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Episode Overview

In episode four of the Case Studies Season, Just Science sat down with forensic consultant, author, and instructor Brian Dalrymple to discuss his research and impact on the field of latent print identification. 

In 1977, a team of researchers developed a method for detecting fingerprints by examining inherent fluorescence using an argon ion laser. This new technology revolutionized the field of latent print identification. Brian Dalrymple was an original member of that research team, but his career did not stop there. He has completed approximately 100 examinations of murder victims for fingerprint evidence, authored several journal articles and books, and contributed to the widespread adoption of lasers used for detection. Listen along as he discusses the origins of his research and methods for examining bodies for fingerprints in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Fingerprints And Lasers_2020 Case Studies_145

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Guest Bio

Brian Dalrymple was part of the original research team that introduced lasers in 1977.  He retired in 1999 from the Ontario Provincial Police as Manager, Forensic Identification Services.  He initiated the first computer evidence enhancement system in Canada in 1991.  He initiated and co-wrote the SOP for body examination for the province of Ontario and during his career, completed approximately 100 examinations of murder victims for fingerprint evidence.  He is currently a forensic consultant (Brian Dalrymple & Associates), an instructor for Ron Smith and Associates, and an adjunct professor at Laurentian University.  He is the recipient of the Dondero Award (International Association for Identification), the Foster Award (Canadian Identification Society) and the Lewis Minshall Award (The Fingerprint Society). 

Books 

  • Crime and Measurement: Methods in Forensic Investigation, Carolina Academic Press, M. Nafte, B. Dalrymple,  
  • First edition 2011 
  • Second edition 2015 
  • The Skin of Murder Victims: Fingerprints and Other Evidence, Carolina Academic Press, B. Dalrymple, 2014 
  • Forensic Digital Image Processing: Optimization of Impression Evidence, CRC Press, B. Dalrymple, J. Smith, 2018 

Additional Resources

 Crime Scene Resources

 

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Episode Overview

In episode three of the Case Studies Season, Just Science sat down with Heather Conner, Latent Print Unit Technical Leader in Mesa Police Department’s Forensic Services, about the investigation of a grisly murder in Arizona. 

In June of 2008, Travis Alexander was found dead in the bathroom of his home. His killer, ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Heather Conner and her team used a variety of forensic disciplines to piece together the crime scene and affirm the conviction. Listen along as she discusses her journey in forensics, the investigation of the murder of Travis Alexander, and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to crime scene analysis in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just The Jodi Arias Case_2020 Case Studies_144

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Guest Bio

Heather Conner is a Forensic Scientist Technical Leader with the Latent Print Unit of the Mesa Police Department Forensic Services. She is a certified latent print examiner and a certified crime scene investigator through the International Association for Identification (IAI). 

Heather has been with the Mesa Police Department since 2004, previously holding the positions of Crime Scene Technician and Forensic Services Laboratory Technician prior to joining the Latent Print Unit in 2005. She is currently an International Association for Identification (IAI) member, a member of the IAI Latent Print Identification Science and Practice Subcommittee, and serves as the Secretary for the Arizona Identification Council, the state division of the IAI. 

Heather received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Arizona State University, a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Journalism from the University of La Verne, and an Associate of Science in Forensic Technology from Grossmont College.  

Additional Resources

 Crime Scene Resources

 

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Episode Overview

In episode two, Just Science sat down with Erin Sims, Forensic Lab Manager at the Lincoln, Nebraska Police Department, to talk about bloodstain pattern evidence in forensic investigations. 

Not all crime scenes will have bloodstains. But when they are present, analysts can use them to help determine the types of activities or mechanisms that produced them. Erin Sims believes that bloodstain patterns can tell the unknown story behind a crime. Listen along as she discusses the application of bloodstain pattern analysis and how it fits into the larger puzzle of crime scene investigation in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just The Story Behind Bloodstain Pattern Analysis_2020 Case Studies_143

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Guest Bio

Ms. Erin Sims has been employed with the Lincoln Nebraska Police Department for 38 years.   She started her career as a Uniform Police Officer (9yrs), was a Detective/Sergeant (16yrs), and was promoted to Forensic Lab Manager of LPD’s Forensic Identification Unit in December 2008.   She has been one of the supervisors in LPD’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit since its inception in 1997.   She has instructed at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center and taught Advanced Crime Scene Processes at Nebraska Wesleyan Forensic Science Master’s program for 6 years.   Her areas of expertise include Latent Fingerprint processes, Crime Scene Processing, and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.   Ms. Sims is a Certified IAI Crime Scene Investigator and Bloodstain Pattern Analyst. 

Additional Resources

COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS IN BLOODSTAIN PATTERN ANALYSIS

2019 NIJ R&D: JUST RNA AND BLOODSTAINS

SMALL BLOODSTAINS ON TEXTILES – WHAT CAN THEY TELL US?

 

 

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Episode Overview

Criminal investigations often necessitate the application of a multitude of forensic disciplines. While some cases can be solved by a single piece of evidence, most have a myriad of evidence types to forward and investigation. Bloodstains, DNA analysis, latent prints, digital evidence, and reliable police work lead to arrests and can stop a criminal before any more damage is done.  

In our latest season, Case Studies, we sat down with a variety of experts and talked about their most interesting cases. Join us as we discuss bloodstain pattern analysis, photography, serial killers, and much more in this dynamic season of Just Science! 

In the Case Studies season opener, we sat down with Mitchell Pilkington, crime scene manager at Layton City Police Department in Utah, to discuss psychopathy and criminal behavior. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Psychopathy And Criminal Behavior_2020 Case Studies_142

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Guest Bio

Mitchell Pilkington is the Crime Scene Manager for the Layton City Police Department. He began his career in 2001, with an interest in latent print identification, bloodstain pattern analysis and crime scene reconstruction. Mitch is also an Adjunct Professor for the Criminal Justice Department at Weber State University, where he has instructed for over 15 years. His classes cover a variety of topics including forensic science, theories on crime and serial murder.  Mitch’s educational background consists of a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Weber State University. He has provided expert testimony in multiple high-profile cases and is regularly called upon to provide forensic support for other law enforcement agencies. Mitch has also been an independent consultant for local therapists working with victims of violent crime. 

Additional Resources

 

 

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Episode Overview

In this Forensic Science Week special episode, Just Science interviews Brett Williams, the CEO of Verogen, about the GEDmatch database, how it can be used by law enforcement to perform forensic genealogy searches for investigative leads, and the short- and long-term plans Verogen has for the widely used database and related services.  

Verogen is a spin-off of the Illumina corporation and has grown to be an innovator in the realm of forensic genomic technologies. Since their inception, Verogen has evolved from forensic applications to focus on biometrics-based human identification, as a whole. Following this vision, in December of 2019 Verogen  acquired GEDmatch, a crowd-sourced database used by millions of genealogy enthusiasts to trace their family trees, but more recently it has been adopted by law enforcement to aid in cold case investigations.  

Listen along with our guest host, Donia Slack, as she and Brett Williams discuss the impact that genetic genealogy and GEDmatch have had on the criminal justice system in this episode of Just Science.  

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Forensic Genetic Genealogy and Gedmatch: Verogen’s Approach_Special Release_141

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Additional Resources

Verogen Website

 

 

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Episode Overview

In episode eight, Just Science interviews Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar from Purdue University about the impact of disturbing media on forensic professionals. 

Repeated exposure to violent and graphic media can have long-term negative effects on digital forensic examiners. Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar is researching the connection between disturbing media and the examiners who analyze it every day. Listen along as she discusses digital forensic examiners and the impact of disturbing media in this episode of Just Science.  

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just The Impact Of Disturbing Media_Digital Evidence_140

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Guest Bio

Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar: Associate Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Technology (CIT) at Purdue University. Dr. Seigfried-Spellar studies the intersection between the behavioral sciences and technology-facilitated crime and digital forensics. Her most recent work focuses on the psychological well-being and job satisfaction of digital forensic examiners and multimedia analysts exposed to disturbing media. Dr. Seigfried-Spellar is a Fellow of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), and a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is also a deputized Special Investigator (Tippecanoe Prosecutor’s Office) and member of the Tippecanoe High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU). 


Additional Resources

Digital and Multimedia Forensics: The Impact of Disturbing Media Webinar

 

 

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Episode Overview

In episode seven, Just Science interviews Dr. Catalin Grigoras and Cole Whitecotton from the National Center for Media Forensics about deepfakes. 

Deepfakes are a form of synthetic media that replace an existing image with someone else’s likeness. While relatively new, deepfake technology has grown in sophistication over the last few years. In some cases, the synthetic image is almost indiscernible from the person that it is imitating, which can create a lot of problems for forensic analysts. Dr. Catalin Grigoras and Cole Whitecotton are working to understand and combat deepfakes. Listen along as they discuss the capability, implications, and the future of deepfake technology in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Deepfakes_Digital Evidence_139

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Guest Bio

 

Dr. Catalin Grigoras: As Associate Professor and Director of the National Center for Media Forensics, Grigoras has the privilege to coordinate the Center’s activity, including education and scientific projects. His research encompasses digital signal processing in forensic multimedia, including digital recording authentication, audio/image analysis, enhancement, and automatic speaker recognition. His research into digital signal processing has resulted in advanced methods to authenticate digital audio/video recordings and semiautomatic systems for forensic speaker recognition.  

Grigoras was chairman of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes – Forensic Speech and Audio Analysis Working Group from 2007-2009. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) – Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section; and the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) – Audio Committee. He has published numerous forensic audio/video articles and is a co-author of Best Practice Guidelines for ENF Analysis in Forensic Authentication of Digital Evidence (2009). Funding sponsors include Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Cole Whitecotten: As the IT Professional for the National Center for Media Forensics, Cole has the pleasure of helping develop and maintain the equipment and software used throughout the Center’s education and research programs, both online and in the classroom. He has contributed to multiple research projects, including the DARPA run Medifor program. As an alum of the Master’s Program, Cole is also excited to be able to contribute back to the program via teaching, and leveraging new technologies to expand and strengthen new student’s experiences as they forge their own paths into the world of digital and multimedia forensic disciplines.  

Cole’s research areas include recompression effects on video (especially YouTube compression effects), iOS Voice Memo authentication (presented at AES in Porto), and specialization in hardware and computer configurations. Cole is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).  


Additional Resources

UC Denver’s Master course descriptions

UC Denver’s Training courses

 

 

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Episode Overview

In episode six, Just Science interviews Barbara Guttman from the National Institute of Standards and Technology about the first large-scale black box study to test the accuracy of computer and mobile phone forensics. 

In forensic science, black box studies are used to measure the reliability of methods and techniques that rely on human interpretation. Barbara Guttman and her team at NIST are working to measure the overall competency of the digital forensics community at large by releasing an open-enrollment online test available to interested forensic scientists. Listen along as she discusses the parameters of the test, the expected results, and the value of the study in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just NIST’s Digital Forensics Black Box Study_Digital Evidence_138

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Guest Bio

Barbara Guttman is the Manager of the Software Quality Group in NIST’s Information Technology Lab (ITL).  Her areas of responsibility include software assurance and computer forensics.  In computer forensics, her group runs the National Software Reference Library www.nsrl.nist.gov and the Computer Forensics Tool Testing Project www.cftt.nist.gov.   She is also active in both the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence and the OSAC DE Subcommittee.  She has been working in the area for 20 years.  In software assurance, her group runs the Software Assurance Metrics and Tool Evaluation (SAMATE) project including the Static Analysis Tool Exposition and the SAMATE Reference Data Set. 

Prior to joining the Software Quality Group, she was Associate Director of ITL, Senior Program Analyst to the NIST Director, and worked in computer security and federal information policy.  


Additional Resources

NIST Digital Forensics

NIST to Digital Forensics Experts: Show Us What You Got

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Episode Overview

In episode five, Just Science interviews Matt Ruddell from Florida International University about their efforts to develop forensic education and training programs at FIU.

The National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University offers a variety of courses, consulting, and training geared toward forensic scientists. Matt Ruddell and the rest of the faculty at FIU are working to develop accessible programs for law enforcement, military personnel, and now – undergraduate students. Listen along as he discusses the development of digital forensics courses and his experience in the university system in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Digital Evidence 101_Digital Evidence_137

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Guest Bio

Matt Ruddell is a member of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, a program at FIU, specializing in Digital Forensic course development and delivery. He spent fifteen years working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the crime laboratory, twelve of those in the Digital Forensics section. He received his Masters of Science in Digital Forensics from the University of Central Florida while working full time in the crime lab. During his time working in the lab, Matt has worked over one thousand cases involving a variety of crimes including death investigations, sexual assault, drug cases, a variety of different types of fraud, money laundering, prostitution, hacking and lots of child exploitation cases. Matt has analyzed and extracted data from almost any device you can imagine including computer and laptop hard drives, cell phones and GPS devices, gaming consoles, surveillance system DVRs, and even spy cameras and credit card skimming devices. Matt helped develop and implement the advanced mobile device techniques allowing the extraction of data from previously inaccessible mobile devices. He was one of the chief architects of the policies and procedures used statewide and testified several times as an expert witness in state, federal, and military court proceedings. Matt has worked as a course developer and instructor for a defense contractor, and developed and teaches the capstone course for the Cyber Criminology major at Florida State University. His emphasis is taking his real world practical knowledge and transferring that into classroom training exercises, so that students are better prepared for what is actually out there. 


Additional Resources

FIU ECE Forensics

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Episode Overview

In episode four, Just Science interviews Paul Reedy, Owner of 4th Street Global, a digital forensics and cyber security consulting firm, about data stories and the future of digital evidence.  

Rapidly changing technology can complicate the analysis of digital evidence. As such, it is imperative that researchers and investigators work to stay on the cutting edge of the digital world. Paul Reedy believes that being proactive when it comes to the development of new digital evidence technologies will help investigators keep up with criminals. Listen along as he discusses tool validation, data stories, and the ever-evolving landscape of digital evidence in this episode of Just Science. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just Science · Just Data Stories_Digital Evidence_136

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Guest Bio

Paul Reedy is an international change agent with results achieved through innovation and collaborative partnerships. Mr. Reedy is an Australian forensic scientist who commenced as a drug analyst and toxicologist in Australia’s capital. In 2002, after working in science and innovation policy, Mr. Reedy commenced with the Australian Federal Police, less than four weeks after the first Bali bombs exploded, to lead the Computer Forensic Team (CFT). This was the beginning of a transformational period for the AFP as Australia met the rapidly emerging challenge of international terrorism. He later went on to manage the whole of the AFP’s forensic capabilities. The CFT, and forensic science more broadly, were fundamental to the AFP’s ability to meet these challenges, particularly the growth in digital evidence which required innovative organisational responses. International engagement and sharing of forensic knowledge were critical aspects of the AFP’s mission. In 2013, Mr. Reedy and his family moved to Washington DC to be part of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) which reflected a new approach to forensic science for the United States. He is a member of the Organising Committee for triennial INTERPOL International Forensic Science Managers Symposium and author of the symposium’s review of digital evidence. Mr. Reedy recently moved to the private sector


Additional Resources

Podcast Episode: Just the Evolution of Digital Evidence