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Text messages to aid solving crimes? It has happened

 Jim Fitzgerald I’m not sure too many cases in the US where text messaging late into the solving of a homicide case, but I know of several, uh, maybe you’ve been up there with a half a dozen in the UK, uh, where there were kidnappings. There were murders and, and bad things happened where in fact the killer like Natalie inferred here, where the killer actually took the victim’s phone and he started like texting people in an attempt to, uh, you know, uh, assure them that the victim was okay and I lie and all, I’m not going to be home for a few days or I’m running away. And it makes it look like the victim is fine when actually in reality the victims have already been murdered. And it took some, uh, uh, forensic linguist in the UK to actually look at these text messages, uh, did the suspect text messages, real text messages of the victim when she was still alive?
And of course, prior text messaging of the offender and they piece all those together and they make it very clear the victim did not send these text messages, um, and, and the offender did and nothing to do with time of death or anything like that, strictly through a language analysis perspective that they could build a case and a few of them were arrested and jailed and convicted and uh, and the linguistic evidence held up in court. So text messages, even in the, in the minimal amount of characters, uh, you know, a hundred and 40 to 80, whatever it is now, uh, there, there was enough linguistic evidence in there at a good forensic linguist can in fact determine much about it and, uh, and certainly compared them to others and determined that the frequency of a competitiveness between them and cases can be solved.


James Fitzgerald and Natalie Schilling

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