For 70 years, there have been serious questions about the execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the murder of Charles Lindbergh's baby. It remains one of the most controversial decisions in the history of American justice. At the time experts said his handwriting matched the ransom note and that the ladder found at the crime scene was constructed using a piece of wood from his attic. Today most experts agree that the handwriting comparisons were done improperly and that the wood comparison was highly suspect. Three of America's top forensic handwriting experts ...
In this classic episode of Forensic Files, the longest running true crime series in television history, a man riding a bicycle is fatally injured, and police believe he is the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Tiny clues found at the scene create a picture of the vehicle that struck him... and lead police to its driver. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 3.
Hunters make a grisly find in a Texas canyon: a human skull. Crime scene analysis reveals bits of clothing, a woman's shoe, some small bones and one strand of hair. An anthropologist determines the victim was a Caucasian woman who had been stabbed repeatedly. A forensic artist reconstructs her face and police eventually learn who she was. Now all they have to do is find her killer.
A married couple decided to escape the cold of winter with a vacation in Key West. The wife went missing and police searched every inch of the island; they found nothing but a pair of sandals that may have belonged to her. Then two pieces of video surfaced and investigators started to wonder if they should be searching for a missing person or a murderer. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 7.
The violent death of an Air Force officer's wife outside a Philippines air base is examined, amid accusations of a love triangle involving the murdered woman's husband. Investigators use groundbreaking computer forensics to make their case.
Bombings are difficult to solve, because the perpetrator isn't usually at the scene, and the evidence goes up in smoke. But there are clues if investigators know where to look. In this case, pieces of plastic the size of grains of sand held the key to a man's murder. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 10.
The wife of an Air Force officer was found dead in her bed, with a plastic laundry bag near her face. At first glance, it appeared she'd been doing laundry, fell asleep, rolled onto the bag, and suffocated. But further investigation proved that the scene had been staged. Her death wasn't an accident; it was cold-blooded murder. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 11.
When a fire destroyed most of a home and a young boy went missing, police organized the largest search in the history of their small town. First the boy's backpack was discovered five miles from home, and then his body was found 50 miles away. But the killer had been careless, and the evidence he left behind would lead police directly to him. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 12.
The decomposed body of a young woman was discovered in a Bakersfield irrigation canal. If there was trace evidence, it had been washed away. Another victim was found in that same canal a year later; this time, the perpetrator had been careless. The shoe prints found at the scene would lead police to the most unlikely of killers. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 14
It appeared the victim had accidentally fallen and hit her head at the bottom of the stairs. But the odd position of her shoes and the absence of blood spatter led police to suspect the scene had been staged... and Luminol proved they were right.
When police recovered the submerged car of a man reported missing, they expected to find his body - but it wasn't there. His broken eyeglasses were on the floor of the vehicle and the interior was coated with motor oil. The investigation which followed would uncover an obsession turned deadly, and the motive for murder. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 18.
Emergency dispatch received a call from a man saying his girlfriend shot and killed herself. Police found the victim in the caller's house, lying in a pool of blood with the gun next to her on the floor. The autopsy revealed the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted, and the evidence found on her body gave police a golden opportunity to catch her killer. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 19.
'Four on the Floor' dealt with New Mexico law enforcement's successful effort to find and convict the killer of Betty Lee, a Navajo mother of five who was found brutally slain in a remote area near Farmington, N.M.. Once the police investigation led to Robert Fry, currently a death row inmate in New Mexico, it was learned that Fry might also be connected to other violent crimes in the area. This eventually led to Fry and an accomplice being suspected of the murder of Donald Tsosie, a Native American man found slain near the Navajo reservation, as well as to the deaths...
An employee of a drycleaner was raped and killed in the store, and investigators thought themselves fortunate to have two witnesses. Their descriptions were similar but not identical, and the prime suspect didn't come close to resembling that person. Police turned to forensic science for the answers they were looking for. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 22.
The murder of an eccentric millionaire was not really unexpected; he showed off his wealth and cared little for personal security. The evidence at the crime seemed to lean towards robbery, but investigators questioned if there was something more. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 23.
Some of the refugees who sought asylum in the United States after World War II lied about the atrocities in which they'd participated. Years later, when a high-ranking religious figure was suspected of war crimes, there seemed to be no way to prove his guilt or innocence... until a postcard allegedly written by him 40 years earlier was found in a German archive. Originally aired as Season 5, Episode 13.
A college student was found dead, and the evidence suggested he knew his killer. Three hairs and some microscopic cells helped police to unravel a web of lies, and find the motive for murder. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 26.
In an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, police were called to the scene of what appeared to be an accidental drowning. The investigation gradually focused on one person, a suspect who had more than a million reasons to want the victim dead. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 27.
When two women from the same town were killed in the same way, police feared a serial killer was on the loose. At first they thought the victims had nothing in common until they found very small clues linking them to one man. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 28.
A young woman was found dead on a golf course in the Bahamas. The grass on that course was so distinctive that it had evidentiary value. The evidence led police to two suspects. Each blamed the other, and they had to find out who the killer was. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 29.
A teenager went missing after an evening of horseback riding; her body was found a month later, three miles from her home. The killer unknowingly left trace evidence behind, tiny but unmistakable clues that pointed to him and him alone. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 30.
When a popular disc jockey was found murdered in a community garden, police swung into action. A sniffer dog and a blood spatter expert led police to the killer... and he'd been much closer than they realized. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 31.
The crime scene was awash with blood. The victim had been brutally murdered as he slept in his own bed. There were no foreign fingerprints in his home, but investigators did find a shoe impression in the mud outside... physical evidence they hoped would lead them to the killer. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 34.
The owner of a historic restaurant killed. Investigators uncover tales of debt and deceit. But the case remains open, until one detective gets inspired by an earlier episode of "Forensic Files", and looks for clues in an empty holster.
A serial arsonist was on the loose in Washington, DC. Each of the fires was started with the same type of incendiary device. The perpetrator was very careful, and seemed to leave no evidence behind... but there were clues in the ashes and it was up to forensic scientists to find them. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 37.
When a woman was found dead in her bathroom, the evidence pointed to suicide. But a coroner's inquest and a unique application of forensic science gave investigators a different explanation for her death. It was a theory that, if true, could turn the grieving husband into the prime suspect. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 38.
Three homicides on two continents looked like professional executions. Investigators on both sides of the Atlantic needed to find out if they were related and, if they were, who or what they had in common. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 39.
A 29-year-old woman was killed instantly when a bomb exploded in her home. The device was so powerful that shrapnel was imbedded in houses across the street. The bomber had not only knowledge and skill, but also a motive for murder. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 40.
A killer tried to incinerate and destroy everything that could link him to his crime. But in doing so, he inadvertently created new forensic evidence - evidence that came to light with a technique never before used in a criminal investigation. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 41.