WEB UPDATES An Interesting Case - July, 2002
The June 2000 issue of "Firepoint" featured an article on Kenny Richey, who was sentenced to death in Ohio, USA after being found guilty of murder, because investigators determined the fire in which a child died, had been deliberately lit. A worldwide network of supporters believe he is innocent.
On appeal, Judge Gaughan quoted from an article by Tony Cafe, an Australian forensic scientist. Tony believes he was misquoted, and has been asked by Richey's lawyers to review the forensic evidence and prepare a submission, in a final attempt to save Kenny Richey's life. Tony believes that the forensic evidence is amongst the worst he has ever seen. The evidence is available on the web site. The case highlights the importance of an investigator's work, particularly when fatalities occur in fires. Tony's submission to the Court is reproduced here.
Controversy Rages Over Fire Investigators In USA - October 2000
The expertise of fire investigators in the USA has been questioned by an organisation working to free wrongly convicted people in American jails. One such person was Sonia Cacy who was freed after serving 8 years of a 50 year sentence in a Texas jail. Another was Terri Strickland who faced a murder charge after a fire in which her 4 year old son died.
Their research should make fascinating reading for all fire investigators because it shows how a wrong call can have tragic consequences. There are some fire investigators here in Australia, who after a loss in a civil court or even a criminal court, have gone on to make the statement "Oh well, at the end of the day it's really only a game". These people should read on at the Truth In Justice web site.
New Web Presence - October 2000
Since the original web site was launched in 1995, we have made valuable contacts through the internet and met new colleagues and friends. By moving to our own domain, the site can expand as more articles, news and downloads are added. As stated in the introduction, we aim to establish more than a token website, so keep that feedback coming in. Any contributions and suggestions are welcome.
TC Forensic's web address is now: www.tcforensic.com.au - please adjust your bookmarks and links. Moving the site provided the opportunity to incorporate features such as news, ideas and local search pages. Two new icons appear throughout, the elbow arrow () indicates an external link, clicking that link will open a new browser window. Please note that external links are provided for reference purposes and TC Forensic may not endorse material found on other sites. The PDF icon () indicates an Adobe Acrobat® document. Most users will be familiar with PDF's and if your browser is configured you may view these articles automatically. Alternatively, you can right click and select "Save Link/Target As" to download for viewing later.
Geronimo Laboratory - February 1996
The Geronimo Fire Laboratory at the University of Technology, Sydney was set up by Associate Professor Rob MacMillan with the aid of a grant from the NRMA and GIO insurance companies. Professor MacMillan and Professor Stern provide regular assistance to insurance and legal companies on a variety of fire related matters. The laboratory provides analytical back-up to their investigations, and examines samples submitted by other investigators. The high standard of graduates is reflected by the quality essays available for download from - UTS Student Fire Investigation Essays
UTS, Sydney. Home of the Geronimo Fire Laboratory Professor Wal Stern
One of Sydney's most experienced fire investigators is Wal Stern (BSc,PhD,FRACI), who also spent many years at The University of Technology, Sydney, lecturing fire investigation to the Forensic Science students, as well as editing the industry journal - "Firepoint" magazine. Wal has kindly contributed the following articles to TC Forensic Online:
Fire Hazards of Aerosol Propellants - "Firepoint" Magazine, September 1996 Modern Methods of Accelerant Analysis - "Southeast Asia Fire and Security" November 1995