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Forensic Fails

New Member

For a training, I am looking for cases where a forensic investigation went wrong.

e.g. Cases where people were wrongly accused because wrong conclusions were drawn or the analysis was done wrongly.

Thanks a lot

Topic starter Posted : 30/07/2021 5:19 pm
Community Legend

I assume that you are referring to 'computer forensic investigations', not forensic investigations in general. (There is an entire literature on those ... )

You refer to training ... perhaps you should say a few more words about that.  If this is your training ... shouldn't you be doing the job yourself?

Assuming the best, what kind of information are you looking for?  Case References? Court case documents? In any particular jurisdiction?  (If you are looking for your own jurisdiction, you may have better luck contacting local defense lawyers. Or perhaps local organizations through or similar.)

I think it would be very useful to have some references (as well as analyses of the reason for the fail) to such failed cases for computer forensics. but I don't think there is anything right now.


Posted : 01/08/2021 7:16 am

This was one of the more notorious cases, the report being from someone involved in the case:


Posted : 01/08/2021 12:49 pm
New Member

yes, digital/computer forensic is meant.


Training is perhaps an exaggeration. It is supposed to be a one-hour event to raise awareness among the colleagues regarding quality. It should make it clear to them what consequences mistakes lead to. However, since I do not work in the field of "law enforcment", I lack contact with courts or prosecutors. Here, too, the question is how openly they deal with mistakes. I’m not aware of a organization like innocencentwork in my country-


I'm also more interested in technical errors (faulty analysis/conclusions) than in procedural errors. Therefore, the jurisdiction does not matter.


I can report minor errors from my experience, but I am interested in cases that have greater impact.


In the meantime I found the following:


1.) Danish telecom scandal

In Denmark processing errors were introduced into Historical call data records (HCDR) from

2010 until 2019.




from wiki „ indicate that Casey had conducted extensive computer searches on the word "chloroform" 84 times, and to suggest that Anthony had planned to commit murder. He later discovered that a flaw in the software misread the forensic data and that the word "chloroform" had been searched for only one time and the website in question offered information on the use of chloroform in the 19th century“.

But also: „The spreadsheet sent to Burdick included 17 vague entries from the Internet Explorer browser history on June 16, 2008, and failed to list 1,247 entries recorded on the Mozilla Firefox browser that day -- including the search for "foolproof suffocation."“




4.) Commonwealth Vs Michael Fiola Examination Report | PDF ...



Maybe someone can add more.


Kind Regards

Topic starter Posted : 01/08/2021 12:49 pm
Active Member

Most of the ones I can think of relate to non-technical individuals/events, often around disclosure of data and other non-technical reasons. A good example is the rape trial collapse in the UK for the Met police.


Posted : 02/08/2021 11:13 am
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