9 Historical Innovators and Leaders in Forensic Science

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Forensic science is in a continuous state of evolution. Here are nine individuals who have had a significant role in shaping the past, present and future of this fascinating science. 

Bernard Spilsbury (1877 – 1947)

Famed for bringing forensic science from the lab to the public sphere, Sir Bernard Spilsbury is considered the father of modern forensic pathology. In the early 20th Century, Spilsbury gained notoriety through a series of high-profile forensic investigations, such as the Crippen case. In that matter, he impressed the court and the public when he helped convict a murder suspect using a detailed microscopic study of a scar.

Working with Scotland Yard, Spilsbury developed the so-called “murder bag” – a  crime scene investigation kit (still used today) that contains evidence bags, tweezers, plastic gloves, etc.

Joseph Bell (1837- 1911)

One of the inspirations for the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, Joseph Bell was a well-respected Scottish forensic pathologist. His contribution? Bell believed that in order to solve a crime, investigators must use ‘close observation.’

Sounds logical, right? But, the problem was – his contemporaries were not using that approach. That is, until he started to demonstrate how observing the smallest details led to big results. Many of his investigative techniques are still used today.

Sara Bisel (1932 – 1996)

Forensic anthropologist Sara Bisel gained notoriety when she used chemical and physical analysis to study skeletons discovered at one of the cities destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Bisel’s methods and insight led scientists to a greater understanding of the health of ancient populations. Her chemical analysis approach is still used today to study human remains.

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 Clea Koff (1972 – Present)

Known as the “bone woman,” Clea Koff is a well-respected forensic anthropologist who has worked on some very high-profile international cases, such as the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal. Koff’s excellent work in assisting the United Nations during this tribunal helped international law enforcement bring some justice to the victims of the Rwandan genocide.

Also, Koff founded the Missing Persons Identification Resource Center, which helps families connect with the U.S. Coroner’s Office, in an effort to secure the identities of bodies that are sadly unidentified.

Henry Lee (1938 – Present)

As one of the most high-profile forensic scientists alive today, Henry Lee has worked the JonBenét Ramsey, Laci Peterson and O.J. Simpson cases. Lee is a Chinese born, Taiwanese raised scientist who immigrated to the United States to specifically study forensics.

Lee has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and is currently the director of  the Forensic Research and Training Center at the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science. Lee also served as the Chief Emeritus for the Connecticut State Police for over ten years. He is one of the nation’s preeminent consultants in the field of forensic science.

Michael Baden (1934 – Present)

Michael Baden is a well-respected forensic pathologist, who provides consulting and legal expert witness services. He was the host of the HBO show Autopsy, and contributes as an expert to media outlets, such as Fox News. Baden is also an MD, who has provided insight into many past cases, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the untimely death of actor John Belushi.  Baden was New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner for about a year.

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Mathieu Orfila  (1787 – 1853) 

Known as the Father of Toxicology, French toxicologist and chemist Mathieu Orfila was a pioneer in the field of poisons. As the founder of the science of toxicology, Orfila’s first book –  “Treatise on Poisons” – was a groundbreaking exploration into the world of toxicology, which combines medicine, chemistry and physiology. One of Orfila’s big breakthroughs was his newly discovered method of detecting the poison arsenic.

John A Larson (1892 – 1965)

A Berkley, California police officer and Ph.D., John Larson invented the modern polygraph machine. Although not admissible in criminal trials, Larson’s modern version of the polygraph machine has been an invaluable asset for criminal investigators for close to a century. Larson’s invention improved upon the existing machine by measuring various body responses simultaneously, so that investigators could determine the veracity of a person’s statements.

Edmond Locard (1877 – 1966)

Here’s another inspiration for crime fiction. Edmond Locard, a Frenchman known as the Sherlock Holmes of France, was a pioneer in the art of fingerprinting. It is not surprising, then, that one of Locard’s key ideas centered on the fact that everyone “leaves a trace.” His fingerprinting approach focused on a 12-point method which allowed investigators to determine whose fingerprints were left behind at a crime scene or on evidence.

Although modern forensic science has advanced beyond his 12-point method, his theories and methods were the basis for many groundbreaking discoveries in the field of forensics. He has also left his mark in other manners, as he and some of his assistants were the first investigators to create a police lab.

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These men and women are true pioneers in forensic science. Do you know of other innovators that should have been included on this list?

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The Fascinating World of Forensic Science: 5 Surprising Facts

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Forensic science is a world filled with mystery, intellect and instinct. During a forensic investigation, every morsel of evidence discovered could be crucial, and no detail is too small. It truly is a fascinating science, and here are five captivating facts that will ignite your imagination

Forensic Science Has a Long History

There is evidence that forensic analysis was used around 44 B.C when Julius Caesar’s private physician conducted an autopsy of Caesar’s body after his assassination. The physician was named Antistius, and he was able to determine which wounds to Caesar caused his ultimate demise. The forensic discovery of which wounds led to his death, allowed the investigators to determine who used the fatal weapons.

In 1235 A.D, a book was written in China called “The Washing Away of Wrongs.” The author details the account of a murder being solved due to flies gathering on a sickle. Supposedly, the investigator was able to determine there was dried (practically invisible) blood on the sickle, and that the flies gathered on the sickle to feed off the blood. The investigator’s revelation of this fact led to the confession of the murderer.

Forensic Methods are Not Foolproof

If you watch enough television, you would think that a criminal’s days are numbered if there is any forensic evidence linking them to the crime. The reality is, however, that forensic data is wrong sometimes. Not a lot. But sometimes. Two common methods of forensic evidence used to convict a person are fingerprinting and bullet ballistics.

Fingerprinting

Prior to the advent of the modern automated fingerprinting system, well-trained experts would manually match the fingerprints lifted at a crime scene with those of the accused. This would often entail endless hours of looking through hard copies of fingerprints. Modern methods have made this process much more efficient and accurate. The fingerprint search and match can be completed within minutes (sometimes seconds.) Although the days of sifting through thousands of records to find a match are gone, even the most experienced forensic analyzer will admit that there still is no statistical guarantee that the  matching of fingerprints is 100% accurate.

Bullet Ballistics

With respect to bullet ballistics, the process goes like this. Each gun has a unique surface within its barrel. When the gun is fired, the bullet flies through the barrel and is imprinted by its unique grooves. The bullet then impacts an object, and is therefore damaged. So, when the ballistics investigator conducts the  investigation, they must use a meticulously, precise technique to match the damaged bullet with the correct gun. But, before that can occur, the investigators first have to find the bullet and the alleged gun. There is a lot of work, which requires extreme attention to detail. Thus, it is evident that even the smallest miscalculation can lead to an inaccurate match.

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Head of Information

A highly efficient method used by forensic scientists in identifying a person’s remains is a process called cranial morphology. People that hail from different regions of the world oftentimes have different shaped skulls. The different features are generally found in the face and palate areas of the cranium.

Forensic anthropologists will examine a skull and be able to determine if the person’s ancestry is of European, African, Native American or Asian descent. The scientific method is generally 85% accurate in determining the racial ancestry of the remains.

Crime Solving Bugs

Well, maybe bugs do not really solve a crime, but investigators do study the little critters to determine certain elements of a mystery. The science behind this is known as forensic entomology, which is essentially the study of insects at crime scenes.

For example, the materials found inside a maggot’s stomach can lead investigators down the right path to figuring out how long a body has been decomposing. Moreover, a particular insect’s “activity time” at a crime scene can aid scientists in determining the time in which the crime occurred. Also, as certain bugs are only indigenous to certain locations, investigators can narrow the place of the crime based on the insects present on the possibly relocated corpse.

Your Mouth Hides the Clues

When it comes to precise identification, your teeth are usually the most reliable method used by forensic investigators. In fact, teeth are used to accurately identify the remains of a body in over 93% of these type of cases.

Teeth are made from the same material as bones, and each person’s dental imprint is unique. So, you combine the durability of bones with the unique character of each person’s teeth, and the end result is precision.

We have all seen movies in which the charred remains of a person are identifiable simply because of their teeth. But, dental imprints can be used in more subtle methods as well. For example, the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was excellent at alluding law enforcement. His intelligence and cunning made him a worthy adversary. His downfall however was the bite marks he left on the butt of one of his victims. The forensic investigators were able to match his teeth to the bite marks on the murder victim. This crucial piece of evidence led to his eventual conviction.

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Forensic science is such an interesting field, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share all of this information with you. Continue to check out my blog for more updates on forensic science, criminology, and the world of criminal justice.

 

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The Great Heists: 6 of History’s Most Astonishing Robberies

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Bank heists and other large scale robberies have been occurring pretty much since the advent of money. History has documented innumerable big-money heists, where brazen thieves have selfishly disregarded the personal safety of innocent workers and bystanders for the chance at a big score.

Here are some of history’s most grand heists.

Securitas Depot Robbery (Great Britain)

As the largest cash robbery in the history of the United Kingdom, this 2006 heist occurred at a high-security cash storage depot in Kent, England. In order to minimize the chance of apprehension and getting themselves hurt, many thieves carry out their large scale cash heists in a non-violent manner during non-business hours. But not this heist.

During this robbery, the heavily armed perpetrators forcibly kidnapped the cash depot’s branch manager and his family, and bound 14 employees. Once inside the facility, they forced the manager to open up the secured cages where the cash was stored.

The amount of cash stolen was a whopping £53.1 million ($68 million). Most of the gang has been apprehended and sent to prison, but at least one of the crew remains at large spending his loot.

The Robbery of Banco Central (Brazil)

This mammoth heist began when the robbers rented a home in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Posing as a small company making artificial turf, the crew spent three months digging an enormous subterranean tunnel, which was the length of approximately two city blocks (656 feet).

The tunnel’s terminus? Underneath the bank’s vault.

Over a hot summer weekend in 2005, the bandits broke through the reinforced concrete into the vault, where they removed the equivalent of $65 million. Law enforcement believes that this heist was the biggest in the history of Brazil.

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Dunbar Armored Robbery (Los Angeles)

This $18.9 million armored truck heist was the largest robbery to have ever occurred in the United States. The robbery occurred in 1997, and was an inside job orchestrated by a former Dunbar employee. The perpetrator recruited five of his friends to pull off the robbery, which involved a Friday night raid of a Dunbar cash depot. In order to establish alibis, the men gathered at a house party prior to heading off for the heist.

Once they were at the cash storage facility, the men subdued the guards, and managed their way inside to where the cash was stored. The thieves busted into the vault area and broke the locks of the cages containing the cash.

The thieves loaded the cash into a U-Haul and easily escaped the scene of the crime. Although the bandits got away with the crime for a while, the men involved were eventually all arrested after investigators got a lead on the U-Haul rental. The renter was one of the perps, and he eventually cracked and confessed.

British Bank of The Middle East (Lebanon)

During Lebanon’s civil war, a group of bandits claiming ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization stole over £25 million in gold bars, cash and jewels from the bank.  This 1976 heist occurred when the thieves stood inside a church and blasted through the wall of the adjoining British Bank of the Middle East.

Once inside the bank, a group of skilled locksmiths handled opening up the vault. The amount stolen would be a modern day equivalent of $32 million.

Iraq’s Central Bank (Iraq)

In 2003, the largest bank heist in history occurred in Baghdad, Iraq. Allegedly ordered by Saddam Hussein just prior to the invasion by the United States, the thieves walked away with $920 million.

Many in law enforcement believe that Hussein instructed his son, Qusay, and a close personal adviser to steal the approximately $1 billion in cash from Iraq’s Central Bank. Much of the cash is still missing, but around $650 million was recovered from Hussein’s palace during an international raid.

Knightsbridge Vault (England)

In 1987, over £60 million was stolen at the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre by notorious bank robber, and international playboy, Valerico Viccei. Implicated in over 50 other bank robberies, Viccei pulled this monumental heist off with ease.

Essentially, Viccei and his accomplices accomplished the large scale robbery during business hours, and were able to walk out unscathed with close to what would be now around $80 million. After fleeing to South America and enjoying years of freedom, Viccei was arrested on a trip back to England.

Why did he come back to England? He needed to retrieve and arrange the shipment of his Ferrari.

Many of these larger than life heists have inspired movies and books. Can you think of any of films or novels that were inspired by some of history’s greatest heists?

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Elite Law Enforcement: 11 Fascinating Facts About the Secret Service

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The United States Secret Service is a highly elite federal law enforcement agency responsible for, among other things, protecting the President, Vice President, and their respective families. These skilled agents are the last line of defense in ensuring the safety of our nation’s leaders. Here’s eleven interesting facts about them.

They “See” Everything

In order to ensure the privacy of the President, Secret Service agents are not stationed inside the Oval Office. Rather, they stand right outside the door. To maintain their presence in the Oval Office, agents have installed weight sensitive pressure pads under the carpets. This way, they always know the precise location of the President.

Link to the FBI

During the first decade of the Twentieth Century, the Department of Justice borrowed Secret Service agents to perform investigations. Nine of these “borrowed” agents eventually formed the Bureau of Investigation, which later became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Secret Offices

The Secret Service’s headquarters are located in a tan, brick nine-story building in Washington, D.C. The nondescript building is unmarked, and no public trash cans are allowed outside the office, due to the potential for hidden bombs. The HQ has armories, a joint operations center and their very own restaurant – the Silver Star Café.

Discreet Investigations

To carry out secret and private investigations within the four walls of the White House, the Secret Service “renovates” a room. During the renovations, the First Family is discreetly moved from the White House. Almost every President has renovated a room during their tenure, including President Obama, who conducted home improvements on the Treaty Room.

Killed in the Line of Duty

Like many in law enforcement, Secret Service agents put their life on the line on a daily basis. The first and only Secret Service agent ever killed in the line of duty (i.e. defending a president) was Leslie Coffelt, who was shot dead in Washington, D.C., while protecting President Harry S. Truman.

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New Department, Same Job

After President George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, there were agency shifts occurring throughout the federal government. One such change occurred in March 2003 when the Secret Service moved from the Department of the Treasury to Homeland Security. The department change did not impact the agency’s mission statement.

Speaking of Mission

The Secret Service guards the President, Vice-President, their families, as well as former Presidents. They also have a litany of other roles in the protection arena including the investigation of 1,500 presidential death threats annually. Additionally, these agents investigate counterfeiting, computer fraud, identify theft and financial crimes.

Origins

The historically revered President Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service on April 14, 1865. Unfortunately for Lincoln and the world, the 16th President was assassinated later that day same by the notorious John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln authorized the agency as an investigative and enforcement arm of the federal government to combat the recent proliferation of counterfeit United States currency.

Let’s Protect the President…

In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated and soon thereafter, the Secret Service was given the full-time role of president protector.

…and Presidential Candidates

After presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the Secret Service was given the detail of securing the safety of presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The earliest protection of a candidate arose during President Obama’s candidacy, when he was given full-time protection a year and a half before Election Day.

Spies NOT Among Us

Even though the CIA, NSA and FBI have all been infiltrated by spies, neither a traitor nor spy has ever been discovered to have penetrated the Secret Service.

 

It’s true what they say—you learn something new every day. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed researching it.

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The Price of Crime: 6 of the All-Time Wealthiest Gangsters

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Despite the allure of wealth and notoriety, a life of crime is never the most prudent course of action. And, generally speaking, the truism “crime doesn’t pay” has stood the test of time. But for some career criminals, their life in the underworld brought them wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

Here’s some of the wealthiest gangsters of all time.

Al Capone

One of the most notorious gangsters in American history, Al Capone operated the Chicago mafia during the criminally lucrative Prohibition Era. Ruthless, cunning and insatiable, Capone garnered his income from a variety of illicit enterprises, including bootlegging and the operation of gambling dens.

Capone was somewhat of a pop icon during his heyday, but certain events, such as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, led to the demise of his public reputation. Experts believe that Capone – at the height of his empire – employed over 600 soldiers to manage and protect his vast assets and businesses.

In current monetary value, Capone’s empire would be now worth around $1.3 billion. Yes, you read that correct. Over one billion dollars!

After being released from prison, Capone spent his remaining years in extremely bad health. In 1947, Capone died of natural causes in his Florida mansion.

Griselda Blanco

Miami’s “Cocaine Queen” was a high ranking member of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel. Using intimidation, brutality and sheer violence,  Griselda Blanco had a stranglehold on the Miami drug trade throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. It is said that Blanco’s business was bringing in around $80 million a month during the peak of her operations.

The “Black Widow”  was responsible for up to 200 murders during her drug smuggling days – which involved moving cocaine from Colombia to Miami, Southern California and New York. After spending time in an American jail and released due to a technicality, Blanco was deported back to Colombia in 2004. Her wealth, at its zenith, was valued at approximately $500 million.

In 2012, Blanco was assassinated in Medellin, Colombia.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

Joaquin Guzman, otherwise known as “El Chapo” (or “Shorty”) is a ruthless and dangerous Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel. Forbes magazine has ranked El Chapo as the world’s most powerful drug kingpin. He is one of the richest men in Mexico, with an estimated worth of approximately $1 billion.

The United States DEA considers El Chapo to be the “godfather of the drug world” and many in law enforcement believe his sphere of influence has surpassed that of the notorious Pablo Escobar.

In January 2017, the United States extradited Guzman so that he may stand trial for numerous high level criminal charges in connection with his role as the head of the dangerous Sinaloa Cartel.

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Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno

In the 1960s, Fat Tony – based in East Harlem –  controlled one of the largest numbers racket operations in New York City, which was estimated to gross up to $50 million per year.  Although a large number of Italian mobsters moved out Harlem and East Harlem when those neighborhoods became predominantly Latino and African-American, Salerno kept his headquarters in East Harlem, not far from where he was born.

Salerno was once the boss and underboss for the infamous Genovese crime family, which was started by the infamous Italian mobster Lucky Luciano. By the mid-1980s, Fat Tony had accumulated a wealth of over $1 billion. Salerno was convicted of racketeering charges in 1988, and was sentenced to 70 years in prison.

In 1992, Salerno died in federal prison.

Frank Lucas

Dealing heroin out of Harlem in the late 1960s through the early 1970s, Lucas broke the drug trade monopoly  held by New York’s Italian mafia. How did he break the monopoly? He traveled to Bangkok, Thailand and secured a direct connection in the famed opium producing area of Southeast Asia known as the ‘Golden Triangle.’

Lucas cut out the middleman, and this unique business model served him well. Lucas’ drug empire was at its peak during the Vietnam War, and it is claimed that his heroin was smuggled in the pallets used to ship the coffins of fallen American soldiers.  Lucas accumulated a net worth of approximately $52 million.

Despite being sentenced to 70 years in prison, Lucas has served two separate prison terms for only a total of 12 years. He is 86 years old and the father of seven kids.

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Pablo Escobar

Needing no introduction, Pablo Escobar is infamously known as being one of the most powerful, wealthiest and ruthless gangsters of the modern era. Dubbed a narco-terrorist by international law enforcement, Escobar’s wealth was built by flooding the United States with an exorbitant amount of cocaine.

By the late 1980s, Escobar controlled over 40% of the Medellin Cartel’s drug business. Commencing in 1987, Escobar made it on Forbes’ list of international billionaires for seven straight years. At one point in his notorious career, he offered to pay down his native Colombia’s national debt – a whopping $10 billion.

In 1993, Escobar was killed by the Colombian National Police after a massive and time consuming manhunt. At the time of his death, Escobar’s net worth was $30 billion, of which most (if not all) of the income was derived from his cocaine trade.

 

Many of these infamous individuals have been glamorously portrayed in television and film, but despite any of the allure shown in popular media, they were cold-blooded killers that destroyed neighborhoods and families. Can you think of any notorious gangsters that amassed a great deal wealth like these criminals?

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Crime and Serial Killers: In the Beginning for Emily Stone

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When Serial Killers Terrorize a California Beach Community, One Woman Stands in Their Way

Emily Stone doesn’t have a badge. But that hasn’t stopped her from tracking down some of the West’s most dangerous child-killers. Armed with a digital SLR camera, laptop computer and her trusty Beretta, Stone uses her innate gift for detective work to identify the perps — and then anonymously e-mail the evidence to the cops.

Now, the hunt for two brazen serial killers on the loose right in her own coastal California town threatens to expose Stone’s identity — unraveling her carefully constructed cover and jeopardizing her life’s work. But when she gets too close to the action, this razor-sharp hunter becomes the hunted. Cooperating with the handsome local police detective could be the only hope for stopping the rampage directed at unsuspecting young women — and saving herself. Can they piece together the clues in time?

Compulsion mixes CSI-style investigation with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot and a dose of romance for a keeps-you-guessing, fast-paced and savvy thriller, right up until the shocking finale.

You can read COMPULSION now!

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Recent 5-Star AMAZON Reviews

“What a page turning, exciting and thrilling read! I absolutely love the storyline and the characters…Emily, Rick and Mike! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!!”

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Extraordinary!!!

“Another Emily stone book I thoroughly enjoyed. Well done to Jennifer Chase.”

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Emily Stone has hunted down some of the most dangerous serial killers and child kidnappers, which rivals anything you’ve seen on TV or the movies. Every Emily Stone Thriller is written to stand alone, but you might want to check out all of her stories. If you love small towns, high-tech Gamers, Hawaiian islands, or deserted Army bases, her stories have you covered. If you haven’t met Emily Stone yet–then I think it’s about time.

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9 Key Steps for a Successful Crime Scene Investigation

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To perform a successful crime scene investigation, there are a myriad of individual procedures used by investigators. And, of course, different crimes call for specific methods. Despite, however, the various tactics and circumstances, individual investigators generally utilize the following nine universal steps in order to conduct a fruitful and efficient crime scene investigation.

Establish Scene Dimensions / Identify Potential Hazards

An investigator must initially locate the main area of the disturbance, i.e. the focal point of the crime. This could be a ransacked living room, a traffic intersection where a collision occurred or a remote part of nature where a murder took place. Once the focal point has been ascertained, the investigator creates a radius of the area, in which all the immediate, relevant physical evidence may be present.

It behooves the investigator to create a relatively large radius, due to the fact that it is much easier to later condense the crime scene than enlarge it. It would be detrimental to the investigation if the area was too small, and crucial evidence (outside of the area) was compromised by onlookers or the media.

In addition to establishing the focal point’s radius, the investigator must identify the potential areas of ingress and egress of the criminal. The safety of all people in the area must also be taken into consideration. Therefore, any sort of hazardous materials, weapons or intentional traps must be identified.

Secure the Perimeter

Every single person who enters and exits the crime scene will “add or subtract” crucial material from the crime scene. Thus, it is vital that the lead investigator secure the area as quickly as possible.

In order to control access, the scene is generally cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape or other methods, such as rope or cones.  Further,  an entrance is established for all personnel to use when entering and exiting the scene. Once the common entryway has been created, all people who enter and leave the area must be documented. For larger and more complex crime scenes, additional consultation and evidence storage areas may be created.

Organize and Communicate

Prior to the collection of evidence, the crime scene investigators must develop a theory concerning what exactly transpired at the scene. Once the team has a working knowledge of what type of crime occurred, the investigators will be more prepared to anticipate what kind of evidence may be present.

A method for developing the crime theory is to interview witnesses, or persons of interest. Once the investigators have obtained sufficient information, the team will develop their strategy for collecting evidence.

Perform Initial Survey of Scene

A preliminary crime scene survey is performed in an effort to prioritize the collection of evidence. While conducting the scene walkthrough, the lead investigator will identify and take photos of important evidence.

Investigators will also document certain aspects of the crime scene, so that the scene conditions are properly captured. For example, the investigators will note weather conditions, the exact position of items such as furniture, the presence of any smells and whether the lights were on or off.

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Process the Scene

After the plan has been established and the initial survey has been performed, the crime scene investigators conduct a diligent, thorough and coordinated investigation of the scene. At that time, the team will collect all probative evidence. The collection of evidence includes the proper digital documentation of the scene and evidence, which also may include 3D scanners, diagrams, models and sketches.

While the collection of evidence is being conducted, it is vital that all investigators follow strict protocol in the collection, packaging and preservation of the evidence. If the integrity of any of the evidence is compromised, it could hinder the investigation and eventual prosecution.

Conduct Second Walkthrough

For quality control purposes, a secondary walkthrough is conducted by the lead investigator so as to ensure that the entire crime scene has been thoroughly searched.

Preserve and Record Evidence

In order to ensure that all collected evidence has been documented, the investigation team will create an inventory log. Each piece of evidence is described in the log, and such description must match the photo of the evidence and the crime scene report description.

The evidence log and crime scene report establishes the chain of custody, which will follow the evidence throughout the duration of the case.

Perform Final Survey

The final survey allows the investigators to conduct a critical review of all aspects of the crime scene investigation. Each team member participates in the final survey to ensure that no inadvertent errors are found in the documentation, and that the paper trail is thorough, accurate and complete.

One last search of the area is performed to ensure evidence was not overlooked in hidden or hard to access sections of the crime scene.

Release Crime Scene

Once the final survey has been completed, the lead investigator or other authorized persons may release the crime scene. Oftentimes, in order to gain re-entry to a released crime scene, a warrant is required.

I thoroughly enjoy the topic of crime scene analysis and investigation. I hope you found this article both informative and interesting. And, most importantly, I hope you learned something about the fascinating world of criminal science.

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