My name is Kristin Boster and I was a Forensic Scientist with the Illinois State Police for nearly ten years. I started my Forensic Science career with the Illinois State Police in 1991. I was trained in traditional forensic biology and within a year became one of the first scientist in the country to undergo training as a Forensic DNA case analyst. When I completed training and started actual casework analysis, I used a technique know as RFLP and later a much quicker and more sensitive technique known as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction.) I analyzed several hundred cases and testified over one hundred times and in several states, both for the prosecution and the defense.
Because the backlog was so high compared to the number of forensic scientists trained to do the analysis (there were only two of us in the entire state of Illinois at the time), only the most violent and high profile cases were actually analyzed. The rest were either outsourced to a private lab or were shelved until additional scientist were trained.
After a few years of Forensic DNA analysis on homicides, sexual assaults and other violent felonies, I worked full-time to train new scientists in the DNA field. This training process took six months to a year for each group and was an extremely challenging endeavor for both the trainees and the trainer. However, it was a very good investment of resources, as the agency now employs several DNA Forensic Scientists in labs throughout the state, and trains more on a continual basis. This large volume of scientists is absolutely critical to even come close to keeping up with the ever increasing demand for Forensic DNA casework analysis.
I moved off the “bench” and into management and quality assurance in 1999 and oversaw various aspects of nine forensic labs. I found this very rewarding, however like many techies who transition into management, missed the actual involvement with casework. In 2001, I decided to leave the agency and pursue my own career as a private consultant. I still occasionally get a subpoena to testify as an expert although not nearly as often now that I am not actively involved in casework.
The law enforcement community is very tight knit, as they share experiences and risks that most never do. Because of this, I still feel a very strong connection to the forensic community, prosecuting attorneys and detectives that fight crime for a living. I decided to create this website as a tribute to them and anyone who may have an interest in a career as a forensic scientist.
I am a frequent contributor to another great forensic science resource, ForensicScienceHQ, which I would highly recommend for those of you who are serious about pursuing a forensic science career.
On a personal note, I am a strong believer in positive thinking and living life to the fullest. To share this philosophy with others, I maintain my own blog at KristinBoster.com.
Finally, if you like what you see on this or the other recommended sites, please feel free to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media of your choice. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Let me hear from you!
DISCLAIMER: I am no longer affiliated with the Illinois State Police and in no way mean to represent them, their policies or their current views on this site or anything associated to it. I can only speak to my own personal experiences, opinions,views and knowledge of the forensic world and hope that it will help you in endeavors.