Just Facial Recognition for Forensic Investigations

Just Facial Recognition for Forensic Investigations

Original Release Date: November 10, 2023

In episode 6 of our Case Studies season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Richard Vorder Bruegge, Senior Physical Scientist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to discuss how facial recognition technology was used to help identify individuals in photographs in two landmark cases.

Many individuals encounter facial recognition technology in their everyday lives like when they unlock their phones. This same technology can help significantly speed up and improve forensic investigations. Listen along as Dr. Vorder Bruegge describes how pattern-based matching is used to compare faces in images, how facial recognition technology was used to assist in the identification of unknown victims in the case against serial killer Israel Keyes, and the quest to determine the identities of the Marines in the famous World War II Iwo Jima flag raising photograph.

This episode is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (Award No. 15PNIJ-21-GK-02192-MUMU). 

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:

Episode Citation

McKay, J. & Vorder Bruegge, R. (2023, November 10). Just Science. Just Facial Recognition for Forensic Investigations. [Audio podcast episode]. Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Guest Biography

Richard W. Vorder Bruegge is a Senior Physical Scientist in the Operational Technology Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he is responsible for overseeing science and technology developments in the imaging sciences as well as consulting on other more general science and technology issues across the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dr. Vorder Bruegge has worked at the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 1995 and has testified as an expert witness in state, federal, and foreign courts over 60 times.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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