Anatomy of a Complex Murder Case

CLE Hours: 1.5

CLE Credit: Substantive

Course Level: Basic

This session will complete an in-depth analysis into a complex murder case involving cyanide, computers, and codes. A case study will be provided about the complex murder trial of Joseph Merlino that garnered international attention. This case involved the cyanide poisoning of a woman on Valentine's Day in 2017. The victim was ambushed by her child's father outside of her home, stabbed with a needle, and injected with cyanide poison, resulting in her death. The murder was captured on home surveillance, but the defendant had an alibi that he was in another city at the time. The case involved a complex series of forensic digital evidence to refute the alibi, including cell site analysis, computer forensics, and subpoena duces tecum returns from global companies such as eBay, Facebook, and Etsy. Additionally, the case involved the FBI's cryptography unit out of Quantico after the defendant began sending encoded messages - similar to the Zodiac Killer's messages - that needed to be deciphered.  These deciphered messages proved critical to winning the case. 

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