Atlas Obscura --"Private Eyes Tell Us Abouot Digging Through People's Trash" by Dan Nosowitz.
It’s a staple of the detective
montage on TV and in movies: an investigator takes a suspect’s trash,
dumps it on a table and starts going to town. Often the results pay off
handsomely: On a Columbo
called episode “Agenda For Murder,” for instance, Columbo solves the
case by stealing some gum from the murder’s garbage can and then by
matching the murderer’s bite marks on a piece of cheese with teeth marks
on that gum. In Sue Grafton’s I Is For Innocent,
her detective, Kinsey Millhone, figures out an equally ridiculous
murder weapon while digging through the victim’s garbage: a pastry baked
with poisonous mushrooms.
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