Forensic Files (season 2)

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Forensic Files (season 2)
Country of origin United States
Original network TLC
Original release October 2 (1997-10-02) – December 25, 1997 (1997-12-25)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of Forensic Files episodes

Forensic Files is an American documentary-style series which reveals how forensic science is used to solve violent crimes, mysterious accidents, and even outbreaks of illness. The show was broadcast on truTV, narrated by Peter Thomas, and produced by Medstar Television, in association with truTV Original Productions. It has broadcast 406 episodes since its debut on TLC in 1996 as Medical Detectives.


No. in
No. in
Title Original air date
141"The Common Thread"October 2, 1997 (1997-10-02)
Ten bodies had been found between the months of May and November 1984 in the Tampa, Florida area. The police discovered several similarities among these cases. Red carpet fibers had been found on all the bodies, some of the victims were found near tire tracks, and some had hairs from the perpetrator. It wasn't until November 3, 1984, that the case began to unfold as the perpetrator abducted a 17-year-old female named Lisa McVey but then released her. McVey went to the police with information, such as interior descriptions of the suspect’s car and specifics about an ATM transaction, that eventually led to the arrest of Bobbie Joe Long.
152"The Dirty Deed"October 9, 1997 (1997-10-09)
On November 18, 1993, friends of Eileen and Derek Severs called and notified the police that the couple had been missing for several days. The police searched the Severs' home in Hambleton, England and questioned their son Roger who had recently moved in with his parents. Although the bodies had not yet been found, police arrested and detained Roger on suspicion of murdering his parents. Only after finding blood samples in Eileen's car and after careful analysis of the mud flaps on Derek's car, were the police able to determine where Roger had buried his parents. Roger had used his mother's car to discard incriminating evidence and used his father's car to transport the bodies to the burial site.
163"Killer Fog"October 16, 1997 (1997-10-16)
One particular stretch on Interstate 75 in Tennessee seemed to be accident-prone resulting in seven multi-car accidents in 15 years including a 62-vehicle accident in 1978 and a 99-vehicle, multiple-fatality accident in 1990. Each accident was caused by a sudden and impenetrable fog, which forced drivers to suddenly brake without concern for those behind them. Environmental experts and investigators analysed the elements of nature occurring during this unnaturally-thick fog and tried to determine possible water sources that could create so many vapors in the air. They found one particular facility, the Bowater paper mill, near Calhoun and close to the interstate, that releases significant water vapors, which react to the weather and create this deadly fog. Bowater reached a $10 million settlement with victims and agreed to limit the use of pond 4.
174"Sex, Lies and DNA"October 23, 1997 (1997-10-23)
In June 1989, Cindy Morris reported to the police in Phoenix, Arizona that her mother Ruby was missing. Ruby's husband, Gaylynn Earl Morris, became a suspect once blood samples were found in the bathroom leading police to believe that Ruby had suffered a severe blow to the head. Further investigation led to Earl's boat that had been taken out and never returned. There had been a report of a boat that caught fire and sank. Police were able to determine that the boat belonged to Earl after reviewing footage from a TV crew and photographs from the Coast Guard. Earl claimed that his wife had committed suicide, but he was quickly convicted by the jury who saw through his lies.
185"Bitter Potion"October 30, 1997 (1997-10-30)
In 1988 in Alturas, Florida, Peggy Carr developed mysterious flu symptoms that no doctor was able to diagnose, until a neurologist noticed that her ailments were similar to that of a person poisoned by Thallium. Pye Carr instantly became a suspect when the poison eventually killed his wife Peggy. Although there were traces of the poison around Pye's belongings, the FBI did not think that Pye matched the psychological profile of the killer. Instead, they turned their attention to the Carr's next door neighbor, George James Trepal, who had an extensive chemistry background and even used Thallium poisoning as a plot device in a MENSA Murder Mystery Weekend that he hosted. Trepal was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
196"The Blood Trail"November 6, 1997 (1997-11-06)
In Chipping Sodbury, England, Graham Backhouse was a farmer who wasn't well received by his community. On two occasions, Graham reported death threats. In 1984, when his wife Margaret went to use Graham's car to run errands, a bomb ignited when she started it which nearly killed her. Soon after, police responded to a call from the farm, where they found that Graham had shot and killed his next door neighbor claiming self-defense. Using forensic science, investigators found that Graham had actually manipulated the crime scene, fabricated the death threats, and planted the bomb, all to benefit from his wife's life insurance.
207"Fatal Fungus"November 13, 1997 (1997-11-13)
In 1994, doctors in Cleveland, Ohio became extremely concerned when they had an increase in the number of infants brought to the emergency room with bleeding of the lungs. Doctors quickly contacted the Centers for Disease Control and had them investigate the matter. The CDC found that all babies were from the same neighborhood and that all of their houses had suffered from water damage. After further investigation and research, a black fungus was determined to be the killer of three infants. The fungus develops in moist conditions, becomes airborne, and threatens developing organs such as the growing lungs of babies.
218"Charred Remains"November 20, 1997 (1997-11-20)
In 1991, police in Vancouver, British Columbia were investigating a charred body found in a dumpster with a bullet hole in the skull when a missing person report was filed for Mary-Lynn Breeden. Police investigated her disappearance and found that a woman had attempted to withdraw money from Mary-Lynne's account. The woman was identified from video surveillance at the bank and was questioned by police. This then led police to Christian Cruz. Police found traces of blood in Cruz' car and were able to match it to the charred body through DNA testing of the body's tooth pulp and Breeden's family members.
229"Something's Fishy"November 27, 1997 (1997-11-27)
In 1986, Excedrin bottles sold by a store in Kent, Washington were investigated by police after Susan Snow died from taking pills poisoned with cyanide. Investigators later found a chemical used to clean the algae in fish tanks mixed with the cyanide and, through pet store records, traced the chemical to Stella Nickell. Stella's husband Bruce had recently died, and, with this new information, detectives re-opened the investigation into his death. Stella had increased Bruce's life insurance shortly before his death. Because the death had to be accidental in order to receive the insurance pay out, she laced several other bottles, waiting for a second poisoning to occur.
2310"Sealed with a Kiss"December 4, 1997 (1997-12-04)
In 1993, police in Coolbaugh, Pennsylvania were baffled when teacher Joanne Chambers received multiple death threats and questionable packages. Chambers reported every incident to the police, who in turn found a resemblance in the letters to statements that a fellow teacher, Paula Nawrocki, had made. However, the police were unable to find evidence directly linking Nawrocki to the threats. Regardless, Nawrocki was arrested and charged with harassment. Nawrocki's defense team sent the threatening letters and envelopes to be tested for DNA. The lab was able to determine that the saliva found on the stamp and envelope did not match Paula, but rather it matched Joanne Chambers. It was then determined that Chambers was framing Nawrocki because she disliked the teacher and wanted her out of the school.
2411"Postal Mortem"December 11, 1997 (1997-12-11)
Over the course of one day in 1985, police in Salt Lake City, Utah were called to two bombings. Businessman and Mormon bishop Steve Christensen was killed by bomb left in front of his office door. Kathy Sheets, wife of Gary Sheets, who was Christensen's former business partner, was killed by a similar bomb left on the doorstep of their residence. Police had difficulty determining the motive for the killings until a third bomb went off, injuring Mark Hofmann. After careful analysis, it was determined that Hofmann was actually the bomber and that the bomb had gone off accidentally while he was moving it into his car. The motive for the killings was to hinder discovery that he had been forging and selling historical documents.
2512"Micro-Clues"December 18, 1997 (1997-12-18)
In 1993 when the body of teenage boy Dario Cicolecchia was found in a Swiss cornfield, sexual assault was first considered. When swab samples from the boy's body were analysed, investigators found microscopic one-cell organisms called diatoms. A diatom is only found in water, so police began collecting samples from bodies of water in the area. Analysis of diatoms from a nearby creek matched those found on the boy's body and supplied police with the location of the murder. Months later, Roland Kubler was convicted of sexual assault and the attempted murder of another child, which brought him to the attention of investigators. Analysis of the Kubler's car led to a match of diatoms found on Dario's body, which led to his arrest and conviction.
2613"Deadly Parasites"December 25, 1997 (1997-12-25)
In April 1993, the Commissioner of Health was astonished when businesses throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin were closing down due to large numbers of people reporting symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses. Eventually, more than 400,000 of the city's 1.6 million people became ill and several people died. A waterborne parasite, cryptosporidium, was identified as the culprit after analysis of stools and water supplies. It was discovered that the city’s sewage treatment outlet was too close to one of the city’s water sources. The mayor quickly issued a boil water advisory that seemed to stop the outbreaks. This was the largest waterborne disease outbreak ever documented in the United States.

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