Forensic scientists often specialize in crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. Some work directly at the scene of a crime. Others work at a separate location to review the information that has been collected by other technicians.
As you might expect, these individuals do run into some surprising––and sometimes messed up––things on the job.
After Redditor rohitbirwatkar_ asked the online community, "People working in forensics, what was the most shocking thing discovered in your lab?" people shared their stories.
Warning: Some graphic and sensitive material ahead.
Years ago when I was working as a DNA analyst, our lab received a limp caesar salad from a local restaurant, take out box and all. Apparently, the guy who ordered the salad said that it was served with blood in it. The restaurant owner said not possible and that the customer must have bled in it so that he wouldn't have to pay. The customer then decided to promptly bring his salad to our lab along with his DNA sample to prove that it wasn't his. Turns out that it was and he unknowingly bled into his salad somehow.
Oh, there was also that one time a dad sent in a bunch of his daughter's soiled feminine hygiene products in to the lab to test for semen.
Most shocking thing though was the time a bunch of DNA samples came. To make a long story short: one large vehicle, lots of drugs, two strung out horny couples, one condom being passed back and forth (yes...flipped inside out), and two pregnant couples uncertain about the paternity of each baby.
"I was working..."
I was working as a scanning electron microscope technician for the R&D branch of a private company when the head scientist gave me a unknown sample to cut up and investigate. There were a bunch of layers of paint on it and he wanted to know what elements were present. Most of the layers showed up as normal elements (O, Al, Cr, etc) but one layer had a peak at Pr (Praseodymium) which is so rare that I forgot that it was even an element. I thought I was going crazy but my engineer double-checked it and it was definitely there. Turns out that Praseodymium is used in certain military grade paints.
Getting blood samples..."
My friend's wife works in one. Getting blood samples from babies that tested positive for coke and meth was apparently fairly common, but the most recent shocking discovery was that the building's plumbing was done in such a way that chemical disposal could back flow into the water fountain drain, and management didn't really care.
"A woman divorces a man..."
A woman divorces a man, they have a daughter. During the marriage, she files complaints saying he is abusive, but never follows through.
After divorce she files a complaint saying her daughter, a child, was Assaukted by her ex.
The doctors found evidence that the girl was actually abused, but when samples were analyzed and everything investigated, they found out the mother was assaulting the girl with carrots to keep her and not share custody.
"Not super shocking..."
Not super shocking compared to others but the first time you see a computer covered in blood full of bullet holes it is moment you do not forget.
"I only just started..."
I only just started here so what's shocking to me is probably super minor but I had a decedent that died and was found with multiple bottles of isopropyl alcohol around her with straws in them. She literally was sipping isopropyl alcohol through straws. It obviously killed her, but i cannot get past the thought of that. How serious of an addiction do you have that doing something like that makes sense? Just the thought of doing that makes my stomach turn.
"There were several autopsies..."
Horseshoe kidney. There were several autopsies going at once and when it was discovered every doctor dropped what they were doing and came over to look. So I'd suspect the odds are higher than 1:500.
We found a candle in an old mans bladder.
"The murder weapon..."
The murder weapon in my trainee's bottom left desk drawer.
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