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 header

Upcoming Michigan Body Farm Will Study How Human Remains Decompose in Cold Weather (Forensic Magazine – 5/5/2017)

  • Northern Michigan University has been prepping a new program in forensic anthropology – analyzing a body or remains to determine how a person died, the timing, and clues to the person’s identity.


Forensic DNA Testing: Why Are There Still Bumps in the Road? (Technology Networks – 5/5/2017)

  • As part of the DNA lecture series at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Robin W. Cotton reports on the current state of forensic DNA testing and explains why there are still bumps in the road.


Almost 400 People Linked to Crimes – Including Murders, Sexual Assaults – Since the New DNA Database Went Live (Independent – 5/6/2017)

  • More than 385 people have been linked to specific crimes – including two murders and five sexual assaults – since the new DNA database became operational, according to figures seen by the Irish Independent.


Expanded DNA Testing Leads to Charges in 1990s Slayings (ABC News – 5/6/2017)

  • As lab technicians analyzed a DNA sample from a New York man following a small-time criminal conviction, they discovered the sort of tantalizing clue officials hoped for when New York became the first state to begin collecting DNA from every person convicted of any crime.


Some 7,000 Bodies Buried at Former Mississippi Asylum Site Could Be Forensic Trove (Forensic Magazine – 5/8/2017)


DNA From Exhumed Body of Priest Could Solve Cold-Case Murder of Nun, Baltimore Police Say (KTLA – 5/9/2017)

  • The exhumation of a Catholic priest’s body by Baltimore County Police could hold the key to solving the 47-year-old cold case of a murdered nun.


DOJ Asks for Suggestions to Improve Forensic Science (Forensic Magazine – 5/10/2017)

  • Last month, the much-heralded National Commission on Forensic Science was disbanded by the then-new Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The NCFS was the agency that was setting the policy of reevaluating forensic science during the Obama administration.

    But at the same time, the Department of Justice said it would take stock of the state of forensic science in the Trump administration, but do most of its work in-house.

    The DOJ has asked for public comment on how to do this. So far, 16 people have commented. One month remains for the public to make its concerns heard.


California Police Say They Cracked Cold Case Murder With DNA (U.S. News – 5/10/2017)

  • Northern California police say they solved the puzzling rape and murder of an 82-year-old woman through DNA evidence.


State’s Forensic Scientists Get Modern Lab After 40-Year Wait (The Irish Times – 5/10/2017)

  • In 1979 Ireland’s forensic science lab advertised for a new director. A candidate was found but quickly backed out, telling his employers he couldn’t run an effective forensic lab in a cramped converted office block at the back of Garda HQ.


Advanced DNA Science Cracks Rape Case (The Athens News – 5/10/2017)

  • The use of advanced DNA collection technology and an alleged rape in Lancaster in March led to the arrest of an Athens County man Monday, who is accused of committing three sexual assaults, including two rapes, in uptown Athens over the course of 10 years.


Mystery Solved! 19th-Century Girl in Casket Found Under San Francisco House Identified (The Mercury News – 5/12/2017)

  • The mysterious little girl holding a single flower, found buried in a casket underneath a San Francisco home — captivating the Bay Area’s curiosity — has been identified.