crime science


1945 … mother daughter problems! by James Vaughan

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
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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)
The Schizo’s

Schizophrenia is a familiar term within the mental health community. While the diagnosis itself is relatively rare when compared to the general community, schizophrenia has become a misconceived and blanket term for a variety of different diagnoses.

In reality there is: schizophrenia, schizoid, schizotypal, schizophreniform, and schizoaffective disorder. Sadly, and all too often, these disorders and their distinct differences are not recognized. So without further ado, here is a <brief> breakdown of the different disorders and their specific diagnoses/symptoms:

Schizophrenia: Easily the most recognized and commonly-used term, schizophrenia is diagnosed when a client has at least 2 of the following symptoms:

  1. Delusions
  2. Hallucinations
  3. Disorganized Speech
  4. Disorganized of catatonic behavior
  5. Negative Symptoms

At least one of the symptoms has to be delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech. Additonally, schizophrenia is only diagnosed if symptoms have been present for at least six months.

Schizophreniform: Literally the exact same as schizophrenia, however symptoms have been present for less than six months but at least one month.

Schizoaffective: Again, all the same criteria of schizophrenia, except there must also be evidence of an intermittent (it’s not always present) mood disorder. A mood disorder may consist of a major depressive episode, a manic episode, or a mixed episode - in which both depressive and manic symptoms present. The most common example I have seen/used is somebody with symptoms of Bipolar and Schizophrenia (it’s quite a fun combination, as you can imagine).

Schizotypal: This is actually a chronic personality disorder first and foremost. Therefore most of the symptoms affect - you guessed it- the individual’s personality.  The official diagnosis criteria include:

  1. Significant impairments in personality functioning as shown by:
    1. Impairments in self functioning:
      1. Identity: Confused boundaries between self and others; distorted self-concept; emotional expression often not congruent with context or internal experience.
      2. Self-direction: Unrealistic or incoherent goals; no clear set of internal standards.
      3. Impairments in interpersonal functioning: i.e. empathy, romantic interest
    2. Pathological personality traits in the following domains:
      1. Psychoticism - eccentric behaviors, cognitive dysregulation, and unusual beliefs or experiences
      2. Detachment - i.e. withdrawal
      3. Negative Affectivity - i.e.anhedonia, “void of emotions”

Schizoid: Once again, a personality disorder. The criteria for this disorder, according the DSM-5 are:

  1. Significant impairments (i.e., mild impairment or greater) in self (identity or self-direction) and interpersonal (empathy or intimacy) functioning.
  2. One or more pathological personality trait domains OR specific trait facets within domains, considering ALL of the following domains.
    1. Negative Affectivity
    2. Detachment - few, if many personal/close relationships
    3. Antagonism
    4. Disinhibition vs. Compulsivity
    5. Psychoticism (explained above)

And of course with just about any and every disorder in the DSM - these symptoms can not be the result of drugs/alcohol/medications, and they must have some sort of impairment on the individual’s social or occupational functioning in order to be a qualifying diagnosis.

Sources: THE DSM-5.


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.


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

Never without a podcast to listen to...

- Judge John Hodgman
- Do Go On
- The Dollop
- Sawbones
- Sawbones (Donor Bonus)
- Casefile
- Stuff to Blow Your Mind
- Dusted
- Serial Killers
- The Adventure Zone ×3
- My Brother My Brother and Me
- Brain Stuff ×10
- Thinking Sideways
- The Adventure Zone (Donor Bonus)
- Thinking Sideways
- One Bad Mother
- Oh No Ross and Carrie
- Still Buffering ×2
- Mugglecast
- Oh No Ross and Carrie
- My Brother My Brother and Me
- The Dollop
- The Guilty Feminist
- Sword and Scale

 “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)

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.]


… Foxhole Pilot! by James Vaughan
Via Flickr:
artist- Joe Kubert