Case Analysis : Criminal Investigation

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Marco Cappitta P320
Case Study Paper
I feel that this case was somewhat representative of what was discussed in the textbook. The forensics aspects of this case were generally different from the impression of forensics I received from reading the textbook. Despite this fact, I feel that the investigative techniques of this case were similar to what was discussed in the textbook, as well as what has been discussed during lecture.
The body of this paper will examine the case of Pamela Foddrill and compare what happened in that real criminal investigation to the theory of criminal investigation discussed in our course textbook, Criminal Investigation: The Art and the Science. I will first examine the forensics evidence and
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Foddrill was killed on August 18th, 1995. This was the same day that she disappeared. However, when it became apparent that Wanda Hubbell was attending a funeral on that day police realized it was not possible that Foddrill was killed the same day she was kidnapped. Investigators first examined the body, but realized quickly that her body had decomposed significantly and that it had been infested with insects. This led to them making the conclusion that it was not possible to make a determination of time of death (Course Reader 79).
This conclusion lines up with what the textbook states about determining a time of death. The textbook lists many factors that can affect body decomposition including temperature, rainfall, and humidity (Lyman 284). Obviously it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for investigators to factor in all these variables given the fourth months between when the body was dumped until it was found. This makes it clear that investigators could not truly determine an exact time of death.
A difference between the textbook and the case that stuck out to me was the fact that the polygraph test taken by Roger Long was allowed into evidence. During Roger Long’s trial an FBI agent, William Warner, testified that he asked Long a series of questions regarding the murder. Among those were if Roger Long was responsible for Pamela Foddrill’s murder and if he participated with anyone else in causing her death. Warner stated that Long’s
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