From unreliable hair analysis to mishandled DNA samples, modern forensic science has seen its share of troubles. But there’s still plenty to be thankful for in the ways courts today gather evidence of a crime: Just a few centuries ago, people were convicted of murder based on the idea that a corpse would spontaneously bleed in its killer’s presence.

There’s a myth about Marie Antoinette’s attempt to escape the guillotine I love retelling: In seeking to avoid the wrath of the Jacobin revolutionaries, the royal family escaped to the outskirts of Paris in disguise. When their coach was stopped by a mob, they were unrecognizable. They were found out, improbably, by the noble profile of the king (which perfectly matched a banknote), but also in the noble smell of the queen. After all, only royalty could afford such a sublime scent.

The “witch hunt” has been re-imagined and re-introduced in this cultural moment because an unfortunate tweet posted by our 45th president: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” Social media has introduced the American public to a technology landscape where politicians are able to directly interact in the public sphere, so Salem’s congressman, Seth Moulton, responded a few hours later: “As the Representative of Salem, MA, I can confirm that this is false.” The tongue-in-cheek response by Moulton shows his concern over Trump’s casual assumption of victimhood.

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