Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

January 2017

Welcome to the January 2017 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Visualization of latent fingerprints on
used vinyl and latex gloves using Gellifters

M.J.M. (Theo) Velders


At a crime scene, we regularly find latex or vinyl gloves which have been left behind by the perpetrators. As crime scene officers, we are then confronted with the question of what to do with these gloves. We know these used gloves can contain fingerprints but how to make them visible?

In most cases such gloves are secured only for DNA investigation. Sometimes there are attempts to make prints visible, usually with chemical methods, but as most of us probably have experienced, the results of chemical methods are usually not very satisfying.

Usually perspiration and the powder in these gloves are blamed for having destroyed the latent fingerprints.

My experiences

Up until 2001, I succeeded only once in my 30 years as a crime scene officer to visualize a fingerprint in a latex glove. I had tried many times to treat disposable latex and vinyl gloves with chemical means, but virtually all these attempts failed to produce a result.

Then in the middle of 2001, a collegue handed me four latex gloves which had been thrown away by burglars when leaving a crime scene. As so often before, I started working on the gloves, treating two of them with ninhydrin and the others with cyanoacrylate fuming. Unfortunately, both methods failed to visualize any prints.


After this disappointment, I wondered if it might be possible to get any fingerprints off of these gloves using a black gelatin lifter. With a piece of PVC tubing, stuck in the fingers of each glove, every finger was rolled ten 360° revolutions over a length of black Gellifter.

To my amazement, a number of excellent prints were lifted from these chemically treated gloves. I had a strong suspicion that this could be a real breakthrough.

Looking for a solution

Were these results with the four latex gloves a coincidence, or could it be that lifting prints with a Gellifter was the solution to a big problem?

To get more certainty, I started a comparative examination, looking at all the methods that have been mentioned to visualize prints in gloves and at the lifting with the Gellifter.

< read the complete article and view example photographs >

This Month's Featured Resource on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website

This special report is intended to be a resource to any law enforcement personnel (investigators, first responders, detectives, prosecutors, etc.) who may have limited or no experience with technology-related crimes or with the tools and techniques available to investigate those crimes. It is not all inclusive. Rather, it deals with the most common techniques, devices, and tools encountered.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that the information in this special report must be examined in the context of current technology and practices adjusted as appropriate. It is recognized that all investigations are unique and the judgment of investigators should be given deference in the implementation of this special report.

<View the Publication>

Featured Products
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$2.00 off each shirt with coupon NewYear2017 (valid through February 28, 2017)

New CSI and Forensic Job Announcements

The most comprehensive listing of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic
employment opportunities on the internet! We typically have over 250 current listings!

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: Job Posting Alerts
or sign up for daily email alerts: Daily Job Posting Alert Emails

Evidence Tehnician
Plainfield Police Department, Plainfield, Indiana, USA

Final Filing Date: February 3, 2017
The Evidence Technician will be required to respond when contacted by the Detective Division to document, process, and collect evidence at the crime scene.
<View complete job listing>
Crime Scene Analyst
Dallas Police Department, Dallas, Texas, USA

Final Filing Date: February 4, 2017
Collects, preserves, processes and/or handles evidence at/from crime scene to assist sworn officers in apprehension and prosecution of crimes.
<View complete job listing>
Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach, California, USA

Final Filing Date: February 10. 2017
The current vacancy is in the Police Department, Investigations Bureau, Forensic Science Services Division, Crime Laboratory Section.
<View complete job listing>

Computer Scientist
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Final Filing Date: January 31, 2017
Uses, troubleshoots, and modifies existing tools and methods to identify, isolate, preserve, and analyze digital data. Develops and implements basic custom tools and methods to identify, isolate, analyze, and preserve digital data; assists in the development and use of basic computing environments for analysis; and assists others in the development and implementation of more advanced tools ...
<View complete job listing>
Fingerprint Classifier
San Antonio Police Department, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Final Filing Date: January 31, 2017
Responsible for performing technical level work maintaining an accurate fingerprint and arrest record system by processing fingerprints on police suspects, applicants for employment, and other individuals requiring fingerprinting. Maintains identification records.
<View complete job listing>
Evidence Technician
Richland Police Department, Richland, Washington, USA

Final Filing Date: February 1, 2017
Performs a variety of technical duties in the gathering, processing and identification of evidence in association with law enforcement personnel; manages the inventory of supplies within the police department to include perishable office supplies, uniform items and other equipment associated with the department operations.
<View complete job listing>

Search for more job listings in Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics
<Crime Scene Investigator Network Employment Listings>

To be notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter: Job Posting Alerts
or sign up for daily email alerts: Daily Job Posting Alert Emails

CSI in the News

Fingerprint DNA tool could solve major crimes
A pen-like device is set to help forensic experts extract relatively large amounts of DNA evidence from previously challenging surfaces. Micro-Swab was developed by researchers at Flinders University and uses fibres soaked in a surfactant to bind to the DNA in fingerprints.
InDaily - January 20, 2017

New technology puts viewers inside crime scene
Virtual reality is growing in just about every marketplace and, soon, the technology will aid local law enforcement during crime scene investigations.
Great Falls Tribune - Seaborn Larson - January 19, 2017

Audit finds new $90 million Alaska crime lab hasn't met expectations
The new $90 million crime lab the state built in 2012 has fallen far short of promises that it would lead to faster, more effective processing of forensic evidence uncovered in criminal cases in Alaska, a newly released legislative audit of the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory has found. - Michelle Theriault Boots - January 19, 2017

Top 5 Digital Forensics Tools to Fight Cybercrime
As it turns out, some digital forensics tools are becoming more popular and widespread than ever before. Some types of digital forensics may surprise quite a lot of people, as solving cybercrime is a far more complex business than initially assumed.
The Merkle - JP Buntinx - January 18, 2017

ASU's Forensic Science Program gets $600K grant
ASU's Forensic Science Program got more than $600,000 in funding from the National Institute of Justice. School officials plan to use the grant to provide a new tool for forensic identification.
WALB News 10 - Re-Essa Buckels - January 18, 2017

JSU forensics department gets grant for equipment
The state just gave the JSU Center for Applied Forensics $34,000 for new equipment to process crime scene evidence. Specifically, the money will be used to upgrade cameras and laptop computers used out on crime scenes.
abc 33/40 - Jasmina Alston - January 17, 2017

<Read more CSI and Forensics in the News>

Other Resources on the Crime Scene Investigator Network Website
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