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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.

Fridays at 10:00 PM on truTV
17 Seasons, 449 Episodes - Canceled
September, 2000
Documentary & Biography
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Forensic Files Full Episode Guide

  • For 15 months, a serial killer was strangling prostitutes in Florida, then taunting police by leaving the bodies in plain sight. The only clues were a tire impression and some threads. By the time scientists identified the source of these treads and the threads, police discovered that the killer James Randall was right under their noses the entire time. Originally aired as Season 6, Episode 14.

  • Ten bodies had been found between the months of May and November 1984 in Florida. The police discovered several similarities among these cases. On November 3, 1984, the perpetrator abducted a 17-year-old female named Lisa McVey, but then released her. McVey went to the police with information that eventually led to the arrest of Bobbie Joe Long. Originally aired as Season 2, Episode 1.

  • When 180 Legionnaires contract pneumonia-like symptoms after a Philadelphia Convention and 29 of them die, doctors and scientists are mystified. The determination of one scientist helps to determine the cause and likely vector of this deadly disease. Originally aired as Season 1, Episode 7.

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