Following a sudden, unexpected, or unexplained death, detectives sometimes have very little to work with to solve the case. That’s when they look to forensic science. This is the application of gathering and examining all the minuscule details of the crime scene, and reconstructing the past. To be effective, the forensic scientist must not only be an expert in the skills of examination and evaluation, but must also be able to communicate findings in courts of law and administrative tribunals. Forensic Scientists make for great characters.
There are many disciplines of forensic science, all of which require a highly-detailed, highly-educated, inquisitive problem solver.
Criminalistics: this is generally the crime lab team who analyses, identifies, and interprets the physical evidence. They reconstruct events to prove a crime was committed, and to connect or eliminate a suspect and/or victim with that crime.
Forensic Anthropology: the recovery and identification of skeletal or other human remains .
Forensic Engineering: the scientific examination and analysis of structures and products relating to their failure or cause of damage.
Forensic Odontology: the branch of dentistry which deals with the proper handling and examination of dental evidence, and the proper evaluation and presentation of dental findings.
Forensic Pathology: focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse, investigating and interpreting the injuries resulted from violence as in homicides, suicides, or accidents, or death occurring suddenly, unexpectedly, or in an unexplained manner. .
Forensic Psychiatry and Behavioral Science: doctors who work with the courts to evaluate an individual’s competency to stand trial, defenses based on mental diseases, and sentencing recommendations.
Forensic Toxicology: investigating the harmful effects of external substances introduced into the victim’s system. A toxicological analysis can be done to various kinds of samples, including blood, hair and urine. A forensic toxicologist must consider the context of an investigation, in particular any physical symptoms recorded, and any evidence collected at a crime scene that may narrow the search, such as pill bottles, powders, trace residue, and any available chemicals.
Questioned Document Examination: the scientific examination of handwriting, typewriting, printing, ink, paper, and other aspects of documents to answer legal questions concerning the document, its author, and its authenticity