In: Other Topics

Submitted By rebeccawalker
Words 3940
Pages 16
Rebecca Walker
Forensic Toxicology
CRJ 311
Dawn George

History Forensic science is defined as the application of science to the law. There are different types of forensic science, and each plays an integral part in the criminal justice system. Forensic biology usually involved DNA testing and its results. Forensic anthropologists examine human remains that have become skeletons in an attempt to determine how long the remains have been in a location and to try to determine a possible cause of death. Forensic toxicology falls into the category of forensic chemistry. Forensic toxicologists study toxins, drugs, poisons, alcohol, and other things found in the blood or tissues of crime victims or perpetrators. Forensic toxicologists study the blood and tissues of living people as well as deceased persons. The rapid advancement of technology in the last century and, in particular, the last three decades, has helped forensic scientists solve many crimes, even those that had been cold for decades. Technology is quickly changing and improving the methods by which crimes can be solved. The first evidence of scientific methods being used to identify people occurred in China in 700BC. Chinese artists used fingerprints to identify pieces of art they had produced. Of course, there was not computerized system to file or categorize these fingerprints. However, this is the first known instance of fingerprints being used for identification purposes. Clearly, things have dramatically changed since that time in terms of using forensics to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system. Toxicology has been a particularly useful type of forensic science. Forensic toxicology is an interdisciplinary field applying the methods of analytical chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology to the analysis and interpretation of drugs and chemicals in…...

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...Forensic Toxicology     It was during the years of 1998 and 2001 that a very demure and innocent looking woman named Van le Thahn began her killing spree. Thahn was 49 years old  at the time and was from the city of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Van le Thahn successfully poisoned 13 people with cyanide. Named the Vietnamese Black Widow, Van would intentionally place herself in situations that would allow her to interact with people who were rich and affluent. After gaining access to the circle, Van would befriend those that she thought would be easy targets and victims to her scheme. She would cook for her new found “friends” and provide drinks that contained cyanide which ultimately ended their lives. Van did not discriminate when it came to her targets in some cases. It is estimated that Van killed thirteen people during the years of her killing spree, among the thirteen people she killed included was her mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and two ex-husbands. It is speculated that the killing of the members of Van’s extended family was due to ongoing family problems. Van’s main goal for the selection of her targets and killing them was to take their most valuables items for her possession or sell them for the money. It is estimated that Van was able to steal more than twenty thousand US dollars from her victims. Because of the nature of these killings it made finding out that Van was the killer hard. It is without a doubt that had it not been for the expertise of a Forensic......

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