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September 18, 2023

Bringing the secret world of forensic science to life to put yourself to the test.

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CSI techniques are shown on TV and Film so often these days we thought you might be interested to hear about some of the most famous cases that have involved CSI, from blood spatter analysis to DNA profiling. 

These cases gained worldwide notoriety and have been featured in books, movies, and TV shows to depict the skills and techniques used by forensic experts.

Charles Lindbergh Jr

In 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20 month old son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped and a ransom received; tragically the child was found dead a couple of months later. The case led to one of the most extensive investigations in forensic history. The crime scene was meticulously analysed, traces of mud were found on the floor of the nursery, footprints under the window, two sections of ladder used to reach the window. No blood or fingerprints were found. 

Forensic experts discovered that tool marks on the ladder matched tools owned by Bruno Hauptmann. Wood in the ladder was found to match wood used as flooring in his attic. The telephone number and address of the kidnappers’ intermediary were found scrawled on a door frame inside a closet. The handwriting on the ransom notes matched samples of Hauptmann’s handwriting. Hauptmann was eventually convicted and executed for the crime.

Dr. Sam Sheppard 

In 1954, Dr. Sam Sheppard was convicted of murdering his wife Marilyn.  The prosecution’s case relied on circumstantial evidence and testimony from witnesses that was later proven to be unreliable.  After deliberating for four days they found Sheppard guilty of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

After serving 10 years in prison, Sheppard was released after successful appeals with blood splatter evidence proving crucial to his acquittal. The case remains one of the most controversial and influential in forensic science history. It is widely thought that the TV Series and Film “The Fugitive” was based on this case.

The Green River Killer

In 1982, a series of murders began in King County, Washington USA, that would become known as the Green River murders. The investigation into the murders involved analysing the crime scenes and creating a detailed profile of the killer.

Almost 20 years later with improvements in Forensic science helped to crack the case. Using DNA samples taken from the victims, microscopic spray paint spheres from a particular brand, and examining the composition of paint used at a certain factory during the exact time frame when these victims were killed, investigators were led to Gary Ridgway.

The forensic evidence was there to build a case and he was eventually convicted of 49 murders, receiving 49 life sentences. 

OJ Simpson

In 1995, OJ Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The prosecution relied heavily on DNA evidence, which proved conclusively that a sample from Simpson’s blood was found at the crime scene. Simpson’s defence attacked the forensic evidence presented in court, stating its reliability was questionable. 

Simpson was acquitted after a trial that became worldwide entertainment.

These cases have shown how forensic science has revolutionised crime scene investigations and played an essential role in solving many crimes throughout history.

With further advancements in technology and techniques, forensic science is becoming even more important in solving cases.

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