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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2011 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Footwear, The Missed Evidence

Dwane S. Hilderbrand, M.Ed
Certified Latent Print Examiner
Certified Footwear Examiner
Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst

"The scope of a complete examination consists of two main functions: first, the recovery process, which includes the discovery and preservation of the prints, and second, the identification process, which involves evaluations, comparisons, and findings related to the recovered impression." (Grieve 1988).

"Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothing, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects.. All of these and more bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are, it is factual evidence, physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself; it cannot be wholly absent, only its interpretation can err. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value." (Paul L. Kirk 1974).

On September 19, 1991, two German tourists were hiking in the mountains on the border between Austria and Italy when they spotted a body buried in the ice. The two tourists, suspecting foul play, contacted the authorities. As it was not clear at the time exactly where the body was found, police authorities from Austria and Italy responded. Following the normal procedures for the recovery of the body, they attempted to free it from the ice using jackhammers. Unfortunately, the jackhammers were damaging the body, pickaxes and ski poles were then used.

Once the body had been removed from its icy grave it was examined and determined to be that of a fit mat, between 25-35 years old, and about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing somewhere around 110 pounds. The body was fully clothed and his "well-worn shoes were made of leather and stuffed with grass to keep his feet warm."

The body was identified as that of the first completely intact 5,000-year-old Iceage man.

Shoes are a Fascinating Item of Clothing
In almost every criminal investigation it is necessary to determine and prove that a particular person or persons may or may not have been present at the scene of a crime. For this reason, the collection, preservation and analysis of physical evidence has become more frequent in the law enforcement community.

Around 1910, a criminologist by the name of Edmond Locard arrived at a theory that every time something comes into contact with another it either takes or leaves a portion of itself or another. This theory is called the Edmond Locard Theory, which simply states "Every contact leaves its trace." This theory is continually used today in crime scene investigations and the analysis of physical evidence.

< read the complete article. >

*Article submitted to the Crime Scene Investigator Network by the author.

In This Issue

Featured Video

New CSI and Forensic Job

CSI In The News

Resources on the
Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

Learn How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator

Featured Video Presentation

Developing Latent Fingerprints with Magnetic Powder

Watch this video to learn how to develop fingerprints using magnetic powder.

Video Presentations >

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: <Receive Job Opening Alerts via Twitter>

Forensic Services Technician I   |  Baltimore County Police Department
Final Filing Date: January 14, 2011
Salary: $39,667.00 - $49,828.00 per year

Under close supervision, investigates and processes crime scenes and identifies, collects, records, and preserves physical evidence for laboratory examination and presentation in court as part of police and fire investigations.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Scientists or Trainees -- Latent Prints Section  |  Virginia Department of Forensic Science
Final Filing Date: January 24, 2011
Salary: $46,815 - $78,319

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science is seeking two court qualified applicants to perform a full range of functions to recover and examine latent finger, palm and foot prints for identification purposes. Duties of the position include: Document examinations, prepare reports of findings for use by the criminal justice system and testify in court as an expert witness. Communicate with medical and legal officials on testing procedures, results, and conclusions. Instruct law enforcement officials on the handling of evidence. In the event fully qualified Forensic Scientist candidates cannot be employed, trainee positions may be offered to the most suited candidates at a salary of $39,175.
<View complete job listing>
Senior Forensic Identification Specialist  |  Torrance, CA
Final Filing Date: January 27, 2011
Salary: $32.34 - 41.30 per hour

Become a part of our dynamic Crime Scene Investigations Unit as we shape our future! We are looking for motivated professionals wanting to contribute to shaping the Unit as it continues to transition from an all sworn staff to Civilian experts in Forensic Science. The Unit is comprised of 6 Forensic professionals and a supervisor. We are currently recruiting for one senior level professional as we continue our formation process. A Senior Forensic Identification Specialist will process crime scenes and evidence as key members of our investigative team.

<View complete job listing>

State Patrol Forensic Laboratory Manager   |  Nebraska State Patrol Crime Laboratory
Final Filing Date: January 31, 2011
Salary: Not stated

Under administrative direction, manage laboratory operations and three or more forensic scientist staff, and other laboratory staff as assigned, for the Physical Sciences Unit which includes the disciplines of firearms/tool marks and NIBIN database, latent prints and AFIS database, and questioned documents examinations. Oversee the development and implementation of laboratory, quality assurance, and safety procedures, and staff training and proficiency review activities for the unit managed. Provide advice and participate on the forensic laboratory management team regarding the administration of the laboratory and, as required by the laboratory director act on the behalf of the director. May perform evidence analysis and other laboratory duties relative to a specific discipline.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Scientist Trainee - Latent Print Examiner  |  DuPage County, IL Sheriff's Office
Final Filing Date: February 1, 2011
Salary: $38,822 - $64,704; starting salary commensurate with experience

Trainee will participate in a full-time training program in the discipline of latent print examination. Training includes but is not limited to processing evidence to recover latent prints, evaluating and preparing latent prints for AFIS entry, photography of latent prints, analyzing and comparing latent with known impressions, and preparing and testifying in court regarding examinations conducted and fingerprint and latent print issues. When qualified, performs related technical or scientific work having relevance to the aforementioned responsibilities.

<View complete job listing>
Latent Print Examiner   |  DuPage County, IL Sheriff's Office
Final Filing Date: February 1, 2011
Salary: $38,822 - $64,704; starting salary commensurate with experience.

Accepts custody of evidence; evaluates evidence for proper packaging, seals, and storage; maintains proper chain of custody records. Conducts physical and chemical processing of physical evidence suspected of bearing fingerprints. Conducts comparisons of questioned or latent fingerprints to known standards. Evaluate and enter suitable latent prints into AFIS and/or IAFIS. Conducts scientific work in coordination with other experts having different areas of expertise; prepares and protects evidence for subsequent forensic analyses. When qualified, performs related technical or scientific work having relevance to the aforementioned responsibilities. Maintains adequate, appropriate, and legible scientific documentation. Reports scientifically accurate, responsible, and unambiguous written conclusions in laboratory testing reports. Provides reliable, accurate, and objective expert scientific testimony in courts of law. Gives professional presentations to members of the public and to other related professionals. Provides training to law enforcement and court officers. Reports deviations from documented methods; reports possible quality system failures or weaknesses. Consults with law enforcement or court officers in person or by phone when necessary.

<View complete job listing>
Search for more job listings in Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics
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CSI In The News
Gadget makes a fast ID
Identifying individuals who have no identification, are uncooperative or unable to communicate just got a little easier for members of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, who were recently awarded new biometrics identification tools.
The Marietta Times - Marietta, OH - by Brad Bauer - January 4, 2011

Nurses who bring a touch of CSI to ER
Originally they were known strictly as sexual assault nurse examiners. Now they favour the broader term of forensic nurse because they can also collect evidence in cases such as child abuse.
Times Colonist - Victoria, B.C. Canada - by Richard Watts - January 2, 2011

2011 preview: Tigard police plans technology upgrades
In the coming year, Tigard police are planning several technology changes, including the addition of remote fingerprinting devices.
The Oregonian - Portland, OR - by Rebecca Woolington - December 31, 2010

So you want to be a computer forensics expert
The point? There are many different starting points for becoming a computer forensics expert.
TechRepublic - by Deb Shinder - December 28, 2010

Warning over forensics service axe
Britain's justice system will take a "backward step" if the Government closes its Forensic Science Service, experts have warned.
UKPA - United Kingdom - December 27, 2010

Exclusive: State DNA lab to outsource, Horry Co. to open lab
A DNA sample from Nordin's fingerprint --- no blood needed anymore. This technique is leading to an "explosion" of cases being submitted to the state's DNA lab in Columbia, according to the lab's director, Dr. Todd Hughey.
WMBF News - Myrtle Beach, SC - by Matthew Nordin - December 23, 2010

$8,200 grant to upgrade crime, accident tool
The St. Clair County Sheriff Department has received a federal grant for $8,200 to upgrade an electronic tool that allows officials to recreate and map out crime and accident scenes.
The Times Herald - Port Huron, MI - by Liz Shepard - December 22, 2010

Sketch artists called a 'dying breed'
For decades, police sketch artists have played a vital role in helping to identify victims and suspects in crimes. Now computer-generated images are replacing the work of the artists.
The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, MO - December 15, 2010

Bomb truck funding approved
Marathon County board members approved money Tuesday that could give the sheriff's department a new incident command vehicle by this spring.
WSAU - Wausau, WI - December 14, 2010

Read more "CSI In The News"
<CSI and Forensics in the News>

Other Resources on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website
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