A crime scene is a puzzle that holds the clues to solving a case—but it takes expert training to be able to crack those clues. Seniors from Evanston Township High School (ETHS) got a firsthand lesson in how to do just that when they visited Loyola’s Forensic Science undergraduate labs to learn about crime scene investigation (CSI).
What did forensics investigators find?
Listen to senior Forensic Science major Justine Kwak set up the scene.
Although this human skeleton is decomposing, it can tell us a lot, including age at death, sex, ancestry, stature, indications of trauma, and past conditions/diseases.
The gun may have fingerprints that could be traced to the victim or possibly the perpetrator. This pattern evidence may help in identifying the victim or others involved in the crime.
The clothing may have biological samples-such as bodily fluids-that could be tested to help reveal the identity of the victim or possibly perpetrator.
Baggie and substance
The unknown contents will be analyzed by drug chemists and toxicologists for identification. Any DNA found in the substance could also be used in identifying the victim or others involved.
The skull will be examined to determine the events leading up to death and analyze any alterations to the skull, as in this case what appears to be trauma.
“We're a small piece of the process. We don't solve crimes. I want visitors to our labs to get a realistic snapshot of forensic anthropology.”— Anne Grauer, PhD, chair of Anthropology and forensic anthropologist for Cook County
The building blocks of CSI
Loyola's nationally ranked interdisciplinary program combines Biology, Anthropology, Chemistry and Criminal Justice. Using tools from these disciplines, students investigated a replicated crime scene, one that could easily appear in the Chicago area.