Forensic clues point to husband in the bathroom with a razor
By LISA SMITH MOLINARI | Special to Stars and Stripes | Published: August 24, 2018
Recently, while scraping the toothpaste blobs out of our bathroom sink, I had an epiphany.
I have become a legitimate expert in forensic science.
While it is true that our mobile military lifestyle made it nearly impossible for me to pursue a career outside of the home during my 23 years as a Navy wife, I realized, while staring at myself in our spit-spattered mirror, that all these years of tedious bathroom scrubbing has provided me with countless hours of on-the-job training.
I mean, why would the FBI, DEA, NCIS or those people on “Law & Order” take a chance employing some young punk, fresh out of criminal justice school, who’s had more experience playing video games than analyzing real physical evidence, when they could have me — a mature professional who has spent half her life processing bodily fluids, spatter stains, drip patterns, hair specimens and other trace evidence as an unpaid volunteer?
Anyone who’s anyone in forensic science knows the “Locard Exchange Principle” (I found it on Wikipedia), which theorizes that every person who enters or exits an area will deposit and remove physical material from the scene. Who knows this theory better than a housewife?
Take it from me: When my husband, Francis, enters any area of our house, he definitely deposits a veritable plethora of biological material. And just like ol’ Locard theorized, it’s up to me to remove it.
Consider, if you will, our bathroom.
My skills of analysis have become so acute, so innate, that I can walk into our bathroom any time of the day or night and determine with incredible accuracy the specific events that took place there and the perpetrators involved.
Before entering our bathroom — aka “the crime scene” — I take all necessary first-responder safety precautions to protect myself against contamination. Rubber gloves are strongly recommended. Eye protection is optional. But never, I mean never, go in there without shoes unless you’re coated in antifungal ointment.
Then, using my ocular and olfactory senses, I take a general reading of the amount of evidence deposited to determine the tools necessary to complete the task. In other words, will this job take a simple container of bathroom wipes? Or does the quantity of biological evidence in this 7-by-5-foot space warrant the employment of buckets, mops, sponges, rags, brushes, squeegees, sandpaper, plungers, augers, a Shop-Vac, industrial-grade disinfectants, dangerous corrosive acids and a chisel?
Unfortunately, our bathroom often contains a mountain of evidence, requiring me to bring out the big guns.
Next, I process the toilet. A thankless task involving unspeakable biological specimens, suffice it to say that I don’t need a petri dish or a DNA test to know exactly what Francis did there that morning before leaving the seat up for the umpteenth time.
I then turn my attention to the shower area, where hair specimens on the floor mat indicate that Francis took a shower at approximately 6:23 a.m. I know this because, despite pleading with Francis to dry himself inside the tub to spare me the inevitable tumbleweeds of body hair on the floor, he thoroughly enjoys a vigorous exfoliating of his abundantly hairy Italian body in the middle of the room, with one foot poised on the toilet for balance.
Finally, I process our sink, which contains obvious indications that Francis shaved, flossed, brushed his teeth, gargled, spit and winked at himself in the mirror between 6:44 and 6:57 a.m. How do I know this? Easy. Francis carelessly left a drip trail of stubble and shaving cream in the sink, floss cast-off on our mirror, and an expectoration pattern of spit spatter over the entire area. Using my vast experience with cohesion, velocity, angle of impact and pattern analysis, I can even tell that he used a towel to clear a strip across the mirror, just so he could admire himself before leaving the scene of the crime.
Housewife or no housewife, I clearly have skills that will warrant lucrative employment offers. But the law enforcement community will have to wait, because my work at home is never done.