Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

JULY 2015

Welcome to the July 2015 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Searching and Examining
a Major Case Crime Scene

H.W. "Rus" Ruslander

The Initial Death Scene Examination

The crime scene examination and subsequent search should be done in a careful and methodical manner. After talking to the officer(s) who were the first ones on the scene and learning from them of any changes that might have been made to the scene since their arrival, such as turning lights on or off or opening doors or windows, start the examination by working your way into the body using great care to avoid disturbing or destroying any evidence as you do. Carefully observe the floor or ground surrounding the body. Look for items of evidence or of evidential value such as stains, marks, etc. Remember to look up too, every crime scene is 3 dimensional. Another technique to you assist in locating evidence is to shine a flashlight on the ground at an oblique angle. Yes, even in the daytime. Look at the items as they are located. Pay close attention to everything as you approach the body at this time, do not dismiss anything until its evidentuary value can be determined. Are there any footprints or drag marks? Is there anything on the floor or ground that may be stepped on or destroyed?

Only one investigator at a time should approach the body! Determine what, if anything, has been moved or altered by the suspect(s) or anyone else prior to your arrival. Has the body been moved? If so, by whom and for what reason?

Never move or alter the positioning of the body! Make close visual examinations of the body and the area immediately around it. Look between the arms and legs without moving them. Look at the arms, hands and fingers. Are there defense wounds? Is there anything under the nails that you can see at this time? If you can, try to determine the cause of death and the instrument or method used. Take careful notes of the external appearance of the body and the clothing or lack of clothing. Look at or for lividity, decomposition, direction of blood flow patterns, remember the law of gravity. Is the blood flow consistent with it? Make detailed notes.

Describe the clothing, and especially the condition of the clothing. Do folds or rolls indicate the body had been dragged? If so, in what direction? Note those folds and rolls, diagram them then photograph them. They could assist you in determining the method of transportation or placement of the body at the location where it was found. There could be trace evidence in the folds and rolls too.

Describe the location and appearance of wounds, bruises, etc. Make careful and detailed observations. Describe not only what you see, but also what you do not see! Forget about what you think you see! If something is missing, note it. For example, if you observe an area on the wrist that is not tanned by the sun, note it. DO NOT state that a wristwatch is missing. What if the victim had an I.D. bracelet or sweatband on instead? Never ASSUME! Examine the scene for the presence and absence of blood. If any is located, note the amount, size and shape of the drops and degree of coagulation or separation of it. Photograph it using a scale and always taking the pictures from a 90 degree angle.

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*Article submitted by the author

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

This updated Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide to Law Enforcement is a revision of the original publication published in January 2000, and borrows heavily from that work. The resulting document includes detailed procedural guides for the complete range of crime scene investigation tasks — from securing the scene to submitting the evidence. This publication provides law enforcement professionals and first responders step-by-step guidance in this crucial first phase of the justice process.

<View the Publication>

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 475 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

Forensic Technician (CSI)
Spokane County Sheriff, Spokane, Washington, USA

Final Filing Date: July 24, 2015
Salary: $16.35 - $22.06 Hourly
Provide assistance to Forensic Specialists and Investigators in processing crime scenes to include photography, videography, searching for latent fingerprints, collecting items of evidence and preserving them for further analysis.
<View complete job listing>
Crime Scene Specialist
Surprise Police Department, Arizona, USA

Final Filing Date: July 22, 2015
Salary: $18.93 - $28.38 Hourly
Identifies, collects, examines, interprets, classifies, preserves, and presents evidence from crime scenes, such as biological evidence, latent fingerprints, tire prints, firearms, shoe prints, tool marks, and other physical evidence.
<View complete job listing>
Iowa Dept of Public Safety, Polk County, Iowa, USA

Final Filing Date: July 21, 2015
Salary: $54,288 - $83,491 per year
Performs forensic science analysis, research and training, crime scene work, speaks to and trains peace officers and fire fighters, court testimony and report writing.
<View complete job listing>

Evidence Technician
Oregon State Police, Astoria, Oregon, USA

Final Filing Date: July 23, 2015
Salary: $2,539.00 - $3,610.00 Monthly
Maintain proper Chain of Custody of all property submitted to the evidence locker. Ensure that all property is properly packaged, stored and disposed of lawfully.
<View complete job listing>
Fingerprint Examiner
San Diego County Sheriff, California, USA

Final Filing Date: July 17, 2015
Salary: $36,254.40 - $44,574.40 Annually
Processes fingerprints by searching automated databases for matches to verify fingerprints with any previous file of arrestees or applicants.
<View complete job listing>
Forensic Laboratory Officer
Cleveland Police, North Ormesby, UK

Final Filing Date: 26 July 2015
Salary: £19,326 per annum
Provide specialist physical, chemical and sampling techniques and utilise specialist equipment to support investigations. Locate, enhance, recover, record and control evidence and exhibits in order to gather maximum potential evidence.
<View complete job listing>

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

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