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Forensic Sciences
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Portrait of a Killer [electronic resource]: The Tortured Truth

This program illustrates how dedicated detectives and advanced forensic tests are marking Case Closed on crimes formerly believed to be unsolvable. Segment one documents the disappearance of freelance photographer Michele Wallace from Gunnison, Colorado, in 1974 and how, 18 years later, her murderer Roy Melanson was finally brought to justice. In segment two, a case of torture involving a troubled youth named Joe Clark and his 13-year-old victim Thad Philips enables investigators to connect Clark to a murder committed a year earlier. Gritty crime scene photography and interviews with the officers involved are included throughout.
2011; 2001

Post Mortem [electronic resource]: The Death Investigation Crisis in America

Every day, nearly 7,000 people die in America, and the rate of autopsies - the gold standard of death investigation - has plummeted. As a result, not only do murderers go free and innocent people go to jail, but the crisis in death investigation in America is also a threat to public health. Frontline correspondent Lowell Bergman reports the results of a joint investigation with ProPublica, NPR, and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley.

Bugs, Bones, and Botany [electronic resource]: The Science of Crime

In an empty warehouse, a dispute between two shady characters leads to murder. The only witnesses: a half-dozen houseflies, a few blades of grass tracked in from outside, and a nearly invisible coating of dust. With the expertise of Dr. Jennifer Gardy, a molecular epidemiologist at British Columbia's Centre for Disease Control, this program sifts through the science, sleuthing, and strangeness that make up the world of forensic investigation. Dr. Gardy shows how the latest technologies can partner with nature's own detection devices to help law enforcement track down the truth. But the film also emphasizes another secret of crime solving that must be implemented alongside high-tech laboratory work: careful, patient observation.

Scene of the Crime [electronic resource]

This episode of Inside Story takes us into grisly murder mysteries, which can be solved with help from the Crime Lab. This agency is tasked with photographing every detail of a crime scenes finding fingerprints, sketching, and gathering physical evidence. Their jobs must be completed flawlessly and quickly, gathering untainted evidence before the scene is again opened to the public.

Sleepwalking (Parasomnia) [electronic resource]

Some people wander, get dressed, even eat in their sleep. Others lash out in violent ways. Is it possible that people can commit complex crimes-even murder-while walking in their sleep? With only a dead victim and a seemingly disoriented suspect at the scene of the crime, it's hard to know for sure. This program explores the question, following extensive sleep tests performed on accused murderers in a quest for truth and scientific clarity. But even if science bolsters the sleepwalking defense, could it actually work in a courtroom? More frighteningly, could sleepwalking become a legitimized pretense for murder?
2010; 2006

Survival of the Meanest [electronic resource]

There are two sets of rules at Folsom Maximum Security Prison: the "guard rules" and the "yard rules." For an incoming inmate, negotiating the brutal yet invisible prison culture can be deadly. This program takes viewers inside Folsom to learn how the system works. From the severely regimented rules enforced by prison authorities to the unwritten codes that any inmate who wants to survive must obey, there has never been an escape. It is a confusing and dangerous maze in which new fish, for their own safety, must align themselves with gangs and avoid more powerful predators. And yet, as one inmate puts it, "There are no fish in prison-only sharks.
2010; 2006

Science of Evil [electronic resource]

We know evil when we see it-or do we? This program follows three people who confront a particular version of evil every day. Viewers meet Roy Ratcliff, the minister who baptized serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer behind bars and continues the practice with other hardened criminals; Aya Schneerson, a UN aid worker who administers food and medical help in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo; and a group of neuroscientists who examine conscience and morality via cutting-edge fMRI imaging techniques. Philip Zimbardo, whose 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment probed abusive aspects of the human mind, shares his library of images from the study.
2010; 2007

All About Forensic Science [electronic resource]

Unlike what's seen on TV crime shows, forensic science often requires weeks or months to produce results, and-although it's far from boring-it rarely involves confronting a suspect. This program debunks pop-culture stereotypes and illuminates the real-world chemistry, biology, and physics of criminology. Exploring three main forensic science disciplines-field work, lab analysis, and medical examination-the program shows how crime scenes are defined and protected; how blood, DNA, fingerprints, cloth fibers, spent ammunition, and other forms of physical evidence are gathered and studied; and how autopsies, dentistry, toxicology, and psychology come into play.

Crime Scene Insects [electronic resource]

Insects found on or near a corpse can reveal not just the time of death, but also whether or not a body has been moved, what drugs the victim might have taken, and other details. This program looks at the role of insects in solving two murder cases, one from 1935 and the other from 1997. The first involves a pair of bodies discovered at the bottom of a Scottish ravine. Maggots found on the remains helped pinpoint when the deceased were dumped there - the first time insects were used in a major British murder trial. In the second case, a German clergyman came under suspicion for murdering his wife. Lacking DNA evidence, police resorted to insect analysis - with maggots on the corpse demolishing the suspect's alibi and crushed ants on the soles of his boots putting him firmly at the cr [...]

Forensic Death Investigations [electronic resource]: What Every Officer Should Know

Most law enforcement professional will encounter at least one death scene in the course of their careers. Actions taken upon arrival on the scene will affect the investigation of the case, and likely the prosecution as well. This program teaches the basics every patrol officer should know about death scene preservation and information collection.

Painting Forensics [electronic resource]

After a private collector noticed a mysterious face appearing in the middle of a classic Australian painting, art restorers realized it was going to take all the tools of modern science to figure out what to do about it. Follow art historians and restoration specialists in this video clip as they work out what to do with the ghostly plumed lady hidden by layers of paint before it's again fit for public exhibition. Did the artist, Charles Conder, paint over an old canvas? Did he change his mind half way through painting this impressionist landscape? Or, did an art restorer conceal the figure for nefarious reasons?

Drug Forensics [electronic resource]

Tons of illicit drugs are seized on Australian shores annually. In this video clip, see how the Australian Measurement Institute and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are working with the Australian Federal Police to implement a newly developed plan to determine where cocaine and heroin are coming from by tracing their chemical fingerprints. Hear how scientists can now analyze a number of chemical signatures and find out in what country a particular type of cocaine originated and on what valley in South America it was actually grown.

The Mind of a Killer [electronic resource]: Case Study of a Murderer

What compels a seemingly normal person to disregard a fundamental societal principle and commit murder? In this disturbing program, correspondent Steve Aveson reports on recent scientific research into the behavior of killers. An exclusive interview with serial killer Joel Rifkin, convicted of strangling 17 women, is combined with neurological testing, brain scans, and even information derived from laboratory studies of animal aggression to attempt to shed light on Rifkin's obscure motivation to kill-a motivation that is a mystery even to himself. An ABC News/Discovery Channel Production.
2007; 1999

The Scene of the Crime [electronic resource]

Before detectives set foot on a crime scene, forensic scientists must first painstakingly glean every bit of evidence. In this program, Professor Margot of the Forensic Science Institute of Lausanne describes advances in criminal science. New technology has made it possible to capture footprints with Mylar and static electricity rather than plaster; to cause fingerprints on a shell casing to reappear after the bullet has been fired and ejected; to computerize Identikit composites; and to identify firearms and ammunition by discharging weapons into pseudo-flesh and examining the results. The contributions of Reiss and Locard to crime scene analysis, along with Godart's role in the 1927 Sacco and Vanzetti investigation, provide some of the historical antecedents of modern criminology.
2006; 1998

Genocide [electronic resource]: From Biblical Times Through the Ages

Although the term "genocide" was coined by humanitarian Rafael Lemkin in reference to the Turkish expulsion and slaughter of Armenians in the early 20th century, the phenomenon is as old as civilization. In this program, a variety of experts analyze Biblical accounts and some of the earliest documented examples of genocide, as in the Athenian siege of Milos in 416 BC, to explore the psychology that motivates such violence. This grim survey of history looks at the extermination of Tasmanians, Native Americans, Namibia's Herero tribe, and the Armenians. Guests include Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA William Schulz, and David Scheffer, U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes.
2005; 2001

Genocide in the First Half of the 20th Century [electronic resource]

State-sanctioned violence has always existed, but technological advances have facilitated its use as a viable means of exerting political power. This program continues the examination of the history of genocide, focusing on the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, the 1923 Rosewood Massacre, Stalin's forced Ukrainian famine, the Japanese Rape of Nanking, and the Holocaust. A host of survivors, experts, and scholars include Martha Barnett, president of the American Bar Association; Eddie Faye Gates; Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking; Yehuda Bauer, director of the Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research; and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.
2005; 2001

Never Again? Genocide Since the Holocaust [electronic resource]

After the atrocities of World War II, the cry of conscience was "never again!" As this program demonstrates, that bitterly learned injunction went unheeded throughout much of the world. The chronicle of genocide continues with a look at Mao's purges in China, Cambodia under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, the Arab/Israeli conflict, border wars in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and killing in Central America. Guests include Dr. Ben Kiernan, Genocide Studies Program director at Yale University; Pierre-Richard Prosper, Special Counsel and Policy Advisor to U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues; and Sophal Leng Stagg, Cambodian survivor and author of Hear Me Now: Tragedy in Cambodia.
2005; 2001

Genocide [electronic resource]: Horror Continues

The late 20th century produced a sinister euphemism: "ethnic cleansing." This program concludes a comprehensive survey of genocide by looking at the most recent examples in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey; Burundi and Rwanda; the former Yugoslavia; Indonesia and East Timor; and Chechnya. The role and efforts of the United Nations are discussed as well as what the future holds in trying to prevent genocide. Among many scholars, experts, and survivors interviewed are Jamsheed Marker, former U.S. Ambassador and negotiator to East Timor; Gregory H. Stanton, director of Genocide Watch; and Joseph Mutaboba, Rwandan Ambassador to the UN.
2005; 2001

Sudan in Crisis [electronic resource]

The hostilities ripping apart the Sudanese region of Darfur have created a humanitarian crisis which the international community is only beginning to address. This ABC News program serves as a starting point for analyzing the situation, shedding light on how the conflict spiraled out of control and led to the deaths of thousands and the displacement of far more. Focusing on the efforts of relief organizations to shelter, feed, and care for a tidal wave of refugees-and the political, logistical, and geographic obstacles that have made such efforts nearly impossible-the video assesses the accuracy of the term "genocide" in describing the conflict's ethnically driven atrocities.
2006; 2004

Torture [electronic resource]: We Have Ways of Making You Talk

Examining the use of torture over the past half-century, this program describes its horrific application in military and political settings and explores its profound human cost. Featuring interviews with confessed practitioners of the gruesome craft, the program exposes interrogation methods developed and carried out by French army officers against Algerian independence fighters, by British police against the IRA, by American troops against the Viet Cong, and other shocking occurrences in South America and South Africa. The employment of physical and psychological abuse as a weapon against guerilla and opposition groups parallels current dilemmas in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay.
2006; 2005