When there's a difficult case to crack, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are called in to help. These investigators have the means to tackle crimes involving drugs, arson and weaponry.
Often, the eyewitnesses of a crime are also the main suspects. They're able to manipulate the truth to throw off the authorities. When a murder is committed and deceit clouds the evidence, investigators turn to forensics to uncover the truth, expose a murderous lie and capture the killer.
In May 1996, Ray and Fleta Holladay were worried about their daughter, Kathy Beadle. She had checked into a clinic in Toronto, Canada for cancer treatment. That was six weeks ago and they hadn't spoken to her since.
Approximately 1.8 million Americans are reported missing each year. Some are runaways who find their way home, but others simply disappear. When foul play is suspected, investigators turn to forensics to find the missing.
Most victims are meticulously chosen by their murderer because of a connection or because they match an intricate set of criteria. The most terrifying cases of murder occur when the killer appears to choose victims at random, seemingly without an apparent connection or reason.
Solving crimes may begin with intuition but advanced science provides investigators with irrefutable proof to uncover murder masked as an accident. When criminals go to great lengths to hide their crimes, skeptical investigators must step up the challenge and remain undaunted.
Some people murder for love, others murder out of hatred. But sometimes people kill for the money. When greed is the motive, investigators must make every clue pay off in these murder-for-profit cases.
Coroners play a vital role in piecing together the final moments of someone's life. Los Angeles County coroner Julie Wilson provides an in-depth look into the science of death, as well as the techniques and methodology used by coroner investigators.
Some killers choose to hide their victims and investigators must then rely on forensic examiners to uncover proof of murder. From identifying remains to uncovering post-mortem clues, these medical examiners are integral in solving some of the most brutal crimes.
For some killers, once is never enough. Often, cold and calculated serial killings are more difficult to solve than violent crimes of passion. For investigators, the challenge is steep when the killers murder by numbers.
There's never a good reason for murder but some killers are especially cruel - choosing their victims at random or with no apparent motive and then expertly covering their tracks. These crimes may seem unsolvable, but telling clues remain. It's up to investigators to follow the trail of evidence to capture these deadly killers.
A car crashes down an embankment in Northern California. Rescue workers scramble to save a couple trapped inside. Susan Moyer lay motionless while passenger Mitch McLees is barely conscious. An unexpected twist is revealed during a routine investigation.
Poison is the subtlest murder weapon, and poisoners are sometimes the most brutal of killers, gaining their victims' trust and harming them over time to disguise the murder. Investigators must see through the unusual circumstances to bring these murders to light.
The 'stars' of this episode are forensic entomologists who specialize in determining time of death by the development of insects found with the body. In Hawaii, a missing person case becomes a murder when a body wrapped in a blanket is found. An entomologist simulates conditions with a dead pig and watches fly development to pinpoint her time of death and convict her killer. In Tennessee, a dried-out wasp's nest in a dry skull helps identify a victim. William Bass, a forensic anthropologist, determines age and sex, as well as the length of time required for conditions...