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Police Hope 3D Printing Can Help Solve A 1996 Homicide Case

On August 9, 1996, Kobayashi Junko, a 21-year-old senior studying at Sophia University, was murdered in his home in Katsushika-Ku, Tokyo. Today, 18 years later, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police are working with 3D printing technicians to recreate the scene of the crime.

Illustration for article titled Police Hope 3D Printing Can Help Solve A 1996 Homicide Case
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As the news site 3Ders.org reports, police were able to conclude that Kobayashi was stabbed to death while his hands and feet were bound and his body was wrapped in a blanket. Unfortunately, most of the evidence was destroyed when the student's home was completely destroyed by a fire that was set shortly after the murder.

Illustration for article titled Police Hope 3D Printing Can Help Solve A 1996 Homicide Case
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Using photographs and blueprints of the building, technicians were able to create a scale model of the two-story structure. The police hope that the model—which includes a detailed layout of the interior—could reveal details that were overlooked and jog the memories of officers involved in the original investigation.

This is not the first time that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has used this technology. Last year, they used photos to create a 3D model of the face of the last wanted member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which was then broadcast on national news.

In the future, the Metropolitan Police hope to use 3D printed models as evidence in jury trials.

[Images: 3Ders.org]

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DISCUSSION

Beautiful recreation, if for an unfortunate purpose. I was immediately reminded of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, dioramas created to help investigators learn about looking for clues at a crime scene. Here's a link to a Smithsonian Magazine article on their creator, Francis Glessner Lee: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/m…