Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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P32 forensic avoidance

  [vote for,

I'm a great fan of that documentary series, CSI. They have amazing kit. Not only can they enhance a single pixel to reveal a car number plate photographed from space, but they can also get a DNA profile from a single hair, a minute blood drop, or even a fingerprint (I know how they do this, tee hee).

So, if you're planning a serious crime, how to ensure that you leave no forensic traces behind? Well, one way would be to wear an hermetically sealed suit, but that would look conspicuous.

A better way is as follows. A couple of weeks before you commit the crime*, you need to ingest a huge amount of radioactively labelled material. I'd suggest something like P32-labelled ATP, but any decent biomolecule should do, and you probably need a good few milliCuries of it. Over the next few days, it will distribute itself quite nicely around your body. Of course you'll lose some every time you pee, and its activity will drop by about a half over two weeks, but that shouldn't matter.

Now, feel free to bludgeon, stab, shoot, ignite, steal or whatever crime you had in mind. Take sensible precautions, but no need to be paranoid. Once your done, just sweep over the scene with a half-decent Geiger counter; you'll probably want to fix it to a long stick, otherwise it'll only detect you. The counter should be able to find any hairs, skin flakes, saliva or other body accoutrements that you may have inadvertently shed - this means you can clean up in a trice and be home in time for tea, safe in the knowledge that you've left no DNA behind.

There is every chance that you'll survive the large but fairly temporary dose of radiation - in a year's time, you'll be only only about ten billionths as radioactive as you were (you *did* use 32P didn't you?), and you can spend that year hoping that CSI can't enhance your car number plate from the CCTV footage of the crime scene.

[*NB this may cause problems, should you be caught, in jurisdictions that distinguish between pre-meditated and non- pre-meditated crimes.]

MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 24 2019


       So, to find a criminal, (or just someone due for a radiological exam), police just wave a Geiger counter around? I see a flaw in this evil plan...
RayfordSteele, Jan 25 2019

       "It also determines the amount you owe HMRC.... The payment due ...for this liability is known as a P32 payment."   

       If the cops don't catch you, the taxman will.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 25 2019

       Indeed; the notorious Al Capone was imprisoned not for theft, murder or racketeering, but tax evasion.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2019

       Alternatively, "forensic avoidance" could be interpreted as "avoidance of, or perhaps in, a forum".   

       Anyhoo, [Rayford], I think you miss [MB]'s drift; he's not insisting that the police find incriminating stuff with a Geiger counter: he's suggesting that a suitably dosed villain could use a Geiger counter to find *and remove* incriminating stuff which the police might have found *by other means*, had it not previously been removed, by the villain, with the Geiger counter.
pertinax, Jan 26 2019

       They will, but as Max will be wearing the 'replica Tindale mask', he asked me to make, they would only see you.
xenzag, Jan 26 2019

       I didn't miss it. My point was that any person using this scheme would themselves register, and the presumption made by police would be that they are therefore guilty of some kind of crime which they are trying to remove all traces of. Now. If you'd kindly stand, and hold your arms out like a T...
RayfordSteele, Jan 26 2019


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