Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation, Second Edition / Edition 2

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All too often, the weakest link in the chain of criminal justice is the crime scene investigation. Improper collection of evidence blocks the finding of truth. Now in its second edition, Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation presents practical, proven methods to be used at any crime scene to ensure that evidence is admissible and persuasive.

Accompanied by more than 300 color photographs, topics discussed include:

  • Understanding the nature of physical evidence, including fingerprint, biological, trace, hair and fiber, and other forms of evidence
  • Actions of the responding officer, from documenting and securing the initial information to providing emergency care
  • Assessing the scene, including search considerations and dealing with chemical and bioterror hazards
  • Crime scene photography, sketching, mapping, and notes and reports
  • Light technology and preserving fingerprint and impression evidence
  • Shooting scene documentation and reconstruction
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis and the body as a crime scene
  • Special scene considerations, including fire, buried bodies, and entomological evidence
  • The role of crime scene analysis and reconstruction, with step-by-step procedures

Two appendices provide additional information on crime scene equipment and risk management, and each chapter is enhanced by a succinct summary, suggested readings, and a series of questions to test assimilation of the material. Using this book in your investigations will help you find out what happened and who is responsible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I am convinced it is essential that all officers and investigative personnel have a solid understanding of professionally accepted crime scene protocols in order that their agency can take full advantage of today's sophisticated laboratory techniques and technologies. This book can play a significant role in helping responsible, concerned individuals realize that objective."
—Eugene R. Cromartie, Deputy Executive Director/Chief of Staff, International Association of Chiefs of Police Major General (Ret.), United States Army Criminal Investigation Command
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ross Martin Gardner worked in law enforcement for nearly 29 years. The vast majority of that period was spent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, performing duties as a special agent and command sergeant major. In 1999, SA Gardner retired from the military to take a position as a chief of police in a small suburban Atlanta police department. He served in that position until 2003, when he quit public service to become a full-time consultant and instructor. Ross is currently the vice president of Bevel, Gardner and Associates, a forensic education and consulting group.

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Table of Contents

Police Goals and Objectives
Evidence Defined
The Interpretive Value of Evidence
Good Crime Scene Examinations and Scene Integrity Issues
Investigative Ethics
Understanding the Nature of Physical Evidence
Class and Individual Characteristics
Fingerprint Evidence
Serology and Biological Evidence
Trace Evidence
Hairs and Fibers
Paints and Polymers
Gunshot Residues (GSRs)
Firearm and Ballistic Evidence
Tool Mark Evidence
Impression Evidence
General Chemical Evidence
Document Evidence
Computer Forensics
Forensic Pathology
Actions of the Initial Responding Officer
Specific Objectives of the Initial Response
Documenting Initial Information
Officer Safety
Emergency Care
Secure and Control the Crime Scene
Release the Scene to Appropriate Authorities
Processing Methodology
Basic Activities of Scene Processing
A Processing Model
The Adapted USACIDC Processing Model
Assessing the Scene
Debriefing the Responding Officers
Scene Scope and Boundary Assessment
Scene Integrity and Contamination Control
Managing Access
Defining Team Composition
Crime Scene Search Considerations
Search Patterns
Circle or Spiral Search
Strip and Line Search
Grid Search
Zone Search
Point-to-Point Search
Personal Protective Measures and Hazard Identification
Biohazard Risks
Structural Hazards in Fire and Explosion Scenes
Chemical and Inhalation Hazards in Fire and Explosion Scenes
Inhalation, Chemical, or Fire Hazards from Scene Processing Techniques
Chemical and Bioterror Hazards
Considerations for Mass Crime Scene and Mass Casualty Situations
Pre-Event Considerations of Crime Scene Supervisors
Practical On-Scene Considerations for the Mass Scene
Managing the Media
Crime Scene Photography
What Makes Good Photographs
Recurring Problems in Crime Scene Photography
Identification Problems
Orientation Problems
Confusion Problems
Incomplete Documentation
Types and Purpose of Crime Scene Photographs
Overall Photographs
Corner or Side—You Decide
Evidence-Establishing Photographs
What’s in a Name: Evidence-Establishing vs. Mid-Range Photos
Evidence Close-Up and Forensic Quality Photographs
The Road Mapping Method of Photographic Documentation
A Basic Methodology to Crime Scene Photography
Camera Control Issues
Video Photography
Crime Scene Sketching and Mapping
Essential Sketch Elements
Variations of View in Sketches
Methods for Crime Scene Mapping
Technology in Support of Crime Scene Mapping
Narrative Descriptions: Crime Scene Notes and Reports
Investigative Notes
Crime Scene Reports
Basic Skills for Scene Processing
Applying Light Technology
Shortwave Ultraviolet Light (180 to 254 nm) and Reflected Ultraviolet ImagingSystems (RUVIS)
Longwave Ultraviolet Light (365 to 415 nm)
Near-UV and Violet/Blue Light (415 to 485 nm)
Crime Scene Search with Blue Light (485 to 530 nm)
Orange-Red (570 to 700 nm)
Infrared (700 to 2,000 nm)
Heat Energy and Thermal Imaging (12,000 nm)
Choosing an Alternative Light Source
Recovering Fingerprints
The Science of Fingerprints
Classification vs. Identification
AFIS Fingerprint Systems
Collecting Fingerprint Evidence
Surface Characteristics
Porous Surfaces
Nonporous Smooth Surfaces
Nonporous Rough Surfaces
Special Surfaces or Conditions
On-Scene Fingerprinting Techniques
Cyanoacrylate Fuming (Superglue Fuming)
Basic Brush-and-Powder Techniques
Small-Particle Reagent
Adding Machine Paper Technique for Human Skin
Crystal Violet Solution for Adhesive Tape
Fingerprints in Fire Scenes
Casting Impression Evidence
Rubber Casting Compounds
Electrostatic Dust Lifting Devices
Dental Stone Casting Techniques
Snow Prints
Gelatin and Other Adhesive Lifters
Shooting Scene Documentation and Reconstruction
Internal Ballistics
Terminal Ballistics
External Ballistics
Bullet Defect Verification through Chemical Evaluation
Defining the Bullet Impact Angle Based on Defect Shape
Describing Zones of Possibility
Applying Bloodstain Pattern Analysis in the Crime Scene
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Theory and Underlying Principles of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
The Principle of Stain Shape and Vector Correlation
The Physically Altered Bloodstain Principle
Methodology of BPA
Infrared Photography
The Body as a Crime Scene
Examination of the Corpse In Situ
Examination of the Corpse at the Morgue
Examination of a Live Individual
Understanding Basic Mechanisms of Injuries
Special Scene Considerations
Fire Scenes
Fire Patterns
Problems Associated with Fire Scenes
Fire Scene Methodology
Landfill Recoveries
Problems Associated with Landfill Recoveries
Landfill Recovery Methodology
Buried and Scattered Remains
Buried Bodies
Scattered Remains
Entomological Evidence Associated with Bodies
The Role of Crime Scene Analysis and Reconstruction
A History of the Concept of Crime Scene Reconstruction
The Underlying Principles of Crime Scene Reconstruction
Crime Scene Reconstruction Methodology
Scientific Method Used to Resolve a Specific Investigative Question
Event Analysis: Reconstructing Entire Events
Suggested Reading
Chapter Questions
Appendix A: Crime Scene Equipment
Appendix B: Risk Management

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