Crime Scenes

Crime Scenes

by Geoff Symon


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Crime Scenes by Geoff Symon

Want to create believable crime scenes and establish the facts that crack your case? Too many authors cut corners or ignore procedure when finding the evidence in their stories. This guide offers an accurate and accessible overview of crime scenes and the investigative process.

Written as a practical reference for authors in any genre, this helpful “Forensics for Fiction” title unpacks a range of authentic details:

  • Terms and techniques associated with crime scenes.
  • Methods used to search and document types of scene.
  • The various on-scene professionals and their duties.
  • Case studies in which crime scenes decide the outcome.
  • Laws and jurisdictions that regulate investigations.
  • Ways to incorporate crime scenes in any popular genre.

Whether you’re writing CSIs or private eyes, this illustrated guidebook offers a comprehensive, user-friendly reference to cracking the scene of your crime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945043130
Publisher: Evil Mastermind, LLC
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Series: Forensics for Fiction
Pages: 204
Sales rank: 468,725
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Geoff Symon is a 20-year Federal Forensic Investigator and Polygraph Examiner. His participation in high-profile cases includes the attacks on September 11, 2001, the War in Iraq, the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, the 2002 bombings in Bali and the Chandra Levy investigation, among countless other cases.
He has direct, first-hand experience investigating cases including murder (of all types), suicide, arson, kidnapping, bombings, sexual assault, child exploitation, theft and financial crimes. He has specified and certified training in the collection and preservation of evidence, blood-spatter analysis, autopsies and laboratory techniques. You can reach him at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi

Preface xiii

Chapter 1: Introduction and Legal Concepts 1

  • Constitutional Law 6
  • Legal Searches 10
  • Legal Search Exceptions 13
  • Legal Punishments for Illegal Searches 16
  • Jurisdiction 18
  • The Law and Your Story 20

Chapter 2: First Responders 23

  • Types of Scenes 23
  • Emergency Personnel 25
  • Perimeter 29

Chapter 3: Crime Scene Processing 35

  • The Lead Investigator 35
  • Scene Integrity 39
  • Crime Scene Pathway 43
  • Crime Scene Equipment 44
  • Search Patterns 51
  • Searching Pitfalls 58
  • Death Scenes 59

Case Study #1: JonBenét Ramsey – Chaotic Scenes Beget Chaotic Cases 63

Chapter 4: Crime Scene Documentation 77

  • Sketches 77
  • Photographs 86
  • Film vs. Digital 88
  • Camera Settings 90
  • Photographing the Scene 92
  • Crime Scene Photography Techniques 95
  • Photo Scales 96
  • Exposure Bracketing 97
  • Black and White 98
  • Painting with Light 99
  • Photo Log 103
  • Videography 106

Chapter 5: Crime Scene Complications 109

  • Private Investigators 109
  • Outdoor Scenes 112
  • Water Scenes 113
  • Multiple Scenes 115
  • False Scenes 120
  • Crime Scene Cleaners 122

Case Study #2: O.J. Simpson – How Cross-Contamination Can Topple a Mountain of Evidence 125

Chapter 6: Writing Your Crime Scene 135

  • Solve Your Crime First 135
  • Crime Scene Menu 137
  • Complicating Your Evidence 141
  • Considerations for Fictional Crime Scenes 144
  • Crime Scene by Genre 149
  • Cracking the Cozy Mystery 154
  • Quick References 156
  • Closing Thoughts 159

Glossary 163

Bibliography 179

Index 181

About the Author 185

Customer Reviews

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Crime Scenes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KaneH More than 1 year ago
As mystery and crime writers, we have an obligation, even in fiction, to adhere to the reality of life in our work. So it is with crime scene investigations. We've seen too many bad examples, which often make the reader turn off from the story itself. Accuracy is important, and when you can get it right, it makes a difference. So we have resource material, like this book on Crime Scenes. The author is a long-time expert in his field, and provides valuable insider information to help a mystery writer make a more believable tale. Since so often the discovery of the perpetrator depends upon the evidence found, it's important to know what is really done and what isn't at a crime scene. So add this book to your research library, and learn more about how crime scenes are run. Highly recommended.