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Feature Articles I The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Crime Lab I Cincinnati Magazine

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There are times when the crime lab at the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office functions like an episode of CSI: NY. Take, for instance, the case of the Hilton Netherland Plaza security guard who was stabbed to death December 7 in a stairwell of the hotel.

About a week after the slaying, video surveillance led investigators to a suspect. The prosecutor called coroner Lakshmi Kode Sammarco late on a Friday night wanting to know how quickly the suspect’s DNA could be tested. The crime lab received the sample on Monday morning, and 72 hours later their results showed a match between the suspect’s DNA and evidence at the crime scene. The suspect, Joseph Tucker Jr., was quickly indicted—he’s now awaiting trial for the murder of guard Richard Campbell—and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters publicly thanked the crime lab for their work. Made-for-TV stuff.

But there are other scenes at the crime lab that are decidedly at odds with the way the public imagines the high-tech world of forensic science. Investigators on television don’t have to dry marijuana on the floor of a boiler room the way Hamilton County analysts do; their hallways aren’t lined with desks because they’ve outgrown the office space; they don’t have to worry about where to plug in a new piece of equipment; they’re not traveling two floors away to perform basic lab tests.

via Feature Articles I The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Crime Lab I Cincinnati Magazine.


Written by edparnell

March 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Crime, Interesting

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