Science Thursdays: Crime Lab Problems, Animal Forensics and a New “Body Farm”


This week, crime laboratory problems were revealed from coast to coast, animal forensic science becomes a focus for the forensic community and evidence is disputed in a number of high profile international murder convictions. Here’s a roundup of forensic news:

A New York crime laboratory became

the only crime lab put on probation

by the national accrediting organization.

The San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab reportedly concealed for two years

an incident

where a DNA sample in a homicide case was mixed up.

Lawmakers in North Carolina are debating whether the State Bureau of Investigation’s troubled crime laboratory

should stay under law enforcement control or become independent


Lawyers for a Florida man believe a forensic veterinarian

was exaggerating

in a lab report implicating a suspect  on  animal cruelty charges.

The International Society for Forensic Genetics published a paper to outline recommendations for

the use of animal DNA in a forensic science investigation



A UK man convicted of murder is

challenging his conviction

by questioning the validity of fiber comparison evidence. A crime scene reconstruction expert

reviewed evidence

in Amanda Knox’s murder conviction in Italy. According to the expert, the crime was the work of a single perpetrator.

New Jersey’s Health and Human Services’ Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team includes a

forensic odontologist

who also consults with the State Police Office of Forensic Sciences.

The Michigan State Legislature

approved funding

for a $15M Detroit facility to house the Detroit fire and police headquarters and a new crime laboratory.

The Canadian government is considering whether it will switch to a

public-private partnership

to replace the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) troubled forensic laboratories and services.


Bode Technology Group, a major forensic DNA company, was


to SolutionPoint International for $30.5 M.

A Pennsylvania man donated land to California University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Criminological and Forensic Sciences for a

“body farm”


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