How do you separate fact from fantasy in a cold case?

Professor Jim Fraser

Cold case reviews often have to battle misinformation and conspiracy theories, as well as missing pieces. How do investigators see through the chaos to a solution?

Learn about this Garden Talk

In homicide cases that remain unsolved after one year, only 5% will ever lead to an arrest.

Investigators reviewing a cold case often find themselves battling on multiple fronts: evidence can be missing or lacking context; the memories of witnesses have often faded; and frequently misinformation and conspiracy theories arise in the vacuum of a cold case that muddy the water for police and forensics experts.

How do investigators sift through multiple hypotheses to find the truth?

Prof. Jim Fraser is one of the UK's foremost forensic experts - he quite literally wrote the handbook. Through the lens of one specific and highly unusual case, Jim joins us in The Garden to give a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek into how investigators extract information from chaos and distinguish fact from fiction in a complex case review.

Read this talk's transcript

Talk outline


50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Professor Jim Fraser

Professor Jim Fraser is a research professor of forensic science and a forensic investigator. He has been involved in hundreds of murder investigations.

Thank you notes from Garden members

Forensics: Evidence, Ethics & Evaluation Collection

This collection looks at crime, from how to solve a criminal investigation with evidence to how we treat offenders with mental health problems, and gives us intriguing insights into the myths and reality of forensic science.