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"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"
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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,
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
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
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
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-
||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...
||"It also determines the amount you owe HMRC.... The
payment due ...for this liability is known as a P32
||If the cops don't catch you, the taxman will.
||Indeed; the notorious Al Capone was imprisoned not for theft, murder or racketeering, but tax evasion.
||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.
||They will, but as Max will be wearing the 'replica
Tindale mask', he asked me to make, they would
only see you.
||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...