How Does A Forensic Toxicologist Help A Solve Murder Case
Forensic toxicology is typically used to measurement drugs, alcohol and various poisonous chemicals in humans and other biological species. The analysis and interpretation of such measurements can be the turning point in a criminal investigation. Since the early 1900s, toxicology has played an increasingly more important role in criminal cases because of the rise in crime levels. Forensic toxicology has several areas of specialties yet the one that is sought after the most is postmortem toxicology.
Many toxicology tests utilize urine or blood samples to find traces of drugs. In certain cases, other bodily fluids may be examined such as stomach chemicals, saliva or sweat. Often, toxicologists find drugs in the urine more easily than the blood.
The trustworthiness of the results depends a lot on how the laboratory examines the material. For example, 2 men that were given the death penalty in India for killing an individual by rubbing in plague germs into a minuscule cut on their victim. The laboratory was able to find a tiny wound primarily by using an advanced medical device that could magnify almost any type of skin injury.
Unlike killing a person by using a gun or knife, poisoning can use everyday objects to transfer the deadly agents. Sleeping powders can be stirred into a drink. Chewing gum be coated within an invisible chemical and drugs or poisons can be added to food. Alcohol can also be poured into a strong flavored fruit drink that is difficult to detect by taste. Most everyday objects can be used for delivering a poison.
One of the first duties of a forensic toxicologist is to find out if the cause of death was from a poison. Second, if this is true then they need to search for the particular poison that was employed and find out how it was given.
The answers to these questions are typically determined through analytical chemistry. The toxicologists may examine the murder victim’s flesh, brain tissue or viscera to several chemical tests while looking for different kinds of poisons or drugs. When the harmful element is discovered and identified the specific poison may be isolated. Once the exact poison has been discovered then the food, drink or other suspected items are checked for the same poison.
Thanks to advances in computer medical technology, forensic toxicologists can examine the skin, hair and bodily tissues to pin-point unnatural harmful elements and track them back to the suspect.