Mute Witnesses: Trace Evidence Analysis / Edition 1

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Trace evidence is a part of almost every investigation, due to the ubiquitous nature of the materials that comprise trace evidence: Paint, hair, fibers, glass, and soil, among others. Although "common", these materials are by no means uniform. Varying in size, color, type, intentional additives, accidental characteristics, batch formulations, end-use products, and applications, trace evidence materials present an almost limitless combination of traits for identification and comparison. Correspondence between known and questioned materials can closely link suspects, victims, and crime scenes. Trace evidence can corroborate witnesses’ stories, provide leads, and change the course of investigations.

Mute Witnesses: Trace Evidence Analysis corrects the misconception that DNA evidence is the forensic science Each chapter presents a case review, particularly those where DNA evidence was not available, did not work, or was not probative. Each chapter presents the facts of the case, the progress of the investigation, and how trace evidence assisted. Every case also highlights some important aspect of trace evidence, such as instrumentation, sampling methods, interpretation, significance, research to answer a case-related question, or a manufacturing process. The chapters are self-contained and written for both technical expert and layman alike.

Mute Witnesses: Trace Evidence Analysis will be of interest to:

- scientists
- attorneys
- investigators
- students

Audience: Trace analysts and other forensic scientists, crime scene specialists, police officers, private investigators, fire investigators, lawyers, students in related fields, and general readers interested in true crime stories and how they are solved.

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Editorial Reviews

Trace evidence analysis involves the collection and analysis of common materials such as hair, fibers, paint, and soil to be used as evidence in criminal investigations. Aimed at legal professionals, students, and the interested general reader, each chapter presents a case review, follows the progress of the investigation, and describes how trace evidence assisted. The text is accompanied by illustrations of slides and occasionally graphic color photographs of crime scenes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123567604
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Fabric Processing and "Nubs" 1
Ch. 2 Wigs and the Significance of One Fiber 21
Ch. 3 Trace Evidence as Investigative Lead Value 49
Ch. 4 Plastics in Automobiles 69
Ch. 5 Finding Trace Evidence 87
Ch. 6 "Only Circumstantial Evidence" 117
Ch. 7 Manslaughter Caused by a Hit-and-Run: Glass as Evidence of Association 139
Ch. 8 Feathers 157
Ch. 9 A Case of Cross-Transfer 175
Author Index 187
Subject Index 188
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