Maggots under green light next to a magnifying glass

How Insects Are Helping Criminals With Their Alibis

How can a maggot tell us time of death? And what does a species of fly have to do with an alibi for a suspect?

The bugs and insects that end up on bodies contribute to a lot more than just decomposition, they can act as evidence for conviction or help prove innocence of a suspect. 

Analysing bugs to help solve crimes is the job of a forensic entomologist, a role you may be familiar with thanks to characters like Hodgkins on the crime TV show Bones.

Image Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Dr Paola Magni is considered the global face of this specialist forensic science. In this episode of Crime Insiders: Forensics, she explains how analysing the insects found at a crime scene can tell us where someone died, which can help to validate or discredit a suspect’s alibi:

Studying maggots can also reveal injuries, which could be vital to solving a case. Typically, they’re found in moist places, such as the mouth, nose or ears.

Therefore if maggots are found on other parts of the body, it is likely that there is wound there, which can be an important piece of information about someone’s death.

Keen to learn more? Listen to the full episode to hear Dr Paola and host Kathryn Fox unpack the intricate nitty gritty details of bugs, insects and dead bodies:

Crime Insiders takes you beyond true crime. In groundbreaking interviews, explore the world of policing, forensics, and more through the stories of the world’s most experienced and decorated experts.

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