WHAT ANNIE TILLERY KNOWS ABOUT FORENSIC SCIENCE In “Girl with Pencil, Drawing”, a fire does extensive damage to the brownstone building where one of the main characters is hiding some important information that becomes important in solving the murder of John DiCristiani. The fire is set as a diversionary tactic, and is an essential catalyst toward exposing the story’s most fascinating surprises. The fire is proven to be arson. Lt. Red, Aunt Jill’s NYPD colleague explains how the police identify the elements of the crime of arson. HOW DO CRIME INVESTIGATORS SUSPECT A FIRE TO BE THE CRIME OF ARSON? Fires in commercial establishments are always suspect, because of the insurance money involved. When the fire marshal discovers another crime at the scene of the fire, it is possible that fire was set to cover the crime. It can be an efficient way to dispose of a murder victim. When…

FORENSIC TRIVIA: From Poison Pen Letters to Borgia Rings, and Beyond: Crime and Toxicology Poisons have been used for a very long time to commit murder. History is full of stories about rulers having tasters for their food, lest someone supporting an opposing faction put something nasty in their evening libation. How does one go about proving that poison has been used to knock somebody off? Or perhaps more practically, how can we determine the cause of accidental death or suicide? First, we look at the mortal remains. Certain poisons leave telltale physical effects on the body. Carbon monoxide poisoning will leave the body rosy, with a healthy glow. That is because carbon monoxide binds with hemoglobin in the blood to produce the same rosy color as oxygen. Carbon dioxide does not bond with hemoglobin, and thus the corpse is pale or bluish. A person exposed to long term effects…

FORENSIC TRIVIA: CAN YOU SOLVE THIS ONE? Apparent Dangers of Drinking and Driving At 3:00 AM on Nov. 10, Marguerite Lange, her silver 2010Mercedes Sports Coupe, a half-filled bottle of vodka and a plastic bag of white powder landed in a ditch located at the bottom of a steep hill bordering Rte. 17 in upstate New York. The car had apparently gone out of control and went off the highway, rolling several times before landing upside down in the ditch. The police were able to recreate the accident from skid marks on the road and various impressions and disturbances observed in the area. DUI 3 Marguerite forgot her seat belt. She was quite dead. The bottle of vodka was spilled on the front seat. The bag of white powder was in the glove compartment. The first person on the scene was P.O. Nelson who had received a call to check…