1. Twenty-two caliber bullets can ricochet off as little as .1" of water—truly ricochet, without scratching whatever hard surface is beneath. The bullets tend to stop ricocheting when fired at angles more severe than eight degrees.

2. Burning the victim is the most popular way to destroy the evidence of a murder. But stressed bone burns differently than regular bone—investigators in Louisiana figured out that the bodies in a wrecked car (that seemed to have accidentally veered off the road, crashed into a tree, and burst into flames) were murder victims by analyzing burnt skull fragments and finding a keyhole-shaped circle, indicative of a bullet wound. The murderer was never found.

3. Just because your forensic-scientist pals in Louisiana find an audio gag about Steve Irwin castrating Osama Bin Laden funny doesn't mean you should end your lecture on "a jovial note" by playing said audio gag—which includes turban jokes—especially when your audience includes several forensic scientists from other countries, at least one of whom was wearing a turban.

4. A human body, left in a plastic garbage bin in Tennessee heat for 50 days, will turn into a soup of jelly and maggots. It looks even more disgusting than you'd imagine. (And I hope I never again hear the sentence "That mass on his nose is a fly hatch" as long as I live.)

5. Maggots tend to bunch together on dead bodies, wriggling and "swirling" to generate heat. Their wriggling can make a human corpse 15 to 20 degrees (Celsius) hotter than the ambient temperature.

6. According to the young ladies sitting next to me at the "Dental Identification Based on Photographic Comparison" seminar, the toxicology people give the best parties.

7. When a guy giving a slide show for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences says "I should warn you, some of these pictures might be icky," he means it.