10 Goodies to Help the Plot-twistiness of Your Crime Novel


Here’s a list of goodies that’ll help the heroes of your books navigate the plot-twistiness of your latest writing project.

  1. Cotton candy machines were the inspiration for a new type of bullet-resistent material. The “spinning” of assorted polymers, both natural and synthetic, produced a light and tough fabric. The goal—a lighter bulletproof vest. Those of you who’ve worn one of those clunky, hot, and heavy things know how fantastic this discovery truly is. I wonder if they’ll be available in assorted flavors …
  2. Research shows that people/witnesses are able to identify criminals and other individuals by smell. Turns out that our sense of smell is aligned with our emotions, which is directly associated with the hippocampus and the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes those emotions and our memory. A controlled testing produced an accuracy rate of 70%.  Okay, bad guys, no lineup today. Instead, it’s time for a “smell-up.”


3. Using pump-probe microscopy, scientists are now able to differentiate between individual particles of paint. In other words, they can now use these pump-probe microscopes to accurately pinpoint a car involved in a hit-and-run crash. Of course, they’d need  a sample from the suspect car, but this could be huge. And, it’s also a means to examine priceless artwork without compromising the paintings.

4. Risk Assessment Instruments (RAIs) are one of the tools used by the criminal justice system—correctional officials, parole or probation officers, and prison psychologists—to predict/assess the likelihood that a person who’s committed a crime will reoffend in the future (predicting recidivism). RAIs are often used prior to incarceration for consideration during sentencing, intervention, and mandating rehabilitation programs.

5. A Tel Aviv startup’s face-profiling technology is able to analyze photos and videos to detect terrorists. The technology also has the capability to spot geniuses, extroverts, and criminals. Algorithms used in the technology score individuals according to where they fit into a certain classifiers. For example:

  • A white-collar offender tends to have a low self-esteem, a high IQ and charisma. They’re often anxious, tense, competitive, and ambitious. They are risk-takers and have a dry sense of humor.
  • Terrorists tend to be aggressive thrill seekers who are cruel and psychologically unbalanced. They suffer from mood swings, a sense of inferiority, and little self-confidence.
  • Pedophiles exhibit a high level of anxiety and depression.  They’re introverts who lacks emotion. They also have a tendency of pessimism, low self-esteem, low self image and and they suffer mood swings.
  • Academic Researcher are sequential thinkers with high analytical abilities, tons of ideas zipping through their minds. they’re serious, deep thinkers who’re creative. They possess high concentration abilities, a high mental capacity, and are extremely interested in data and information.

So the reflection you see in the mirror is quite telling, huh?

6. Amino acids within a fingerprint are nearly 100% accurate at determining the sex of the person who left it behind. This is so because females have a higher concentration of amino acids.

7. It’s now possible to determine how long a bloodstain has been on a particular item at a crime scene. It’s also possible to test the blood and determine the approximate age of the person who left the stain (the bleeding suspect).


8. A research team in Belgium has identified seven compounds found in late stages of decomposition that are unique only to pigs and people. The discovery will be particularly useful in training cadaver dogs.

9. Brainwaves are unique to each person. No two are the same, like our fingerprints. Yes, scientific testing has proven that we each have our very own, personal “brainprint,” and the testing was found to have an accuracy rate of 100%. So, a bad guy might be able to fool a polygraph, beat the fingerprint machines, and swap his DNA with that of another person, but he cannot fool the ERP (event-related brain potentials). ERPs are the non-invasive method of measuring brain activity during cognitive processing, the method used for identifying a person’s brainprint.


10. Scientists at Western Illinois University have found that by separating the oils and waxes in lipsticks (and then using a second solvent to isolate the remaining residue), they can identify a specific recipe for the lipstick brand and make. The next step, analysis of the molecules by gas chromatography, identifies the unique signature of the cosmetic. Therefore, noir writers, you can now use the lipstick on the cigarette butt or coffee cup as a means to nab the femme fatale du jour.