ISBN-10:
0134477596
ISBN-13:
9780134477596
Pub. Date:
01/17/2017
Publisher:
Pearson
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science / Edition 12

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science / Edition 12

by Richard Saferstein

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Overview

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science / Edition 12

For introductory courses in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation


A clear introduction to the technology of the modern crime laboratory for non-scientists
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, Twelfth Edition
, uses clear writing, case stories, and modern technology to capture the pulse and fervor of forensic science investigations. Written for readers with no scientific background, only the most relevant scientific and technological concepts are presented. The nature of physical evidence is defined, and the limitations that technology and current knowledge impose on its individualization and characterization are examined. A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence. Updated throughout, the Twelfth Edition includes a new chapter on the exciting field of forensic biometrics. With its easy-to-understand writing and straightforward presentation, this best-selling text is clear and comprehensible to a wide variety of students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780134477596
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 01/17/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 149,719
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Richard Saferstein, Ph.D., retired after serving 21 years as the chief forensic scientist of the New Jersey State Police Laboratory, one of the largest crime laboratories in the United States. He currently acts as a consultant for attorneys and the media in the area of forensic science. During the O. J. Simpson criminal trial, Dr. Saferstein provided extensive commentary on forensic aspects of the case for the Rivera Live show, the E! television network, ABC radio, and various radio talk shows. Dr. Saferstein holds degrees from the City College of New York and earned his doctorate degree in chemistry in 1970 from the City University of New York. From 1972 to 1991, he taught an introductory forensic science course in the criminal justice programs at the College of New Jersey and Ocean County College. These teaching experiences played an influential role in Dr. Saferstein’s authorship in 1977 of the widely used introductory textbook Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, currently in this twelfth edition. Saferstein’s basic philosophy in writing Criminalistics is to make forensic science understandable and meaningful to the nonscience reader, while giving the reader an appreciation for the scientific principles that underlie the subject.

Dr. Saferstein has authored or co-authored more than 45 technical papers and chapters covering a variety of forensic topics. Dr. Saferstein has co-authored Lab Manual for Criminalistics (Pearson, 2015) to be used in conjunction with this text. He is also the author of Forensic Science: An Introduction (Pearson, 2008 and 2011) and Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab (2009 and 2015). He has also edited the widely used professional reference books Forensic Science Handbook, Volumes I, II, and III, 2nd edition (published in 2002, 2005, and 2010, respectively, by Pearson).

Dr. Saferstein is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Canadian Society of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 2006 Paul L. Kirk Award for distinguished service and contributions to the field of criminalistics.

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

PREFACE

As we enter a new century, the science of DNA profiling has altered the complexion of criminal investigation. Just a few years ago, few could have envisioned the impact DNA technology would have at linking a crime with its perpetrator. DNA collected from saliva on a cup or from dandruff or sweat on a hat exemplifies the emergence of nontraditional forms of evidence collection at crime scenes. Currently, the criminal justice system is gearing up to create vast DNA data banks designed to snare the criminal who is unaware of the consequence of leaving behind the minutest quantity of biological material at a crime scene.

During the highly publicized O. J. Simpson criminal and civil trials, forensic scientists systematically placed Simpson at the crime scene through DNA analyses, hair and fiber comparisons, and footwear impressions. As millions of Americans watched the O. J. Simpson case unfold, they, in a sense, became students of forensic science. Intense media coverage of the crime-scene search and investigation, as well as the ramifications of findings of physical evidence at the crime scene, all became the subject of study, commentary, and conjecture. For those of us who have taught forensic science in the classroom, it comes as no surprise that forensic science can grip and hold the attention of those who otherwise would have no interest in any science subject. The O. J. Simpson case amply demonstrates how intertwined criminal investigation has become with forensic science. Through seven editions, Criminalistics has striven to depict the role of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system. The current edition builds onthe contents of its predecessors and seeks to update the reader with the latest technologies available to crime laboratory personnel. Like all facets of modern life, forensic science has been touched by the Internet. This new edition introduces the reader to basic concepts of Internet use and encourages exploration of Web sites particularly relevant to forensic science and criminal investigation.

Making science relevant and pertinent to the interests and goals of the student is a desirable but often elusive goal pursued by educators. Criminalistics is written with such lofty objectives in mind. The seventh edition of Criminalistics retains the purpose and intent of the previous editions. First and foremost is a presentation of the techniques, skills, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory for a reader who has no background in the forensic sciences. The nature of physical evidence is emphasized along with the limitations that technology and knowledge impose on its individualization and characterization.

A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. These chapters include updated techniques describing forensic analysis as well as procedures and practices relating to the proper collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence.

The implications of DNA profiling are important enough to warrant their inclusion in a chapter in Criminalistics. In keeping with the style and content of the book's previous editions, the topic of DNA is described in a manner that will make it comprehensible and relevant to readers who lack a scientific background. The discussion focuses on giving the reader insight into what DNA is and explains its central role in controlling the body's chemistry. Finally, the chapter describes the process of DNA typing and illustrates its application to criminal investigations through examples of actual case histories.

In selecting the subject matter for the book, I have drawn on my experience both as an active forensic scientist and as an instructor of forensic science at the college level. No prior knowledge about scientific principles or techniques is assumed of the reader. He or she is introduced to those areas of chemistry and biology relating to the analysis of physical evidence with a minimum of scientific terminology and equations. It is not the intent of this book to make scientists or forensic experts of the reader. For this reason, the chemistry and biology discussed are limited to a minimum core of facts and principles that will make the subject matter comprehensible and meaningful to the nonscientist. Nevertheless, it will certainly be gratifying if this effort motivates some students to seek further scientific knowledge and perhaps direct their education toward a career in forensic science.

Although Criminalistics is an outgrowth of a one-semester course offered as part of a criminal justice program at many New Jersey colleges, its subject matter is not limited to the college student. Optimum utilization of crime laboratory services requires that criminal investigators have a knowledge of the techniques and capabilities of the laboratory that extends beyond any summary that may be gleaned from departmental brochures dealing with the collection and packaging of physical evidence. Only by combining a knowledge of the principles and techniques of forensic science with logic and common sense will the investigator gain a comprehensive insight into the meaning and significance of physical evidence and its role in criminal investigations. Forensic science begins at the crime scene. If the investigator cannot recognize, collect, and package evidence properly, no amount of equipment or expertise will salvage the situation.

Likewise, there is a dire need to bridge the "communication gap" that currently exist among lawyers, judges, and the forensic scientist. An intelligent evaluation of the scientist's data and any subsequent testimony that may follow will again depend on the familiarity of the underlying principles of forensic science. Too many practitioners of the law profess ignorance of the subject or at best attempt to gain a superficial understanding of its meaning and significance only minutes before meeting the expert witness. To this end, it is hoped that the book will provide a painless route to comprehending the nature of the science.

In order to merge theory with practice, a number of actual forensic case histories are included in the text. It is intended that these illustrations will remove forensic science from the domain of the abstract and make its applications relevant to the real world of criminal investigation.

I am indebted to many people for their assistance and advice in the preparation of this book. Many faculty members, colleagues, and friends have read and commented on various portions of the text. Particular thanks go to the following people for their critical reading and discussions of the manuscript: Norman Demeter, John Lintott, Charles Midkiff, Raymond Murray, Jay Siegel, and Richard Tidey.

In addition, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Jeffrey C. Kercheval, Robert Thompson, Roger Ely, Jose R. Almirall, Darlene Brezinski, Michael Malone, and Ray Feldherr.

I want to credit the assistance of Pamela Cook and Gonul Turban, whose research efforts are an integral part of this revision. I am also appreciative of the time and talent given by Peggy Cole and my production editor, Linda Pawelchak.

I would like to give credit to those law enforcement agencies, governmental agencies, private individuals, and equipment manufacturers cited in the text for contributing their photographs and illustrations. Finally, I particularly wish to express my appreciation to Major E. R. Leibe (retired) and Major V P O'Donoghue (retired) for their encouragement and support.

Anyone who expects to write a textbook must be prepared to contribute countless hours to the task, often at the expense of family obligations. This effort was no exception. My efforts would have fallen well short of completion without the patience and encouragement of my wife Gail. Her typing and critical readings of the manuscript, as well as her strength of character under circumstances that were less than ideal, will always be remembered.

Richard Saferstein, Ph.D.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Crime Scene
  3. Physical Evidence
  4. Crime Scene Reconstruction: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  5. Death Investigation
  6. Fingerprints
  7. Forensic Biometrics
  8. The Microscope
  9. Firearms, Tool Marks, and Other Impressions
  10. Matter, Light, and Glass Examination
  11. Hairs and Fibers
  12. Drugs
  13. Forensic Toxicology
  14. Metals, Paint, and Soil
  15. Forensic Serology
  16. DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool
  17. Forensic Aspects Of Fire And Explosion Investigation
  18. Document Examination
  19. Computer Forensics
  20. Mobile Device Forensics

Preface

PREFACE:

PREFACE

As we enter a new century, the science of DNA profiling has altered the complexion of criminal investigation. Just a few years ago, few could have envisioned the impact DNA technology would have at linking a crime with its perpetrator. DNA collected from saliva on a cup or from dandruff or sweat on a hat exemplifies the emergence of nontraditional forms of evidence collection at crime scenes. Currently, the criminal justice system is gearing up to create vast DNA data banks designed to snare the criminal who is unaware of the consequence of leaving behind the minutest quantity of biological material at a crime scene.

During the highly publicized O. J. Simpson criminal and civil trials, forensic scientists systematically placed Simpson at the crime scene through DNA analyses, hair and fiber comparisons, and footwear impressions. As millions of Americans watched the O. J. Simpson case unfold, they, in a sense, became students of forensic science. Intense media coverage of the crime-scene search and investigation, as well as the ramifications of findings of physical evidence at the crime scene, all became the subject of study, commentary, and conjecture. For those of us who have taught forensic science in the classroom, it comes as no surprise that forensic science can grip and hold the attention of those who otherwise would have no interest in any science subject. The O. J. Simpson case amply demonstrates how intertwined criminal investigation has become with forensic science. Through seven editions, Criminalistics has striven to depict the role of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system. The current edition buildsonthe contents of its predecessors and seeks to update the reader with the latest technologies available to crime laboratory personnel. Like all facets of modern life, forensic science has been touched by the Internet. This new edition introduces the reader to basic concepts of Internet use and encourages exploration of Web sites particularly relevant to forensic science and criminal investigation.

Making science relevant and pertinent to the interests and goals of the student is a desirable but often elusive goal pursued by educators. Criminalistics is written with such lofty objectives in mind. The seventh edition of Criminalistics retains the purpose and intent of the previous editions. First and foremost is a presentation of the techniques, skills, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory for a reader who has no background in the forensic sciences. The nature of physical evidence is emphasized along with the limitations that technology and knowledge impose on its individualization and characterization.

A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. These chapters include updated techniques describing forensic analysis as well as procedures and practices relating to the proper collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence.

The implications of DNA profiling are important enough to warrant their inclusion in a chapter in Criminalistics. In keeping with the style and content of the book's previous editions, the topic of DNA is described in a manner that will make it comprehensible and relevant to readers who lack a scientific background. The discussion focuses on giving the reader insight into what DNA is and explains its central role in controlling the body's chemistry. Finally, the chapter describes the process of DNA typing and illustrates its application to criminal investigations through examples of actual case histories.

In selecting the subject matter for the book, I have drawn on my experience both as an active forensic scientist and as an instructor of forensic science at the college level. No prior knowledge about scientific principles or techniques is assumed of the reader. He or she is introduced to those areas of chemistry and biology relating to the analysis of physical evidence with a minimum of scientific terminology and equations. It is not the intent of this book to make scientists or forensic experts of the reader. For this reason, the chemistry and biology discussed are limited to a minimum core of facts and principles that will make the subject matter comprehensible and meaningful to the nonscientist. Nevertheless, it will certainly be gratifying if this effort motivates some students to seek further scientific knowledge and perhaps direct their education toward a career in forensic science.

Although Criminalistics is an outgrowth of a one-semester course offered as part of a criminal justice program at many New Jersey colleges, its subject matter is not limited to the college student. Optimum utilization of crime laboratory services requires that criminal investigators have a knowledge of the techniques and capabilities of the laboratory that extends beyond any summary that may be gleaned from departmental brochures dealing with the collection and packaging of physical evidence. Only by combining a knowledge of the principles and techniques of forensic science with logic and common sense will the investigator gain a comprehensive insight into the meaning and significance of physical evidence and its role in criminal investigations. Forensic science begins at the crime scene. If the investigator cannot recognize, collect, and package evidence properly, no amount of equipment or expertise will salvage the situation.

Likewise, there is a dire need to bridge the "communication gap" that currently exist among lawyers, judges, and the forensic scientist. An intelligent evaluation of the scientist's data and any subsequent testimony that may follow will again depend on the familiarity of the underlying principles of forensic science. Too many practitioners of the law profess ignorance of the subject or at best attempt to gain a superficial understanding of its meaning and significance only minutes before meeting the expert witness. To this end, it is hoped that the book will provide a painless route to comprehending the nature of the science.

In order to merge theory with practice, a number of actual forensic case histories are included in the text. It is intended that these illustrations will remove forensic science from the domain of the abstract and make its applications relevant to the real world of criminal investigation.

I am indebted to many people for their assistance and advice in the preparation of this book. Many faculty members, colleagues, and friends have read and commented on various portions of the text. Particular thanks go to the following people for their critical reading and discussions of the manuscript: Norman Demeter, John Lintott, Charles Midkiff, Raymond Murray, Jay Siegel, and Richard Tidey.

In addition, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Jeffrey C. Kercheval, Robert Thompson, Roger Ely, Jose R. Almirall, Darlene Brezinski, Michael Malone, and Ray Feldherr.

I want to credit the assistance of Pamela Cook and Gonul Turban, whose research efforts are an integral part of this revision. I am also appreciative of the time and talent given by Peggy Cole and my production editor, Linda Pawelchak.

I would like to give credit to those law enforcement agencies, governmental agencies, private individuals, and equipment manufacturers cited in the text for contributing their photographs and illustrations. Finally, I particularly wish to express my appreciation to Major E. R. Leibe (retired) and Major V P O'Donoghue (retired) for their encouragement and support.

Anyone who expects to write a textbook must be prepared to contribute countless hours to the task, often at the expense of family obligations. This effort was no exception. My efforts would have fallen well short of completion without the patience and encouragement of my wife Gail. Her typing and critical readings of the manuscript, as well as her strength of character under circumstances that were less than ideal, will always be remembered.

Richard Saferstein, Ph.D.

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Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did NOT supply access code in order to use the new online "MYCRIMEKIT" that is supposed to COME WITH the latest edition of this book. My book came with the new chapters it was supposed to come with, but not the website access it was supposed to. Argued with customer service who insisted that it would have stated that the book came with the access code if it was meant to come with the book. uh-huh. I won't be purchasing texts from Barnes and Nobles anymore. Amazon is at least admitting there is an access code issue with the same text. Go Amazon!!
elbakerone on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I used this textbook for an Introduction to Forensic Science class. It was well written and easy to understand with helpful review sections for each chapter. The case study portions are also very interesting for those looking for supplemental material to forensic science studies.
kaelirenee on LibraryThing 2 days ago
The textbook we used for an introduction to forensic science class. The information is clearly and simply described. It includes crime scene analysis, fiber analysis, serology, forensic genetics, arson analysis, and tool mark analysis. Nothing is looked at deeply-this is an introductory book, after all. But it is a good overview. The case studies provide a chance for students to consider the field and some of the difficulties or famous cases.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The item received was exactly as described. Shipping was fast. No problems with any part of the order. I would order from this seller again.
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