Episode 51: …And Justice For All

There’s no question that there have been incredible innovations in the ways in which scientists and law enforcement gather and present evidence for trial. Expert testimony has become an almost indispensable aspect of legal proceedings. We should consider that, perhaps, we are blurring the line between circumstantial and scientific evidence. Is this a new phenomenon? Hardly. Spectral evidence has featured prominently in criminal proceedings since the days of comparing the weights of ducks and witches.  From the validation of literal specters visiting people in the night, to three-buttoned double breasted suits; there are many examples of expert opinions casting long shadows in the court room. In this episode we’ll examine the history of behavioral profiling and take a look at the kind of testimony that originally convicted the West Memphis Three. Join us this week as we examine the evolution of spectral evidence over time, and what happens when we try stories instead of the accused.

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imageGuest Storyteller: Joshua Zeman

Find Josh on Twitter

Check out the new series THE KILLING SEASON on A&E

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills – Trailer

Sources:

Wonders of the Invisible World: Prosecutorial Syndrome and Profile Evidence in the Salem Witch Trials by Jane Campbell Moriarty Vermont Law Review

The Perils of Profiling for the Media – American Psychological Association

Dangerous Minds: Criminal Profiling Made Easy – The New Yorker – Malcom Gladwell

The Cropsey Maniac by Meridith Vitale

Cropsey at Camp by Libby Tucker – New York Folklore Society

Creepy History: Cropsey — The Monster of Staten Island

FBI Vault – Jack the Ripper

FBI – Criminal Investigative Analysis

Casebook: Jack the Ripper – Dr. Thomas Bond

The Use of Offender Profiling Evidence in Criminal Cases – Norbert Ebisike – Golden Gate University School of Law

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