One case, in particular, opened Ruth’s eyes to our challenges in understanding forensic science evidence, and the tragic repercussions of false assumptions. In a 2002 murder trial, two men were deemed guilty of murder based on purportedly rare particles that were found on the victim’s body, and in their vehicle. Because these particles were thought to be rare, and because it was presumed that these particles could only last on the victim’s clothing for a short amount of time -- a matter of minutes, perhaps -- it was deduced that the victim must have made contact with their car seat shortly before being killed. In follow-up experiments, however, Ruth realized that these particles were actually incredibly common: They derive from disposable cigarette lighters, and 4,000 particles are released every time one such lighter is flicked on. What’s more, 20% of these particles lingered on test clothing for upwards of 18 hours… far longer than the mere minutes scientists had assumed. Because of prejudicial inference, these two men were wrongfully imprisoned for years.