Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsAs a crime scene investigator, we could get asked to a number of different scenes. You don't really know what you're going to get. The list is endless. Whatever crime you can think of, we will attend. The one thing that we do, because we are like a baseline and we deal with all this - yes, we will record the scene, and yes, we will gather evidence. But sometimes we do need to actually gather other information from other specialists. We might use a biologist to do blood patterning. We might use an anthropologist. We might use an expert in explosives, firearms experts. But we've always got somebody else that we can go to. One thing that we do come across is bones frequently.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsSo again, we have specialists that we can go to, to actually see whether they're human, or whether they're animal. So from our perspective, we are like the base people that find the stuff, and then we can gather other information from other experts in all different walks to actually help us interpret or even solve a case. You can't even predict what you're going to get next. So sometimes it's a case that you just have to go to universities, or you have to go to hospitals, or other places.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 secondsSo I started in anatomy and physiology, and then - so my first degree was in anatomy and physiology - I then studied art, and then, kind of combined those skills to take me into the craniofacial forensic art world. Nowadays, students tend to come either from an art background with a real interest in science and anatomy, or from an anatomy, dentistry, anthropology background with some art skills and art interests. So you wouldn't necessarily need to have qualifications in both of those fields, but certainly both of those skill sets help within this particular application. Most people that work in this field, they're academics. They're academic anatomists. They're academic archaeologists. They're academic biological anthropologists, physical anthropologists.

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 secondsVery, very few people work just in facial reconstruction, or just in forensic anthropology, and just do casework. Typically you need to establish yourself as an academic and have that as a disciplinary specialisation. I'm currently working as a senior forensic scientist for LGC, and my area of specialism is body fluids and DNA. And I'm one of the scene-attending scientists, so I'll get called out to murders and serious assaults and occasionally rape scenes. So I have a mixture of both lab and scene work, and that will be following a case from when it's submitted, or the scene, through the process and occasionally will attend court and give evidence.

Skip to 2 minutes and 49 secondsThe summer after I carried out the facial reconstruction work, I was waiting to go to start at King's College in London to do their forensic science master's degree. And a job ad came up for trainee forensic scientist with the former Home Office forensic science service. So I applied for that, purely in my view, as an experience. I didn't expect to be offered a job. And part of the interview process was giving a presentation. So I used the facial reconstruction as the subject of my presentation. And I firmly believe that that experience in doing that reconstruction was what opened the door to me getting my career.

Skip to 3 minutes and 26 secondsBecause two weeks after starting the forensic science masters course, I had a phone call offering me the job. My view would be for students to pick a scientific degree that they find interesting and relevant. And I think that will give them a really good scientific grounding and basis to then potentially move into a career in forensic science.

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Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

The University of Sheffield