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Welcome to the December 2021 Crime Scene Investigator Network Newsletter

Developing Latent Prints from Gloves

Daniel J. Rinehart

Case #1: Developing and Identifying a Latent Print Recovered from a Piece of Latex Glove Using Ninhydrin-Heptane Carrier

Developing suitable ridge detail on the interior side of surgical type gloves is infrequent and identifying recovered ridge detail is even more unusual. Thanks to the research and publication of the work done by Jason Pressly of the Mississippi Crime Laboratory, I had the benefit of having another option in which to process evidence.

As a crime scene investigator and latent print examiner for the Harris County Sheriff's Department, (Houston, Texas), I responded to a death scene, April 27, 1999, where a 78 year old white female was found deceased in her residence due to multiple stab wounds. During the course of the investigation, a finger portion of a surgical type glove was recovered. Having very little success in the development of ridge detail on the interior portion of latex or surgical type gloves, Deputy K.G. Mills and I decided to use the Ninhydrin-Heptane Carrier formula developed by Jason Pressly.

The glove piece was carefully turned inside out, dipped into the solution and allowed to dry in a vent hood. Ridge detail was noticeable after a 15-minute interval. The clearest detail was visible at the 1-hour interval. The ridge detail began fading at the 1 hour and 30 minute interval. The latent was partially visible under two 750 watt white lights. Several filters were used with the #58 (green) filter providing the best results in capturing the image. The latent was photographed using the #58 (green) filter on an Omega View 4 x 5 copy camera that was mounted on a table and using Kodak 4415 tech pan, 200 ISO sheet film, shutter speed at ½ second and f stop at f-11.

I obtained inked palm prints of a suspect in the investigation. I was able to identify the latent to the second joint of the right little finger of the suspect.

Case #2: Developing Latent Prints on Household Rubber Gloves Using Ninhydrin-Heptane Carrier After Superglue Fuming

The use of ninhydrin on household rubber gloves is not a common practice. Jason Pressly's work with Ninhydrin-Heptane gave me an experimental option in the development of prints on the exterior of household rubber gloves.

In April of 1999, I was asked to process a pair of yellow household rubber gloves used in an offense against a fellow Deputy Sheriff. The gloves were lined with a cloth like material. The gloves were treated with superglue fuming and examined with the Luma Lite, two 750 watt white lights and fluorescent light. No ridge detail was visible under any of these light conditions.

With the assistance of Deputy K. G. Mills and Deputy L. Prouse, we decided to use the Ninhydrin-Heptane Carrier process in this case. The gloves were dipped,

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*Article submitted by the author

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The beginning of this manual is a list of processes and procedures for different surface types. Also included are processing sequences that specifically involve prints that are left in blood. Following these lists are details for each process that is currently implemented in the Latent Print Unit (LPU) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory.

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