Sunday, August 23, 2009

The criminal mind


There was a newspaper item this morning about police in the US finding a body. It was disfigured and minus fingers and teeth, to avert identification.

But first a diversion...

I used to work at the coroner's court labs in Melbourne. People would drown someone in a bath tub and then throw them into the sea, not realising that we looked at the water in their lungs to see if they drowned at sea. They would kill someone and then burn the house down, not realising that we looked at the blood for evidence of the carbon monoxide poisoning that would be present in a fire victim and absent if they where dead before the fire started.

I used to work looking at foreign matter in food. We could often tell if the object was in there before cooking or entered after, either by accident, sabotage or extortion. Insects, for example, have an enzyme called phosphatase which is destroyed by cooking. If you must slip a cockroach into a pizza, cook it first.

Time and time again, people wanting to commit a crime, big or small, overlook something quite basic.

Back to our anonymous lady...

The police identified her by the serial numbers on her breast implants.


  1. It always amazes me, with all the crime dramas on TV, that people would be more careful when disposing of the evidence. But then, criminals are usually not known for their brilliance.

  2. Update: Yesterday, they found the guy who did it. He hung himself in a motel room. They say that suicide never solves your problems, but if he had hung himself last month, it would have solved his ex-wife's problem.


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