Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting Dr. Murray is an excellent speaker with very clear enunciation. She has chosen a variety of interesting topics and seems to be thoughly familiar with them all.
Date published: 2020-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Right on the money! Excellent course! The professor’s vast experiences really add to the value of the lectures.
Date published: 2020-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Fascinating World of Forensics Professor Murray was always entertaining and presented her vast understanding of the history of forensics by using cases that illustrated how the science has advanced over the years and its weaknesses. I learned a great deal from her about crime scene investigation.
Date published: 2020-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Forensic History I've been a subscriber for a little over a year now. Out of all the courses I have watched to date, this one has been, by far, one of the most enjoyable courses I have purchased. The presenter, Professor Murray, is easy to follow and keeps your attention throughout the 24 lectures and and is very enlightening as well. This is not one of the most popular topics to attract a general audience to, but Dr. Murray does a great job in my opinion. Thanks for offering this course!
Date published: 2020-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds and Scandals Great Course. Comprehensive history of the development of forensics.
Date published: 2020-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting! Like the woman giving lectures, she's keeping it very interesting. Am not looking forward to end, what will come next? So rationing lectures, don't want them over soon. Most enjoyable.
Date published: 2020-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super interesting course I started listening to this course about 2 weeks ago and I have already finished because of the great lectures. You become immersed into famous crimes and scandals. I would recommend this course to anyone who want to learn about famous crimes. However, if you are looking to learn forensic science, this is not the course for you and you should go to the course Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works, this course's goal is not to teach forensics but to teach you about the history of forensics.
Date published: 2020-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introduction I love forensics, so I looked forward to this class. Professor Murray was a delight to listen to. I enjoyed her lectures because she spoke on a more common level and defined terms by definition and example. She gave it a personal touch rather than just facts and I enjoyed her sense of humor. Professor Murray is very relatable as well as knowledgeable and passionate. Absolutely enjoyed this course.
Date published: 2020-04-08
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Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals
Course Trailer
The Infamous Jack the Ripper
1: The Infamous Jack the Ripper

Much of our forensic knowledge comes from the media. Start your journey through forensic history with what's considered the landmark case for crime reporting: the Jack the Ripper murders from the late 1880s. Along the way, you'll investigate the continuous interplay between forensic advances and larger societal changes.

31 min
Analyzing the Black Dahlia Murder
2: Analyzing the Black Dahlia Murder

Explore the special forensic category known as lust murder with the 1947 murder-mutilation of the Black Dahlia. How did law enforcement ultimately uncover this young woman's true identity? What makes her case different from other lust murders? Could there be a link to the infamous Lipstick Murders that occurred two years earlier?

30 min
Dissecting Hollywood Deaths
3: Dissecting Hollywood Deaths

Travel to Hollywood for an intriguing look at how crime scene investigation and autopsy results are crucial in assessing-and hopefully solving-suicidal, homicidal, accidental, and natural deaths. Your examples are three of Tinseltown's most mysterious deaths: TV Superman George Reeves, Hogan's Heroes actor Bob Crane, and kung fu legend Bruce Lee.

31 min
Decomposition and Confusing Interpretations
4: Decomposition and Confusing Interpretations

How can cutting-edge research and technology be applied to old cases and result in fresh conclusions? Find out in Professor Murray's illuminating lecture on the case of seven-year-old Dalbert Aposhian and several other mysteries, which illustrate the importance of taphonomy: the study of what happens to living organisms once they die and are deposited in the environment.

29 min
Lizzie Borden and the Menendez Brothers
5: Lizzie Borden and the Menendez Brothers

Turn to a couple of intriguing aspects of forensic science: how a relatively unknown person becomes infamous, and how someone can plead not guilty at trial despite an overwhelming mountain of evidence. Here, you'll contrast two "family feuds": the 1880s murder of Lizzie Borden's parents and the case of the Menendez brothers a little over 100 years later.

29 min
The Tylenol Murders
6: The Tylenol Murders

In just three days in 1982, seven people in the Chicago area were killed with cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules. Follow forensic scientists and investigators as they mobilized in a massive test for product tampering, using sophisticated chemical analysis and a rapid test method to keep other consumers safe from harm-while also searching for a culprit.

30 min
Copycats and Hoaxes
7: Copycats and Hoaxes

In this lecture, plunge into the world of copycats, hoaxes, and false claims. As you learn how forensic analysts approach these issues, you'll relive some terrifying (and bizarre) true-life cases, including copycat Tylenol poisonings, syringes hidden in soda bottles, and the discovery of a confounding "missing link" between humans and apes.

31 min
Frauds and Forgeries
8: Frauds and Forgeries

Delve into the fascinating stories behind history's many art and document forgeries-creative efforts of con artists to make money by deceiving others. How do the authorities determine which Matisse painting is fake and which one is real? What technology and skill goes into authenticating a piece of writing or art? Find out here.

31 min
Blood Doping and Other Sports Scandals
9: Blood Doping and Other Sports Scandals

Not even the wide world of sports is immune from misdeeds. Here, learn more about some of the most infamous events in modern athletics, including doping scandals involving superstar athletes like Lance Armstrong; fraud and illegal gambling in baseball history; and Tonya Harding's deliberate attack on fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.

31 min
Bad Boys of U.S. Politics
10: Bad Boys of U.S. Politics

Who was America's most corrupt president? Decide for yourself in this eye-opening lecture that illustrates a range of political scandals: extramarital affairs, hush money, favoritism, and more. Examine the misconduct of Warren Harding, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner, and others. Also, learn how modern forensic technologies, including paternity testing and digital evidence tracking, help unc...

31 min
Criminals of the Wild, Wild West
11: Criminals of the Wild, Wild West

Follow the stories of three legendary 19th-century outlaws from the golden age of the American West: Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, and Alfred Packer. It's a lecture packed with prospectors, cowboys, bad boys, lawmen, and impostors-all of whom help shed light on the past (and present) of forensic science.

31 min
Investigating Incredible Bank Heists
12: Investigating Incredible Bank Heists

What does it take to successfully pull off a bank burglary, such as the 1972 United California Bank heist that, in its day, was the largest in U.S. history? How do law enforcement officials go about following the clues left behind to bring the robbers to justice? Professor Murray provides the (sometimes startling) answers right here.

30 min
How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?
13: How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?

Faulty eyewitness identification is the most common source of wrongful convictions in the legal system. Here, take a closer look at some real-world instances of wrongful identification; discover how DNA testing has helped exonerate hundreds; and learn what specific reforms can help prevent these horrible mistakes in the future.

30 min
The Truth behind False Confessions
14: The Truth behind False Confessions

Mentally handicapped suspects; corrupt officials; misleading interrogation methods-these are some of the factors involved in false confessions that can destroy the innocent and allow the guilty to escape. Learn how this happens by examining several cases, including two in which innocent teenagers were forced into admitting guilt for killing family members.

31 min
Crooked Cops and Bad Convictions
15: Crooked Cops and Bad Convictions

Planted evidence in a murder mystery in rural New Zealand. The torture of a Haitian immigrant in police custody. A government cover-up of police shootings on a mountaintop in Puerto Rico. These three unsettling cases are your windows into the terrifying world of police corruption-and how justice is finally served.

31 min
Guilty until Proven Innocent
16: Guilty until Proven Innocent

For two decades, a forensic scientist with the Oklahoma City Police Department helped send thousands to prison before it was realized that she lied in the lab and courtroom. In 2004, a mistake in one of the world's most sophisticated forensic labs led to the wrongful identification of an innocent U.S. citizen as a suspect in Madrid's terrorist train bombings. What happens when forensic science goe...

32 min
Political Assassinations
17: Political Assassinations

Professor Murray reveals how forensics has shed light on the ways political assassins try to get away with murder. Along with the ricin poisoning of anti-Communist Georgi Markov and the shooting of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, consider the lingering forensic mystery of PLO leader Yasser Arafat's death in 2004.

31 min
Mysteries of the Romanov Family
18: Mysteries of the Romanov Family

Continue exploring the forensics of political assassinations with the murder of Russia's ruling Romanov family in 1918-and the stories of what became of their corpses. Did Anastasia or any of the other children actually survive? Then, fast-forward to the 1990s and follow anthropologists and others as they identify human remains, recreate that violent night, and finally lay the Romanovs to rest.

30 min
Forensics of Genocide
19: Forensics of Genocide

Genocide is arguably the most horrible of crimes in human history. How do human rights groups locate evidence of genocide? How do they use this evidence to understand critical details about the atrocities and prosecute those responsible? And what insights did Professor Murray learn first-hand from victims of genocide in Guatemala?

30 min
The Nazis and the Witch of Buchenwald
20: The Nazis and the Witch of Buchenwald

Focus on forensic evidence found at the Nazis' Buchenwald concentration camp, and how it was used at trial. Professor Murray discusses medical experimentation involving prisoners; introduces you to the allegations against the "Witch of Buchenwald"; and investigates claims of Nazi objects made of human tissue.

31 min
The Spies Have It
21: The Spies Have It

Meet some of the last century's infamous spies and learn how they were eventually uncovered. Fascinating cases here include those of William Sebold, a German spy for America during World War II; Mata Hari, one of history's most notorious female spies; and the recent case of Robert Hanssen, an FBI mole working for the KGB.

31 min
Motive and Kidnapping
22: Motive and Kidnapping

How do police use motive to track down kidnappers? What happens when kidnappings go wrong? Get the answers with historical examples including the Black September kidnapping of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and recent cases that illustrate how today's technology is helping thwart infant abductions.

31 min
Identification Matters
23: Identification Matters

Professor Murray introduces you to six of her cold cases from Hamilton County, Ohio. The stories of these unknown persons help highlight some of the remarkable developments in forensic science during her nearly 30 years of practice. It's a personal and up-close look at how forensic scientists and law enforcement handle the mysteries of unidentified remains.

30 min
The Past, Present, and Future of Forensics
24: The Past, Present, and Future of Forensics

The motives behind crimes haven't changed, but the methods and technologies used to solve them have. Conclude the course with a look at the history of three essential tools of forensic science that have revolutionized our ability to analyze and compare evidence and help bring criminals to well-deserved justice.

33 min
Elizabeth A. Murray

With nearly 30 years in the field, I guess I was 'forensic' before it was cool! I find forensic science to be a fascinating subject that incorporates law, ethics, psychology, history, and technology, as it aids our global community.

ALMA MATER

University of Cincinatti

INSTITUTION

Mount St. Joseph University

About Elizabeth A. Murray

Dr. Elizabeth A. Murray is a forensic anthropologist and also Professor of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University, where she teaches doctoral-level human gross anatomy and undergraduate-level anatomy and physiology, as well as forensic science. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Mount St. Joseph University and her master's degree in anthropology and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Biology from the University of Cincinnati. Most of Professor Murray's forensic casework has been in Ohio and Kentucky, where she has participated in hundreds of investigations. She is one of fewer than 100 anthropologists certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. Professor Murray has been honored with the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, and she twice earned the Clifford Excellence in Teaching Award. She has served as an instructor for numerous organizations, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and the International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners. Her television appearances include National Geographic's Buried Secrets, Discovery Health's Skeleton Stories, The New Detectives, and Forensic Files. Her book Death: Corpses, Cadavers, and Other Grave Matters was named one of the top ten summer titles for students by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her 2012 book, Forensic Identification: Putting a Name and Face on Death, was recently selected as one of the outstanding books of 2012 by the prestigious National Science Teacher's Association.

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