The Best Episodes of Forensic Files
Last Updated: May 31, 2019
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
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 - Needle in a Haystack
Season 13 - Episode 28
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.
#3 - Grounds for Indictment
Season 8 - Episode 35
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.
#4 - Trouble Brewing
Season 13 - Episode 26
Two suspects living in the same apartment are linked to a murder by a gun and a pair of bloodstained boots - items that belong to the one who claims he's never met the victim. Investigators hope the manufacturing code stamped on six beer bottles will be distinctive enough to prove who is telling the truth, and who is a cold-blooded killer.
#5 - Jean Pool
Season 12 - Episode 20
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.
#6 - Family Interrupted
Season 13 - Episode 43
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.
#7 - Office Visit
Season 13 - Episode 40
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.
#8 - The Day the Music Died
Season 12 - Episode 7
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.
#9 - Moss, Not Grass
Season 10 - Episode 29
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.
#10 - Hundreds of Reasons
Season 13 - Episode 37
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.
#11 - Family Ties
Season 13 - Episode 25
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?
#12 - Room With a View
Season 13 - Episode 29
A college student is found stabbed more than a hundred times; her bedroom blood-soaked. While her body was positioned in a suggestive way, she hadn't been sexually assaulted. Was this a sex crime, or the random act of a man with an intense hatred of women?
#13 - Covet Thy Neighbor
Season 13 - Episode 35
When a college co-ed vanishes without a trace, her fellow students grow concerned about her safety... and their own. Weeks later, the body of an unknown female is discovered 700 miles away in the ashes of a barn fire, and an alert police officer realizes the two crimes might be connected.
#14 - Runaway Love
Season 13 - Episode 44
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.
#15 - Lights Out
Season 13 - Episode 48
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.
#17 - Palm Saturday
Season 13 - Episode 41
A young couple is found murdered in their Graham, Washington home; detectives discover shoe impressions, a partial palm print, and a neighbor's criminal past.
#18 - Frozen In Time
Season 7 - Episode 22
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.
#19 - Scratching The Surface
Season 7 - Episode 33
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.
#20 - Freedom Fighter
Season 12 - Episode 16
After a suspect is convicted of arson and murder, he steadfastly maintained his innocence, but he was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison. He had no money, no lawyer and only a fifth grade education, but he never gave up. Could law books in the prison library and television programs about forensic science help him prove his case?
#21 - Saving Face
Season 9 - Episode 23
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.
#22 - Chief Suspect
Season 11 - Episode 23
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 - Sands of Crime
Season 13 - Episode 13
In this classic episode of Forensic Files, the longest running true crime series in television history, a college co-ed was abducted from the parking lot of her apartment. Her body was found later that day; she’d been sexually assaulted and then shot at point blank range. Eight long years passed… and then a pair of running shoes and a cell phone breathed new life into a very cold case. Originally aired as Season 13, Episode 13.
#24 - Dueling Confessions
Season 8 - Episode 36
When a teenaged girl is found dead on the side of the road, her boyfriend becomes the prime suspect. He eventually confessed to her murder – but so did another man. It would take the passage of forty years, an author, and an expert in the field of pedestrian accident reconstruction to determine who was telling the truth. Originally aired as Season 8, Episode 36.
#25 - All Butt Certain
Season 12 - Episode 19
A six-year-old girl ran and hid when she saw her grandmother being beaten to death, but the man followed her, beat her, and assaulted her. The girl said the man was her Uncle Clarence, and he was convicted because of her identification. She recanted her testimony years later, but the court denied Clarence's petition for a new trial. His wife was convinced he was innocent, and decided to conduct her own investigation to prove it. TV-14