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Crime Scene Investigator Network

Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Welcome to the September 2010 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Use of Reflective Ultraviolet Photography
to Photo-Document Brusing to Children

Detective Patrick Cochran
Austin (TX) Police Department
Child Abuse Investigations

Reflective ultraviolet (UV) photography records the reflection and absorption of long-wave UV light by the subject matter excluding exposure of the film by all visible light. Simply said, long-wave UV light penetrates deeper into the skin than does visible light. Therefore, by placing a specially designed filter over the camera lens, one which will only allow a specific wave-length of UV light (less than 400 nanometers), we can expose the film to only this light. Since UV light penetrates deeper into the skin, the film will pick up the image of a bruise or bite mark, which has been absorbed too deep into the skin to be able to be seen using visible light.

Time frame
The time frame to obtain good results with this technique has never been fully explored. The earliest time in which these photos seem to show any image, is shortly after the bruise or bite mark is no longer visible. The longest time, in which there is literature, is at least 5 months after the injury. I have personally taken photos of an infant's injuries (bruising) that were almost 3 months old and I was still able to see finger marks on the infant's chest, where there child had been shaken. Photos taken using this technique will not show bruises that are still visible.

The good news
Reflective UV photography will show bruising or bite marks that are no longer visible. Since tattoos, birth marks, and Mongolian spots are located deeper in the skin than UV light penetrates, these things can be "photographically removed" from your photos. In other words, the photos taken with this technique will not show any tattoos, birth marks, or Mongolian spots. Therefore, bruising that would otherwise be hidden by this things will show up on the UV photo. There is no special training, other than knowledge of how a 35 mm camera is operated, that is required to obtain good results with this method. Besides a good 35 mm camera, the only expensive piece of special equipment required for this technique is the "Kodak Wratten 18A" filter, which costs in the neighborhood of $500.

The (not-so) bad news
The most significant problem with this technique is two-fold. First, since the bruise or bite mark is not visible, you must take numerous photos to make sure that any possible injured area is photographed. Second, because most 35 mm cameras focus through the lens, once the UV filter is in place, the camera can't be focused (This may not necessarily be true for auto-focus cameras, as most will still focus through the filter). Of course this means that the camera must be focused, than the filter installed without the subject moving out of focus.

The equipment
Of course you must have a 35 mm camera. The Austin Police Department, will be using a 35 mm camera fitted with a Nikon "micro-NIKKOR" 55 mm lens. Additionally, the film used must be sensitive to a light wave length of 300-400 nanometers. Most literature that I have read suggests the use of the Kodak T-Max 400 black and white film. There is no advantage in using color film when taking UV photos. A standard flash will work as long as it produces UV light,

< read the complete article and view example photographs. >

*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

New on our Video Presentations page:

Photographing Footwear Impressions

Learn the basic technique for photographing footwear impressions.
<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 Scientist II (Latent Fingerprint Examiner)  |  Denver, CO Police Department
Final Filing Date: September 30, 2010
Salary: $59,473.00 - $94,875.00 per year

The Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory currently has a position vacancy for a Forensic Scientist II (Latent Fingerprint Examiner).
<View complete job listing>
Crime Laboratory Manager  |  Marysville, WA State Patrol
Final Filing Date: September 30, 2010
Salary: $5,103.00 - $9,095.00 per month

The manager is responsible for the WSP Crime Lab Division's mission to provide quality forensic science services and training for our customers within the criminal justice system. The manager is committed to the highest quality forensic services which ultimately enhances public safety for the citizens of Washington. The manager has oversight for the processes the ensure high quality analytical testing for cases submitted by the criminal justice community to the laboratory; develops local lab policies and procedures; represents the laboratory at management and stakeholder meetings, controls expenditures of discretionary funds; and demonstrates a high standard of personal, professional, and ethical conduct.

<View complete job listing>
Program Manager for Physical Evidence   |  Virginia Department of Forensic Science
Final Filing Date: October 8, 2010
Salary: $93,554 - $119,401 per year

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science is seeking a qualified applicant to serve as the agency Program Manager for Physical Evidence programs (Firearms and Toolmarks, Latent Prints, Questioned Documents, Bloodstain Pattern and Digital Evidence). The person in this position will ensure all laboratory operations meet or exceed accreditation standards and will work collaboratively across program areas with other Program Managers to accomplish agency-wide goals. They will have an understanding of technical protocols and other important issues within this management area and be able to effectively communicate these issues to the Technical Services Director and other Program Managers. They will also design a framework for developing and effectively delivering and evaluating new and ongoing agency-wide programs while obtaining input and buy-in from agency Section Supervisors.

<View complete job listing>

Forensic Lab Director  |  Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division
Final Filing Date: October 31, 2010
Salary: $61,812 - $91,020 per year

The Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division is recruiting for a Laboratory Director in our Central Point Laboratory. This position is accountable for all forensic operations within the Central Point Forensic Laboratory, including assignment and review of work performed and coordination of all functions and personnel assigned to the laboratory.

<View complete job listing>
Forensic Specialist IV (Latent Print Examiner)  |  Kansas City Police Regional Criminalistics Division
Final Filing Date: Open until filled
Salary: $40,320-$71,364 per year

This is a position for an experienced and IAI Certified Latent Print Examiner. Include the examination of evidence for the presence of latent prints; preparation of latent print development reagents; conducting comparisons of latent prints to finger and palm prints; entry of latent prints into AFIS; documenting findings through notes, images, etc.; preparing written reports; testifying as an expert witness; and occasionally responding to crimes scenes.

<View complete job listing>
DNA Laboratory Supervisor  |  Glendale, CA
Final Filing Date: Continuous
Salary: $7,403 - $9,172 per month

This mid-management position functions as the technical leader and is accountable for the technical operations of the DNA laboratory. The position will oversee the establishment and operations of a regional DNA laboratory.

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

To notified of job openings as they are posted, follow us on Twitter
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CSI In The News
Northern decomposition study may expand
A Yukon-based forensic study on how carcasses decompose in Canada's North has the potential to expand into further research.
CBC - Toronto, ON - September 6, 2010

The real life adventures of Maggot Man and Insect Girl
For Melanie Archer, it's all about the maggots. Dr Archer is one of only three forensic entomologists in Australia used by police investigating suspicious deaths where the body is infested with insects.
The Sydney Morning Herald - Pyrmont NSW - by Mark Russell - September 5, 2010

2011 polls: Police train forensic, DNA scientists
DETERMINED to ensure hitch free elections next year and provide a platform for the successful prosecution of electoral offenders, the police hierarchy has embarked on the training of scientists in forensics and DNA Technology.
Nigerian Compass Newspaper - Isheri Ogun State - by Dipo Kehinde - September 5, 2010

A Battle Over Who Should Run Orange County's DNA Lab
There is a running disagreement over who should oversee Orange County's DNA crime lab, with two members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the grand jury holding three separate opinions on the issue.
Voice of OC - Santa Ana, CA - by Adam Elmahrek - September 3, 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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