Watch Forensic Firsts


Dr. Death and the BTK Strangler were brought down by revolutionary forensic techniques that pushed the boundaries of detective work. DNA profiling has redefined forensic investigation.

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Sunday 9:00 PM et/pt on Smithsonian Channel
2 Seasons, 7 Episodes - Currently Airing
Crime, Drama, Family, Mystery
Forensic Firsts
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Forensic Firsts Full Episode Guide

  • The history of forensic botany, which began during the 1935 trial of Bruno Hauptmann, who was accused of kidnapping Charles Lindbergh's baby. Also: a case that relied on plant evidence found in a man's truck to convict him of a murder.

  • Revisit two criminal cases where ballistic evidence determined the fate of its suspects. One case saved a man from the electric chair while the other ended a sniper's murderous rampage.

  • A string of unexplained deaths at a Northport, New York hospital in the 1990s and the suspicious death of a wealthy businessman in the 1840s have one thing in common: poison. These sensational cases, 150 years apart, are landmark moments in the history of forensic toxicology.

  • Two brutal murder cases, years apart, appear to have little in common. A California family found brutally murdered in 2003 and two dismembered bodies discovered in Scotland in 1935. Upon closer investigation, they share the same silent witness: insects.

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