Posts filtered by tags: Forensics[x]


Behold, the face of a Neolithic dog

A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog. It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended. Scottish historians and artists have created a highly detailed model of the type of dogs raised and revered by a group of Neolithic humans. The model, soon to be on display in Orkney, shows us that, despite 4,000 years of evolution, some things...
Tags: Scotland, Animals, Innovation, Archeology, Forensics, Orkney, Steve Farrar, Orkney Scotland, Cuween Hill, Amy Thornton, Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn, Neolithic Orkney, Diagnostic Imaging Service

Your expressive face tells the story of human evolution — conveying emotion was essential

A panel of eight experts in the evolution of the human face have collaborated on a new summary of how we've changed. Their paper promotes the importance of social interaction as a factor in the structure of our visages. We can visually express more than 20 categories of emotion. Early humans not so much. None Your face is not yours alone — written there are traces of your parents, grandparents, and ancestors. Now a paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution makes an even broader case. You...
Tags: Face, Communication, Innovation, Anthropology, Evolution, University Of Arizona, Archeology, Forensics, Paleontology, Homo, Higgins, University of York, Human body, Paul O Higgins, William Kimbell

This is the reconstructed face of a pet dog that lived 4,500 years ago

Archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of this neolithic dog more than a century ago in a 5,000 year old tomb on on the island of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. Now, forensic scientists and artists have reconstructed the animal's face. According to Historic Environment Scotland researcher Steve Farrar, this dog and 23 others found in the "Cuween Hill (tomb) suggest that dogs had a particularly special significance for the farmers... Maybe dogs were their symbol or totem, perhaps they thought of the...
Tags: Post, Science, News, Dogs, Scotland, Animals, History, Archaeology, Forensics, University of Dundee, Hes, Steve Farrar, Cuween Hill, Mainland Orkney Scotland, Amy Thornton

Which DNA Databases Are the Best and Worst for Privacy?

Your DNA says a lot about you, and it’s likely that either you or a relative is represented in one of the DNA databases that are now being used to track down criminals. But mailing in a vial of spit does not automatically put you in a database that law enforcement can access. Your privacy risk depends which type of…Read more...
Tags: Crime, Privacy, Dna, Data, Genetics, Genome, Lifehacks, Forensics

Crime and punishment roundup

Bloodstain analysis convinced a jury Julie Rea killed her 10-year-old son. It took four years for her to be acquitted on retrial, and another four to be exonerated. Has anything been learned? [Pamela Colloff, ProPublica] Forensics’ alternative-facts problem [Radley Balko] The chemists and the coverup: inside the Massachusetts drug lab scandal [Shawn Musgrave, Reason, earlier here, here, here, etc.] “I would say, you know, as a parting gift, if you’d like to throw in some iPhones every year, w...
Tags: Uncategorized, Canada, Crime And Punishment, Florida, Forensics, Louisiana, Prisoners, Prosecution, Sanctions

A popular genealogy website just helped solve a serial killer cold case in Oregon

On Thursday, detectives in Portland, Ore. announced that a long-cold local murder case finally came to a resolution, 40 years after the fact. In 1979, 20-year-old Anna Marie Hlavka was found dead in the Portland apartment she shared with her fiance and sister. According to police, she was strangled to death and sexually assaulted. Police followed a number of leads and kept tabs on the case for decades without a breakthrough. Last May, detectives with Portland’s Cold Case Homicide Detail dug back...
Tags: TC, Texas, Science, Oregon, Dna, Tech, Fbi, Genetics, Portland, Pacific Northwest, Forensics, Moore, McFadden, Parabon, Gedmatch, CeCe Moore

A shaken baby syndrome researcher reconsiders

British neuropathologist Waney Squier spent many years as an expert witness in court assisting in the prosecution of defendants accused of causing Shaken Baby Syndrome. Then a closer engagement with the evidence caused her to change her mind — and the story that follows, which she tells in this TEDx Wandsworth talk, must be heard to be believed. Sue Luttner has more for the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. More on the story: Jon Robins, The Justice Gap; Theodore Dalrymple, Spectat...
Tags: Law, Uncategorized, Child Abuse, Times, Forensics, Wandsworth, Expert Witnesses, Waney Squier, Justice Gap, Deborah Tuerkheimer, Theodore Dalrymple, Sue Luttner, USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism More, Jon Robins, Marisa Gerber

Long-Range Familial Searching Forensics

Good article on using long-range familial searching -- basically, DNA matching of distant relatives -- as a police forensics tool. [Author: Bruce Schneier]
Tags: Dna, Forensics, Bruce Schneier

Forensics roundup

“It should not be ‘customary’ for police investigators to attend autopsies, hover over a medical examiner as he works, and point out things they believe fit their theory of the crime. It shouldn’t happen at all.” [Radley Balko on Fifth Circuit ruling in Dean v. Phatak] Dubious forensics were central to the federal government’s litigation onslaught seeking to pin blame on forestry company for Moonlight Fire damage in California [Robert Nelson, Law and Liberty, earlier] “Memory experts … wer...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, Uncategorized, Tennessee, Child Abuse, Detroit, San Antonio, Forensics, Fifth Circuit, Liliana Segura, San Antonio Express News, Dean, Radley Balko, Scott Greenfield, Michael Hall Texas Monthly

How Experts Spot Forged Paintings

Insane prices in the art market make art forgery a potentially high-profit business. So how do art buyers tell real undiscovered artworks from fakes? To analyze and identify forgeries, experts must apply their knowledge of art history, plus the science behind the materials and techniques of artists. In the video…Read more...
Tags: Art, Science, Painting, Artists, Lifehacks, Hoaxes, Forensics, Forgery

Map shows homicide hotspots in medieval London

This map shows the 142 murders that were committed in London from 1300 to 1340Each clickable pin reveals the grisly details as recorded in contemporary coroner's reportsThen as now, stabbing was the main method of killing in London – but the murder rate was three times higherIt's January 1322 and William, the son of Henry the Goldsmith at Rowe, is peeing in the public urinal in Cheapside. The man next to him complains that William is spraying on his shoes. William doesn't like the sound of that...
Tags: Maps, London, Crime, History, Innovation, Cardiff, William, University of Cambridge, Lucy, Alice, Forensics, Philip, Agnes, Eisner, Rowe, Leadenhall Market

FBI Takes Down a Massive Advertising Fraud Ring

The FBI announced that it dismantled a large Internet advertising fraud network, and arrested eight people: A 13-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Aleksandr Zhukov, Boris Timokhin, Mikhail Andreev, Denis Avdeev, Dmitry Novikov, Sergey Ovsyannikov, Aleksandr Isaev and Yevgeniy Timchenko with criminal violations for their involvement in perpetrating widespread digital advertising fraud. The charges include wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identit...
Tags: Fraud, Fbi, Brooklyn, United States, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Adware, Forensics, Bruce Schneier, Zhukov, Timchenko, Yevgeniy Timchenko, Ovsyannikov

If you're an American of European descent, your stupid cousins have probably put you in vast commercial genomic databases

Remember when they caught the Golden State Killer by comparing DNA crime-scene evidence to big commercial genomic databases (like those maintained by, 23 and Me, etc) to find his family members and then track him down? It's not just him. If you're an American of US descent, there's a 60% chance that you can be identified from genomic database searches, because even if you've never signed up for one of these junk science services, your stupid cousins have. That's the conclusio...
Tags: Security, Post, News, Privacy, US, Infosec, Genomics, Junk Science, Columbia, Forensics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Genetic Privacy, Families They Fuck You Up, Yaniv Erlich Tal Shor Itsik Pe'er, Shai Carmi Science

Security researchers identify "fingerprints" in 3D printed objects that can be used to trace their manufacturing

In PrinTracker: Fingerprinting 3D Printers using Commodity Scanners ( ), a paper to be presented at the ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security conference in Toronto this month, a group of U Buffalo and Northeastern researchers present a model for uniquely identifying which 3D printer produced a given manufactured object, which may allow for forensic investigators to associate counterfeit goods, illegal guns, and other printed objects with the device that manufactured th...
Tags: Security, Gadgets, Post, News, Toronto, 3d Printing, Infosec, Scholarship, Forensics, Computer and Communications Security, Wenyao Xu, Printracker, U Buffalo and Northeastern

Forensics company advises cops not to look at seized Iphones, to avoid facial-recognition lockouts

A leaked police-training presentation from digital forensics company Elcomsoft (a company that made history due to its early run-in with the DMCA) advises officers not to look at Iphones seized from suspects in order to avoid tripping the phones' facial recognition systems -- if Iphones sense too many unlock attempts with faces other than those registered as trusted, they fall back to requiring additional unlock measures like passcodes or fingerprints. “iPhone X: don’t look at the screen...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Security, Post, News, Police, Infosec, Leaks, Dmca, Motherboard, Biometrics, Forensics, Elcomsoft, Vladimir Katalov, To Opt Out Just Don't Have A Face, Joseph Cox Motherboard

Anonymous stock-market manipulators behind $20B+ of "mispricing" can be tracked by their writing styles

In a new Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper, Columbia Law prof Joshua Mitts uses "stylometry" (previously) to track how market manipulators who publish false information about companies in order to profit from options are able to flush their old identities when they become notorious for misinformation and reboot them under new handles. Stylometry is a field of text analysis that seeks to identify authors by stylistic quirks, including word-choices, punctuation habits, and subtler cues...
Tags: Post, Business, News, Finance, Fraud, Scams, Computer Science, Forensics, Market Manipulation, Stylometry, Joshua Mitts, Joshua Mitts Columbia Law

We’re Learning More About the Contents of that Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus

Back in July, Egyptian archaeologists dared to open a strange granite sarcophagus, finding three skeletons soaking in an unsightly reddish-brown liquid. Scientists have now completed a preliminary analysis of the coffin’s contents, offering new insights into the tomb’s 2,000-year-old occupants.Read more...
Tags: Science, Anthropology, Egyptology, Forensics, Forensic Science, Skeletons, Ancient Egypt, Unleashing The Curse

The Grainy and Grisly History of Crime Photography

Judicial photography dates back to Belgium in the 1840’s when the earliest known photographs of criminals were taken within prisons by prison officials. In Switzerland, 1852, Carl Durheim was commissioned by Attorney General Jacob Amiet, and tasked with taking photographs of arrested vagrants in Bern. During this period, judicial photography was used by local authorities to document individuals who travelled, and were unknown to local police.In the 1850’s, prison officials in Britain began exper...
Tags: Europe, Books, Photography, New York Post, England, New York, Technology, Featured, Crime, Law, Wales, France, Police, China, India, Kodak

How self-driving car tech could help forensic scientists find murder victims

Using lidar to find bodies buried in unmarked graves sounds like something out of an episode of CSI. In fact, it's a real piece of research from Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The post How self-driving car tech could help forensic scientists find murder victims appeared first on Digital Trends.
Tags: News, Trends, Tennessee, Lidar, Forensics, Emerging Tech

New Report on Police Digital Forensics Techniques

According to a new CSIS report, "going dark" is not the most pressing problem facing law enforcement in the age of digital data: Over the past year, we conducted a series of interviews with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, attorneys, service providers, and civil society groups. We also commissioned a survey of law enforcement officers from across the country to better understand the full range of difficulties they are facing in accessing and using digital evidence in their c...
Tags: Police, Fbi, Law Enforcement, Forensics, Reports, Backdoors, Bruce Schneier, CSIS, Susan Landau

Fingerprint Analysis Could Finally Get Scientific, Thanks to a New Tool

There wasn’t anything particularly unusual about the court-martial at the Fort Huachuca military base in Arizona at the end of February. But when the analyst from the Department of Defense forensic laboratory presented a report on fingerprint evidence, it included an element that had never been used with fingerprint…Read more...
Tags: Science, Crime, Department Of Defense, Arizona, Department Of Justice, Fingerprints, Fingerprint, Forensics, Forensic Science, Fort Huachuca

Cops use backdoored WhatsApp photo to extract fingerprints and convict user

South Wales Police announced they were able to access a WhatsApp user's photos through a backdoor, then extract fingerprint data from a picture of a weed dealer's hand to help convict 11 involved people. (more…)
Tags: Post, Technology, Crime, News, Privacy, Drugs, Marijuana, Whatsapp, Cannabis, South Wales, Forensics, Mass Surveillance, Digital Forensics, Mobile Forensics

Cops in Wales Caught a Drug Dealer by IDing His Fingerprint from a WhatsApp Photo

Police in Wales managed to arrest and convict a drug dealer by identifying his fingerprint from a photo posted on WhatsApp, a technique that the local law enforcement is calling “groundbreaking,” according to the BBC. Read more...
Tags: Science, Wales, Drugs, Bbc, Whatsapp, Fingerprint, Forensics, Forensic Science

The man who exposed the shoddy forensics of Shaken Baby Syndrome — and got prosecuted

John Plunkett, who just died at age 70, was a Minnesota medical examiner who grew skeptical of the forensic theory behind Shaken Baby Syndrome. He started investigating cases in which children had died in a manner similar to the way accused caregivers had described the deaths of the children they were watching — by short-distance falls. What he found alarmed him. In 2001, Plunkett published a study detailing how he had found symptoms similar to those in the SBS diagnosis in children who had fal...
Tags: Minnesota, Law, Oregon, Uncategorized, Child Abuse, SBS, Forensics, Plunkett, Radley Balko, John Plunkett

Crime and punishment roundup

Prosecutors too often dodge mens rea (knowing wrongfulness) as precondition for crime. SCOTUS can help by better defining “willfully” [Ilya Shapiro and Reilly Stephens on Cato certiorari brief in Ellison v. U.S.] False abuse accusations, a dozen years later: “The Girl Who Told The Truth” [Michael Hall, Texas Monthly] Retired federal judge Kevin Sharp: mandatory minimum sentences forced me to do injustice [Cato Policy Report] Kansas is unique in extent to which it adds large classes of drug...
Tags: Law, Uncategorized, Tennessee, Kansas, Child Abuse, Ellison, Forensics, Cato, Cato Institute, Kevin Sharp, Ross Ulbricht Silk Road, Mens Rea, Ilya Shapiro, Reilly Stephens, Contingent Fee, Aaron Barnes

Reports: Texas Bomber May Have Engineering Background, But Has Left Growing Forensic Trail

The sophistication of the package bombs that keep on detonating throughout the cities of Austin and San Antonio in Texas has authorities and experts concerned that the perpetrator is not an amateur, USA Today reported on Tuesday. But engineer or not, they are leaving a growing trail of evidence like an undetonated…Read more...
Tags: Texas, Science, Technology, Crime, Austin, Terrorism, Usa Today, San Antonio, Forensics, Texas Bombings, Austin Bomber

Now out: Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington on Mississippi forensics scandal

On Thursday I attended a Cato forum with Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington on their new book on the extraordinary Mississippi forensics scandal, “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South.” Excerpt of blurb from event: Over the past 25 years, more than 2,000 individuals have been exonerated in the United States after being wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. There is good reason to believe that tens or even hundreds of thousands m...
Tags: Mississippi, Law, Uncategorized, West, United States, Scandals, Forensics, Carrington, Hayne, Michael West, Radley Balko, Balko, Steven Hayne, Tucker Carrington

Most Forensic Science Is Bogus. Will New Federal Rules Help?

Forensic science is only science-magic on shows like CSI, where blood drops quickly reveal the patterns of a killer and a fingerprint places someone at a crime scene, even if it’s only half of one, and smudged off the side of a door. The science behind forensics is actually pretty shaky— and in 2009, a comprehensive …Read more...
Tags: Science, Crime, Department Of Justice, Forensics, Forensic Science

Have Amelia Earhart’s Remains Been Located?

Despite a flurry of reporting to the contrary, the mystery of Earhart’s final resting place has not been — and may never be — solved.
Tags: News, Amelia Earhart, Archeology, Forensics, Remains, Bones, TIGHAR, Earhart, Fred Noonan