This Week in Forensic Science

No one has hours to scour the papers to keep up with the latest news, so we’ve curated the top news stories in the field of Forensic Science for this week. Here’s what you need to know to get out the door!


This Week in Forensic Science


OCDA Rapid DNA Program Catches Serial Thief with Blood Left at Garden Grove Crime Scene (Orange County Breeze – 12/30/2017)

  • The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) Rapid DNA program stopped a serial thief after blood found at a crime scene connected the defendant to his profile in the Local DNA Database.


Indiana Law for Felony Arrest DNA Collection Taking Effect (The Seattle Times – 1/1/2017)

  • The law taking effect Monday requires that police collect a DNA cheek swap, along with fingerprints and photographs during the booking process. That will enable law enforcement to check a database for matches with DNA evidence gathered in other crimes.


Wanted: DNA from Veterans Who Served in South Korea ( – 1/1/2017)

  • 325 Kamra, a U.S. nonprofit is building a DNA database to help South Korean adoptees find their birth parents, including U.S. military veterans.


Rape Kits in America: Devil’s in the Forensic Details in Ohio Study (Forensic Magazine – 1/2/2017)

  • But a new study of what works best forensically has been compiled by a group of scientists at the Ohio Attorney General’s office, in concert with statisticians from Bowling Green State University.


Formerly Disgraced DC Crime Lab Eliminates Rape Kit Backlog (WTOP – 1/2/2017)

  • Three years after D.C.’s DNA lab lost its accreditation, the city is touting a total turnaround. The Department of Forensic Science is back up to speed and unlike other cities its size, D.C. has no rape kit backlog, officials say.


How the Next Generation of Forensic Scientists are Being Trained in Preston (Lancashire Post – 12/20/2017)

  • Hidden away inside a shabby row of terraced houses in Preston are the scenes of multiple brutal crimes. But these crimes scenes are not all they appear, and the staged scenes are in fact used to teach students from across the world cutting-edge forensic science techniques.


Rape Kits in America: Battling the Backlog-on-Backlog in SAKI (Forensic Magazine – 1/3/2017)

  • SAKI, begun in 2015, endeavors to place structure and requirements on the federal funding to eliminate the untested “backlog” of rape kits.


In the DNA of an Ancient Infant, Scientists Find Traces of the Very First Americans (Los Angeles Times – 1/3/2017)

  • Although she was just an infant when she died, her diminutive remains are helping researchers understand how ancient people first entered and then moved around the Americas.



Rape Kits in America: From Swabs to Serial Killers in ViCAP (Forensic Magazine – 1/4/2017)

  •  A new partnership between ViCAP and the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) proposes to bring together a new vantage point for seeking out serial rapists—and serial killers.