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Amy Helen Bell

1 London crime scenes in the 1930s Introduction Suspicious death cases in the 1930s portray a London whose brilliant public and commercial life concealed a darker and shabbier poverty. Although stranger murders in London’s cosmopolitan Soho involving foreign restaurant workers and prostitutes captured newspaper headlines in the 1930s, this chapter also reveals a much more intimate picture of violence in which most victims and perpetrators knew each other, and in which women and children were the main victims. Parents driven to desperation by unemployment and

in Murder Capital
T.K. Ralebitso-Senior
T.J.U. Thompson
, and
H.E. Carney

In the mid-1990s, the crime scene toolkit was revolutionised by the introduction of DNA-based analyses such as the polymerase chain reaction, low copy number DNA analysis, short-tandem repeat typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis and variable number tandem repeat. Since then, methodological advances in other disciplines, especially molecular microbial ecology, can now be adapted for cutting-edge applications in forensic contexts. Despite several studies and discussions, there is, however, currently very little evidence of these techniques adoption at the contemporary crime scene. Consequently, this article discusses some of the popular omics and their current and potential exploitations in the forensic ecogenomics of body decomposition in a crime scene. Thus, together with published supportive findings and discourse, knowledge gaps are identified. These then justify the need for more comprehensive, directed, concerted and global research towards state-of-the-art microecophysiology method application and/or adaptation for subsequent successful exploitations in this additional context of microbial forensics.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Roxana Ferllini

This article presents an account of the involvement of forensic anthropology in the investigation of human rights abuses in the modern era, and the difficulties it faces with respect to lack of adequate funding, volatile settings, the presence of unexploded ordnance, corruption in governmental agencies and a lack of good will, absence of support for NGOs and the curtailment of formal judicial proceedings to effect transitional justice. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain, Mexico and the Northern Triangle are provided as regional examples of the problems encountered when attempting to conduct forensic anthropological investigations to locate mass graves, retrieve victims and obtain proper identifications. Interventions by various organisations are highlighted to illustrate their assistance to forensic and non-forensic individuals through technical support, training and mentoring in the areas of crime-scene management and identification techniques. Interventions in mass-grave processing when state agencies have failed, the importance of DNA banks and information from family members and witnesses are also presented.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Criminal cases and the projection of expectations about forensic DNA technologies in the Portuguese press
Filipe Santos

were selected from 1995 to 2010 based on the reported use of forensic DNA technologies, and the factors for their prolonged newsworthiness and coverage in daily newspapers. The second part draws on extracts from the newspaper coverage of the criminal cases, exploring the senses and meanings about forensic science that are portrayed. The emerging popularity of the CSI – Crime Scene Investigation

in Forensic cultures in modern Europe
Textures, tehkhana and the Gothic in the horror films of the Ramsay brothers
Vibhushan Subba

tehkhana is a space shot through with a sense of ruin and fear characteristic of the Ramsays’ operational mode. In this (forensic) light, the tehkhana functions analogously to a crime scene photograph. The crime scene photograph – even those without bodies in them – suspends the space, the victims and the familiars in an eternal present that lies somewhere between ‘extinction

in Graveyard Gothic
Emilio Audissino

utter contradiction. Against the grain of the sound-led substance of television and its style of mirroring the visual with the audio, we have audiovisual disjunction. The visit to the crime scene at the beginning of Episode 1 presents a remarkable instance of such audiovisual disjunction. Drebin has just arrived at a credit union branch where the teller has been shot dead, and meets his boss, Captain Hocken, at the door outside the bank. The dialogue is: HOCKEN: An attempted hold

in Substance / style
Abstract only
Suspicious deaths in London, 1933–53

Murder Capital is a historical study of suspicious deaths, unexpected deaths whose circumstances required official investigation, in mid-twentieth-century London. Suspicious deaths – murders in the family and by strangers, infanticides and deaths from illegal abortions – reveal moments of personal and communal crisis in the social fabric of the city. The intimate details of these crimes revealed in police investigation files, newspaper reports and crime scene photographs hint at the fears and desires of people in London before, during and after the profound changes brought by the dislocations of the Second World War. By setting the institutional ordering of the city against the hidden intimate spaces where crimes occurred and were discovered, the book presents a new popular history of the city, in which urban space circumscribed the investigation, classification and public perceptions of crime.

Abstract only
Bill Marshall

Catherine Deneuve has made five films with André Téchiné, more than with any other director she has worked with in her long career: Hôtel des Amériques, Le Lieu du crime/Scene of the Crime, Ma saison préférée/My Favourite Season, Les Voleurs/Thieves and Les Temps qui changent. In order to investigate the meanings of this connection, this chapter examines the established literature in film studies on Deneuve's star persona. The relationship between art and popular cinema in Deneuve's output can also be expressed in terms of the distinction between 'star' and acteur fétiche. Aspects of the pre-existing Deneuve persona (autonomous, empowered) happily encounter Téchiné's narratives of change, transformation, plurality, and becoming. Finally, and to take a distance from questions of stardom and acting technique, it is possible to see in the supremely cinematic Deneuve face one of the best examples of what Deleuze and Guattari call visagéité, or facialisation.

in From perversion to purity
The forensic and political lives of secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Admir Jugo
Sari Wastell

This paper will examine the excavation of mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has evolved into a significantly standardized yet methodologically flexible set of procedures based on integrated principles of forensic archaeology, forensic anthropology and crime scene processing – the overall goal of which is to maximize the collection and documentation of all sets of human remains, forensic artifacts and features for the purposes of establishing an objective historical record, supporting the criminal justice process and the victim identification process.

In particular, the phenomenon of the secondary mass grave will be explored. Why might a secondary mass grave play a distinct role from a primary mass grave, and in what ways, and for whom? Through an (admittedly implicit) description of the actor-network in which these graves are embedded, and the many sorts of actants with which they are in relation, the authors will attempt to describe the precarious and shifting place of Bosnia’s secondary mass graves in the country’s processes of social reconciliation and peace-building.

in Human remains and identification
Abstract only
Amy Helen Bell

discovered, like the skeletal remains of infants found in bombed-out houses in 1945 and 1946. Post-war police investigations of crime sought to increase forensic control over a more anonymous and varied urban space in the wake of unsolved murders and bodies discovered in bomb sites and abandoned shelters. Crime scene photography played an essential role in reinforcing and creating narratives of urban criminality. While the legacy of Alphonse Bertillon and Hans Gross emphasized police use of the camera as an objective recorder of the scene of the crime, police photographers

in Murder Capital