In a recent newspaper article, a group of scientists revealed their beliefs about the diet of humans 5,000 years ago. Their beliefs were based on the analysis of the contents of the stomach of the Iceman, a prehistoric man whose remains were discovered by tourists in the Italian Alps. Based both on the kinds of food he had eaten (cereals as well as venison) and the way that he was killed (by an arrowhead in his left shoulder), these scientists suggested that his death might have been the result of rivalry between different hunting gangs. It is interesting that these scientists are discussing details of an event that took place several millennia ago, based on inferences drawn from a "witness" that had been dead for centuries.

These scientists are not alone; anyone with a healthy set of data, a couple of analysis tools and some insight should be able to reconstruct a set of scenarios based on a limited set of evidentiary elements. At a crime scene, the investigators collect as much evidence as they can – fingerprints, hair and skin for DNA analysis, mud prints. The environment of the crime scene is evaluated as well. By accumulating as much evidence as possible, the clever detective will be able to make enough inferences about the criminal to form a valid profile, which can then be used to locate the evildoer.

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