History Main / AbsenceOfEvidence

23rd Apr '17 11:00:20 AM Malady
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': How [[spoiler:Tansy manages to]] find [[spoiler:Kayda under an invisibility charm]] in as said in [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/794 The Bear, the Bitch, and Everything (Part 3)]]:
--> Since she was [[spoiler:using her invisibility charm]] to hide [[spoiler:from everyone]], I attuned myself to the emotional flow of the school and went looking for a void."
[[/folder]]
15th Mar '17 11:19:54 AM eldiablo555
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* In one episode of ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'', one resident of Mayberry reported that his cow was stolen. An expert criminal forensic scientist comes out and wows everyone but Andy with his scientific knowledge. As they analyze the crime scene they identify three different sets of boot prints which the expert says belong to three different suspects. Andy is the only one to notice something important which is missing, the cow's footprints.
4th Feb '17 1:10:33 PM SwampAdder
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'''Gregory:''' The dog did nothing in the night-time.\\
'''Holmes:''' That was the curious incident.

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'''Gregory:''' '''Inspector Gregory:''' The dog did nothing in the night-time.\\
'''Holmes:''' '''Sherlock Holmes:''' That was the curious incident.
4th Feb '17 1:10:15 PM SwampAdder
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->'''Lestrade:''' Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?\\
'''Sherlock:''' To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.\\
'''Lestrade:''' The dog did nothing in the night-time.\\
'''Sherlock:''' That was the curious incident.

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->'''Lestrade:''' ->'''Inspector Gregory:''' Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?\\
'''Sherlock:''' '''Sherlock Holmes:''' To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.\\
'''Lestrade:''' '''Gregory:''' The dog did nothing in the night-time.\\
'''Sherlock:''' '''Holmes:''' That was the curious incident.
31st Dec '16 4:33:33 AM yisfidri
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* The maid in ''Literature/TheMovingFinger'' looks vainly through the window all afternoon for her boyfriend, but sees ''nobody'', not even a postman - meaning that the poison pen letter occasioning her employer's wife's "suicide" that day did not come through the mailbox.
24th Dec '16 11:23:35 AM Astaroth
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* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl: The Opal Deception'', [[BigBad Opal Koboi]] has a specially constructed shuttle made entirely of "stealth ore" that is supposed to be almost impossible to detect with most conventional technology, in order to evade the authorities. Artemis gets around this by modifying the scanners on his own shuttle to detect unnatural absences of common elements... and very quickly finds what appears to be a shuttle-sized vacuum at the place where Opal is hiding.
20th Dec '16 9:18:03 PM Discar
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* ''Literature/TooLikeTheLightning'': Inverted. There is some vague, contradictory evidence that the Utopians were behind the theft of the [[SeriousBusiness Seven-Ten List]] in an attempt to discredit the Humanists and their car system in favor of the Utopians' own car system. When the world leaders ask Mycroft what he thinks, he points out that if the Utopians ''were'' involved, [[ThePerfectionist they would have done it so perfectly that no one would have suspected them for a second]].
6th Dec '16 4:56:48 PM Luigifan
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This is, in fact, one of the harder aspects of real police investigations. The lack of something is easy to miss. However you have to be careful. The lack of gunshot residue on a person's clothes for example '''does not''' mean that there was not a gun fired, it means that there is no gunpowder residue to find ("The absence of evidence is evidence of absence, not '''proof''' of absence"). Lack of such residue on the glove that an eyewitness saw the shooter use and then dump that is immediately picked up by the police might show that the event was staged, however (as the gloves would have residue and there is no way it might have been removed). Also, in RealLife, people firing a modern semiautomatic pistol often ''don't'' acquire any gunpowder residue on their hands; so while the ''presence'' of gunpowder residue may be evidence of guilt (weak in itself the residue could as easily have been picked up at a shooting range), its ''absence'' does not exclude a suspect.

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This is, in fact, one of the harder aspects of real police investigations. The lack of something is easy to miss. However However, you have to be careful. The lack of gunshot residue on a person's clothes clothes, for example example, '''does not''' mean that there was not a gun fired, it means that there is no gunpowder residue to find ("The absence of evidence is evidence of absence, not '''proof''' of absence"). Lack of such residue on the glove that an eyewitness saw the shooter use and then dump that is immediately picked up by the police might show that the event was staged, however (as the gloves would have residue and there is no way it might have been removed). Also, in RealLife, people firing a modern semiautomatic pistol often ''don't'' acquire any gunpowder residue on their hands; so while the ''presence'' of gunpowder residue may be evidence of guilt (weak in itself the residue could as easily have been picked up at a shooting range), its ''absence'' does not exclude a suspect.



** A man suspected to be the one who had been randomly attacking women with a mallet is found strangled in his own apartment...except Conan can't find any underwear, shoes, or toiletry there. He quickly realizes that [[spoiler: the apartment belongs to someone else, who removed those items to hide the fact that ''she'', a woman, lived there and was the true culprit]].
* In ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', Johan's crime scenes are "devoid of feeling" - the kills are executed as coldly and methodically as household chores. In one arc, this enables Runge to determine that a certain murder was [[CopycatCrime committed by a copy-cat]] and not Johan - [[spoiler:Blood spatter clearly shows a man had been [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Monster/Monster-40?id=7370 slouched in front of a mirror]], but his body is found several feet away because the killer hesitated upon [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Monster/Monster-41?id=7374 seeing himself in said mirror]]. Johan would have killed the man without a second thought, but the real killer - the man's nephew - was shocked to see himself in the process of killing]].

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** A man suspected to be the one who had been randomly attacking women with a mallet is found strangled in his own apartment...except Conan can't find any underwear, shoes, or toiletry there. He quickly realizes that [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the apartment belongs to someone else, who removed those items to hide the fact that ''she'', a woman, lived there and was the true culprit]].
* In ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', Johan's crime scenes are "devoid of feeling" - -- the kills are executed as coldly and methodically as household chores. In one arc, this enables Runge to determine that a certain murder was [[CopycatCrime committed by a copy-cat]] and not Johan - [[spoiler:Blood -- [[spoiler:blood spatter clearly shows a man had been [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Monster/Monster-40?id=7370 slouched in front of a mirror]], but his body is found several feet away because the killer hesitated upon [[http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Monster/Monster-41?id=7374 seeing himself in said mirror]]. Johan would have killed the man without a second thought, but the real killer - -- the man's nephew - -- was shocked to see himself in the process of killing]].



* In ''{{Literature/Aquarium}}'', a superior asks Suvorov whether he knows what a certain section of the intelligence department is dealing with. Turns out he does - since he never received any data from them, the obvious conclusion is that these are units which only operate during the war. Combined with the available data about the section's officers, who are all very tall, that means these are recon and sabotage units. Well, the proper name for them is Spetsnaz, but of course that cannot be obtained by deduction.

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* In ''{{Literature/Aquarium}}'', a superior asks Suvorov whether he knows what a certain section of the intelligence department is dealing with. Turns out he does - -- since he never received any data from them, the obvious conclusion is that these are units which only operate during the war. Combined with the available data about the section's officers, who are all very tall, that means these are recon and sabotage units. Well, the proper name for them is Spetsnaz, but of course that cannot be obtained by deduction.



** Monk's very first case was an example of this; a hooker had [=OD'd=] on Promazine - a tranquilizer for ''horses'', pills the size of an adult's ''eyeballs''. Monk's partner at the time, Stottlemeyer, said suicide. Every cop on the scene said suicide. ''Medical examiner'' said suicide. Monk walks in, says murder. "Where's the water?" The room had no water! Simple. Eight people in the room, but nobody saw that.

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** Monk's very first case was an example of this; a hooker had [=OD'd=] on Promazine - -- a tranquilizer for ''horses'', pills the size of an adult's ''eyeballs''. Monk's partner at the time, Stottlemeyer, said suicide. Every cop on the scene said suicide. ''Medical examiner'' said suicide. Monk walks in, says murder. "Where's the water?" The room had no water! Simple. Eight people in the room, but nobody saw that.



** "The Sontaran Stratagem" - UNIT and the Doctor are investigating ATMOS, a factory they believe is a front for alien activity. While Martha examines the workers and the Doctor sonics the ATMOS, Donna finds something suspicious: an empty file folder for sick days. As Martha manages to determine while doing medical checkups on the ATMOS factory workers, this is because all of them have been hypnotized by the Sontarans (as evidenced by one who says in a never-changing pitch that he works 24 hours a day, and has an abnormally high pulse rate).

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** "The Sontaran Stratagem" - Stratagem": UNIT and the Doctor are investigating ATMOS, a factory they believe is a front for alien activity. While Martha examines the workers and the Doctor sonics the ATMOS, Donna finds something suspicious: an empty file folder for sick days. As Martha manages to determine while doing medical checkups on the ATMOS factory workers, this is because all of them have been hypnotized by the Sontarans (as evidenced by one who says in a never-changing pitch that he works 24 hours a day, and has an abnormally high pulse rate).



*** In case 5, the absence of blood on the hilt of a knife that was found inside a victim suggests that [[spoiler: the hilt was switched, as there were several knives with hilts and blades that fit each other]].

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*** In case 5, the absence of blood on the hilt of a knife that was found inside a victim suggests that [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the hilt was switched, as there were several knives with hilts and blades that fit each other]].



* This is how [[spoiler: Teruteru]] is exposed as a murderer in ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2''. After [[spoiler: the blackout which was when Byakuya]] was murdered, Mikan fell over and landed in a... [[InnocentFanserviceGirl compromising]] position. [[spoiler: Teruteru]], [[LovableSexManiac of all people]], failed to comment on this... [[spoiler: which proved he wasn't in the dining hall as he had pretended but under it, from where he stabbed Byakuya]].

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* This is how [[spoiler: Teruteru]] [[spoiler:Teruteru]] is exposed as a murderer in ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2''. After [[spoiler: the blackout [[spoiler:the blackout, which was when Byakuya]] was murdered, Mikan fell over and landed in a... [[InnocentFanserviceGirl compromising]] position. [[spoiler: Teruteru]], [[spoiler:Teruteru]], [[LovableSexManiac of all people]], failed to comment on this... [[spoiler: which [[spoiler:which proved he wasn't in the dining hall as he had pretended but under it, from where he stabbed Byakuya]].
16th Nov '16 5:55:41 AM Tron80
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* This was, oddly enough, used to discover ComicBook/{{Superman}}'s secret identity back in the Silver Age of comics. Superman has since started filling his bathroom with all the things needed for daily life, and putting medicines in his locker.

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* This was, oddly enough, used to discover ComicBook/{{Superman}}'s Franchise/{{Superman}}'s secret identity back in the Silver Age of comics. Superman has since started filling his bathroom with all the things needed for daily life, and putting medicines in his locker.
2nd Nov '16 7:12:00 AM ChaoticNovelist
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** Another, perhaps less convincing, story has Griswold show that a suspect is only pretending to be a writer because [[WriteWhatYouKnow there is no]] ''[[MostWritersAreWriters wastepaper basket]]'' in his apartment, which would have fairly standard for a writer at the time.

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** Another, perhaps less convincing, Another story has Griswold show that a suspect is only pretending to be a writer because [[WriteWhatYouKnow there is no]] ''[[MostWritersAreWriters wastepaper basket]]'' in his apartment, which would have fairly standard for a writer at the time.
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