This CSAFE Center Wide webinar was presented on December 13, 2018 by Professor Keith Inman, CSAFE colleague and Associate Professor at California State University East Bay. Professor Inman has provided presentation slides.
Every stake holder claims dominion over the reconstruction of a violent event (detectives, attorneys, scientists, trier-of-fact), yet most have nothing but common (non)-sense and parochial experience to guide their efforts. What can and should the scientist contribute to an understanding of the aftermath of a violent encounter? What constitutes a ‘scientific’ inquiry into such an occurrence?
Most research conducted in this area focuses on specific evidence types typically encountered at crime scenes, and research in one evidence type is isolated from other evidence types. It is almost always conducted by forensic scientists, which is reasonable and natural. This talk will explore the limitations of such an approach, and suggest asking and answering key reconstruction questions from a holistic perspective, incorporating the expertise of research and work in several other fields. Such collaborations have the potential to advance our fundamental knowledge of violent events, and guide our investigation and reconstruction of crime scenes.