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CSI Advances Being Applied To Crime Cases Involving Animals

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent
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BOSTON (CBS) – There have been tremendous leaps with crime solving technology in recent years. That doesn’t just apply to crimes involving humans. It’s also applicable to cases with animals.

This includes ballistics, blood splatter, and hair and saliva analysis.

Prosecutor Diane Malone said this type of evidence “could absolutely make the case, to link the defendant or defendants to the particular criminal act.”

“Forensics recovery of evidence really helps to flesh out the case for us,” said Veterinarian Dr. Robert Reisman, who is considered a pioneer in animal forensics.

The ASPCA even has a mobile evidence lab, loaded with everything investigators need to do forensics at the scene of an animal crime.

It was Reisman’s testimony that helped convict the man who killed Madea, Debra Bender’s beloved cat.

The cat’s DNA was key evidence. It linked the weapon to the killing.

Bender said having the crime solved helped her a lot. “I am glad justice was served,” she said.

There is another benefit of animal forensics; this science is also helping to solve crimes against humans.

“It is something different than you expect to see in court. You don’t necessarily expect to have animal DNA,” said prosecutor Chris Ore.

In once case for example, hair of a murder victim’s dog was found on the suspect’s boots. It helped lead to a conviction.

“The results were very, very compelling,” said Ore.

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