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Crime Scene Processing

by: Alessia Huels

Crime Scene Processing FRSC 4043

Alessia Huels
GPA 3.62

Wayne Lord

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About this Document

Wayne Lord
Class Notes
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Popular in Forensic Science

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alessia Huels on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to FRSC 4043 at University of Central Oklahoma taught by Wayne Lord in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see /class/227706/frsc-4043-university-of-central-oklahoma in Forensic Science at University of Central Oklahoma.


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Date Created: 10/22/15
Chapter One 0 Crime Scene Processing 0 An inherent task and duty undertaken in nearly every investigation 0 Few crimes are committed without creating some form of scene 0 Some are undetectable some small some large some enormous 0 De nition I The examination and evaluation of the scene and any evidence found there for the express purpose of documenting the scene context and recovering the evidence 0 Evidence 0 Anything that tends to prove or disprove a fact in contention 0 Two types I Testimonial evidence 0 Admissions confessions and statements by parties involved in the investigation 0 Is subject to alteration 0 Take with a grain of salt and proceed with caution I Purposefully lie I Misperceive events I Unknowingly ll in the blanks in their perceptions I Recall issues I Physical evidence 0 Items and the condition of tangible objects that are collected and or documented 0 Will never lie has virtue that makes it more credible o Is real and tangible we can put our hands on it or we can see it 0 We can misinterpret it or be mislead by it but that is a human factor and not associated to the evidence itself 0 The consideration of physical evidence provides a factual framework that is for the most part irrefutable by anyone 0 It provides objective information which will corroborate or refute testimonial evidence and investigative theories 0 But the mere presence of the physical evidence is only part of the picture 0 What is evidence I Fact in contention 0 Main suspect denies knowing the victim in a rapehomicide case 0 What type of evidence from the crime scene will disprove this fact in contention 0 Blood 0 Semen 0 DNA 0 The interpretive value of evidence I The evidence does not lie I Refutes the facts in contention I We must exercise care not to misinterpret evidence or mishandle it I Context is everything I Consider o The value of evidence is more than its mere presence at the scene its interpretive value is important as well The interpretive value is a function of the context in which we nd the evidence the full meaning of evidence is a function of time and the item s surroundings Rynearson and Chisum I Piecing together the puzzle 0 Find the pieces 7 put them together 7 solve the puzzle 0 Not simply collecting evidence but understanding it Crime scene processing methodology 0 There is no one right way to process a scene 0 Every scene is unique with its own set of challenges 0 Good processing methodology should be the one constant Five critical ingredients to good crime scene processing 0 Knowledge I What are we trying to accomplish and why 0 Skills and tools I The right skills and the right equipment 0 Methodical approach I Methods employed must be all encompassing and purposefully regular Flexibility I Flexibility to adapt to unique situations 0 Coordinated effort I Team coordination towards one goal Three threats to crime scene integrity 0 Addition of material to scene I The investigators and others end up creating evidence that did not exist Shoe prints Finger prints Fibers and hairs Cigarette butts Pop cans Coffee cups 0 Destruction of material in the scene I The investigators and others end up destroying evidence or damaging its values 0 Trampled dust prints in avenues of approach 0 Bloodstains on the victims clothing 0 Trampled dew trails in outdoor scenes 0 Loss of evidence on the perimeter of the scene 0 Loss of hairs and fibers on the body 0 Movement of material in the scene 0 I Investigators and others end up moving material in the scene thereby changing its context 0 Weapons moved away from suicide victims 0 Lights turned on or doors and windows opened 0 Staging actions by relatives 0 E g suicides or autoerotic deaths 0 The goal of methodology I Eliminate where possible the threats to integrity of the crime scene 0 Remember I Every action taken at the scene has some destructive aspect to it 0 Standard operating procedure I Start with the least intrusive technique and nish with the most intrusive technique 0 Investigative ethics 0 The goal of the investigation is to discover the truth There is no other agenda 0 Remain a neutral and impartial professional 0 To remain neutral and impartial the investigator must I Investigate completely and thoroughly I Consider and report all evidence including exculpatory information I Consider all viable hypothesis to explain the evidence I Not to be swayed by any lawyer 0 Investigate completely and thoroughly 0 Consider and report all evidence and ndings 0 Do not be swayed by peers or attorneys Crime Scene Analysts think before they act 0 Do a lot of thinking before you do a lot of acting o What do those things mean here 0 Look at the owers before you look at the tree Every scene is different 0 How we approach them are different 0 Build a sequence I What items are most transient I Some similarities 0 Methodology The interpretive value of evidence Consider physical evidence possibilities Blood DNA Hairs Insects and plants F ootweartire treads Fibers Latent prints Trace materials Body fluids 0 Evidence context is very important 0000000 0 Chapter Two 0 The Nature of Evidence 0 The physical evidence recovered from any scene will based on its nature provide I Class characteristics I Individual characteristics I Or both 0 Class Characteristics I A trait or characteristic that allows the item to be compared with another group of items to be compared with another group of items and included or excluded in the group I Characteristics include size color manufacturing patterns etc o A series of properties that allows inclusion or exclusion 0 Can t individualize to the exclusion of all others I Example 0 Hair 0 Can typically identify general body part color or race 0 IndividualCharacteristics I A trait or characteristic that allows the item to be compared to an individual item or person 0 Identi es speci c individual to exclusion of all others I Example 0 Fingerprints and DNA can identify the speci c individual who deposited the print or body uid 0 Basic forensic concepts 0 Locard s principle of exchange I Every contact leaves its trace 0 Finger prints and DNA I Whenever two objects come into contact with one another material from the first is transferred to the second and material from the second is transferred to the first 0 Cross contamination I By exposing one item of evidence to another evidence from the first is passed to the second 0 Glass and napkin packaged together 0 Mechanical fit I When a damaged item leaves pieces at the scene it may be possible to match those pieces to the source object iflocated 0 Glass fragments from suspect fits glass from scene 0 Common Types of Evidence 0 Fingerprints I Fingerprints found at the scene provide individual characteristics which can identify or eliminate a suspect by comparison to their known prints No fingerprints from different individuals have ever been found to match I Latent 0 Invisible deposited by normal body secretions I Patent I Plastic 0 Body Fluids Visible caused by deposit of contaminants such as blood or grease Impressions made in a soft surface such as waX I Body uids provide both class and individual characteristics Since the introduction of forensic DNA techniques individualization is now possible whereas before only class characteristics were identifiable Blood Saliva Semen Vaginal secretions Urine Detecting body uids with ALS Nuclear DNA and Mitochondrial DNA Only get mitochondrial DNA from the mom 0 Mitochondria in sperm is in tail which is shed when it enters 0 Trace evidence I Trace evidence consists of a wide variety of materials Generally provides class characteristics but may be capable of individual identification Hairs O O O O o Ballistic evidence I Firearms evidence provides both class and individual characteristics the egg during the process of fertilization Human or other Race Body location Pigment dye Natural Manufactured Dye composition Color Thickness Curvature Refractive index RI Mechanical fit Weapons 0 Handguns o Ri es o shotguns o Casings o Bullets o Residue o Cartridge o Casing 0 Bullet 0 Primer 0 Powder 0 Cartridge V Shotgun shell 0 Projectiles 0 Case 0 Wad o Gunpowder 0 primer 0 Shotgun shell 0 Primer 0 Base wad 0 Metal head 0 Propellant o Wad 0 Plastic tube 0 Pellets o Toolmark evidence Toolmark evidence provides both class and individual characteristics Compression marks for example are formed when a tool is forced into a softer material Toolmark variations occur at the microscopic level 0 Linkage Obliterated serial numbers on firearms can be restored by the toolmarks examiner The process involves grinding down and polishing the area where the serial number was creating a smooth surface and then applying acid which reacts with the metal and makes the serial number evident o Impression evidence Impression evidence is present at crime scenes in the form of shoe and tire marks They may be threedimensional when made in soft dirt or two dimensional when left on a hard surface Other forms of impression evidence includes toolmarks and bite marks evaluated by a forensic dentist 0 Shoe prints 0 Tire marks 0 Bite marks 0 General chemical evidence The chemistry secretion of the crime lab is called upon to identify unknown substances located at the crime scene 0 Suspected drugs 0 Suspected accelerants o Toxins I Evidence that may require chemical evaluation is collected in its entirety 0 Document evidence I Document section of the lab evaluates documents for forgery tracings alterations ink characteristics etc Handwriting analysis Indented writings Ransom notes Checks Threats Suicide I Document evidence must also be preserved for ngerprints 0 Computer forensics I Almost all crimes committed in this day and age produce some type of digital evidence Collecting computer systems and peripherals requires special consideration to avoid destroying digital evidence


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