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"Forensic Files" documents the use of forensic investigation techniques to solve crimes and mysteries. After a crime is reported the crime scene technicians will collect items that can contain forensic evidence that will be investigated later in criminal a laboratory. From DNA to spent bullet casings, no matter how small the clue might be during an investigation, it only takes one to make a break in an active case investigation. Other methods of the use of forensics includes the analysis of handwriting on a document or an old postcard. In one case a suspected war criminal wanted for war crimes in Romania during World War II was brought to justice all from an old postcard sent from Germany during the war.
Forensics are often used in cases involving serial killers that are at large. Along with the criminal profile is the forensic evidence left behind at the dump sites where the victims were discovered. Careful testing, plus the aid of a overall profile of the offender will often lead to the capture of a serial killer. When a homicide is reported to law enforcement that isn't a serial case, the same rules apply for investigators to use both forensics and profiles.
Many times the motive for a murder can be tied to a hidden affair ending very badly, leaving a person dead instead of the affair being exposed. Here again the use of forensic investigative techniques is crucial to finding out who the offender is and the possibility of saving someone else from being killed. Attacks that involve groups against a victim are a little tricky to crack, because the group that allegedly committed the crime will often stay silent. Using trace evidence as tool in an investigation into a gang attack is very useful, in one instance a wad of chewing gum can contain a lot of evidence.
Forensic testing of clues taken from a crime scene often leads to cases being closed after hard work being put in by investigators. Whether tracking down criminals that committed one crime, to finding a war criminal after years of being in hiding the use of forensics is key to solving every criminal puzzle.
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Forensic Files Full Episode Guide
In 2000, Kristine Fitzhugh failed to show up for her music class and her husband Ken found her dead at the bottom of the stairs of their Palo Alto home. Upon further investigation, Luminol reveals evidence of murder in the kitchen. As detectives investigate the crime further, they uncover a long-held family secret that provides motive. Originally aired as Season 14, Episode 3.
Doctors don't know why the young scientist is gravely ill. When tests finally reveal the cause, it's too late to save him. Police hope that lab analysis of his hair, showing when attempts were made on his life and what was used, will lead to the killer. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 31.
In 2006, Nevada politician Kathy Augustine died mysteriously during a hard-fought re-election campaign and the medical examiner could neither isolate the cause of death nor explain the tiny puncture wounds discovered during the autopsy. Upon deeper analysis, investigators focus on her husband, Chaz Higgs, a nurse who had ready access to succinylcholine. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 4.
A 13-year-old girl went missing from her Colorado home, and the only evidence the kidnapper left behind was three fingerprints on a window screen. Two years later, a latent print examiner, new to the county and the crime lab, changed the course of the investigation by sharing a little-known fact with his colleagues. Originally aired as Season 12, Episode 12.
How unlucky could one man be? His wife had taken her own life and his college sweetheart had killed herself in much the same fashion fourteen years earlier. Investigators had to determine if this was a bizarre coincidence, or an attempt to get away with murder... twice. Originally aired as Season 12, Episode 9.
When a dedicated, well-respected teacher disappeared, police had to determine if she'd gone on vacation without telling anyone, or if she was the victim of foul play. Investigators turned to forensic science, hoping to find the answers they needed. Originally aired as Season 12, Episode 6.
A lifelong resident of the tiny town of Lefroy, Tasmania was murdered outside his own home. Robbery appeared to be the motive, but with no suspects, the investigation came to a halt. Then the victim's autopsy turned the investigation into a landmark forensics case: The device intended to save his life proved to be the only witness to his death. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 36.
A woman is shot to death on a Florida beach. Her husband is also shot, but survives. He claims it was a robbery gone wrong, but investigators look further and learn that he had recently downloaded a song containing violent lyrics. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 29.
The victim had ingested a massive amount of cyanide. An unlikely clue - a flaw on a mailing envelope - exposed a murderer who was willing to kill the innocent. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 24.
A twelve-year-old girl claimed she had been abducted and sexually assaulted. She recounted what happened in such a flat, unemotional voice that police found it difficult to believe her. Fibers on her clothing would prove she was telling the truth, and help police to find her attacker. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 21.
When a woman went missing, friends and family were determined to find her. Their worst fears were confirmed weeks later when her body was discovered. Blood evidence and computer forensics helped investigators to catch the killer, and convince the jury of his guilt. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 17.
A woman was found dead on the bedroom floor of her apartment. The crime scene yielded little of value, and investigators wondered if they would find enough evidence to make a case, much less catch a killer. But a bloodstained sheet and a breakthrough forensic technique enabled them to identify the murderer and convince the jury of his guilt. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 15.
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