As a professor of criminology and a former F.B.I. special agent, I am frequently surprised by the misperceptions of what criminologists study.
The arrest of Bryan Kohberger, now charged with murdering four University of Idaho students, eased fears but raised a troubling new question: What was the motive?
Lawyers say evidence in cold cases and bids for exoneration disappeared or was ruined when a Police Department storage facility in Brooklyn went up in flames.
Detective work and DNA analysis helped officials learn the identity of a 4-year-old boy whose beaten body was found inside a cardboard box in Philadelphia in 1957. The killing remains unsolved.
A mother lost her daughter 40 years ago. Until investigators knocked on her door, she had no idea what had happened.
Testimony in the George Floyd murder trial raised questions about how Maryland had handled similar cases.
Katricia Dotson’s remains were studied, disputed, displayed and litigated. Lost in the controversy was the life of an American girl and her family.
The defendant, who was the subject of the 2014 podcast “Serial,” is serving life in prison, maintains that he is innocent and has fought to be released.
A coroner has linked the death of Lori McClintock, the wife of a California Representative, to an herb. But experts say it is generally considered safe.
Ms. Bryant had sued Los Angeles County over the sharing of photos of human remains from the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe Bryant, her daughter and seven others. Another plaintiff was awarded $15 million.
That person who looks just like you is not your twin, but if scientists compared your genomes, they might find a lot in common.
Archaeologists found the remains of 14 soldiers who died in a pivotal Revolutionary War battle — a fresh reminder of the violence of war.
A TV documentary upended a murder case and captivated the nation. But its sensational theories might also be distorting justice.
Lindy Sue Biechler was stabbed 19 times more than four decades ago. The authorities in Pennsylvania said a coffee cup that David Sinopoli, 68, discarded this year provided investigators with crucial evidence.
Analysis of the DNA in a single strand of rootless hair from a 1982 crime scene helped lead the authorities to arrest Robert J. Lanoue, a 70-year-old registered sex offender, officials said.
Disastrous errors by medical examiners have raised questions about whether they are influenced by prejudgments and a close relationship with the police.
Genetic genealogy was used to identify skeletal remains as those of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Florida in 1972. The authorities believe she was the victim of an ex-police officer convicted in 1973 of two murders.
Raquel Fortun, one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, is using her skills to show how other doctors falsely claimed some victims of the country’s drug war had died natural deaths.
The technique can predict a person’s ancestry and physical traits without the need for a match with an existing sample in a database.
The war in Ukraine is so big that it has shaken the world. But for a sister looking for her missing older brother, it was reduced to a visit to a morgue.
Advances in DNA technology helped the authorities to identify remains found near a highway in 1992 as those of Margaret Ann Sniegowski Jr., who had disappeared from her home in Ohio.
The authorities said they connected Harry Edward Greenwell, who died in 2013, to at least three murders in Kentucky and Indiana, using genetic genealogy.
DNA on an envelope helped to seal the fate of Steven Ray Hessler, who prosecutors said violently assaulted seven women, a 16-year-old girl and two men in Shelby County, Ind., from 1982 to 1985.
When the police can’t afford to solve cold cases, deep-pocketed donors can.
The database used by the New York Police Department violates state law and the Constitution, the Legal Aid Society contends in a lawsuit.
In 1960, a child’s body was found by a hiker in a remote part of Arizona. Using DNA technology, investigators were finally able to identify her as Sharon Lee Gallegos, age 4.
The official declaration this week means that Isaiah Andrews, 84, can seek damages from the State of Ohio for spending more than half his life in prison after being wrongly convicted of killing his wife.
Adnan Syed, who is serving life in prison in Maryland for the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, still insists on his innocence and is seeking a sentence reduction.
The examinations by board-certified forensic pathologists will be available for the families of people who died in police-related circumstances.
Using machine learning, separate teams of computer scientists identified the same two men as likely authors of messages that fueled the viral movement.
Chesa Boudin, the district attorney in San Francisco, said victims are “being treated like criminals,” and he wants legislators to ban the practice.
Scientists used a genetic investigation technique with the aim of helping turn the tide against illicit hauls of ivory and other animal parts.
Dividing the family’s Bitcoin stash has become a major source of contention in divorce cases.
On Sundays and holidays, the victim’s mother ended a prayer with a plea: “Please help the Pennsylvania State Police find the man that hurt my daughter.”
More than two years after a British woman was convicted of fabricating claims, Cyprus’s top court reversed the decision and said that she had not received a fair trial.
Nicholas Alahverdian, a suspect in a 2008 rape in Utah, was traced to a hospital in Glasgow, where he had been placed on a ventilator with Covid-19, the authorities said.
Thanks to “genetic genealogy,” solving crimes with genomic databases is becoming mainstream — with some uncomfortable implications for the future of privacy.
There’s rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So this year, we’re once again running a special Twelve Days of Christmas series of posts, highlighting one story that fell through the cracks each day, from December 25 through January 5. Today: the results of forensic analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s letter pardoning a Civil War soldier confirms the April 14, 1865 date was forged—and it can’t be removed without damaging the document.
A document containing President Abraham Lincoln’s signed pardon of a Civil War soldier has been the source of much controversy since its 1998 discovery, after historians concluded that the date had likely been altered to make the document more historically significant. A new analysis by scientists at the National Archives has confirmed that the date was indeed forged (although the pardon is genuine), according to a November paper published in the journal Forensic Science International: Synergy. The authors also concluded that there is no way to restore the document to its original state without causing further damage.
Thomas Lowry is a retired psychiatrist turns amateur historian, specializing in military records of the Civil War, and has authored numerous Civil War histories. Back in 1998, he and his wife Beverly were combing through a trove of rarely studied courts martial at the National Archives, carefully indexing the documents. At the time, there were no security cameras in the room, and Archive staffers knew the Lowrys and trusted them. The couple discovered some 570 documents with Lincoln’s signature.
The murder of 9-year-old Candice Rogers rocked Spokane, Wash. On Friday, the police identified John Reigh Hoff as a suspect, and said his daughter helped them solve the case.
The victim was a socialite. A message in her blood accused the gardener. But a grammatical error raised questions of class and language — and whether he was being framed.
An op-ed in Nature calls for higher ethical standards in the usage and analysis of genetic information from the Romani, a marginalized group in Europe.
The mystery of a teenage hitchhiker, now identified as Daniel Paul Armantrout, was solved 60 years later because of advances in DNA technology and genealogy.
A bid to exonerate two men in a Buffalo-area murder centers on the possible role in the crime of Richard Matt, a notorious New York killer.
For years, some of the victims of John Wayne Gacy had gone unidentified. DNA and expanding genealogical databases allowed officials to identify a victim this month.
The move came after pleas from dozens of families of those killed in 2019 when a white supremacist opened fire on Muslims at prayer.
A growing number of forensic researchers are questioning how the field interprets the geographic ancestry of human remains.
Decades after a baby was found by the road, DNA testing led to criminal charges. On Friday, a woman entered an Alford plea in the case, maintaining her innocence while pleading guilty to manslaughter.
For years, the leading experts have testified that prone restraint by police is safe. So why do people keep dying?
The police say Samuel Little, who was in Jackson County, Miss., in 1977 and decades later confessed to more than 90 murders, is believed to have killed Ms. Birdlong.
The search continues for Brian Laundrie, Ms. Petito’s fiancé, who has been named a person of interest in the case.