Murdoch forensic expert talks crime scenes

April 8, 2017

Forensic expert Dr Paola Magni gave a TEDx presentation in Sydney

Forensic expert Dr Paola Magni gave a TEDx presentation in Sydney

Forensic biologist Dr Paola Magni explained the science behind crime solving to an audience at TedX in Sydney.

She described how the natural world, via insects, plants and marine life, can help investigators solve crimes and catch criminals, using examples from her extensive work as a forensic scientist in Italy and Australia.

“In my 10 years of experience as a forensic expert, I have investigated cases in many locations – in city apartments, in the bush, in lakes and the sea,” said Dr Magni.

“Insects, crustaceans as well as plant seeds and plankton, have been key to solving such cases, because my role is to let the environment and the single organisms tell the story.”

Dr Magni explained how insects found on the body of a woman found in a garbage dump covered by an oriental carpet helped to pinpoint the time of death, exonerating a first suspect. Mites then found on the carpet, matching mites found in the house of a second suspect, led to him confessing to the murder, she said.

In another example, Dr Magni described how plankton from a lake helped police to accuse a man of murdering his girlfriend.

As well as homicides, Dr Magni has been an expert forensic witness for investigations on forensic veterinary cases, food forensic and stored products security, both for the public prosecutor and defence in the Italian courts. The total number of forensic cases she has been involved in as an expert is between 60 and 70.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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