Crime-busters owe their success to the arresting advancements in forensic science. Crime Lab, a new series from Story House Productions, takes a compelling look at the turning points of forensic science.  In collaboration with world-renowned forensic scientists and historians from the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, each episode of Crime Lab will feature a unique forensic discipline. Using hands on laboratory experiments to explore iconic criminal cases from around the world, Crime Lab unpacks the key moments from the history of each separate forensic tool.  Crime Lab will take viewers from the scene-of-the-crime to the courtroom, revealing where forensics have changed the course of criminal justice, ensuring that modern day television detectives like super sleuth Colombo would not adeptly piece together their investigations without the benefits of the F word no murder mystery can do without.


  • Crime Lab: DNA Profiling
    Over the past 25 years DNA profiling has revolutionised crime investigation and helped to capture the world's worst killers.
  • Crime Lab: Crime Lab, Proving Poison
    Suspecting murder by poison is one thing, proving it is another. Until the birth of forensic toxicology, many murders went undetected. Centuries later, forensic toxicology has evolved into a high tech player in investigative police work, finding new toxins and catching killers.
  • Crime Lab: Proving Poison
    Forensic toxicology has evolved into a high-tech player in investigative police work, finding new toxins and catching killers.
  • Crime Lab: Crime Lab, Forensic Anthropology
    Bones can tell us a lot about a person, but this information had little application in the world of crime fighting until 1897, when bones became the chief evidence in a sensational criminal trial that rocked Chicago. Eighty years later, forensic anthropology took the stage again when bones revealed the story of one of the most shocking serial killer cases in American history-John Wayne Gacy. Today, the application of forensic anthropology has expanded from local crime scenes to some of the largest crime scenes in the world: from South America to the World Trade Center bone detectives work to provide evidence, answers, and closure to the families of victims.
  • Crime Lab: Forensic Anthropology
    From Rwanda to the World Trade Center, bone specialists are in demand to provide evidence, answers and closure to the families of victims.
  • Crime Lab: Crime Lab, Fingerprints
    Hair may change color or disappear completely, weight may fluctuate, and faces may wrinkle, but throughout our lives, our fingerprints will always stay the same-and distinctly our own. Even identical twins, who share the same DNA profile, don't have matching fingerprints. Long recognized as unique and pressed into clay tablets or inked onto papyrus to seal business transactions in ancient times, it wasn't until the late 19th century that investigators in rural Argentina realized that the distinctive pattern of a single fingerprint could help solve the shocking murder of two young children. Less than a century later, a single fingerprint helped to capture one of the world's most notorious serial killers.
  • Crime Lab: Fingerprints
    Examine the fascinating history of fingerprint identification, which was first used to crack crimes in 19th-century Argentina.
  • Crime Lab: Crime Lab, Insect Evidence
    Writhing maggots on a decomposed corpse and dead insects found on the grill of a suspect's car are often the best evidence police have to solve baffling murders. This episode of Forensic Firsts, documents the history of entomology as a crime fighting tool. From the use of maggots as an aid in determining time of death, to insect identification as a way of placing suspects at a crime scene, forensic entomology is a science that has solved murders around the globe. This fascinating show documents two shocking cases were insect evidence helped put a cold-blooded killer behind bars, tells the history of entomology as a crime fighting tool, and illustrates the stunning state-of-the-art abilities of this evolving science.
  • Crime Lab: Insect Evidence
    From maggots on a corpse to insects on the grill of a suspect's car, a fascinating look at how forensic entomology is being used to fight crime.
  • Crime Lab: Crime Lab, Smoking Guns
    Every time a bullet explodes from the barrel of a gun, the gun leaves a unique set of markings behind. Even if the bullet fragments, trained ballistic experts can piece together the unique signature imprinted by the weapon. This episode of Forensic Firsts documents the fascinating history of ballistics and illustrates the stunning state-of-the-art abilities of this ever-changing science. We see how ballistics evolved from a tool used in autopsies to an exacting science that can pinpoint a murder weapon beyond a shadow of a doubt. The show tells the gripping story of two major murder cases where justice was served with the help of ballistic evidence. The first --the Washington DC sniper-is a case that shocked the USA and held the DC community in a state of perpetual fear. While many serial killers take months or even years to catch, police used ballistic evidence to track down the owners of the infamous Bushmaster rifle in three weeks. The second case documents one of the earliest uses of ballistics a criminal trial. Like the DC sniper case, the Charles Phelps murder in 1915 was a case that brought the exacting science of ballistics to the forefront of national consciousness. It was the case that galvanized the field of forensic ballistics.
  • Crime Lab: Smoking Guns
    Discover the fascinating history of ballistics and the stunning state-of-the-art abilities of this ever-changing science.