Brain Fingerprinting
Brief Summary of the Technology

Lawrence A. Farwell, PhD
President and Chief Scientist
Brain Wave Science
Former Faculty Member
Harvard University

Satyam eva jayate --
Truth ever triumphs."
May 9, 2000

Brain Wave Science

Human Brain Research Laboratory, Inc.

2000 North Court Street, Building 18A, Fairfield, IA 52556

Email: Phone: (515) 469-5649

Brain Fingerprinting: Brief Summary of the Technology

1. A patented new technique of proven accuracy in US government tests

Dr. Lawrence A. Farwell has invented, developed, proven, and patented the technique of Farwell Brain Fingerprinting, a new computer-based technology to identify the perpetrator of a crime accurately and scientifically by measuring brain-wave responses to crime-relevant words or pictures presented on a computer screen. Farwell Brain Fingerprinting has proven 100% accurate in over 120 tests, including tests on FBI agents, tests for a US intelligence agency and for the US Navy, and tests on real-life situations including actual crimes.

2. Brain Fingerprinting catches a serial killer

On August 5, 1999 Dr. Farwell used Brain Fingerprinting to prove that suspected serial killer James B. Grinder had raped and murdered Julie Helton 15 years earlier. Faced with an almost certain conviction and probable death sentence, Grinder pleaded guilty one week later in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole. He is currently serving that sentence, and has confessed to several other murders of young women.

3. Brain Fingerprinting exonerates an innocent man falsely convicted of murder

On April 25, 2000, Dr. Farwell used Brain Fingerprinting to exonerate an innocent man who has spent 22 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit. Terry Harrington was convicted in 1978 of the murder of a retired policeman who was working as a security guard, based primarily on the testimony of an alleged witness who was himself involved in the crime. Harrington was a 17-year-old black youth at the time of the crime.

Brain Fingerprinting proved that Harrington's brain did not contain details of the crime that would be known to the perpetrator. Brain Fingerprinting proved not only that there was not a match between the information stored in Harrington's brain and the details of the crime, but also that there was a match between the information stored in Harrington's brain and the details of the accounts of the evening of the crime given by several alibi witnesses, who testified that Harrington was elsewhere at the time of the crime.

Dr. Drew Richardson of the FBI Laboratory (phone 703-632-6704) assisted Dr. Farwell in developing the test for Harrington. Legal efforts to obtain Harrington's freedom based on Brain Fingerprinting and other newly discovered exculpatory evidence are ongoing.

4. Scientific detection of the record of the crime in the perpetrator’s brain

Farwell Brain Fingerprinting is based on the principle that the brain is central to all human acts. In a criminal act, there may or may not be many kinds of peripheral evidence, but the brain is always there, planning, executing, and recording the crime. The fundamental difference between a perpetrator and a falsely accused, innocent person is that the perpetrator, having committed the crime, has the details of the crime stored in his brain, and the innocent suspect does not. This is what Farwell Brain Fingerprinting detects scientifically.

5. Matching evidence from a crime scene with evidence on the perpetrator

Farwell Brain Fingerprinting matches evidence from a crime scene with evidence stored in the brain of the perpetrator, similarly to the way conventional fingerprinting matches fingerprints at the crime scene with the fingers of the perpetrator, and DNA fingerprinting matches biological samples from the crime scene with the DNA in the body of the perpetrator.

6. How Brain Fingerprinting works

Farwell Brain Fingerprinting works as follows. Words or pictures relevant to a crime are flashed on a computer screen, along with other, irrelevant words or pictures. Electrical brain responses are measured non-invasively through a patented headband equipped with sensors. Dr. Farwell has discovered that a specific brain-wave response called a MERMER (memory and encoding related multifaceted electroencephalographic response) is elicited when the brain processes noteworthy information it recognizes. Thus, when details of the crime that only the perpetrator would know are presented, a MERMER is emitted by the brain of a perpetrator, but not by the brain of an innocent suspect. In Farwell Brain Fingerprinting, a computer analyzes the brain response to detect the MERMER, and thus determines scientifically whether or not the specific crime-relevant information is stored in the brain of the suspect.

7. Comparison with other technologies

Conventional fingerprinting and DNA match physical evidence from a crime scene with evidence on the person of the perpetrator. Similarly, Brain Fingerprinting matches informational evidence from the crime scene with evidence stored in the brain. Fingerprints and DNA are available in only 1% of crimes. The brain is always there, planning, executing, and recording the suspect's actions.

Brain Fingerprinting has nothing to do with lie detection. Rather, it is a scientific way to determine if someone has committed a specific crime or other act. No questions are asked and no answers are given during Farwell Brain Fingerprinting. As with DNA and fingerprints, the results are the same whether the person has lied or told the truth at any time.

8. Admissibility of Brain Fingerprinting in court

The admissibility of Brain Fingerprinting in court has not yet been established. The following well established features of Brain Fingerprinting, however, will be relevant when the question of admissibility is tested in court. 1) Brain Fingerprinting has been thoroughly and scientifically tested. 2) The theory and application of Brain Fingerprinting have been subject to peer review and publication. 3) The rate of error is extremely low -- virtually nonexistent -- and clear standards governing scientific techniques of operation of the technology have been established and published. 4) The theory and practice of Brain Fingerprinting have gained general acceptance in the relevant scientific community. 5) Brain Fingerprinting is non-invasive and non-testimonial.

9. Conclusion

Brain Fingerprinting is a revolutionary new scientific technology for solving crimes, identifying perpetrators, and exonerating innocent suspects, with a record of 100% accuracy in research with US government agencies, actual criminal cases, and other applications. The technology fulfills an urgent need for governments, law enforcement agencies, corporations, investigators, crime victims, and falsely accused, innocent suspects. For more information, see Brain Wave Science at

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