Forensic science technicians are part of a criminal investigation team. Specifically, these professionals are focused on collecting and analyzing crime scene evidence. It's important to understand that forensics entails more opportunities than just on-the-scene specialists. The career includes criminalists (the people who re-construct crime scenes), computer forensic specialists, and toxicologists (those who deal with body fluids), among many other jobs. There are myriad opportunities for thoe interested in law enforcement to become involved with crime scene science.
Because forensics has become such a popular topic over the past decade, there are numerous blogs and websites devoted to it. We’ve compiled a few popular blogs and website online sites to read through here, from sources including criminaljusticdegreesschools.com and forensicscolleges.com, and forensicsciencedegree.com.
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In the News – Forensic Psychology, Criminology & Psychology Law, is an interesting, detailed blog written by Karen Franklin, Ph.D. She covers some of the darker side of forensics, with a eye on forensic psychology (another fascinating branch of forensics). Recent posts take a deeper look at disturbing crimes such as that of convicted mass murderer Dylann Roof. Dr. Franklin also blogged about the stranger abduction of Jacob Wetterling, which occured 1989. Both cases have been heavily reported over the past few months. Dr. Franklin is an adjunct professor at Alliant University in Northern California, and is a former criminal investigator and legal affairs reporter.
Another insightful blog is Defrosting Cold Cases, by Alice de Sturler, a Dutch, non-practicing lawyer/human rights defender currently residing in Roanoke, Virginia. She describes Defrosting Cold Cases as “a resource blog about old unsolved homicides and wrongful convictions.” While numerous cold cases pop up on her blog, we were interested in a recent look back at the 1978 murder of Hogan’s Heroes actor Bob Crane, featuring an excerpt from the recently released book, “Who Killed Bob Crane?” by John Hook.
Evidence Technology Magazine has an online blog that is a companion to its quarterly magazine. The publication is focused “exclusively on evidence collection, processing and preservation,” according to its boilerplate. One of the articles that jumped out at us while researching is, “Tool Kit: Evidence Collection Tools.” The piece examines popular tools for the working forensic scientist. Other interesting articles focus on the security issues that are sprouting from storing crime data in the Internet “cloud.”
Forensic Magazine, and its accompanying website, forensicmag.com, features a number of crime scene-related articles over any given year. There are many links to current events here, including dramatic insight into what was found in the home of a would-be school shooter in Maryland this month. Thanks to the parent of Nichole Cevario, police and crime scene investigators were able to go into her home and uncover shotguns, ammunition, fireworks and an “arsenal of other materials for making bombs,” according to the article. Thanks to the quick work of her parent and law enforcement, a major tragedy was averted.
Another Forensic Magazine article that caught our eye was about crowdsourcing a new crime lab at University College London. According to the piece, “trace evidence has become abundantly available to forensic science. Miniscule molecules of gunshot residue, pollen spores and skin cells have added a whole new dimension to modern crime scenes.” Seeking a new facility to do research in trace evidence, the Centre for the Forensic Sciences at University College London is turning to crowdsourcing to raise more than a million pounds.
Forensic science, as reflected by the blogs, websites and magazines listed above, is a fascinating field for anyone interested in the intersection of law enforcement and science. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, visit pdi.org for more information about the North Texas Forensic Academy.