ENR Scientists Help Solve Murder. National Fire and Arson Report. Vol.
5, No. 6. 1987. p. 6.
Abstract: This article reports an incident in which a murder was
witnessed but no supporting evidence could be found. The witness came forward
with the story four years after the crime and investigators came up with
no forensic evidence to corroborate the witness's account. The witness stated
that the accused burned the body and provided the location. Plant pathologists
were able to determine that a fire destroyed the tree's growth rings during
the summer that the witness testified the murder occurred. An organic chemist
further substantiated the story by discovering remnants of petroleum in
the tree. No other surrounding trees contained the petroleum, proving that
the spill was localized. The jury was able to convict the murderer on the
witness's testimony and the corroborating forensic evidence.
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