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Just Science Podcast: Just Facial Recognition for Forensic Investigations

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2023

This episode of the Just Science podcast discusses the use of facial recognition technology to identify individuals in forensic investigations


In episode 6 of its Case Studies season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Richard Vorder Bruegge, Senior Physical Scientist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to discuss how facial recognition technology was used to help identify individuals in photographs in two landmark cases. Many individuals encounter facial recognition technology in their everyday lives like when they unlock their phones. This same technology can help significantly speed up and improve forensic investigations. Dr. Vorder Bruegge describes how pattern-based matching is used to compare faces in images, how facial recognition technology was used to assist in the identification of unknown victims in the case against serial killer Israel Keyes, and the quest to determine the identities of the Marines in the famous World War II Iwo Jima flag raising photograph.

Date Published: November 1, 2023