The BEST Episodes of Forensic Files
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2020
See how experts put together the pieces of the crime puzzle. As each episode shows, every criminal leaves a clue behind. Each show features a different forensic technique.
#1 - Shoe-in For Murder
Season 13 - Episode 42 - Aired Mar 19, 2010
Terrified, the young girl hid in her bedroom while her mother was attacked and stabbed to death. Investigators had a wealth of evidence: shoe impressions, distinctive blood drops, and the killer’s DNA. What they didn’t have was a basis for comparison. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 41.
#2 - With Every Breath
Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 22, 1999
Merril Bahe and Florena Woody grew up in starkly different conditions on an Indian reservation that crossed the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The couple soon engaged, and they moved into the Woody family home. On April 29, 1993, Florena started complaining of muscle aches in her back and shoulders. On May 6, her doctor gave her antibiotics for her condition. Florena later died; she simply drowned in the fluid generated by her illness. Doctors had no idea what had killed her. Meanwhile, Merril Bahe started experiencing similar symptoms, and on the day of Florena's funeral he was sent to the hospital, but died on the way there. Investigators found deer mice tested positive for a new form of the hanta virus. They determined that contact with the feces of the deer mice was what had caused the disease, and that when the feces dried, the deadly microbe became airborne.
#3 - Bad Blood
Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired Sep 17, 2001
Does it mean it didn't happen when the DNA doesn't match? Not necessarily. If the offender is smart and knows how to fool the test.
#4 - Family Interrupted
Season 13 - Episode 43 - Aired Apr 2, 2010
The gunman opened fire as the family of four entered their home, killing two and wounding the others. He’d pulled open a few drawers to make it look like a robbery, but the scene was clearly staged. When police pieced together the clues, they discovered an unlikely suspect and a carefully orchestrated plot. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 42.
#5 - Grounds for Indictment
Season 8 - Episode 35 - Aired Sep 2, 2003
A drive-by shooting leaves one man dead and another seriously wounded. Cell phone calls and shell casings point to a suspect, but authorities are unable to place him at the crime scene. When a forensic geologist compared soil from the crime scene with soil found in the wheel wells of the suspect’s car, he proved that dirt is anything but dumb. Originally aired as Season 8, Episode 35.
#6 - Office Visit
Season 13 - Episode 40 - Aired Mar 5, 2010
A respected surgeon was stabbed to death in the parking lot next to his office. The most likely suspect is seen having dinner in a restaurant at the time of the murder. But a cryptic conversation leads police to believe that, while the suspect may not have wielded the knife, he could very well have hired the man who did. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 40.
#7 - Frozen In Time
Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 8, 2003
A young woman stopped her car along a busy highway in California. She was never seen again. For three years, the search for her where-abouts continued, but the trail eventually turned cold. So cold that forensic scientists needed new techniques to solve it.
#8 - Grave Evidence
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 12, 1998
The shooting of a man during a hunting trip is reopened years after the incident, and the victim's hunting partner becomes a suspect.
#9 - Bitter Brew
Season 11 - Episode 41 - Aired Apr 25, 2007
It was one of the most brazen crimes of the 20th century. Adolph Coors, chairman of the Coors Brewing Company, was kidnapped and held for ransom… prompting one of the largest manhunts in United States history. Originally aired as Season 11, Episode 41.
#10 - Dew Process
Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 19, 2000
When the wife of a well-known dentist is found dead, police are unsure who killed her. Some fibers and a study of the weather patterns on the night of the murder break the case open and reveal the real killer.
#11 - Runaway Love
Season 13 - Episode 44 - Aired Apr 16, 2010
It was classic “overkill.” The woman floating in the harbor of an upscale yacht club had been stabbed more than 50 times. Her ex-husband and daughter are missing, and investigators turn to forensic science to determine if they’re searching for victims... or perpetrators. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 15.Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 43.
#12 - Lights Out
Season 13 - Episode 48 - Aired Jun 11, 2010
Whoever stabbed the young mother to death had also savagely beaten her four-year-old daughter. Police had a suspect, but not enough evidence to tie him to the crimes. It would take 15 years and advances in DNA technology to bring the killer to justice. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 47.
#13 - Moss, Not Grass
Season 10 - Episode 29 - Aired Dec 21, 2005
A young woman was found dead on a golf course in the Bahamas. The grass on that course was so distinctive that it had evidentiary value. The evidence led police to two suspects. Each blamed the other, and they had to find out who the killer was. Originally aired as Season 10, Episode 29.
#14 - Jean Pool
Season 12 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 18, 2008
Police investigating the 1984 murder of a college student had plenty of suspects, but no conclusive evidence linking any of them to the crime. More than a decade later, sophisticated technology would breathe new life into a case grown cold with the passage of time.
#15 - Saving Face
Season 9 - Episode 23 - Aired Oct 13, 2004
A woman disappeared without a trace, leaving two possible explanations: kidnapping or murder. Concern was heightened when police learned that two other women had similarly vanished. An investigation including DNA profiling and a talented forensic artist enabled police to link the crimes to a single suspect – an immigrant known to prey on vulnerable women. Originally aired as Season 9, Episode 23.
#16 - Bitter Potion
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 30, 1997
The flu-like symptoms of a mother and her children proved to be indicative something much more serious: thallium poisoning. Investigators had to find the source of the poison... and when the mother died, to determine if the exposure was accidental, or if they also needed to find a killer. AKA Medical Detectives, Season 2, Episode 5.
#17 - The Day the Music Died
Season 12 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 24, 2007
Seattle police had no suspects in the violent murder of a popular rock singer. More than a decade would pass before the evidence collected by an extraordinarily prescient medical examiner could be used by forensic scientists to identify the killer. Originally aired as Season 12, Episode 7.
#18 - Scratching The Surface
Season 7 - Episode 33 - Aired May 24, 2003
In Miami, Florida, a sniper opened fire from the rooftop of a manufacturing plant, killing one employee and injuring two others in the parking lot below. When the gun was found, the police discovered that the shooter had scratched the serial number off of it to make it untraceable. But forensic scientists had a way to make the number reappear. Originally aired as Season 7, Episode 33.
#19 - Needle in a Haystack
Season 13 - Episode 28 - Aired Sep 4, 2009
There was no apparent reason for a young, healthy college student to be dead. But when the medical examiner found a tiny clue during the autopsy, investigators were able to unravel a mystery of betrayal and revenge.
#20 - Northern Exposure
Season 9 - Episode 24 - Aired Dec 8, 2004
Hikers near Anchorage, Alaska discovered a body wrapped in sheets that were edged in orange stitching. Authorities hydrated the fingers and obtained a fingerprint, enabling them to identify the victim. Clinging to the sheet, they also discovered a tuft of red carpet fibers – threads of evidence that led them straight to the killer. Originally aired as Season 9, Episode 24.
#21 - Hundreds of Reasons
Season 13 - Episode 37 - Aired Dec 11, 2009
A restaurant manager is found stabbed to death. With $8,000 missing from the safe, police have their motive, but finding the killer doesn't prove so easy.
#22 - Chief Suspect
Season 11 - Episode 23 - Aired Dec 20, 2006
The wife of a respected police officer was murdered in her own home, but the motive was unclear. The crime went unsolved for more than a decade until a Cold Case Unit took a fresh look and found evidence on the 911 call that had previously been overlooked.
#23 - Family Ties
Season 13 - Episode 25 - Aired Jul 17, 2009
An assailant breaks into a couple's home with an axe; he kills the husband and critically injures his wife. Nothing was taken, so this wasn't a robbery. Can a DNA profile from skin cells collected hundred of miles away reveal the killer's identity and his motive for murder?
#24 - Hair of the Dog
Season 8 - Episode 18 - Aired May 7, 2003
With no forensic evidence found at a murder scene, investigators were baffled. But they suspected that the victom's dog had witnessed the crime. If she had, forensic scientists needed some way to find out what the dog had seen.
#25 - Bound For Jail
Season 8 - Episode 22 - Aired Jun 4, 2003
In 1986, Jeanette Kirby was brutally murdered while jogging in a Michigan park. Her assailant used unusual police-style handcuffs to subdue her before stabbing her to death. It took over 15 years for police to bring her killer to justice, using forensic science.