National Geographic : 2016 Jul
Beyond reasonable doubt 55 Steven Armentrout, Parabon’s CEO, says it’s important to be clear about how the com- pany’s facial reconstructions should best be used: not to identify a particular suspect but to eliminate ones who clearly don’t resemble the image, beginning with people who obviously don’t match—such as the Mexican laborers in the Bouzigard case. “In the future,” says Armentrout, “we would be doing this at the beginning of the investi- gation—who should and shouldn’t be on your suspect list.” As the field of inquiry narrows, the DNA of a suspect not excluded by the Para- bon Snapshot could be tested against the actual sample left at the crime scene. And Parabon’s phenotyping is not intended to identify specif- ic individuals. “I would underscore that message,” Armen- trout says. “These new technologies are really just making the process of law enforcement more efficient.” Les Blanchard, the detective in Lake Charles who hopes to solve the killing of Sierra Bou- zigard, says he and his team have received mul- tiple tips since releasing the Parabon Snapshot to the public last September. They’ve started knocking on doors. As of this writing, no matches yet. j On a mock residential street at an FBI training facility, a forensics investigator learns how to use lasers to help visualize the flight path of bullets and reconstruct shooting incidents. Both rigorous training and scientifically proven methods are essential, critics say, to setting forensic science on the right trajectory.