Dead Celebrity (Part 2)


Stand back Superman, Iceman, Spiderman, Batman and Robin tooooooo!


I’m singing that first one in a concert on Sunday! Gospel though, not jazz.


But it’s not evidence. Or shouldn’t be, because it’s fraudulent pseudoscience.

Rape convictions rarely fail because of the lack of forensic evidence of the encounter taking place. There are multiple points of failure before, and after that. Simply the most common one is that a woman must prove consent was not given and that’s usually impossible.
Fingerprints just aren’t the issue here, not most of the other pseudoscience under the umbrella of “forensic science”.


That is not the law. The rape victim doesn’t have to prove anything. The state has to prove something. Yes, they have to “prove” (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the sex was nonconsensual. That carries with it the same difficulty in proving intent in a first degree murder charge. It relies on people’s words and actions, and there often isn’t any definitive proof of that. It sucks, but I don’t want to live in a world where the standard of proof is lessened. That world would be one where a lot more innocent people are in prison even than the one we live in.

I also would disagree that all forensic science is pseudoscience. Some of it almost certainly is (blood spatter analysis being the prime example), but a lot of the rest of it is just people not understanding what the science means. Even DNA evidence is a lot less certain than the average person realizes. We’re starting to understand more about just how easy it is to spread some of your genes around the world. A few years ago, a homeless man got arrested and charged with murder, along with a few other men, because his DNA was found at the crime scene of a home invasion where the assailants killed the home owner. The other men arrested were all known to associate with each other, and had been involved in multiple crimes in the past. The homeless man, however, had no connection to anyone involved. It turned out that the victim had a random encounter with that homeless man earlier that day or week, and had given the man his coat. He may have even swapped coats with him, I can’t remember. That brief interaction was enough to leave enough genetic material behind on the victim to convince the forensic investigators that the homeless man must have been at the scene of the crime when he wasn’t. Thankfully, he ended up with an airtight alibi because he was actually in an ER at the time of the crime. So…that doesn’t mean DNA testing is a pseudoscience. It’s a very real science. We just need to be aware that there’s still a lot more that we don’t know than that we do.


This Is Awkward Season 1 GIF by Dexter


Charlie Strauss once included DNA spoofing in a crime story. After the deed the character pulled out a spray bottle labeled “soccer stadium” and squirted it around the scene. Seemed like a much better idea than arson.


I found the case I mentioned. I had some of the details wrong. It was actually the EMTs who took the homeless man to the hospital who were responsible for getting some of his DNA on the murder victim. After they dropped him off at the hospital, they responded to the home invasion, and were the ones who checked the victim to see if he was still alive. And in so doing, transferred enough of the homeless man’s DNA to the victim to be detected by investigators. This is a fascinating read. Ok, I’ll stop now, because this has nothing to do with celebrity deaths.


Stross? I want to say Rule 34, but I don’t have a copy to hand.


It was either Rule 34 or it’s prequel Halting State. I don’t have my copies readily available either.

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Found it. Rule 34, chapter “Toymaker: Reality Excursion”; page 142 in my paperback edition.

A plan begins to come together in your mind. You’ll renew your room for the rest of the week, but you won’t be there: you’re going to set up shop elsewhere. You’re going to go and buy new luggage and pick up your papers, like Operation Support told you to. Leave your old luggage with the sample merchandise parked with a useful idiot, just in case the police come snooping. Forward all calls, sanitize the room with a brisk spritz of sports-stadium DNA, and all that’s left behind is the legal wrap up: “John Christie” will be staying in your hotel room, but you’ll be gone. Meanwhile, tonight there’s dinner – and hopefully baku sekusu with the Straight bitch for dessert.


He was a great lecherous boss on 9 to 5…

9 to 5 GIF by Dolly Parton