The Mystery of Lyle and Louise: A Burning Question Fire Debris Analysis
Forensics Educational Materials
Trace Evidence Learning Activities
Analyze Evidence for Arson
- Grade Level 10-12
- Links to a real world scenario
When investigators discovered three deceased victims at a burned vehicle crash site over the side of Backbone Mountain, they questioned whether the burned vehicle was merely the result of the crash, or could have potentially been the result of foul play. In this lab, students will learn how forensic scientists analyze fire debris for the presence of flammable liquid residue in suspected arson case as they examine debris from the interior of a burned vehicle at the site of a car crash. In addition, students will presumptively test fire debris for the presence of specific ignitable liquids by first analyzing known reference samples. Students will then apply what they have learned in the analysis of fire debris collected from the crime scene in attempt to determine if the fire was started under suspicious circumstances.