Willow Dawn Becker
Forensic science is fascinating. Mysteries are intriguing. So it’s no wonder that forensic science and crime scene investigation (CSI) are some of the most popular blog and podcasting topics.
Shows such as My Favorite Murder blend comedy with true crime, and its popularity has lept off the web pages and the airwaves to sold-out worldwide tours. But the genre spins off into personal safety; the women who host this podcast have written a book titled: Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered, emphasizing the importance of women being intuitive, assertive, and hopefully avoiding falling prey to the horrific true crimes they profile.
Forensic science and criminal investigation aren’t just entertainment, though. They’re a necessary part of bringing criminals to justice. Without forensic scientists, toxicologists, or osteologists, thousands of crimes would go unsolved yearly. And, of course, these “after-the-fact” mysteries are magnetic – and network TV shows like CSI, Bones, and NCIS have the ratings to prove it.
But, instead of just watching fiction based on forensic science and crime scene investigation, the internet makes it possible to be on the crime scene with the investigators. Forensic science and CSI blogs are a great way to stay updated on the latest news and developments in the field. In addition, forensics blogs provide insights into forensics and criminal investigations that may not be accessible or summarized anywhere else.
The best blogs give a birds-eye view of what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator or forensic scientist. Here are 20 CSI blogs that will provide unique insights and keep you up at night.
Forensic Magazine focuses on three key areas of forensic science: crime scene investigation, crime lab work, and digital forensics. The blog is updated on all three fronts five times a week, using stories ripped from the headlines to highlight current practices and issues in forensic science and CSI.
This website is geared towards the beginning forensic science student but has enough meat to keep even a seasoned pro interested. The weekly articles discuss how to estimate the time of death and highlight real forensic cases to provide a foundation for further study.
Carla Valentine is a forensic science teacher, a practicing Anatomical Pathology Technologist (Mortician), and a famous blogger. She was a guest speaker on the Resident Evil 6 Real Crime: Real Fiction panel at the British Museum and the Wellcome Forensic Science Exhibition. Her blog boasts content about love, death, dismemberment, and how they all relate to forensic science. She is the author of the book, Past Mortems: Life & Death Behind Mortuary Doors, which details her decade of experience working in a mortuary.
This website is dedicated to everything digital forensics, from hacking to cybersecurity. Every day, readers can get new information on the digital forensics front, often with headlines pulled straight from top-tier media. This site also touts an extensive research database on cyber threats, from international security spending to the most damaging cyberattacks of the year.
Kristina Killgrove is a bioarchaeologist and professor at the University of West Florida. Her blog is about bones: specifically how scientists can use them to solve crimes. She picks apart the CSI crime drama Bones. She reveals how a true osteologist would solve each episode.
Katy Meyers Emery is a PhD student at Michigan State University with a penchant for skeletons. Her blog is a mixture of anthropology, archaeology, and forensic osteology, but she calls herself a mortuary archaeologist. Her provocative blog talks about how she gleans information from the dead, primarily cultural and historical data.
Dr. Michael Bowers is a dentist and forensic consultant in the U.S. and international court systems. His book, Forensic Testimony: Science, Law, and Expert Advice, received an Honorable Mention at the Association of American Publishers’ 2015 PROSE Awards. In addition, his blog highlights several themes relating to forensic science and CSI, including how to give expert forensic testimony and avoid forensic science malpractice.
From Molly to Krokodil, the unknown ForensicToxGuy knows it all. This blog, run by an unknown forensic toxicologist and “drug chemist,” highlights the most dangerous and deadly chemicals known to man.
In addition to exciting articles about chemistry, drug interaction, and general forensic toxicology, he also posts job openings for students interested in toxicology.
9. Forensic Sciences Simplified
Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, this website provides students with in-depth information about various CSI topics. Choose from mini-sites about things like footprinting, toxicology, documentation, or DNA testing. You can also download articles directly to an e-Reader for study on the go.
10. Rice University – CSI: Web Adventures
Although this site seems geared towards a younger crowd, its interactive gaming style masks advanced techniques for solving forensic science problems. For example, you can choose from five different CSI cases based on the popular TV show, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. It also has a great list of forensic science resources sorted by category.
11. Investigative Sciences Journal
This online peer-reviewed journal offers up-to-date articles about forensic science and investigations from a professional perspective. The editorial staff is composed of well-known forensic scientists from universities across the country, as well as state departments of Criminal Investigation. Each issue is free and reflects the most recent events and investigations in the U.S.
There is a lot of disinformation about this unique forensic science profession, which is why Lisa Bailey continues to dispel the rumors. The blog discusses relevant topics for forensic artists, such as techniques, technology, and tools. She also interviews prominent forensic artists to talk about how they became a part of the profession and what their work is like.
13. Strange Remains
Dolly Stolze is the mastermind behind this magnificently morbid blog. In addition to news about art, anatomy, and archaeology, Stolze has an entire section on Forensic Anthropology. These articles highlight news and investigations involving cold cases and long-dead victims whose cases were solved through Forensic Anthropology. It’s funny, dark, and engaging.
14. Volatility Labs
Focusing on digital forensics and incident response (DFIR), this blog focuses on information recovery and malware analysis with a downloadable tool, Volatility. This app and its blog have been publishing for 15 years and run an annual interactive contest for who can code a plugin for the tool.
In addition, the authors of this blog have written a book titled The Art of Memory Forensics, which covers how to use a computer’s RAM (random access memory) to solve digital forensics crimes.
Run by Steven Staggs, the founder of the Crime Scene Investigator Network and retired former detective. Posts are categorized by crime scene response, evidence collection, crime scene evidence photography, and employment resources for pursuing a CSI career.
16. Forensic Files
Named after the hit series in the late-90s, Forensic Files blends entertainment with curiosity and true crime. The categories cover various topics, including cold blood, Jack the Ripper, Netflix, the Mendez Brothers, true crime podcasts, and more. The blog’s comments section is active, and updates are regularly posted when new information is revealed about a particular case.
17. Spy Museum Blog
A blog-turned-podcast, this content is hosted by Dr. Andrew Hammond, the International Spy Museum’s historian and curator. It covers a wide range of topics related to espionage and intelligence, providing readers with an inside look at the world of spying on display in person at the museum in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by true crime writer Alice De Sturler, Defrosting Cold Cases features a case of the month highlighting a homicide, missing person, unidentified person, new technology, or a wrongful conviction. With an academic background in law, the author writes about true crimes to shed light on unsolved cases and hopefully bring justice and closure to victims and their loved ones.
19. Forensic Focus
Since 2002, Forensic Focus has been educating the forensics community and, in 2022, emphasizes resources for digital forensics and e-discovery professionals.
In addition to blog posts, this website shares news, hosts a discussion forum, webinars, podcasts, and posts continuing education and job postings for digital forensics professionals.
20. Fraud Files Forensic Accounting Blog
Run by forensic accountant Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF, MAFF, Fraud Files is a blog focusing on fraudulent financial transactions. She is the author of Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases, which analyzes an individual’s living expenses against known income sources to determine if the reported income is sufficient to fund a lifestyle post-divorce.
Other blog posts include conviction updates and FAQ-style posts defining the basics of corporate fraud suspects.
Willow Dawn Becker
Willow is a blogger, parent, former educator and regular contributor to www.forensicscolleges.com. When she's not writing about forensic science, you'll find her blogging about education online, or enjoying the beauty of Oregon.