crime science


Immigration is not linked to rise in crime, study finds. In fact, it lowers it.

  • Immigrants not only fail to increase crime but, in some cases, actually reduce crime rates, according to research in the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice’s first issue of 2017.
  • The study is yet another in a long line of findings over the past century (WSJ) that all tell the same story: Immigrants are less inclined to be criminals than native-born Americans.
  • Decades of data support this assumption. Native-born males 18 to 39 years old were more than twice as likely to be incarcerated than immigrants in the same demographic
  • That’s according to the American Immigration Council, which analyzed 2010 data from the American Community Survey.
  • “Immigrants are much less likely to be criminals than the native born,” University of Alabama professor Lesley Reid, one of the paper’s authors, said by phone. Read more (2/13/17 4:29 PM)

Between 1984 and 1985, a ruthless serial killer that became known as the “Night Stalker” instilled fear into the hearts of Southern California residents. He entered homes at nights where he would dispose of any men in the house before sexually assaulting, and quite often killing, the women and ransacking the house. Age was of no consideration to this ruthless killer: he raped and killed children and he raped and killed decrepit elderly ladies. Not following much of a particular modus operandi, he used a wide variety of murder weapons. He slashed throats, he bludgeoned, he shot, and he stabbed. On one brutal occasion, he gouged the eyes out of one of his victims.

The downfall of the Night Stalker commenced after the August 25 murder of Bill Cairns and the sodomy of fiancee, Inez Erickson. As he was fleeing, a neighbourhood boy spotted him and reported him to the police, taking down the registration number of the car in which he fled. Three days later, the aforementioned car was discovered discarded in Los Angeles. A run of the registration confirmed that it was a stolen car. The car was delivered to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department where it would be vehemently combed for evidence. 

Chemical fumes were pumped into the car and as a result, hidden fingerprints reacted to the fumes and turned white. After the fumes dissipated, the fingerprints were investigated with a high-power laser ray. The fingerprints were then analysed and flown to Sacramento, where an Automated Fingerprint Identification system had just recently been installed. The fingerprints uncovered from the car were run against the database of previous offenders.

Moments later, they had a match: Richard Ramirez.

Statistics of Convicted Serial Killers

An article published through Le Moyne College in Syracuse presented the following compiled statistics in regards to convicted serial killers:

- 42% suffered physical abuse as children
- 74% suffered from psychological abuse
- 35% witnessed sexual abuse as children
- 43% suffered through sexual abuse

Source: Modern-Day Serial Killer by Don Rauf

In 2012, Danish police officers arrested a sex offender and found child pornography in his computer. But catching the guy looking at the pictures is only half the battle in situations like this – they needed to find the asshole who took the photos. No doubt fighting every instinct to just set the hard drive on fire and drink the memory away, the officers examined the images and found a detail that could help catch one of the photographers: a pill bottle with a tiny, blurry name.

The Danish shared this evidence with Homeland Security’s Cyber Crimes Center, where special agents used classified technology to undo the blur on the bottle – to the point that they were able to pull off part of a surname, the name of the medication, and the first two characters of a prescription number. Detectives then used that information to find the owner of the bottle, a human-shaped mound of shit called Stephen Keating.

However, this didn’t necessarily prove Keating did anything. Maybe he lent the bottle to a friend, or the real child pornographer had stolen the pills from Keating as part of his mission to just commit every possible type of crime. Luckily, the feds had another impossibly high-tech trick up their sleeves.

One of the photos showed a man’s hand, and by putting it through special filters, they managed to get a fingerprint impression. We’ll repeat that part: they got his fingerprints off of a digital photograph. If you saw that on CSI, you’d call bullshit and switch to a more realistic crime-fighting show, like The Flash.

7 True Crimes Solved By Twists Too Ridiculous For Network TV

June 15th 1995: O.J. Simpson tries on a new pair of gloves similar to those found at the crime scene of his wife’s murder. Despite compelling evidence, the actor was never convicted for Nicole’s murder. The iconic photograph above shows the dramatic demonstration that devastated the prosecution when the gloves appeared too tight for Simpson’s hands. His defense attorney simply said: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” - And this seemed to remarkably sway the jury into finding him innocent.


“This sister of mine, a dark shadow robbing me of sunlight, is my one and only torment.” -  Written in the journal of June Gibbons

June and Jennifer Gibbons were two twin girls who were known as ‘The Silent Twins’ as they never spoke to anyone for the most part of their lives, except to each other. Born in a small Welsh village, they quickly learnt that they were the only black girls in town and felt ostracized by locals. They were diagnosed as mute, however their mother noticed that they had a language of their very own: According to her, they “had distorted their speech into a secret code only they could understand.” Something else unusual is that they mirrored each other’s every movement. An expert studied this unusual behaviour and was fascinated. She took them horse-riding to encourage individual movement; but if one fell off the horse, the other would immediately follow. The girls displayed genius IQs and were avid writers, creating their own fantasies together and keeping several diaries throughout their lives.

Their high intelligence caused them to become very bored, and the pair turned to crime. June wrote in her diary: “No friends. Nothing else to do. Nothing to fill the cold hour.” before the pair robbed several stores and set fire to half the village. When they were teenagers, they both published their own novels detailing these crimes (June wrote Pepsi Cola Addict and Jennifer wrote Discomania) When they got bored of committing petty crimes, they began to attack each other. Jennifer strangled June with a telephone wire, so severely that she damaged her trachea. June then tried to drown Jennifer in a river. Despite this, they remained utterly inseparable, apparently able to forgive each other for attempted murder. In 1982, they were arrested for burning down a barn and sent to Broadmoor, Britain’s biggest mental institute. Officials at the hospital decided to keep them apart, as the violence was getting worse. As you can probably guess, this did not go well and each attempted suicide on multiple occasions. After spending 10 years at the hospital, they were allowed to see each other in supervised sessions. They also caught the attention of a journalist, Marjorie Wallace. Now speaking to trusted friends, they told Marjorie that they had made a pact that one of them was “going to die.”

Marjorie suspected murder, but she did not contact doctors as she knew the twins trusted her. On the day of their release, Jennifer suddenly died due to an inflammation of her heart. The exact cause of death remains unknown. When asked about how she felt about her sister’s death, June said “I am free, I am liberated. At last, Jennifer has given up her life for me.” June lives a normal life with her family in Wales. She says she doesn’t remember much of her “psychotic twin.” but is glad she is free from the dark shadow of her sister. Exactly what was wrong with the twins, remains a mystery.

0274 - houston, we have a problem

On a separate planet light-years away from Earth, an advanced species has created a society with peace and good health for all of its residents. Meanwhile, on Earth, intergalactic travel has rapidly developed.

Earth has collectively decided to send all nations’ worst criminals to another planet. Unfortunately, the coordinates are set incorrectly and the criminals end up on this new species’ planet.

Vintage illustration of Fingerprint Patterns.

Fingerprints have been collected, observed and tested as a means of unique identification of people for more than 100 years. 

The two basic ideas scientists believe about fingerprints are:
1. Fingerprints never change. Small ridges form on a person’s hands and feet before they are born and do not change for as long as the person lives.
2. No two fingerprints are alike. The ridges on the hands and feet of all people have three characteristics (ridge endings, birfurcations and dots) which appear in combinations that are never repeated on the hands or feet of any two people. 

In the over 140 years that fingerprints have been routinely compared world wide, no two areas of friction skin on any two people (including identical twins) have been found to contain the same individual characteristics in the same unit relationship. This means that in general, any area of friction skin that you can cover with a dime (and often with just a pencil eraser) on your fingers, palms, or soles of your feet will contain sufficient individual characteristics in a unique unit relationship to enable positive identification to the absolute exclusion of any other person on earth.

Bitesize CSI // 1

Types of Gunshot Wounds

There are four types of gunshot wounds.

Distant wounds - shot from a distance of at least six feet
Intermediate wounds - shot fro 4-6 feet away. typically produces stippling/powder tattooing on impact.
Close-contact wounds - the muzzle of the gun is not touching the skin when the gun is fired, but is very close to the skin
Hard-contact wounds - the muzzle of the gun is placed against the skin or target area of the body when fired


1927 … vroom! by James Vaughan

The coroner system was founded in England before the tenth century. British common law was the initial law for the American colonies and later the laws of the states. Death investigations in the United States were considered a local, county, and later state function. Every state maintained its own laws in the matter. Today, the United States still recognises two systems in death investigation: the coroner and the medical examiner. But what is the difference between the two?

A coroner is an elected official who does not necessarily possess a medical background of any kind. They are responsible for the identification of a body, the notification of the next-of-kin, the collection and return of personal effects from the body to the family, and the signing of the death certificate. A coroner cannot perform autopsies, but is able to determine if an autopsy is required.

A medical examiner, on the other hand, is a medical doctor. They have often had extensive training in forensic pathology and are thus the ones who get called to perform an autopsy. Medical examiners are appointed by the governor of the state. Their districts can therefore also span several counties within the state. The duties of the medical examiner are to investigate any death that occurred under suspicious circumstances and perform autopsies to determine the manner, cause, and mechanism of death.

[source: Real World Crime Scene Investigation, by Gabriele Suboch, PhD.]

What Is A Serial Killer?

“ Noun/: A person who commits a series of murders with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern” (Oxford Dictionary)

“Serial murder: the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s) in separate events” ( current FBI guideline)

“Serial killer: an individual who kills four or more people in separate events with a marked cooling off period in-between” (former FBI guideline)

 “As I was examining and dissecting the cranium or head area I noticed that there was some hemorrhage around a hole that had been drilled into the skull and hemorrhage in a forensic sense means that an injury occurred when there was a blood pressure. When a person is injured and they’re in a postmortem state or after they’re heart stops beating, there’s not a lot of blood that gets pushed into the tissue. But the fact that there was hemorrhage around the area led me to believe that it may have been an injury that had been incurred before death. And so I examined the brain tissue and I did find that there was a wound track or a track through the brain tissue that looked hemorrhagic and so I recovered that area, photographed it and then looked at it under the microscope and what I found was that there was an inflammation in that track and so when we see inflammation that means that there was a time factor that happened between the time of obtaining the injury and the time the person died. “

“We looked at that with a neuropathologist who is an expert in brain anatomy and tissue and we made the diagnosis that this injury had been inflicted while the person was alive and that the person had survived for some time after receiving that injury.”

Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen on finding the holes drilled in the skulls of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims (The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, 2013)

18th December, Kathy Reichs

The Calendar Woman for 18th December is Kathy Reichs (born 1948)

Kathy Reichs is an American forensic anthropologist and crime writer whose novels are loosely based on her own experiences in the field. Since completing her Ph.D in physical anthropology at Northwestern University, she has taught at several American Universities, consulted for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and appeared in Tanzania to testify at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She was also a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team that assisted at the World Trade Center disaster.

As well as writing academic books, Kathy has written over 20 crime novels about the character Temperance Brennan who is also a forensic anthropologist, and a series for young adults about Temperance’s niece, Tory. Using her own experiences as a base for many of the events in the adult series, she has stated that she is meticulous in making sure that the science is accurate. In 2005 Fox television launched a series called Bones which is loosely based on the books and Kathy works as a producer, consultant and occasional writer for the show. In the series, Temperance writes novels about a forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs.