.gov.uk/index.html
Crime scene documentation is a critical step in criminal investigations. Knowing the spatial relationships between perpetrator, victim, and evidence items such as weapons, shoe prints, blood spatter, etc., as well as the physical layout of the scene, affords investigators a better look at who did what to whom. For many years, crime scene sketches, photos, and videos have proven useful in this regard.
Such techniques are discussed in detail in my book HOWDUNNIT: FORENSICS
But wouldn’t a 3D holograph of the scene offer an even better understanding? Wouldn’t it be useful to “show” jurors how the crime actually went down? Looks like that might now be possible.
The process begins with laser mapping of the scene:
As stated by Jeremy Bailenson of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University in California: ”Imagine you could transport the entire jury, the judge, the litigators – everybody – back to the crime scene during the crime.”
Yeah. Imagine that.
Here is an amazing and convoluted story that involves good police work and clever DNA testing, including the use of old and very small samples and familial DNA techniques (instrumental in identifying the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper). More proof that criminals can run but they can’t hide. Not for long anyway.