Segments in this Video

Traces of Guilt: Introduction (02:16)


This segment orients viewers to the topic of forensic science and how it became essential to crime scene investigation.

Murder in Rockenhausen, Bavaria (03:30)

In 1908, police discovered the body of Margarethe Filbert in the woods. The police suspected Andreas Schlicher but had no evidence. The DA requested help from chemist Georg Popp; the police refused to send Schlicher's clothes and shoes to Popp.

New Evidence (03:00)

Police found a shotgun and pants in the cellar of castle ruins; the DA insisted the police accept Popp's help. Popp found blood on Schlicher's clothes and collected soil samples from every location connected to the Filbert case.

Forensic Geology (03:40)

Popp compared soil samples to the mud on Schlicher's shoes. Gabriel Weston tries removing layers of mud from a pair of shoes and explains the four layers found on Schlicher's shoes. After a year in jail, Schlicher confessed to killing Filbert.

Murder in Manhattan, New York (03:09)

In April 1936, Theodore Kruger and John Fiorenza discovered the body of Nancy Titterton. Crime scene investigators found a cord beneath her body.

Crime Scene Analysis: Titterton (02:13)

Experts found horsehair in Titterton's bedding and learned the cord found under the victim's body came from the Hanover Cordage Company. Krueger's upholstery company received a batch of that cord the day before the murder.

Titterton's Killer Caught (03:07)

The NYPD questioned Fiorenza who confessed to killing Titterton. Faith in forensic science was significant by the middle of the 20th century; Paul Leland Kirk became a famous crime scientist.

Sheppard Cold Case (02:35)

In January 1955, Kirk arrived in Bay Village, Ohio to help defense lawyers prepare an appeal for Dr. Sam Sheppard. Weston considers the dynamics of Sheppard's marriage.

Marilyn Sheppard's Murder (03:21)

Weston discusses the version of Marilyn's murder the jury believed and Sam Sheppard's version. Kirk rebuilt the crime scene and considers crime scene photos.

Crime Scene Analysis: Sheppard (02:49)

Coroner Dr. Samuel Gerber never requested a crime scene analyst and the crime scene was not properly secured; he was convinced Sheppard killed his wife with a medical instrument.

Blood Pattern Analysis (04:11)

Kirk focused on bloodstain patterns; he noticed a "blood void" and castoff patterns. Pete Smith and Weston demonstrate a blood void and impact splatter. Kirk became convinced a left-handed man killed Sheppard.

Blood Spatter Analysis (02:53)

Smith argues for caution when determining whether an assailant is left-handed or right-handed. Kirk concluded that Sam Sheppard was not the murderer and the killer was left-handed; Kirk testified in 1966. Weston reflects on Sheppard's guilt or innocence.

Authority of Science (03:00)

Weston discusses two kinds of forensic science and the importance of fingerprints. In May 1905, attorney Richard Muir had two days to convict Albert and Alfred Stratton of burglary and murder with a fingerprint as his only evidence.

Fingerprint Analysis (03:46)

Scotland Yard started their fingerprint bureau in 1901. They believed Alfred Stratton left a thumbprint at the crime scene; Muir called 40 eyewitnesses to the stand to defend the evidence. A fingerprint analyst explains basic analysis principles.

Fingerprint Evidence (03:04)

In 1905, D.I. Collins explained fingerprint analysis to the jury on the Stratton brothers' case. Dr. John George Garson provided a point-by-point rebuttal; Muir discredited his statements.

Human Error (02:02)

Errors in fingerprint identification have come to light around the world. D.I. Collins' 1905 fingerprint match in the Stratton brothers' case remains unchallenged; the brothers were hanged.

Credits: Traces of Guilt: Catching History's Criminals—The Forensics Story (00:38)

Credits: Traces of Guilt: Catching History's Criminals—The Forensics Story

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Traces of Guilt: Catching History's Criminals—The Forensics Story

Part of the Series : Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story
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Blood, hair, fiber—these tell-tale signs are often the key to catching the most careful of killers. This program looks at blood-spatter analysis and what it can reveal about the killer, the soil on a suspect’s shoe that solved one of history’s ugliest crimes, and the conviction of a killer based only on a small piece of cord and a single hair. A BBC Production.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL95048

ISBN: 978-1-68272-270-1

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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