Editor’s note: This blog will contain material some readers may find disturbing. Please do not continue reading if references to murder, rotting corpses, blood splatter and other such disturbing material may be offensive to you.
New episodes of “Forensic Files” will premiere 10 p.m. Sunday, February 23! Yes, I’m very excited about this, since I’m a HUGE fan of this TV show. What do I love about the show? Lots of things! Peter Thomas’ creepy narration, the “Single-Serving Scooby Mysteries,” and the multitudes of things you learn about human beings just by watching, for starters!
Bill Camp was recently announced as the new narrator for “Forensic Files 2.” Peter Thomas – the old narrator – died in 2016.
New narrator Bill Camp is on the left – former narrator Peter Thomas is on the right.
I’m sure Bill Camp will do a great job – but… will he be able to say “Luminol” the way Peter Thomas did? I can’t quite describe it…but there was just something about how Peter Thomas said the word “Luminol” that will be forever etched in my memory. If you don’t know what “Luminol” is, then clearly you’ve never watched enough crime shows! It’s basically a magical spray solution that reveals blood that has been concealed – allowing the blood stains to appear to “glow” in a creepy blue color.
Luminol – a virtual lie detector in a spray bottle.
I’m really going to miss hearing Peter Thomas’ creepy – yet calm, soothing voice – when the new series airs! I can’t tell you how many times I would change the channel to HLN late at night so that I could fall asleep while it was airing.
That’s certainly not my way of saying that the series is boring! Far from it. What could be more exciting than a “whodunit” fitting into a half hour time slot? Even if the sex and violence isn’t enough to lure you into watching, there was all kinds of cool science stuff to keep your brain engaged, too.
I’ve learned lots of cool scientific stuff by watching “Forensic Files.” More about that in a bit.
Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned by watching “Forensic Files:”
Cool Things I’ve Learned Watching “Forensic Files”
- Mitochondrial DNA is only passed from mother to child. So if two young boys find a woman’s skull while they’re out fishing, scientists can extract DNA from that skull and compare it to the mitochondrial DNA from the woman’s living child.
- NOBODY ever cleans up a crime scene well enough. Traces of blood can be revealed by spraying Luminol on it, investigators can find hairs (human or animal), clothing fibers, and numerous other microscopic things that can provide valuable clues.
- Fibers from floor mats in cars are commonly “trilobal” (which means they’re triangular shaped).
- Spouses, lovers, boyfriends, girlfriends are almost always the first murder suspects.
- There’s a reason they’re called “deadly sins.” Greed, wrath, jealousy and lust are very powerful motives for murder. I haven’t seen too many cases where pride, sloth and gluttony come into play, but – maybe someday?
- Lots of people seem to feel they’re better off killing their spouses rather than getting divorced. And killing their own children to get them out of the way so they can pursue a new romance. People are truly sick bastards.
- Details, details, details. The most mundane thing lying around a crime scene can provide many vital clues. Order a seat for your van and decide to use that box to stow a corpse? Well, good on you for trying to recycle (LOL), but chances are investigators will be able to research where that box came from and still bust your ass.
- “Eyes in the sky” can be literally everywhere. Store security cameras can capture a lot more details than they used to, and when that fails, sometimes even NASA will step in to help enhance photos. Did you go into a Home Depot to buy a shovel so you can get rid of that pesky corpse in your trunk that has picked up countless fibers along the way? Security cameras might rat you out.
- Expect the unexpected, nothing is impossible, yada yada. For years investigators thought Succinylcholine – when given to a person in large doses to kill them – was untraceable because of how fast it metabolizes in the body. But a scientist managed to figure out how to test for it in human tissue anyway. And did you think cremating a body would hide the fact you poisoned it with Arsenic? Think again – someone figured out how to test for Arsenic in cremated remains. What about getting a footprint impression from snow? Yes, investigators have figured out how to do that, too. Did you think pulling all of the teeth out of your girlfriend’s mouth – and completely dismembering her corpse – would keep investigators from figuring out who she was? Enjoy prison, buddy! Nobody seems to be smart enough to commit the perfect crime these days. All of your best planning can’t compete with the brains of the folks whom will help throw you in the slammer.
- If you killed someone, don’t think you’re out of the woods because they buried the body. Just wait until they decide to EXHUME THE BODY. Hell, they even exhumed Zachary Taylor’s body not too long go to find out if he might have been poisoned (results were inconclusive)! Once that backhoe starts digging, you’d better start “digging” for a better lawyer, my friend!
- The experts they call in are always cool. Ballistics experts, forensic document examiners, forensic entomologists, forensic pathologists, forensic anthropologists, blood spatter experts, criminal profilers, shoe impression experts – you name it! Even artists can chip in to help by putting virtual faces on skulls. These “experts” are all as cool AF!
- Blow flies are very attracted to corpses and will do a great job of seeking them out. Insect evidence has been used in countless cases to help determine a person’s time of death. I’ll just bet the Pixar movie A Bug’s Life didn’t show viewers how deft blow flies are at seeking out dead, rotting flesh! Maybe if Tim Burton had directed it?
- Wear patterns on the side seam of a pair of jeans can be as unique as bar codes. A guy was photographed during an armed robbery wearing a certain pair of jeans – and investigators found that same pair of jeans in the guy’s house and were able to prove he was at the crime scene.
- Nobody is incapable of murder. Anyone – if pushed enough in that direction – can become a killer. Even…you!