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Posts tagged with "crime"

10 Of The Most Horrible Halloween Crimes


One of these is the murder of Martha Moxley - killed by Michael Skakel - a Kennedy cousin. He’s getting a new trial now because a judge found that he had inadequate representation - really? A Kennedy had inadequate representation? I find that hard to believe! How many black guys or poor people are in prison right now with DNA evidence available that could exonerate them and fighting for a chance to be heard?

Ligature strangulation marks

Ligature strangulation marks

Dangerous Offender 
In Canada, “Dangerous Offender” is the label attached to offenders who are proven to constitute a significant danger to others. 
Dangerous Offender is a sentencing option for the judge. A prosecutor can submit a dangerous offender application to the court for any offender convicted of a serious personal injury offence who is deemed to constitute a danger to others.  
According to the Criminal Code, the determination of dangerousness in these cases is based on evidence that one of the following conditions is met: 
the offender exhibits a pattern of unrestrained behaviour that is likely to cause danger
the offender exhibits a pattern of aggressive behaviour with indifference as to the consequences of his behaviour
the offender exhibits behaviour that is of such a brutal nature that ordinary methods of restraint will not control it
the offender shows a failure to control sexual impulses that are likely to harm others. 
If someone receives the dangerous offender designation, that person can be imprisoned for an indefinite period of time. 

Dangerous Offender 

In Canada, “Dangerous Offender” is the label attached to offenders who are proven to constitute a significant danger to others. 

Dangerous Offender is a sentencing option for the judge. A prosecutor can submit a dangerous offender application to the court for any offender convicted of a serious personal injury offence who is deemed to constitute a danger to others.  

According to the Criminal Code, the determination of dangerousness in these cases is based on evidence that one of the following conditions is met: 

  • the offender exhibits a pattern of unrestrained behaviour that is likely to cause danger
  • the offender exhibits a pattern of aggressive behaviour with indifference as to the consequences of his behaviour
  • the offender exhibits behaviour that is of such a brutal nature that ordinary methods of restraint will not control it
  • the offender shows a failure to control sexual impulses that are likely to harm others. 

If someone receives the dangerous offender designation, that person can be imprisoned for an indefinite period of time. 

Jul 4

Dr. Bass from the Body Farm (this clip discusses skin slippage and post-mortem fingerprinting and identification methods)

The National Geographic coverage of the Body Farm is great and clips can be found here

Jun 5

National Parole Board

The National Parole Board reviews the risk that an offender might present to society upon their release from prison. 

The issues considered during an initial NPB risk assessment: 

  • information about the offender’s current offence
  • the offender’s criminal history
  • social problems experienced by the offender, such as drug use and family violence
  • the offender’s mental status
  • performance on earlier releases
  • information about the offender’s relationships and employment history
  • psychological or psychiatric reports
  • opinions from other professionals, such as police officers
  • information from victims
  • any other information indicating whether release would pose a risk to society

After this initial assessment, the NPB examines specific risk factors, such as: 

  • the offender’s institutional behaviour
  • information that indicates evidence of change and insight into the offender’s own behaviour
  • benefits derived from treatment that may reduce the risk posed by the offender
  • the feasibility of the offender’s release plans

The NPB then decides whether to grant parole. 

McDonalds Crime DNA Spray Links Thieves

The fast-food restaurant chain employs a new DNA spray in Australia to catch thieves for up to six months. The product is sold by SelectDNA and it was developed by a chemist and a police officer in the UK.

Apr 4
Chain of Custody
The chain of custody requires that from the moment the evidence is collected, every transfer of evidence from person to person be documented and that it be provable that nobody else could have accessed that evidence. It is best to keep the number of transfers as low as possible.
Chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence, physical or electronic. Because evidence can be used in court to convict persons of crimes, it must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner to avoid later allegations of tampering or misconduct which can compromise the case of the prosecution toward acquittal or to overturning a guilty verdict upon appeal. The idea behind recording the chain of custody is to establish that the alleged evidence is in fact related to the alleged crime, rather than having, for example, been planted fraudulently to make someone appear guilty.

Chain of Custody

The chain of custody requires that from the moment the evidence is collected, every transfer of evidence from person to person be documented and that it be provable that nobody else could have accessed that evidence. It is best to keep the number of transfers as low as possible.

Chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence, physical or electronic. Because evidence can be used in court to convict persons of crimes, it must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner to avoid later allegations of tampering or misconduct which can compromise the case of the prosecution toward acquittal or to overturning a guilty verdict upon appeal. The idea behind recording the chain of custody is to establish that the alleged evidence is in fact related to the alleged crime, rather than having, for example, been planted fraudulently to make someone appear guilty.

Apr 2
Luminol
Tiny particles of blood will cling to most surfaces for years and years, without anyone ever knowing they’re there.
The basic idea of luminol is to reveal these traces with a light-producing chemical reaction between several chemicals and hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. The molecules break down and the atoms rearrange to form different molecules. In this particular reaction, the reactants (the original molecules) have more energy than the products (the resulting molecules). The molecules get rid of the extra energy in the form of visible light photons. This process, generally known as chemiluminescence, is the same phenomenon that makes fireflies and light sticks glow.
Investigators will spray a suspicious area, turn out all the lights and block the windows, and look for a bluish-green light. If there are any blood traces in the area, they will glow.

Luminol

Tiny particles of blood will cling to most surfaces for years and years, without anyone ever knowing they’re there.

The basic idea of luminol is to reveal these traces with a light-producing chemical reaction between several chemicals and hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. The molecules break down and the atoms rearrange to form different molecules. In this particular reaction, the reactants (the original molecules) have more energy than the products (the resulting molecules). The molecules get rid of the extra energy in the form of visible light photons. This process, generally known as chemiluminescence, is the same phenomenon that makes fireflies and light sticks glow.

Investigators will spray a suspicious area, turn out all the lights and block the windows, and look for a bluish-green light. If there are any blood traces in the area, they will glow.

For their betrayal of humanity, (murderers) deserve no better fate than to be permanently excised from the social order. Their only value is as objects of study.

- Elliot Leyton (via virgineunuchother)

Dr. James A. Brussel
Dr. Brussel is often considered one of the father’s of criminal profiling. He profiled the Mad Bomber (in the 1950’s), and even astounded law enforcement by pronouncing what type of suit the bomber would be wearing when they found him. His approach was based on psychiatry and he was often referred to as the Sherlock Holmes of the couch. His book, Casebook of a Crime Psychiatrist, is a must read for anyone going into a career in forensic psychology/psychiatry or criminal investigative analysis.

Dr. James A. Brussel

Dr. Brussel is often considered one of the father’s of criminal profiling. He profiled the Mad Bomber (in the 1950’s), and even astounded law enforcement by pronouncing what type of suit the bomber would be wearing when they found him. His approach was based on psychiatry and he was often referred to as the Sherlock Holmes of the couch. His book, Casebook of a Crime Psychiatrist, is a must read for anyone going into a career in forensic psychology/psychiatry or criminal investigative analysis.

Mar 7
Christopher Wilder
Using a standard ruse, he approached young women, some of whom were aspiring models, and offered them careers in modelling. If they refused to accompany him “for photographs”, he would forcibly abduct them and subject them to electric shocks and other tortures before killing them. 

Christopher Wilder

Using a standard ruse, he approached young women, some of whom were aspiring models, and offered them careers in modelling. If they refused to accompany him “for photographs”, he would forcibly abduct them and subject them to electric shocks and other tortures before killing them.
 

Mar 2
The History of Capital Punishment in Canada
Prior to 1869, a multitude of offences were punishable by death in Canada including murder, rape, robbery with wounding, buggery of animal or beast, assault, casting away a ship, and unlawful abuse of a girl under ten. As of 1869, only three crimes were punishable by death: murder, rape, and treason (Justice Canada, 2009).
The first serious efforts to abolish the death penalty began in 1914 with a private members bill submitted by Robert Bickerdike who argued passionately against the death penalty. The bill was defeated that time and then reintroduced and defeated in 1915, 1916, and 1917. In 1950, another private members bill to amend the Criminal Code was introduced and struck down. The same bill was introduced again in 1953 but likewise withdrawn. That year, a Senate Committee was formed to investigate capital punishment, specifically to determine the feasibility of the abolition of capital punishment, and to make recommendations on the issue. The Committee’s report was released in 1956 and recommended retaining capital punishment but removing it for children under 18 years of age (Chandler, 1976). In 1961, legislation was passed which reclassified murder into two categories, capital and non-capital offences. Capital murder was defined as planned or intentional murder, murder that occurred during another violent crime, or the murder of a police officer or correctional officer while on duty. All other murder was thus non-capital. Under these new definitions, only capital murder was eligible for the death penalty (Justice Canada, 2009).
The last people to be executed in Canada were Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas on December 10, 1962. At that time there was significant debate in Canada about the acceptability of using the death penalty. A few years later, in 1967, a moratorium was placed on the death penalty except for murders of correctional and police officers while on duty. Then on July 14, 1976, Bill C-84 was passed which abolished the death penalty in Canada. The one exception to this was under the National Defence Act where the death penalty remained a sentencing option, although never used, until 1998. Bill C-84 replaced the death sentence with life imprisonment (Justice Canada, 2009).
During the moratorium period from 1967 to 1976 the Governor General commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment. Throughout Canada’s history, the Cabinet reviewed all death sentences and decided whether to commute them under “prerogative of mercy.” If the Cabinet decided to commute a sentence then a recommendation was made to the Governor General who had the final say on the matter (Chandler, 1976). From 1957 to 1962, 80% of death sentences were commuted to life sentences by the Conservative government of the time. Once the Liberals gained power in 1963, and after Lucas and Turpin were executed, no one else was ever executed in Canada (Chandler, 1976). In total, 1,481 people have been sentenced to death in Canada; of those only 710 were executed. Of those executed, 697 were male and 13 were female. The only method of execution ever used in Canada was hanging (Justice Canada, 2009).
In 1987, a motion was introduced in the House of Commons to reintroduce the death penalty but it was defeated in a free vote of 148 to 127 (Justice Canada, 2009). This motion marked the last parliamentary move to reinstate the death penalty to date, although there has been considerable debate on the issue within the Canadian public.
(Photo: The old gallows in Quebec, Canada)

The History of Capital Punishment in Canada

Prior to 1869, a multitude of offences were punishable by death in Canada including murder, rape, robbery with wounding, buggery of animal or beast, assault, casting away a ship, and unlawful abuse of a girl under ten. As of 1869, only three crimes were punishable by death: murder, rape, and treason (Justice Canada, 2009).

The first serious efforts to abolish the death penalty began in 1914 with a private members bill submitted by Robert Bickerdike who argued passionately against the death penalty. The bill was defeated that time and then reintroduced and defeated in 1915, 1916, and 1917. In 1950, another private members bill to amend the Criminal Code was introduced and struck down. The same bill was introduced again in 1953 but likewise withdrawn. That year, a Senate Committee was formed to investigate capital punishment, specifically to determine the feasibility of the abolition of capital punishment, and to make recommendations on the issue. The Committee’s report was released in 1956 and recommended retaining capital punishment but removing it for children under 18 years of age (Chandler, 1976). In 1961, legislation was passed which reclassified murder into two categories, capital and non-capital offences. Capital murder was defined as planned or intentional murder, murder that occurred during another violent crime, or the murder of a police officer or correctional officer while on duty. All other murder was thus non-capital. Under these new definitions, only capital murder was eligible for the death penalty (Justice Canada, 2009).

The last people to be executed in Canada were Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas on December 10, 1962. At that time there was significant debate in Canada about the acceptability of using the death penalty. A few years later, in 1967, a moratorium was placed on the death penalty except for murders of correctional and police officers while on duty. Then on July 14, 1976, Bill C-84 was passed which abolished the death penalty in Canada. The one exception to this was under the National Defence Act where the death penalty remained a sentencing option, although never used, until 1998. Bill C-84 replaced the death sentence with life imprisonment (Justice Canada, 2009).

During the moratorium period from 1967 to 1976 the Governor General commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment. Throughout Canada’s history, the Cabinet reviewed all death sentences and decided whether to commute them under “prerogative of mercy.” If the Cabinet decided to commute a sentence then a recommendation was made to the Governor General who had the final say on the matter (Chandler, 1976). From 1957 to 1962, 80% of death sentences were commuted to life sentences by the Conservative government of the time. Once the Liberals gained power in 1963, and after Lucas and Turpin were executed, no one else was ever executed in Canada (Chandler, 1976). In total, 1,481 people have been sentenced to death in Canada; of those only 710 were executed. Of those executed, 697 were male and 13 were female. The only method of execution ever used in Canada was hanging (Justice Canada, 2009).

In 1987, a motion was introduced in the House of Commons to reintroduce the death penalty but it was defeated in a free vote of 148 to 127 (Justice Canada, 2009). This motion marked the last parliamentary move to reinstate the death penalty to date, although there has been considerable debate on the issue within the Canadian public.

(Photo: The old gallows in Quebec, Canada)

Mar 2

FORENSIC ODONTOLOGY

Forensic odontology is a branch of forensic medicine and, in the interests of justice, deals with the proper examination, handling and presentation of dental evidence in a court of law. The work of a forensic odontologist covers:

  • identification of bite marks on the victims of attack
  • comparison of bite marks with the teeth of a suspect and presentation of this evidence in court as an expert witness
  • identification of bite marks in other substances such as wood, leather and foodstuffs
  • identification of unknown bodies through dental records
  • age estimations of skeletal remains

A forensic odontologist would often work with a forensic pathologist or forensic anthropologist.

Ted Bundy’s bite marks on a victim were famously used as evidence against him (pictured with forensic odontology overlay)

Capital Punishment in Canada
Capital punishment used to be sentenced for a variety of crimes in Canada, but as of 1961 its use was limited to homicide and treason.
On December 10, 1962, Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last people to be executed in Canada.
In 1967, a moratorium was placed on the death penalty.
In 1976, the death penalty was abolished as a sentence in Canada.
A total of 710 people have been executed in Canada; all were hanged.
Polls seem to indicate that around 60% of people support the death penalty, however some question how meaningful the issue really is to people.
A Supreme Court ruling suggested that the death penalty would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada today.
(photo: The gallows in Hull, Quebec, 1902)

Capital Punishment in Canada

  • Capital punishment used to be sentenced for a variety of crimes in Canada, but as of 1961 its use was limited to homicide and treason.
  • On December 10, 1962, Robert Turpin and Arthur Lucas were the last people to be executed in Canada.
  • In 1967, a moratorium was placed on the death penalty.
  • In 1976, the death penalty was abolished as a sentence in Canada.
  • A total of 710 people have been executed in Canada; all were hanged.
  • Polls seem to indicate that around 60% of people support the death penalty, however some question how meaningful the issue really is to people.
  • A Supreme Court ruling suggested that the death penalty would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada today.

(photo: The gallows in Hull, Quebec, 1902)

Suicide By Cop
When investigating a suspected suicide by cop, a critical element to determine is the probable motivation of the offender/victim. The investigating officer or unit must carefully go through the facts and circumstances using stringent criteria to determine if the incident was probably motivated by the offender/victim’s will to commit suicide.
Investigating officers should collect the following items of evidence, if possible:
notes or recent correspondence to/from the offender/victim
detailed and verbatim statements from family members, friends,and associates
images capture from in-car and/or security cameras
forensic evidence such as the firearm brandished by the offender and whether it was loaded
personal history of the offender
Suicide by cop offender profiles indicate that such subjects often have poor self-image, feel a sense of guilt for great harm they have caused, talk about death and express a desire to be with deceased loved ones, speak often of a higher being, are aggressively confrontational with police, and possess an unloaded or nonfunctioning (toy) gun.

Suicide By Cop

When investigating a suspected suicide by cop, a critical element to determine is the probable motivation of the offender/victim. The investigating officer or unit must carefully go through the facts and circumstances using stringent criteria to determine if the incident was probably motivated by the offender/victim’s will to commit suicide.

Investigating officers should collect the following items of evidence, if possible:

  • notes or recent correspondence to/from the offender/victim
  • detailed and verbatim statements from family members, friends,and associates
  • images capture from in-car and/or security cameras
  • forensic evidence such as the firearm brandished by the offender and whether it was loaded
  • personal history of the offender

Suicide by cop offender profiles indicate that such subjects often have poor self-image, feel a sense of guilt for great harm they have caused, talk about death and express a desire to be with deceased loved ones, speak often of a higher being, are aggressively confrontational with police, and possess an unloaded or nonfunctioning (toy) gun.