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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:40am - 10:00am
Between The Scenes: Forensic Encounters

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From fingerprints to eye witness accounts the Asheville Forensic Service Technicians use each piece of evidence they find to recreate the story of a crime scene. In the process of piecing together a crime where an unknown suspect has disturbed the lives of innocents, testimonies become a vital resource. The relationships and constructed performances between forensic technicians, sworn officers, and victims or witnesses interplay with one another and create a balance of trust and truth against the uncertainty of suspicion and lies. These relationships can be fragile but they work together to create a foundation for successfully processing a scene. This research analyzes the importance of witness testimony and police cooperation with forensic technicians. Each entity has a specific role, and since no two crime scenes are the same each entity must constantly adapt and navigate new relationships. The interactions that are constructed between the authority figures and civilians who come into contact with each other help to establish direction for forensic technicians. Questions arise about the reliability of witness and victim testimony as well as the phenomena of lying. How then do investigators manage the information that is given to them when they are not the first presence to arrive at a scene? What would compel a witness or victim to lie about or exaggerate the facts of a crime? These are questions that have been examined from the ethnographic perspective of participant observation, interview sessions, and a thorough study of forensic methods.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:40am - 10:00am PDT
237 Zageir Hall