A to Z Challenge - Crime Fiction Mystery Game
Today I will Publish Two Post . I was unable to publish my letter D post on Saturday.
My daughter left for Paris, after a week long nightmare of trying to replace a lost passport with one of those 24 hour Rush my passport services. My husband had to fly from Louisiana to D.C. on Friday, pick up her passport and return the same day. I won't go into the details. It is long and I am I am still irate. It's the content of another post after the A to Z Challenge. So please accept my apology. You will have to endure two post on one day, so I can play catch up.
Letter D is for Digital Forensics:
Digital forensics is the recovery, investigation and use of information found in digital devices. Digital forensics is the forensic examination of electronic media.
We used to think of digital forensics as computer forensics, but as technology has evolved, investigators are learning as much or more about crimes with cell phones, smart phones and even gaming devices some of think of us as toys. It is a two- step process. First the investigating officer must seize or take possession of the digital device, then make a copy of the data, (forensic imaging) then analyze the data for evidence of a crime. Law enforcement officers often find information that leads them to collect additional evidence against a suspect. The ability to acquire and study data from smart phones & tablets has opened up a whole new world for law enforcement. I am not going to go into the law or the arguments for and/or against searching and seizing smart phones, nor am I going to talk about the 4th amendment and when the police are required to obtain a search warrant. That, is a lengthy and controversial topic that requires a separate post.
Smart phones and other cell phones contain a wealth of information for police officers and have become a regular part of criminal investigations. Almost everyone owns a smart phone and these devices store information about a person's whereabouts. This information alone, can make or break a person's alibi in a criminal case. Our smart phones also contain the names and contact information of the people we associate with, content of our text messages, our monthly/daily calendars and so much more. We store our photos on our digital devices. Many of us keep a diary on our smart phones. Most of us take and store notes on our phones or tablets. Every time we use our cell phone a signal is sent out that pinpoints where we are.
Consider this: Is there anything currently on your phone or have you deleted anything from your phone, that would embarrass or implicate you?
Do you now have or have your ever had anything on your phone that you would not want others to access?
Calendar Entries e.g. "bikini wax tomorrow at noon."
Places you have physically visited
Sites you gave googled or searched - "Best place to hide a body" (How is the person reading your entry supposed to know you are researching your next novel)
Diary Entries - I want to kill my husband
Notes - Pick up Rat poison today
Social Media Direct/Private Messages
Medical and/or Pharmaceutical Information
Just to name a few of the hundreds of things law enforcement and/or hackers can access. Unless you are a computer expert, yourself, anything you've deleted is also fair game.
Personally, I find value and security in the apps that allow me to know locate my children. I don't use these apps to spy on them, but to keep them safe. However, as technological growth continues, criminals should be aware that the police have more and more tools at their disposal. Some of us don't mind this and other people, non criminals, just ordinary citizens, view this an invasion of privacy.
If you are playing along with my A to Z Crime Fiction Mystery. Below you will find additional facts and clues that pertain to the case.
Letter D Clue is - Deception
When we left off, Detective Coker and his men were eagerly awaiting results from the crime lab and from the medical examiner's office. As in real life, this is the Monday, following the Easter weekend and thus the detective has not received any new scientific information. He placed calls all morning asking that all evidence be expedited, but, with the current backlog, he does not expect to hear back from any of the agencies today.
From his own investigation he learned that the victim's husband, Thomas Clinton owns a .22 Caliber handgun, but when Thomas Clinton was asked about his gun, he told the officers that believes it was stolen. No, he did not file a police report. Thomas Clinton denied knowing anyone who owns a .38 caliber weapon. Thomas Clinton further stated that his wife was taking a new antidepressant but he did not know the name of it. Clinton got angry with Detective Coker for embarrassing him at his law office. He will no longer cooperate in the investigation and instructed Detective Coker that if he has additional questions, he should contact his lawyer.
Detective Coker has been unable to locate the Clintons' tenant. According to the tenants girlfriend, the nurse, the tenant was visiting his parents in Florida for the Easter break. He is recovering from another operation or procedure of some sort for his cancer. This is the first that Detective Coker has heard about the tenant's illness. He makes a mental note to do a thorough investigation into this tenant's background and find out the relationship, if any, between the tenant and his landlord(s), the Clintons.
Detective Coker did catch one lucky break. He obtained the cell phone records belonging to both Martha and Thomas Clinton. He will need to have someone in the IT department take a look at them because the phone records are very puzzling to him.
Phone record issues that are puzzling the detective:
- Martha had several incoming text messages from her husband on the days and nights leading up to her death. Some of the text messages contain words that could be construed as a threat: "You try to leave me and you'll be sorry." "You can have your divorce, but you will never get half of my money."
- Detective Coker was able to match up most of the text messages with the husband's phone, but some, (the threatening ones), they appear on Martha's cell phone as originating from her husband's cell phone number -- and -- on her cell phone bill, her husband's mobile number appears as the number that the text messages originated from ... something doesn't add up.
- Upon further examination of the husband's cell phone records, none of the incoming, threatening messages coincide with outgoing text messages from Thomas Clinton's cell phone number to his wife's cell phone number.
- How can the number appear on the wife's statement as the telephone number that the text message originated from, but not appear as an outgoing message on the husband's statement?
Not being as computer savvy as the newer detectives and the digital forensic techs, Detective Coker decides it would be best to wait for an IT expert and a digital forensics expert to run through the cell phone records of both Mr. & Mrs. Clinton. Surely the IT guy can explain the discrepancy. If the IT department can't get to the bottom of this mystery, he will have to wait for a full report to come back from the digital forensics expert at the crime lab.
Detective Coker has already transferred Mrs. Martha Clinton's cell phone and iPad to the crime lab, but it looks like he is going to need a warrant to seize Mr. Thomas Clinton's cell phone and other digital devices. He knows that the digital forensic techs will need the actual devices. Does he even have probable cause for a warrant for the husband's cell phone and other digital devices. Not sure, he'd better run the issue by the assistant district attorney as soon as he can. Hopefully, the IT guys in his own department can make sense out of this text message nonsense. He felt out of place in today's digital world.
Weird huh? Can any of you explain the discrepancy?
My letter E post will be up later today.
If you need a recap on what has occurred so far, click on my Legal Fiction page, at the top of my blog, in the navigation area. There you will find all of the facts, clues & evidence that we know so far.
Are you keeping up with many blogs during the challenge. Have you read the five blogs below your name? How many blogs posts do you read per day? Here is the list of other 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge Participants