FORENSIC SCIENCE REVEALED
Staying on the Cutting Edge of Analog
you have a keen interest in criminal forensics—or
just want a glimpse into the complexity of
crime-fighting—take a read of the latest
Forensic Science Communications recently
posted on this website.
The technical article—Video
and Audio Characteristics in VHS Overrecordings—tells
you everything you'd want to know (and then
some) about how to test and examine VHS cassettes
to see if they've been recorded over.
It was written by three experts in the field—all
former FBI employees.
Why does law enforcement need this
kind of expertise in an age of digitization?
Because criminals and terrorists still use
analog devices like VCRs and VHS tapes to
commit and cover up their crimes—whether
it’s conducting surveillance…taping
their training and actions….making
propaganda films…or recording over
all or parts of surveillance camera tapes
that contain evidence against them. So we
in law enforcement have to know our stuff—be
real geeks, in fact—even when it comes
to older technologies.
As you’ll see, the level of complexity
in just this one small facet of forensic science
is quite high. In the article you’ll
come across terms like ferrofluid, helical-scan
lines, full-amplitude positive pulses, flying
erase head, and azimuth angles. And this sequence:
U ÷ O
or (O U + O P + O) ÷ E ÷ U
NP ÷ U
N ÷ U
(for a translation, see "Longer Overrecordings—Video
If this article—and forensic science
in general—appeals to you, you might
want go a step further and consider a career
with the FBI Lab.
For more information, please visit our FBI
Jobs website where you can find details
about the education and skills you'll need
to work in the FBI Lab...and all our
July 2006 issue of Forensic Science Communications