Living History: New Technology Allows Reconstruction Of Old Crime Scenes

UPDATED: Thursday July 31, 2014 6:43 PM

New, state-of-the-art crime fighting technology is making it possible for jurors to feel like they're standing inside the crime scene.  It gives them a 3D, high resolution image of what crime scene investigators saw with their own eyes.  The high tech tool could change the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted in Ohio.

Unless you carry a badge, it is about close as most people will ever get to a homicide scene.

Prosecutors normally expose a jury to crime scene photos, two dimensional images, and fragments of the case.  But, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation says that's all changing thanks to a 3D laser scanner.  The device rotates 360 degrees, taking millions of precise laser measurements and hundreds of digital photographs.

Megan Timlin is a forensic video analyst who links the scans into a remarkably clear 3D image that glides from room to room.  "You can actually feel like you're looking around the room as if you're actually standing there," she says.

For example, with the new technology, investigators can recreate and reexamine a 1987 cold case murder.

However, investigators say the cutting edge technology will change the way jurors see crime scenes.  "I think this brings them closer because they get to see it the way it was that night,” explains Special Agent Bryan White of the Ohio BCI.

The scanner can also take jurors inside the crime scene, from the door the suspect used to get inside the house, flowing effortlessly to the kitchen, where the suspect found the murder weapon, and into the living room where the attack happened.

BCI Agents like Bryan White say its one more tool to help crime scene investigators do what they love; catch the bad guy.  "I like being able to go to a crime scene and find that piece of evidence that puts a killer behind bars, that puts a rapist behind bars."

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