partners with NY Hall of Science CSIT

Flight from Jeter Intl. Airport Commandeered by Passenger
October 15, 2008 11:30AM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—An unknown individual boarded an airplane departing from Jeter International Airport in New York City en route to Papi International Airport in Boston.  Once the flight was underway, he handed a member of the flight crew a note claiming that he had a bomb and demanding 1 million dollars, a fully fueled plane ready to go where ever he wished, and two parachutes in exchange for a promise to release the passengers and all crew except for the pilot and co-pilot.  The FBI was notified and immediately took jurisdiction over the situation.  More on this story as it happens.

N.E. Botti Jumps from Plane With $1,000,000
October 15, 2008 12:00PM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—It has been confirmed that the man who took control of a plane leaving from Jeter International Airport earlier this morning purchased his tickets under the name N.E. Botti, an assumed pseudonym. Under the direction of the FBI, the plane has been routed back to Jeter International Airport and the the hijacker's demands including the $1,000,000 and two parachutes have been met. The plane was cleared to takeoff and once it was in the air, somewhere over the Pine Barrens on Long Island, the suspect parachuted out of the airplane with the money. Officials say they will need forensic experts to help them catch the criminal, as they only have a short security video of him in which they cannot see his face clearly enough to identify a suspect.

High School Students Across New York Join Forces to Catch a Thief
October 15, 2008 12:30PM

StudentsQUEENS, NEW YORK—After the incredible events unfolding this morning, the FBI and the local New York City forensics unit have enlisted the help of 8-12th graders from schools in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, all of whom who have been participating in the National Science Foundation funded Crime Scene IT Curriculum prototyping. These teens have had experience with hands-on, inquiry-based lessons that integrate technology and correlate with NY State Standards and the New York City scope and sequence. They have been practicing with portable technology labs that contain a class set of laptop computers, digital microscopes, digital sensors, and other tools that students need to solve forensics mysteries. These new forensic scientists come from Brooklyn Tech, Central Park East HS, PULSE HS, William H. Maxwell Career & Technical Education HS, John Browne HS, HS For Law Enforcement & Public Safety, Victory Collegiate High School, Al-Iman School, and told this reporter that they have confidence they will find their man. The 19 teams from these schools, of 4-6 investigators each, will be of immensurable help in this investigation.

Does the DNA Match?
October 15, 2008 1:30PM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—Blood found at the drop site where N.E. Botti is thought to have landed gives the volunteer forensic scientists a chance to read DNA film and compare patterns in the DNA and Handwriting Analysis lab at the New York Hall of Science, in an attempt to find the identity of the perpetrator. A swatch of cloth was found in the trees around the drop site, and investigators analyzed it in the Microscopy, Footware Casting, Hair and Fiber analysis lab. It was matched to the material in the parachutes the perpetrator requested. It is believed that he cut himself on the way down through the trees. In case he had an accomplice, the DNA is compared to anyone who had access to the scene. After careful study, the teams reported that the DNA is a match to the perpetrator.

The teams are understandably reluctant to discuss an ongoing investigation, but this reporter has been authorized by the FBI to cover the story before anyone else does. Keep looking here for more updates.

Print ComparisonTeams Examine Fingerprints to Find Evidence of Accomplice
October 15, 2008 2:00PM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—Fingerprints found on N.E. Botti's boarding pass and on the ransom note are being compared in the Fingerprints Lab at the New York Hall of Science to determine whether the criminal had an accomplice in the flight crew. The volunteer forensic scientists learned types of fingerprint patterns and compared the prints they have in evidence with those of the flight crew and known criminals. A matching pair of prints was found on the boarding pass for N.E. Botti and the letter of demands. Another print confirm that the flight attendant handled the note, but there is no evidence pointing to whether she did so in the course of her usual duties or when helping set up the crime.

Whose Boot Prints Were Found at the Scene?
October 15, 2008 2:15PM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—A size 11 boot print was found at the drop site, leading investigators to narrow down their search for the true identity of the man who took over a flight this morning and literally escaped into thin air. Investigators are learning to create casts of the boot print, and are studying the tread marks in the Microscopy, Casting, and Hair & Fiber Lab to identify the exact model shoe he was wearing.

Hair ComparisonWas N.E. Botti Wearing a Wig?
October 15, 2008 2:45PM

QUEENS, NEW YORK—Here in one of the trace evidence labs at the New York Hall of Science, teams of forensic scientists have been working hard to uncover as much data as they can on the mysterious N.E. Botti. They found hair at the drop site and have been learning how to test whether it is artificial or real, what type of hair it is, and how to examine it under a microscope. The evidence seems to indicate that the perpetrator was wearing a wig.

Suspect in Airplane Mystery Caught!
October 15, 2008 4:30PM

Mug ShotQUEENS, NEW YORK—After collecting hair, fingerprints, fibers, DNA, a shoe print, hand writing samples and more, the teams of volunteer forensic scientists reconvened late this afternoon and presented the findings of their investigations to actual law enforcement forensics personnel from the New York City area. Ronald Alongis, a Fingerprint Specialist, Chris Guglielmo, a Supervisory Chemist, and Chris Benintendo, a Forensic Chemist—all from the DEA—listened to the groups' presentations of the evidence they had collected and of their interpretations based on their findings. Using this information, the FBI was able to determine that the perpetrator worked alone, and were able to track him down. Mug shots were released to all participants, but the suspect's true name is being withheld from the press; we do know that he is prisoner number 314159. Thanks to all of the hard work of the investigators, this reporter feels certain that a conviction is not far behind.