Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Many people watch television shows like the fiction series of the C.S.I. franchise, N.C.I.S and the non fiction documentary shows like Forensic Files and Cold Case Files. The crux of these television shows deal with solving crimes with the use of forensic scientists and forensic investigators. The forensic investigators collect any evidence they find at various crime scenes and they turn the items over to the forensic scientists who analyze the evidence, such as blood, hair, fingerprints, and other evidence that needs to be analyzed to help detectives and police officers solve the crimes.
The hour long fiction television shows make forensics out to be an easy way to solve crimes when in reality a lot of crimes go unsolved even with the help of forensic scientists just because there is not always enough evidence to convict someone of a crime but forensics does go along way to helping solve crimes and most probably could not be solved without the help of forensic scientists. There are also sub-fields of forensic science and will list a couple in this article.
In many large police departments there are different scientists who specialize in certain areas. There is a scientist who studies ballistics. Ballistics is the study of projectiles and firearms and how projectiles, such as bullets, and how projectiles react after being fired from a firearm. Essentially, ballistic scientists can usually tell what kind of a bullet that was used in a crime and from what which weapon it was fired from.
A forensic pathologist will determine how a person died whether it be by a knife, a bullet or an unknown cause such as sickness or disease.
There are even times when a body is badly disfigured and it is near impossible to identify and this is where a forensic odontologist comes into play. The forensic odontologist will use dental records to help identify a body and will also be called in to identify bite marks that may be present on a body.
These jobs are just a small portion of criminal forensics and if anyone is planning for a career in criminal forensics, be prepared to take a lot of math and science classes in high school and college and it would be a good idea to take speech classes as well because there are often times when a forensic scientist is called into court during a trial to explain and back up their findings. Research the different jobs and the education requirements for it if you want to become a forensic scientist.