Physics Colloquium: Science helps resolve crimes: CSI – facts and illusion
Prof. Joseph Almog, The Hebrew University
On October 17 2001 The Israeli minister of tourism, Rehav'am Ze'evi was shot to death in the Jerusalem Hyatt Hotel. A cigarette butt that was found by his body and a newspaper that was found in one of the hotel rooms provided the crucial evidence which was analyzed by scientific tools, to decipher the murder and identify the assassin.
Forensic Science sometimes referred to as Criminalistics, or Criminal Identification, is the application of science to law. Many crimes would have remained unsolved, and many criminals would escape penalty, without the skillful application of scientific methods, many of which are chemical, by police investigators. Moreover, in democratic countries, it is equally important to be able to clear innocent suspects by scientific methods.
The application of scientific methods is particularly important in serious crime investigations, since it can decipher cases, which are otherwise unsolvable, save plenty of time and resources, and provide courts of law with solid, objective evidence. Terrorist acts, illegal use of firearms and explosives, arson, drug smuggling, money counterfeiting, and forgery of documents, belong to this group of serious crimes, whose investigation requires application of scientific techniques.
In this presentation some "high profile" crimes which have been resolved by the application of scientific techniques will be presented and discussed, with emphasis on specific Israeli contribution to their development.
Event Organizer: Prof. Sasha Gerber