Forensic Sciences

Plate 1 ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION/Airbag Related Injuries and Deaths This patient sustained a severe corneal abrasion secondary to the membrane forces associated with air bag deployment. Plate 2 ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION/Driver Versus Passenger in Motor Vehicle Collisions Contact with deploying air bags will result in injuries to the occupants, including abrasions. This patient sustained superficial abrasions overlying […]


Introduction Wood is encountered, in one form or another, in connection with a variety of crimes. Its use as evidence is limited primarily to three areas: (1) physical matches between broken pieces of wood; (2) as a substrate carrying toolmarks; and (3) as small pieces or particles of trace evidence. Other questions may be raised […]


Introduction ‘Why would the federal government build a separate and fully functional crime laboratory just for wildlife law enforcement?’ This is the question most often asked when people hear about the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory – the first full-service national or international crime laboratory devoted to wildlife law enforcement – located in Ashland, […]


Introduction In Stanley Kubrick’s cult movie 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968), the hero goes through customs on presentation of his voice.Science fiction and daily experience of safely recognizing people by their voices let us suppose that speaker recognition is a resolved problem, both for human being and for machines. The human being has a good […]

Methods of Analysis – Post Mortem

Introduction Drug detection in postmortem specimens has many uses, all of which assist the investigating authorities in providing the relevant information pertaining to a case (Table 1). Ultimately, toxicology testing results will assist the coroner, medical examiner or equivalent in establishing evidence of drug use, or by refuting the use of relevant drugs. This latter […]

Interpretation of Results

Introduction Forensic toxicology concerns the analysis of biological specimens (fluids and tissues) for the presence and, often, the concentration of drugs and poisons. The results of the analyses must be correlated with the circumstances of the case to determine what role, if any, the detected substances played. This correlative function is commonly called interpretation. This […]

Methods of Analysis – Ante Mortem

Introduction Drug screening in antemortem specimens of forensic cases has many uses, all of which assist the investigating authorities in providing relevant information pertaining to the cases (Table 1). Ultimately, toxicology testing results will assist the courts in establishing the truth by either providing evidence of drug use, or by refuting the use of relevant […]


Introduction If anesthesia is excluded, acute poisoning with volatile substances usually follows the deliberate inhalation of vapour in order to become intoxicated (‘glue sniffing’, inhalant abuse, solvent abuse, volatile substance abuse (VSA)). Solvents from adhesives, notably toluene, some correcting fluids and thinners (until recently, often 1,1,1-trichloroethane), hydrocarbons such as those found in cigarette lighter refills […]

Equine Drug Testing

Introduction The twentieth century saw the development of a multimillion dollar horseracing industry. For competitions, two main elements must be considered in the control of drugs in racehorses: 1. Legitimate treatment, supervised by a veterinarian, may be underway for illness or injury, so that the horse will be fit to perform. 2. Drugs may have […]


Introduction Toxicology is the science of poisons; when applied to medicolegal proceedings, the terms forensic toxicology or analytical toxicology are often used. A forensic toxicologist is concerned with the detection of drugs or poisons in samples and is capable of defending the result in a court of law. This distinction from an ordinary analytical toxicologist […]