Forensic Tox. vs Forensic Chem.
Understanding a crime
Forensic Toxicologist goes to a crime scene and investigates if any type of substance was involved in the crime or in the body. Forensic Chemist run many tests on any evidence that is brought in to help understand what happened in the crime.
-crime of forensic toxicology-
On September 15, 2002, things were looking up for 82-year-old Erma Prince. She’d just undergone a successful hip pinning at Dunn Me¬morial Hospital in Bedford, Indiana, to repair a hip she’d broken the day before. After the procedure, she was awake, alert, and enjoying visits from family members. The medical staff was pleased with her progress.
So when Prince died on September 16, nobody knew why. The first autopsy was performed on the day of Prince’s death. The sole toxicology testing facility for Dunn Memorial, AIT Laboratories received and analyzed Prince’s blood samples immediately and produced a complete report two weeks later. The results confirmed a presence of propoxyphene at 3,540 ng/mL in her system. Two thousand nanograms of propoxyphene are considered toxic; over three thousand may be lethal. Because of these lab results, Prince’s overdose was labeled a homicide.
-crime of forensic chemistry-
On March 1, 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of the famous aviator, was kidnapped, and although a ransom of $50,000 was paid, the child was never returned. His body was discovered in May just a few miles from his home. Tracking the circulation of the bills used in the ransom payment, authorities were led to Bruno Hauptmann, who was found with over $14,000 of the money in his garage. While Hauptmann claimed that the money belonged to a friend, key testimony from handwriting analysts matched his writing to that on the ransom notes. Additional forensic research connected the wood in Hauptmann’s attic to the wood used in the make-shift ladder that the kidnappers built to reach the child’s bedroom window. Hauptmann was convicted and executed in 1936.