Farewell, but feel free to keep listening!

Dear listeners,

After 67 episodes of Crime & Science Radio, Doug Lyle and I are saying farewell to this podcast, with many thanks to our guests and deepest gratitude to our Suspense Magazine podcast producer, John Raab.

We’ve talked to internationally and nationally recognized experts in many forensic science specialities, to the leaders of some of the best labs in the U.S., to members of law enforcement, FBI specialists, educators, journalists, attorneys who have practiced in many areas of criminal justice, a judge who is also a top researcher on forensic science in the courts, an expert Sherlockian, and numerous authors who have either worked in these fields or researched them thoroughly.  We’ve spoken to veterans for whom we feel gratitude and admiration. We’ve talked to those who risked their lives as private investigators and undercover detectives. We’ve talked to those who are working on the cutting edge, and those who have explored the history of forensic science. We’ve heard from those who pursue the guilty and justice for victims, as well as those who seek justice for the wrongly accused.

It’s been one hell of a ride.  We’ve had a lot of fun and feel honored to have met such a great set of guests.

We hope you’ll keep listening — we are keeping our sites and links up.

We didn’t make this decision lightly, and we don’t think that we have said all there is to say about crime and science. But as writers with deadlines, and as people who are also devoted to our families, communities, and organizations that are doing good, we wanted more time for these other pursuits. What seems like an hour’s work to a listener always involves many more in scheduling, booking, preparation, research, and more.

We’ve learned a lot along the way, and hope you have, too. We hope you’ll continue to stay informed about our criminal justice system, forensic science, and other areas we’ve explored here.

Thank you so much for listening!

Jan Burke

Facial Recognition Technologies with FBI Senior Photographic Technologist Richard W. Vorder Bruegge



Can the faces of suspects be recognized by computer programs that review images of crowds? What are the possibilities and problems with facial recognition technology? We talk to FBI expert Richard Vorder Bruegge about the realities of this new frontier in identifying and locating suspects.



Richard W. Vorder Bruegge is a Senior Photographic Technologist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he is responsible for overseeing science and technology developments in the imaging sciences.  He has an Sc.B. in Engineering, and an Sc.M. and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Brown University. He has been with the FBI since 1995, where he has performed forensic analysis of image and video evidence, testifying in state, federal and international courts as an expert witness over 60 times.  Dr. Vorder Bruegge was chair of the Scientific Working Group on Imaging Technology (SWGIT) from 2000 to 2006 and chair of the Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG) from 2009 to the present.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in the Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section.  In 2010 he was named a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Science and Technology Fellow for his work in facial recognition.  He is currently Chair of the Digital/Multimedia Scientific Area Committee in the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).


Biometric Center For Excellence (BCOE): https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/fingerprints-and-other-biometrics/biometric-center-of-excellence/modalities

Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG): https://www.fiswg.org

FBI Caught On Camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Oj2FDwLXs

Dangerous Instincts: An Interview with Senior FBI Profiler (Ret) Mary Ellen O’Toole Ph.D.


We talk to a retired FBI profiler who has worked on some of the country’s most infamous criminal cases.  This expert in criminal behavior has many insights to offer.


BIO: Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D. has spent her career studying the criminal mind. One of the most senior profilers for the FBI until her retirement in 2009, Dr. O’Toole has helped capture, interview and understand some of the world’s most infamous criminals and worked on well-known cases including:

•Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer
•Derrick Todd Lee and Sean Vincent Gillis, both serial killers in Baton Rouge
•The Collar Bomb Case, a bank robbery and murder of a pizza delivery man
•Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber
•The Polly Klaas child abduction
•David Parker Ray, a serial sexual sadist
•The Red Lake School Shooting
•The Monster of Florence serial murder case
•The Zodiac serial murder case
•The bombing during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT
•The mass murder in Florence, Montana in 2001

Dr. O’Toole also worked the Elizabeth Smart and Natalee Holloway disappearances, the Columbine shootings and many other high profile cases.

Her law enforcement career spanned 32 years, beginning in the San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office when she was a Criminal Investigator. Dr. O’Toole worked as an FBI agent for 28 years, spending more than half of her Bureau career in the organization’s prestigious Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)—the very unit that is the focus of the hit crime series “Criminal Minds.”
During her time in the unit, Dr. O’Toole developed an expertise in Criminal Investigative Analysis (CIA) as well as offender behavior. She has provided assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors on a wide range of violent and criminal behavior including serial and single homicides, sexual assaults, kidnappings, product tampering, school shootings, arsons and bombings and extortions. Dr. O’Toole is also a trained FBI hostage negotiator and has a unique expertise in the areas of targeted school violence, workplace violence and threat assessment.
Dr. O’Toole is recognized as the FBI’s leading expert in the area of “psychopathy.”  Her work in psychopathy has put her on the forefront of mental health and law enforcement efforts to apply the concepts of this personality disorder to both violent and white collar offenders and their behavior and crime scenes. She lectures internationally on the application of the theory of psychopathy to real life situations. She continues to lecture at the FBI Academy on psychopathy and interviewing. She has served as adjunct faculty to the FBI’s Prestigious Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at the FBI Academy and also frequently lectures at the Smithsonian Institution about everything from Sherlock Holmes to personal safety. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Ushttps://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Instincts-How-Feelings-Betray/dp/1594630836



Mary Ellen O’Toole is the editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender, “the first and only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence.” For more information about this publication, visit





Mary Ellen’s Website: http://maryellenotoole.com

Mary Ellen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmaryellenotoole/

Mary Ellen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryellenotoole

Dangerous Instincts: The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/dangerous-instincts-fbi-profiler-explains-the-dangers-of-that-nice-neighbor/2011/10/17/gIQAkvNCDM_story.html

Learning How To Read People: http://www.theironjen.com/learning-how-to-read-people-dr-mary-ellen-otoole/

Psychopathy: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: https://leb.fbi.gov/2012/july/psychopathy-an-important-forensic-concept-for-the-21st-century

Orlando Shooter Profile: CCTV America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhTjGAsUuzk

Why Are American Cops So Bad At Catching Killers?: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/02/why-are-american-cops-so-bad-at-catching-killers#.PFh6oYRhF

Vintage Computer Games, Missing Aircraft, and an Amazing Forensic Resource: An Interview with Douglas White of the National Institute of Science and Technology’s National Software Reference Library (NSRL)


What do vintage computer games have to do with missing aircraft? Enter the amazing world of the National Software Reference Library, thanks to our guide, Douglas White!



Douglas White leads the National Software Reference Library project for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  He has 25 years of experience with distributed systems, distributed databases and telecommunication protocols, real time biomonitoring, real time videoprocessing, system administration and network monitoring. He holds both a B.A and M.S. in computer science from Hood College. He has given lectures for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, the Digital Forensic Research Workshop and other digital forensic conferences.




www.nsrl.nist.gov – NSRL website

www.nist.gov/forensics – NIST Forensics topics

https://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/white/white.html – Video lecture on the Cabrinety-NSRL effort

https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/2012/05/life-saving-the-national-software-reference-library/ – interview that includes the FDA story

https://Howtheygotgame.stanford.edu – Blogs by SUL staff including Henry Lowood and Charlotte Thai



Planning & Research Manager

Greg Collins

Can police use statistics about traffic problems to develop methods of lowering crime rates in a given area? Listen to the authors of a fascinating study on this topic, and learn more about the Smart Policing Initiative.



Greg Collins is the Research and Analysis Manager for the Shawnee, KS Police Department. He is primarily responsible for CALEA accreditation, policy review and updating, grant management, overseeing the Crime Analysis function, and managing police department volunteers.

Greg joined the Shawnee Police Department as a sworn officer in 1991. In addition to road patrol duties, Greg has worked as a D.A.R.E. officer, detective, patrol sergeant, training sergeant, and traffic safety unit supervisor. Greg has also been a member of the department’s Special Tactics and Response team, and a field training officer. Greg transitioned to his current civilian position in June 2008.

Greg holds a B.A. in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University and is an IACP Associate member.

Dr. Kevin M Bryant is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kansas. Bryant completed training and was certified in advanced crime mapping by the National Institute of Justice.


Hot Spots Policing https://www.crimesolutions.gov/PracticeDetails.aspx?ID=8

Smart Policing Initiative http://www.smartpolicinginitiative.com/

NIJ Overview of Program Profile: Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) in Kansas

National Institute of Justice http://www.nij.gov


NamUs: Naming The Unidentified, Finding The Missing – An Interview With J. Todd Matthews



We loved talking to Todd Matthews last year, but there was much more to learn, so we invited him back for some important updates on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, also known as NamUs.

Todd is the Director of Case Management and Communications for NamUs. He  joined the NamUs management team in 2011 as the program transitioned to the UNT Health Science Center. In his current role, he manages the NamUs Regional System Administrator staff, oversees quality assurance and quality control of NamUs data, performs outreach and training, coordinates all NamUs print and broadcast media, and serves as the media spokesperson for NamUs.

Todd Matthews previously served as a NamUs Regional System Administrator and was a member of the NamUs Advisory Board for the development of the NamUs database and program. In those roles, he piloted efforts to coordinate data exchanges between NamUs and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

He has also served as the Media Director for two important volunteer programs related to missing and unidentified persons: The Doe Network and Project EDAN. He has worked as a blogger for Discovery ID and served as a consultant for Jerry Brukheimer on “The Forgotten” and Dick Wolf on “Lost & Found”, two scripted series related to missing and unidentified persons.



NamUs: National Missing and Unidentified Persons System http://www.namus.gov

University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Center for Human Identification/Forensic Science Unit  http://www.untfsu.com/index.html

Todd Matthews on UNT site: http://www.untfsu.com/Staff/ToddMatthews.html

Crime and Science Radio 2015 Interview With Todd Matthews https://crimeandscienceradio.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=615&action=edit

Billy’s Law http://lostnmissing.org/billys-law/

The Dead Unknown: Part 1 Mountain Jane Doe (Reveal Films)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0vNQXsvrRU

 The Dead Unknown: Part 2 The Exhumation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN4ZsjgUO-4
The Dead Unknown: Part 3 What Secrets Lie Beneath https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05KRjEqEcl8
The Dead Unknown: Part 4 She Always Had a Name https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRK7muHRXJ4
Mountain Jane Doe Identified https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hugiLiKi-RA
NY legislators want unidentified dead in federal database, Daily Freeman (from the Associated Press) July 6, 2016
“Who Killed Jane Doe #59? The Case of Reet Jurvetson – the fifth estate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTyQhn1MjX8

Project EDAN http://www.untfsu.com/forensicArt.html

“Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains: The Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster,” NIJ report by Nancy Ritter. http://www.nij.gov/journals/256/pages/missing-persons.aspx

“Identifying Missing Persons and Unidentified Decedents” NIJ Website Law Enforcement topics http://nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/investigations/missing-persons/Pages/welcome.aspx

The Doe Network: http://doenetwork.org

Black and Missing Foundatation  http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children http://www.missingkids.com/home

PBS Frontline‘s “Post Mortem” series map of death investigation in the U.S. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/post-mortem/map-death-in-america/

“Uniform Protocol to Address Unidentified Human Remains and Missing Persons,” Marzena H. Mulawka, Ismail M. Sebetan, and Paul C. Stein, in The Journal of Forensic Identification, available through NCJRS https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=254866

“Resolving Missing and Unidentified Person Cases Using Today’s Technologies,” Dustin Driscoll, National Missing and Unidentified Persons (NamUs) Analyst, in The Police Chief Magazine, May 2013 http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2925&issue_id=52013

Unidentified remains: What’s known about some of the nameless dead (database); Cleveland Plain Dealer August 8, 2016http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/unidentified_remains_whats_kno.html

How Kathy Thornton solved her sister’s 39-year-old murder case; Miami Herald, November 23, 2016 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article116796023.html

Should We Abandon Use of Lie Detector Tests As Junk Science? An Interview With Morton Tavel, M.D.


We know of “lie detectors” — polygraph testing — from the news and from true crime programs. We see suspects take them on television and in movies and books — and we form opinions based on them. But should we? Are polygraph tests scientifically valid?

Listen to our interview with Dr. Morton Tavel to learn more about the realities of polygraph testing.



Now retired, Dr. Tavel MD, FACC, is a physician specialist in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. In addition to managing patients for many years, he held a teaching position (Clinical Professor) at Indiana University School of Medicine. He was consulting cardiologist for the Care Group, Inc., a division of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis and was the director of the cardiac rehabilitation program. His civic activities include, among others, having been past president of the local and Indiana state divisions of the American Heart Association.
He has presented numerous speeches and lectures before national audiences. His medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials, and book reviews that have appeared in peer-reviewed national medical journals. Dr. Tavel authored a book on cardiology (Clinical Phonocardiography) that persisted through four editions over a period of approximately 20 years, and has been a contributor to several other multi-authored textbooks. He has served on the editorial boards of several national medical journals.

Snake Oil is Alive and Well: The Clash between Myths and Reality. Reflections of Physician. Brighton Publishing, LLC, Mesa, Ariz., 2012
Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot, by Tavel, ME and Tavel, DE. Brighton Publishing, LLC, Mesa, Ariz. 2013.
Health Tips, Myths and Tricks: A Physician’s Advice. Brighton Publishing, LLC, Mesa, Ariz. 2015.
[Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/HEALTH-TIPS-MYTHS-TRICKS-Physicians-ebook/dp/B012BM7DGI/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470439165&sr=1-4&keywords=Morton+Tavel]
Dr. Morton Tavel‘s Website: http://www.mortontavel.com
Tavel, Morton, “The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisted: A Great Example of Junk Science” Skeptical Inquirer. 40.1 (January/February 2016). http://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_lie_detector_test_revisited_a_great_example_of_junk_science
Zelicoff, Alan P., “Polygraphs and the national labs: Dangerous ruse undermines national security.” Skeptical Inquirer, (July/August 2001).
Faigman, David L., Stephen E. Fienberg, and Paul C. Stern. “The Limits of the Polygraph.” Issues in Science and Technology 20, no. 1 (Fall 2003).  http://issues.org/20-1/faigman

National Academy of Sciences. 2003. The Polygraph and Lie Detection, Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10420/the-polygraph-and-lie-detection
Zadrozny, Brandy, “The Polygraph Has Been Lying for 80 Years,” The Daily Beast, (February 4, 2015).

Iacono, William G., Forensic “Lie Detection”: Procedures Without Scientific Basis, Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 1 no. 1 (2001). Reproduced with permission on https://antipolygraph.org/articles/article-018.shtml

American Psychological Association: The Truth About Lie Detectors (aka Polygraph Tests) http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx

Vergano, Dan, “Telling the Truth About Lie Detectors,” USA Today, (September 9, 2009)  http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-09-09-lie_x.htm

Barber, Nigel, “Do Lie Detectors Work? Should You Ever Take a Polygraph?,” Psychology Today, March 7, 2013. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201303/do-lie-detectors-work

Letter of Aldrich Ames to Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, on polygraph tests, postmarked November 28, 2000, reproduced on Federation of American Scientists Website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/polygraph/ames.html

Santos, Fernanda, “Vindicated by DNA, but a Lost Man on the Outside,” New York Times, November 25, 2007. [Story of Jeffrey Deskovic, who at the age of sixteen was arrested and told he “failed” a polygraph during a seven-hour interrogation process, and was wrongfully convicted.] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/us/25jeffrey.html?_r=0