Crime Pulse

Can We Identify Criminals Based on Scent?!

Humans have a bum nose when you compare us to animals like a dog or even a cat. Dogs have been used for years to find and track criminals or drugs on scent alone… but if you’ve witnessed a crime and someone is in the lineup, could you identify them based on smell, even if they aren’t wearing the best body wash?

The short answer is yes, absolutely! A study done in 2016 and published in a real scientific journal validated the idea that nose-witnesses, as they are referred to, are just as legitimate as eye-witnesses. The theory works on the fact that each person has a distinct and relatively unique body odor, based on a number of factors – the best body wash they use, deodorant, soaps, their living conditions, etc.

If you smelled the criminal at the time of the crime, you might be able to identify them based just on smell. While it’s not used often yet in legal cases, this new principle is opening up a lot of interesting avenues for law enforcement.

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Mary Newsom