Friday, March 29, 2019

Forensic Friday: Forensics 101

Forensic Friday: Forensics 101

It’s been a while since I posted anything about Forensics, but I found a textbook while prowling around the wonderful Friends of the Belleview Library Book Nook during a visit to Florida to see family and thought I’d share some basics. I probably would have picked up more than the five books I did if I didn’t have to fit them in my luggage!

Television shows like NCIS and CSI created an avid interest of forensics by the general public. The shows are fascinating, and at some level, well-done, but no crime is solved in forty minutes with commercials, and the lab work and associated results take much longer than people realize. One concept the shows do justice to is that no matter how "empty" a crime scene appears, there are myriad tiny pieces of evidence that can be gathered. These items are called trace evidence.

Unlike the television show, “real world” forensic science is rarely tooth-and-nail drama. CSI specialists do exist, but scientists rarely investigate the crime scene, and they almost never interrogate witnesses. Most specialists work under carefully controlled conditions in well-stocked labs.

Forensics are used to help legal cases, both criminal and civil. Evidence can be biological, chemical, or physical. The FBI maintains a handbook of forensic methods and techniques for use by all U.S. states, and most crime labs refer to it as the definitive standard for the analysis of evidence.

The earliest recorded use of forensic science dates back to ancient China where people used fingerprints as proof of identity in barters. The first text referring to the use of forensic science techniques is Hsi Duan Yu (translated the washing away of wrongs) published around 700 BC. Over the centuries forensics made great strides as technology improved, and in the last few decades the field had grown rapidly. And rather than one super-detective like Sherlock Holmes who used his extensive knowledge of forensics to solve a crime, the professional forensic scientist is one link in a long chain that handles and examines physical evidence.


A prostitute, a spy, and the liberation of Paris.

Sold by her parents to settle a debt, Rolande Bisset is forced into prostitution. Years later, shunned by her family and most of society, it’s the only way she knows how to subsist. When the Germans overrun Paris, she decides she’s had enough of evil men controlling her life and uses her wiles to obtain information for the Allied forces. Branded a collaborator, her life hangs in the balance. Then an American spy stumbles onto her doorstep. Is redemption within her grasp?

Simon Harlow is one of an elite corps of American soldiers. Regularly chosen for dangerous covert missions, he is tasked with infiltrating Paris to ascertain the Axis’s defenses. Nearly caught by German forces moments after arriving, he owes his life to the beautiful prostitute who claims she’s been waiting for the Allies to arrive. Her lifestyle goes against everything he believes in, but will she steal his heart during his quest to liberate her city?

Inspired by the biblical story of Rahab, Love’s Rescue is a tale of faith and hope during one of history’s darkest periods.

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