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CSI Jerusalem

The greatest unsolved mystery

It was a Crime Scene Investigation like no other. A man was tortured, beaten and killed. He was popular with the people but many in power wanted him dead. After a mock trial the powerful had their way. He was given a hasty burial, but now the body has disappeared. Was there a clue left behind? Were there witnesses to what happened?

A bloody sheet offers evidence of a horrific execution. Were the charges justified? Rumors fly and each side stands by their story. A haunting image on linen offers a mysterious and controversial clue about the missing body. Was the body stolen? By who and why? Did it just vanish? What does the cloth reveal about the disappearance? Historians, coroners, archaeologists, chemists, physicists, botanists, image specialists, art experts, textile experts and many others are brought in to offer testimony. Will they solve this first century mystery?

3 Years of Data

The Shroud of Turin may be the greatest unsolved mystery of all time. Could this bloodstained sheet be a clue to unlocking the case of the missing body? Things looked that way in 1981. The Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) involving nearly 40 scientists had hands-on access to the cloth for five days. After three years analyzing the data, they rendered their verdict:

“We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.”

However, in 1988 the case for the Shroud was closed tight. It could no longer be considered a credible clue. Three carbon dating labs determined the cloth could be no older than 700 years. The Shroud was pronounced a fake, end of story. Or is it?

Cold Case File

In 2005, seventeen years later, the Cold Case File of the Shroud was reopened. Ray Rogers, a highly recognized thermal chemist with Los Alamos National Laboratory and over fifty published papers to his credit, conducted micro-chemical analysis. He compared samples from the main body of the Shroud to thread samples taken from the area cut for carbon dating and determined they were not the same! How could this happen?

The carbon labs were warned to be extra careful about where they cut the cloth for dating. It had been handled hundreds of times over the centuries and could have been subject to contamination and repair. They didn’t listen, instead they cut only one sample from the outside corner edge exactly where it had been handled the most and exactly where it would have most likely been repaired. The most important carbon dating event of the 20th century was limited to one questionable sample. Now it turns out that corner WAS repaired!


In January of 2005, a landmark paper was published in A peer reviewed scientific journal, Thermo Chimica Acta. The following is the abstract from the journal

“In 1988, radiocarbon laboratories at Arizona, Cambridge, and Zurich determined the age of a sample from the Shroud of Turin. They reported that the date of the cloth’s production lay between A.D. 1260 and 1390 with 95% confidence. This came as a surprise in view of the technology used to produce the cloth, its chemical composition, and the lack of vanillin in its lignin. The results prompted questions about the validity of the sample.”

“Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that…

the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.”

Case Reopened

The case of the missing body resumes. The evidence from a bloody shroud bearing the full front and back image of a bearded, crucified man can once again be considered possible evidence for what happened. Could this ancient linen cloth actually be an archaeological artifact documenting the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago? No one can say for sure. But evidence is mounting, and the very fact that it COULD be makes it worthy of continued study and investigation.

Shroud Encounter is a highly acclaimed multi-media presentation produced by The Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc.. Audiences are drawn into an investigation that will remind them of popular TV shows like CSI, Cold Case Files and even The X-Files as the mystery of the Shroud is explored. Shroud Encounter is a fast-moving big screen experience packed with over 200 superb images. Audiences are carried along a trail that leads from first century Jerusalem through ancient Byzantium, to the Crusades, to the Knights Templar, through medieval France to Turin, Italy. Audiences will explore Jewish burial practices, ancient textile manufacture, scientific analysis of the image and blood stains, a medical forensic evaluation as it relates to death by crucifixion and what may have happened to the man on the Shroud. The nature of the image is examined and theories are explored as to what caused this astounding image that continues to defy scientific explanation.

Contact The Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. to schedule a Shroud Encounter for your location today!