Computer forensics was once thought to be an unreliable source for evidence, but now has become an important part of investigation. In 2012 there were 16 RCFLs (Regional Computer Forensics Labs) across the United States and that number is only growing. These labs, run by the FBI, help in crime investigations that contain possible computer forensics evidence. So far, 5,986 terabytes of information have been processed and 8,566 examinations have been conducted.
Over the span of 30 years, the BTK killer murdered at least ten people leaving the police stumped for years as they could never connect the evidence. Eventually the killer requested, via a newspaper ad, to communicate with the police using a floppy disk with the condition that they not trace it back to a particular computer.
The police lied and said yes, and traced the floppy disk to the computer of the Church where Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, was president. With this evidence the police were able to run DNA tests and matched Rader to the murders. Rader pled guilty to ten counts of fifth degree murder and is currently serving a 175 year sentence in prison.
For more on the growing art of computer forensics take a look at this infographic from computersciencedegreehub.com. Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments, like, and share!
“Police Computer” image courtesy of Shutterstock.