Archive for the ‘News’ Category

I met Wayne Barnes

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

A few years ago, I was working in England as a forensic science consultant.  I drove to Kingston-Upon-Thomas Magistrates’ Court one rainy, grim morning, fighting my way round the North Circular for several hours, not expecting my day to be any more exciting than any other day at court. The case involved a Failure to (read more)

Murder: head in David Attenborough’s garden…

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

This is about a 100+ year old murder mystery of a well-to-do woman who was murdered by her maid.  The head was never found. It has just turned up in the garden of Sir David Attenborough, which is an interesting twist to the tale in itself. Some of the facts of the case include the (read more)

Child abuse cases – the role of the expert

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Given the current inquest into the deaths of the Kahui twins and the storm about the book to be published by Ian Wishart and the twins’ mother, Macsyna King, this may be of interest – it is a link to a Frontline programme (about half an hour) that seems to have been shown in the (read more)

Incendiary – “junk science” in fire investigation

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

The case of Cameron Todd Willingham has had a huge impact on the state of Texas. It should also be yet another case that justice systems around the world take a good, hard look at to make sure that such issues do not occur in their jurisdictions. Cameron Todd Willingham was accused of setting a (read more)

Sleep drink-driving

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Just a link to a case where a doctor has been found guilty of sleep drink-driving. It’s the sort of question that arises from time to time and may be of interest to those in jurisdictions where there is a conclusive presumption regarding any breath/blood alcohol result such as New Zealand (which means that the (read more)

Perverting the course of justice – Facebook misuse

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

A juror on a drugs trial in Manchester, England, last year now faces jail time after she allagedly contacted and had a Facebook conversation with a Defendant. The full article is here so I don’t intend to repeat it in full. Just in brief though, the juror is alleged to have contacted the Defendant and (read more)

Fingerprints & nanotechnology

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Fingerprints and forensic science go back a long way – they are probably the most traditional forensic science tool that people will mention if you ask them about solving crimes.  Having said that, there have been some monumental stuff-ups when it comes to fingerprint ID; the Madrid bomb suspect misidentification springs to mind when a (read more)

Scientific Process Rage (yep, we can all relate to this…)

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

This is a neat flowchart of how scientific research takes place, from Electron Cafe‘s scientific process rage blog post. I have nothing else to add  (apart from thanks to Tasha for sending me the link).  

Radio NZ interview – life as a forensic scientist

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Radio NZ interview, Dr Anna Sandiford with Katherine Ryan discussing the release of Anna’s new book, Expert Witness(HarperCollins NZ, June 2011) Life as an independent forensic science – it’s not all roses but it is interesting! Apologies if this audio is not available outside NZ.

How old am I: a new tool for forensic scientists?

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

It would cut short a good crime novel if forensic investigators had the tools to determine the appearance of an offender from the cellular material contained in blood stains at a crime scene.  However, the forensic science community is developing analytical tests that could distinguish ethnicity, eye colour and, now, age. Some of the most (read more)

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