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Included in Forensic Files: Bundle Package 11 are ten worksheets for episodes of the television program Forensic Files. All of the episodes are available to view online for free (my preference is through YouTube). This makes this program great for in-class, computer lab, extra credit, or homework assignments since most students will have access to the programs through a variety of means.
The question sheets go in order through each episode with a focus on the science behind each case as well as the legal circumstances. I try to provide a variety of episodes to give students a wide range of ideas on how the career of a forensic scientist works. The episodes I have chosen are perfect for high school age and I do try to avoid certain adult aspects which I do not feel are appropriate for students. So rest assured that each episode is perfect for ages 14-18.
The episodes included in this bundle package (with their season and episode number) are:
Beaten by a Hair (Season 3, Episode 9)
In 1992, Laura Houghteling disappeared from her Bethesda home and was never seen again. After five days, police found a bloody pillow and pillowcase lying in the woods not far from Laura's house. Laura's bedroom was then searched and police used Luminol, which reacts with the enzymes in blood. The police now had a prime suspect, her part-time gardener Hadden Clark. Amido black 10B was used to enhance the fingerprints found on the bloody pillowcase, which were matched to Clark. In 1993, Clark plea-bargained to a reduced charge of murder in the second degree.
Cement the Case (Season 4, Episode 4)
In 1990, Shirley Andronowich's body was found one morning after being brutally murdered and mutilated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Witnesses told police Shirley and her husband Ed were seen fighting in a bar the night before. Police first suspected Ed and even arrested him after he confessed to the murder. However, all forensic evidence proved that Ed had actually nothing to do with the murder. A year later, police received a call about a man named Mark Jarman, who talked about being connected to Shirley's murder. Once investigated, police found that his identity matched all the evidence found at the crime scene. Jarman stated there was no motive for the murder.
Charred Remains (Season 2, Episode 8)
Police were investigating a charred body found in a dumpster that had first been shot in the head and then set on fire when a missing person report was filed for a Mary-Lynn Breeden. Police investigated Mary-Lynne's disappearance and found a woman had attempted to withdraw money from Mary-Lynne's account. The woman was identified on the bank camera and was questioned by police. The woman then led police to Christian Cruz. Police found traces of blood in Cruz' car and were able to match it to the charred body through DNA testing of the body's tooth pulp and Breeden's family members.
Dirty Deed (Season 2, Episode 2)
On November 18, 1993 friends of Eileen and Derek Severs called and notified the police that the couple had been missing for several days. The police searched the Severs' home and questioned their son Roger who had recently moved in with his parents. Although the bodies had not yet been found, police arrested and detained Roger on suspicion of murdering his parents. Only after finding blood samples in Eileen's car and careful analysis of the mud flaps on Derek's car, were the police able to determine where Roger had buried his parents. Roger had used his mother's car to discard incriminating evidence and used his father's car to transport the bodies to the burial site.
Journey to Justice (Season 5, Episode 17)
6-year-old Nicole Rae Walker was killed in a hit-and-run in her Ft. Lauderdale neighborhood. Investigators find a link between habitual drunk driver Ken Pierce and the fatal hit-and-run. The prosecutor combines the talents of an accident reconstruction expert with a video specialist to create graphic demonstration of the moment of impact. This was the first case in which video in the courtroom withstood an appeal, and helped make video testimony viable in other cases.
Killing Room (Season 4, Episode 2)
In 1991, Scott Dunn disappeared. When investigators went through his Lubbock, Texas, apartment, they noticed partial replacement of his bedroom carpeting with a large stain of blood underneath. Scott's father worked closely with investigators and reported his suspicions of Scott's girlfriend, Leisha Hamilton. Together, they fully investigated Leisha's story and uncovered another boyfriend named Timothy Smith. Leisha told Tim that Scott was losing interest in her. Police went to Tim's house and found the exact tape used in the carpet cover-up of Scott's murder. This was enough to indict both Leisha and Tim of murder charges.
Missing in Time (Season 6, Episode 1)
A young woman was reported missing after a fight with her husband. She was presumed to be dead and her husband was the prime suspect. Police were suspicious of a secondary suspect when he reported a suspicious fire in his car. Two tiny drops of blood were found in the burned interior. Traditional DNA testing was difficult, since there was no body for DNA comparison. But a tiny clue inside the suspect's watchband and a popular television show helped solve the case.
Second Shot at Love (Season 5, Episode 16)
When heart surgeon Darryl Sutorius is found dead in the basement of his upscale Cincinnati home, police assume he committed suicide. Friends and family indicate that the man suffered prolonged bouts of depression and had spoken of killing himself. But, further investigation reveals that his new wife Della Sutorius has a history of violence and an insatiable desire for money. The story of how he died is finally decided in court, as teams of forensic scientists face-off to see if the good doctor died at his own hand or was killed by his gold-digging wife.
Talking Skull (Season 3, Episode 3)
In 1987, a human skull and some bones were discovered at a Boy Scout Camp near Farmington, Missouri. Also found were some blue jeans, which helped determine the approximate height and weight of the victim. A facial reconstruction helped the investigators in this case. The victim was identified as Bun Chee Nyhuis and her husband Richard H. Nyhuis was now the prime suspect. Nyhuis was an assistant scoutmaster, which explained why his wife's remains were discovered at a scout camp and, eventually, he confessed to killing his wife. Richard H. Nyhuis was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Where the Blood Drops (Season 6, Episode 21)
When someone dies under mysterious circumstances, the spouse almost always is a suspect – especially if they are in bed, sleeping beside the individual at the time of their death. In 1987, Susie Mowbray was charged for her husband Bill Mowbray's death, which had the appearance of suicide. Her son was so convinced of her innocence that he enrolled in law school, studied all of the evidence and, eventually, discovered the truth of what really happened that fateful night between his mother and father.
Questions on the assignment go in order and will help students remain focused on key science topics. Two extended response questions are on the back of the worksheet (description and compare/contrast) which are perfect for reflection and discussion at the conclusion of the video. All worksheets are provided as MS-Word documents so you can edit as needed. Answer sheets are not provided.
A power point is also provided with 10 additional writing prompt questions (one per episode) that go beyond those provided on the worksheet.
I hope you and your students find this purchase useful and it gives them great insight into the important field of forensics. Please check my TPT store for additional Forensic Files worksheets and bundles.
Thank you for your purchase and for taking the time to leave me positive feedback.
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