Forensic Clues

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Play the Game, Solve the Crime

Can you catch the Deadeye Killer before he strikes again?

Catching Killers: Sneak Peek

Ruthless murderers like the BTK Strangler and Dr. Death were brought down by revolutionary forensic techniques that pushed the boundaries of detective work.

Season 2

Season 1

  • 1. Name:

    Dennis Lynn Rader

    Dennis Lynn Rader
    Getty Images
    3. AKA:

    BTK Killer (acronym for Bind, Torture, Kill)

    4. Occupation:

    Former dog-catcher, Boy Scout leader, elected church president

    5. Location:

    Wichita, Kansas

    6. Victims:

    10 known victims

    7. On the Lam:

    1974 - 2005

    8. Prosecuted By:

    Twenty years after her death, one of the BTK killer's victims provides a vital clue. When DNA is found under her fingernails, scientists are able to create a complete genetic profile of her killer.

    9. Forensic First:

    England, 1986: For the first time ever, police use DNA profile in a homicide case to exonerate a suspect. Forensic science proves that an innocent man admitted to the crimes.

  • 1. Name:

    Joseph Michael Swango

    Joseph Michael Swango
    3. AKA:

    Dr. Death

    4. Occupation:

    Former EMT, licensed physician

    5. Location:

    Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota, New York and Africa

    6. Victims:

    As many as 60 suspected victims

    7. On the Lam:

    After serving a 5-year prison sentence for poisoning co-workers, Swango avoids arrest from 1989-1997.

    8. Prosecuted By:

    Trace amounts of poison are found in the exhumed bodies of Dr. Death's suspected victims. And when forensic toxicologists rule that the deaths were not natural, Swango pleads guilty to murder.

    9. Forensic First:

    France, 1840: Marie La Farge is convicted of murder after Dr. Mathieu Orfila tests her husband's remains in the courtroom, and proves that it was arsenic, not cholera, that killed him.

  • 1. Name:

    John Wayne Gacy

    John Wayne Gacy
    AP Images
    3. AKA:

    Killer Clown

    4. Occupation:

    Businessman known to volunteer as "Pogo the Clown" at charity events.

    5. Location:

    Chicago, Illinois

    6. Victims:

    33 known victims

    7. On the Lam:

    1972 - 1978

    8. Prosecuted By:

    When skeletons were found under Gacy's house, scientists used forensic anthropology to reveal each victim's age, race, gender, cause of death, and exact identity.

    9. Forensic First:

    Illinois, 1897: For the first time ever, bones are used in a murder trial, when anthropologist George Dorsey identifies human skull fragments found at the factory watch the defendant works.

  • 1. Name:

    Richard Ramirez

    Richard Ramirez
    AP Images
    3. AKA:

    Night Stalker

    4. Occupation:

    Drifter from Texas

    5. Location:

    California

    6. Victims:

    At least 14

    7. On the Lam:

    1984 - August 1985

    8. Prosecuted By:

    Investigators find one stray fingerprint on the mirror of a car spotted at the scene of a murder. When they compare it to records, they find it's an exact match for Ramirez.

    9. Forensic First:

    Argentina, 1892: A bloody fingerprint is found near two children's bodies, and when detectives compare it to their mother's prints, she becomes history's first murderer to be identified by fingerprinting.

  • 1. Name:

    Vincent Brothers

    Vincent Brothers
    Bakersfield California, Globe Photos
    3. AKA:

    N/A

    4. Occupation:

    Former vice principal of John C. Fremont Elementary School

    5. Location:

    Bakersfield, California

    6. Victims:

    5 (including his wife, sons, daughter and mother-in-law)

    7. On the Lam:

    July 6, 2003 - April 2004

    8. Prosecuted By:

    Entomologist Lynn Kimsey finds several insect species in Brothers' car that prove his vehicle was in the vicinity of the scene of the crime, poking holes in his alibi and unraveling a trail of lies.

    9. Forensic First:

    Scotland, 1935: Entomologist Alexander Mearns uses maggots to determine the exact day of a murder, and when the prime suspect doesn't have an alibi for that specific day, he's convicted.

  • 1. Name:

    John Allen Muhammad

    John Allen Muhammad
    Getty Images
    3. AKA:

    Beltway Sniper

    4. Occupation:

    N/A

    5. Location:

    Washington, DC Metro Area

    6. Victims:

    10

    7. On the Lam:

    22 days

    8. Prosecuted By:

    Bullets found in the victims' bodies are all traced to one particular gun model, the Bushmaster assault rifle. That rifle is found in the back of a car belonging to Malvo and Muhammad.

    9. Forensic First:

    New York, 1915: Police exonerate a murder suspect using ballistics for the first time. Scientists prove that the suspect's gun couldn't have fired the bullet found in the victim.