What aspects of the ladder rail did Koehler note that helped him determine the source of the wood used to make it? How did Koehler interpret each of these pieces of information to arrive at his conclusions?

Assignment:

  • Length: 1250-1500 words.
  • Use APA style to format your paper
  • Cite all references
  1. Compare and contrast the following forensic concepts: (a) Mitochondrial DNA with Nuclear DNA, (b) Vertical/reflected illumination with Transmitted Illumination, and (c) Real Image with Virtual Image.

(Chapter 8 – The Microscope will be helpful in responding to this question.)

  1. Explain the difference between natural and man-made fibers, polymers, monomers, and their identification, collection and preservation as evidence.

(Chapter 11 will be helpful for Question 2.)

  1. Describe the morphology of a hair shaft composed of three layers-cuticle, cortex, and medulla-that is subjected to the most intense examination by the forensic scientist. What instrument(s) is used? Explain how this type of forensic evidence can close a case.

(Chapter 11)

  1. In the 1930s, the Lindbergh kidnapping case became the latest “trial of the century,” marked by sensationalism and continuous media coverage. The key piece of evidence was a homemade ladder left at the scene by the kidnapper. Forensic investigation of the ladder by Arthur Koehler, a wood technologist with the U. S. Forest Products Laboratory, eventually tied the accused kidnapper, Bruno Hauptmann, to the ladder and helped secure his conviction for the crime.

A.  What aspects of the ladder rail did Koehler note that helped him determine the source of the wood used to make it? How did Koehler interpret each of these pieces of information to arrive at his conclusions?

B. How did Koehler determine that a belt-driven planer had been used to finish the wood? How did this information help pinpoint the location where the wood was purchased?

C. The wood used to make the rails was very common and used widely throughout the United States. Why did Koehler believe it was milled in the same general area where the kidnapping occurred? How did this information help the investigation?

D. What additional discoveries allowed Koehler to link the wood used in the ladder to Bruno Hauptmann?

(Page 168. Here is a link to an article on the forensic investigation of the ladder used in the kidnapping of Lindberg’s 20 month old son, Charles: https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/lindbergh-kidnapping )

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