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• The Scientific Method- a way of observing, thinking about, and solving

problems objectively and systematically.

• Induction- a process of reasoning based upon a set of experiences or

observations from which a conclusion or generalization is drawn.

• Deduction- a process of reasoning that commences with a generalization or a

premise and by careful systematic thinking moves toward a particular fact.

• Classification- is the systematic arrangement of objects into categories based

upon share traits or characteristics.

• Analysis- involves an effort to separate the whole into its consistent parts for
individual study.

o Hypothesis- a conjecture that previously accounts for a set of facts.

• Theory- a scheme of thought with assumptions chosen to fit empirical

knowledge or observations.

o Experienced detectives and scholars will tell you that criminal

investigation involves and element of luck.


• Details that specify what is required to prove guilt and to obtain a conviction
for a crime must be sought from the criminal law of each jurisdiction.
[California Codes]

• Criminal statutes that govern criminal behavior are enacted by the state

• American definitions of crimes are rooted in English common law

• Substantive criminal law describes behavior that is considered forbidden and

proscribes the punishment to be given.

• Procedural law is criminal law that pertains to the means to arresting and
conviction a suspected offender.

• Corpus delecti- refers to the elements of a crime that can be proved if all of
the elements cannot be proved, a defendant cannot be convicted for that

• Case law- the cumulative wisdom and judicial interpretations of the written
law and of previous judicial decisions.

• Any serious study that looks into the understanding and control of crime
gains insight from a wide variety of disciplines such as history, criminal
justice, political science, sociology, psychiatry and biology.


• The Fourth Amendment

o Forbids unreasonable searches of a person, his/her home or personal

papers and effects.

o The goal of your crime scene search is to determine

 The nature of the crime

 Identify the person(s) responsible for the crime

 Identify the victim

o Reasonable /probable cause = warrant and arrest.

• Avoid fishing expeditions at your crime scene.

• When a search warrant is required

o Affidavit [form that states, under perjury, that information is true to

acquire a warrant.] must state where you wish to search including the
exact address.

o Accurate description of the place and exactly what you expect to find.

• The first Ten Amendments of the constitution are known as the bill of rights

• Four constitutional clauses within Article I, Section 8, of the constitution

provides federal law enforcement agencies with their enforcement and
investigative powers.

• Reasonableness is addressed in the fourth amendment.


• The Tenth Amendment reserves for the individual states the area of criminal

• According to the eighth amendment:

o Excessive fines.

o Excessive bail.

o Cruel and unusual punishment.

• The fourteenth Amendment:

o Grants U.S. Supreme Court the right to intervene in a state criminal


o Grants all citizens equal protection under the law.

o Applies the Bill of Rights to the state courts.

• Treason is the only criminal offense mentioned in the constitution.

• Article II of the constitution gives the president the power to grant reprieves
and pardons for the offenses committed against the U.S.

• Article III- Conviction for treason requires the testimony of two witnesses or
confessions in open court.

• The sixth amendment guarantees in all criminal prosecutions that the

accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury
of state and district where crime occurred.

• Mann act- prohibits interstate prostitution.

• Gideon v. Wainwright- right to free counsel for poor defendants.

• The vast majority of crimes go unsolved.

• This dark figure of crime is not only an indicator that many in our society lack
faith in the system and notice that we in law enforcement have a lot more to
do in addressing crime in our communities.


• Our arrest does not guarantee that the D.A. will file charges or that the trial
will end with a conviction.

o Lack of sufficient, reliable evidence to sustain conviction.


o Reluctance of victims and witnesses to come forth and testify in court.

o Limited court resources and lack of “jury appeal”.

• Crimes are successfully prosecuted with evidence. This is your job as an


• You are a collector of the truth!

• Questions at the crime scene:

o What happened here?

o Is what happened a crime?

o Who is the suspect? Who is the victim?


• Whenever a person enters or exits a crime scene, he or she alters the crime
scene in some way.

• Transfer evidence

o Blood, hair, fibers, fingerprints.

 Carpet fibers

 Glass particles


• Direct and Circumstantial evidence.

• Both types are of equal value, depending on the unique circumstances under
which they are collected and later presented in court.

• Direct evidence

o Generally eye witness testimony by the victim or witnesses who were

at the crime scene.

• Circumstantial evidence

o Information or facts that are used to imply a reasonable conclusion.

 Fingerprints


 Gun purchased by suspect a week before he committed an

armed robbery.

• Probability

o When we speak of evidence, we often speak of the probability of

something occurring.

o Because nothing is absolute

o A fingerprint expert will never state that the latent prints from the
crime scene are positively those of the suspect.

 Will state that probability of prints being left by someone other

than defendant is about one in 100 million.

o Mathematical Probability:

 Tossing a coin [one in two]

 If 40% of a population have type O blood, you can say that 2 out
of every 5 people have type O blood.

o Uniqueness:

 Your situation is so unique that it can hardly be attributed to


o Inconsistency:

 Rape victim living alone for 20 years, does not smoke. Because
of the inconsistency with victim’s lifestyle, it is reasonable to
assume that suspect brought cigar to the scene.

o Physical Match:

 Physical characteristics and mechanical matches.


o As a Crime Scene Investigator, you will deal mostly with circumstantial

physical evidence than with direct testimonial evidence.

o Officers who are assigned to supervise the investigation are usually the
ones who do the interviews.

o Everything you see and hear at the crime scene may be evidence.

• Elements of Crime

o For an act or omission, or passive participation to be classified as a

crime, it must be written into law, or codified.

o You should know the elements that constitute each of the crime you
are going to be working.

• Chain of Custody

o It will be your responsibility to guarantee the integrity of the unbroken

chain of custody from the very moment an item of evidence is found
until it reaches its final destination at the evidence locker or laboratory
and again when the item goes finally into court.

o No evidence can be introduced without the testimony of a witness to

lay foundation.

• Subpoena Duces Tecum

o Written order to bring certain specified articles to court.

• Evidence must pass several tests to serve its purpose in proving an element
of the crime.

o Carefully collected meticulously packaged, transported to evidence

locker, carefully analyzed by lab technicians, transported to court and
legally presented.

o If your evidence sits unsupervised for any length of time at any step
along the way, the custody chain may not have been broken, but it
leaves and opening for an attack upon its credibility.

o Be professional and complete in your work as an investigator and leave

no questions in the minds of the jurors.


• Your objective as an investigator is to reveal the truth whatever it may be.

• All information and evidence that you discover during the investigation must
be revealed to the defense. This is done by a Discovery Motion made by the
Defense Attorney.

• Exceptions are those things which may be withheld to assure Fifth

Amendment is protected.


• You should always include a videographer historian to you team, whose sole
purpose is to memorialize the entire investigation from beginning to end.

• Such coverage will protect you and your team from liability.


• The public has a right to know that you are doing your job investigation
crimes for the purpose of locating the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

• The public does not have the right to know the details of a case under
investigation that would jeopardize the successful conclusion of your


• Biological Hazards

o Biological substances can enter your body in only so many ways. The
main threats are by:

 Inhalation

 Ingestion

 Through the eyes

 Opening in the skin [open wound]

o Exposure to Biological Hazards:

 Injury or Fatal Traffic Collisions

 Violent Assaults

 Sexual Assaults

 Death Scenes

 Homicides

 Suicides

 Child Abuse/Child Molestation Cases

o The simplest way to protect yourself from a host of hazards is to wear

disposable gloves.

 Wear two pairs with blood and body fluids.

o Gloves will protect your hands from most hazardous substances, but
not against certain acids and chemicals.

o Wear eye protection such as glasses or goggles.

• Use of Jumpsuits

o Particularly messy scenes require jump suits.

o Wear disposable booties over your shoes.

 To prevent you from introducing contaminants into the crime

scene, such as dirt or fibers.

 To prevent your shoes from being exposed to blood to other

substances at the scene.

 Keep a solution of bleach and water in your kit to decontaminate

your shoes and other articles.

• Hazardous Materials

o Every home or business structure contains hazardous materials, that

under the right circumstances might cause death or serious injury.

o Estimates place the numbers of potentially hazardous materials

existing today at 700,000.

• Exposure to Haz-Mat situations

o A train derails and a ruptured tank car releases toxic liquids and/or

o Big-rig overturns in traffic collision, spilling its load of hazardous or

toxic liquids.

o A metal plating firm in your city allows hazardous solvents to leak into
the sewers.

o Fire at a chemical plant threatens to explode several tanks of deadly


o A house fire pours think black smoke into the surrounding community.

o An unidentified container is found in the street.

o Police officer stops a car carrying a variety of unmarked bottles in the


 The simplest point of entry is through the respiratory system by

mere inhalation.

• Broken glass, wrecked vehicles, and splintered door frames are all examples
of objects that could cause problems.

• If your eyes, lungs, skin, or throat burns while you are at any scene, get out,
call paramedics and Haz-Mat.

• Warning Placards

o The department of Transportation [DOT] and other agencies use

standardized systems to label matericals.

o Look for triangular-shaped placard that its usually ble, red, and yellow.

o Degree of hazards from 1 [not usually hazardous] to 4 [extremely


• Illegal Drug Labs

o May be found in hotel and motel rooms, private kitchens, garages,

basements, outhouses, or even motorhomes and campers.

o Cooking drugs such as untensils plus beakers, tubing, glass bottles,

computer circuit boards, large pots.

o Never turn any switches on or off or disconnected because of booby


• Terrorism

o Release of biological or chemical agents as acts of terrorism such as

anthrax or small pox.

o Centers for Disease Control

o FBI office of Homeland defense

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 These agencies will coordinate the collection of evidence and

administration of counteractive measures.

• Civil liability

o How do you protect yourself from false allegations?

 Ensure that you are competent and professional in all your

actions and that it is obvious to others.

 Always perform your tasks “by the book”.

 Do not take short cuts or deviate from establish policies or


o One of the best ways to protect yourself from allegations of

misconduct is to have other personnel accompany you to document
the findings and conditions located at the scene.

o Every individual involved in the investigation should prepare separate

reports to their specific functions.

o Video Tapes- Keep the sound off and video tape everything.


• In addition to specific evidence you need in your kit, you must also be aware
of other aids available as investigates aids, such as records and files both
public and in the private sector

• Other police agencies federal and state and your computer will prove
extremely valuable in your investigations

• Ideal Crime Scene Kit:

o Traffic flares, yellow plastic crime scene tape, lights of various types,
small portable generators, ultraviolet and infrared lights, report forms,
clip boards with graph paper and pencils, chalk and marking pens,
numbered and lettered tags, steel measuring tape, evidence cards and
labels with ruler on edge, compass for determining true north, polaroid
or and digital camera, 35mm camera of high quality and high speed
film, finger print camera, video camcorder, gloves (plastic/heavy duty),
plastic shoe covers (booties), jump suit, cord, rope, string, wire,
staples, thumbtacks, staples, transparent tape, bottle of alcohol and or
15% bleach solution for hand washing, moist antibacterial towelettes,
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paper towels, cleansing tissues, knife, scalpel, x-acto knife, scissors,

mirrors, magnets, tweezers, grabbing devices, brushes of various
shapes and sizes, syringes, pipettes, turkey basters, glass vials, paper
bags, plastic bags, bottles and boxes, tapes, labels, cotton balls,
Styrofoam popcorn, sterile cotton swabs, distilled water, band aids,
fingerprint powders, including magna powder, super glue, plaster
casting materials, report forms, cards, tags, envelopes, vials with
reagents for presumptive tests, containers with distilled water and
saline, magnifying glass and jewelers loop, corrugated boxes, grocery
bags, metal scribe and engraving tools, self-sealing plastic bags.

• Older detectives sometimes call the fingerprint file and the criminal
photograph file the Rogues Gallery

o The fingerprint file, the criminal photograph file and the modus
operandi file are quite useful for ID purposes

• Law enforcement files yield the greatest amount of information and offer
immediate access to the investigator

• Sources of Information:

o Records regarding the manufacturing, distribution, purchase and

transfer of firearms and maintained by Alcohol, Tobacco, and firearms
agency (ATF)

o Information on importers, exporters and the licensing and registry of

vessels engages in this type of trade are maintained by the US
Customs Services

o A threatening letter file is maintained by US secret service

o The US customs service, ATF, internal revenue service, and the Secret
Service are all part of the treasure department

o The FBI, DEA, and Immigration and naturalization service are all part of
Dept. of Justice.

o Information provided by naturalization papers, names and addresses of

registered aliens, lists of the passengers and crews of foreign vessels
docking at US ports are maintained by the immigration and
naturalization service

o Information concerning the names of persons and vessels seized in

connection with smuggling contraband – US coast guard
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o A copy of the printing and writing on the outside of a piece of mail is

called mail cover

o US postal inspectors will assist you with mail fraud and other post
office related needs

o State and county Dept. of Consumer Affairs will assist you will business
scams and other suspect in related activities

o Credit Bureaus and other related agencies

 File based on credit reporting bureaus collect information from

creditors on how some bills are paid by customers

o Investigative credit reporting bureaus gather information on an

individual’s lifestyle and reputation

• Records and Files

o Government and business organizations have files that maintain the

major sources of crime info.

• Mug Shots: in order to meet the needs of the department’s investigators,

when a person is arrested for a serious crime, two bust sized photographs
should be taken in addition to a full length photograph (front and size).

• To avoid fatigue, victims must only be viewed a minimum of 6: photo 6 pack

• Mapads: microcomputer assisted police analysis and development system

o Compiled from police reports and input from community organizations

o Displays a crime within a geographic location

• MO Files should be kept by offense

• The production of suspects based on their MO is called linkage

• To acquire information from commercial establishments, the investigator

must be familiar with most common businesses records kept these



• The term forensic is derived from the latin word forensics, which means
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• The two most recognized branches of forensic science are identified as

criminalistics and forensic medicine.

• Criminalistics- concerned with the recording scientific examination and

interpretation of minute detail found in physical evidence.

• The most valuable instrument in your crime lab is the microscope.

o Most physical evidence yields the degree of detail necessary for

criminal investigation purposes at magnifications between 2x and 10x.

o The scanning electron microscope (SEC) magnifies over 100 times.

o A photograph of an object as seen in the eye piece of a microscope is

called a photomicrograph.

o Resolution is the ability of a microscope or camera lens to separate to

the unlatent unaided eye appears to be one object into two or more
objects, thus wielding details no perceivable in any other way.

 Uses of microscope-

• Identify substances such as:

o Drugs

o Weave characteristics

o Patters of woods, grains, rocks, soil, etc

o Determine presence of sperm and bacteria in

semen and blood and a person’s blood type.

• Comparison microscope

• Used to stu[ relative characteristics of bullets and the gun

barrels they are believed to be fired through.

• Striations- a series of roughly parallel lines varying in

width, depth, and separation. Scratch marks cause by
irregularities or a lack of microfine smoothness on the
barrel of a gun, head of a firing pin or working face or
edge of a tool.

• The comparison microscope can compare striations or

matching characteristics by aligning the two samples and
making the comparison.
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• Handwriting exemplars may also be compared.

• Biological microscope- used by serologist for blood typing

and when searching for spermatozoa in blood for rape

• Stereoscopic binocular microscope- used for almost any

type of microscopic examination. The instrument has a
separate microscope for each eye, giving the criminalist a
three-dimensional view of the material under the glass.

• Ballistics expert

o Uses a comparison microscope to compare bullets

that are found in shooting crimes.

o A firearm is said to have a hair trigger when the

forcer required to pull the trigger is less than that
normally set by the factory.

o Neutron activation analysis GSR test

 Gas Chromatograph

• Used to identify the ingredients of liquid substances.

• The instrument scans over 400 different ions and weighs

them, then prints out a graph with several different
patterns of lines, each pattern representing a different

o Kerosene found at suspects home can be compared

with material found at arson.

 Spectrophotometer

• Provides spectrographic analysis to examine traces or

fragments of materials found at the crime scene.
Instrument breaks a substance down to its atomic
structure for positive identification.

o Wet Chemistry

 Many suspected substances can be isolated and identified by

mixing them with specific chemicals or reagents.
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 With Wet Chemistry it is possible to identify thousands of

substances including drugs, narcotics and blood.

 Reagents will be provided for you for presumptive tests in the


• Wells test for cocaine

o X-ray

 The better and safer way to look inside of a package without

opening it.

 Valuable paintings that have been painted over to disguise them

can be identified.

 X-ray Diffraction can identify barbiturates.

 Radiologists use in detection of breast cancer.

o Infrared Light

 Can be used to make things appear that would otherwise be


 Infrared heat sensors are used by military and police to detect

living persons concealed by means of body heat detection.

o Ultraviolet Light

 Some substances such as semen, rouge, and lipstick will

fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

 Urine, milk, saliva, and erased writing will become visible under
the light.

 Drug money can be marked with visible ink and the viewed
under ultraviolet light.

o Evidence Vacuum

 Special vacuum cleaners that have been sterilized and equipped

with a special clean filter.
CSI 16

 The sterile filter will ensure that matter collected by the vacuum
comes only from the place the technician vacuums.

 Adhesion to tape, shaking [on white paper], or sweeping and

vacuuming are the best ways to collect trace evidence.

o Sound Spectrograph

 More commonly known as a voice print analyzer

• Voice patterns are transformed into visual patterns on the

graph that moves through the instrument at a controlled
speed and patterns are drawn on the papers as it moves
for comparison.

 Experts are able to use this device to detect stress in answers to

questions and truthfulness.

o Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)

 Computerized base of fingerprints easily accessible for

comparison with latent prints lifted at a crime scene.

 In California, we call this CAL ID

o Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

 The genetic fingerprint of an individual is so unique that the

experts are projecting that is impossible for any two people,
except identical twins, to hav identical genetic codes.

 Blood, hair follicles, bones, tissue, body fluids, and any cell of
the body will produce sufficient data.

o Forensic Toxicology

 The study of poisons- their origins and properties, their

identification by chemical analysis, their action upon humans
and animals, and the treatment of the conditions they produce.

 A study of the fluids and organs of the bodies of living or

deceased persons and attempts to identify toxic substances that
causes illness or death.

o Forensic Anthropology

 Called upon to examine bodies in various states of

decomposition or in their whole condition
CSI 17

• Determines whether animal or human

• Estimation of age, sex, race, height, weight, period of

time since person died and nature of skeletal injuries
sustained by victim.

o Composite Drawings, Computer Imaging

 Eyewitnesses are often asked to work with a sketch artist or

expert who attempts to recreate an image of the suspect.

 We have the police artists and computer experts who will

develop a composite photo of suspect

 The earliest method of ID was developed by a Bertillion called

Portrait Parle.

 comPHOTOfit

• a computerized graphics software program designed to

assist eyewitnesses in providing a detailed description of
a perpetrator.

• Works with forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and chin.

o Polygraph, Lie Detector

 Instruments that measures and records body functions, which

are drawn onto a chart that moves through the instrument at a
measured rate.

 Principle function is as an investigative tool.


• We operated on the theory of, transference,

o We expect the perpetrator to leave something behind at the crime

scene, and take something away from it.

• Shoe prints, tire prints and other impressions can be matched beyond all
reasonable doubt by their characteristics.

• Impressions found at a crime scene can be compated with shoes, socks, tires,
tools and other objects that made those impressions to such an extent that
the criminalist can declare a match with virtual certainty.
CSI 18

o Sharp rocks, glass or other foreign objects will make their distinctive
marks on softer surfaces.

o Normal wear on these objects are unique.

• What do impressions reveal?

o Even when there are no sufficient unique characteristics and a positive

match is not possible, the impression will reveal different class
comparisons, such as:

 Approximately size and/or weight of suspect by shoe size/height

of suspect by stride pattern.

 Manufacturer by shoe or tire pattern.

 Length and width of vehicle.

• The Search

o Some impressions may be easily recognized and others not so easy.

o As with your search for fingerprints and other traces, aim a flashlight
across the surface at an oblique angle to reveal impressions.

o Cover your impressions to protect it with tape, cones, or numbered


• Photographing Impression

o In order to obtain maximum contrast, take all of your photos in black-

and-white film.

 Place camera on tripod directly over impression.

• This is crucial to avoid distortion of the image when the

photograph is produced in the darkroom.

o Place an L-shaped ruler next to the impression so that it measures

both the length and width of the impression.

• Making the case

o Before casting any impression, lightly mist over the entire surface with
hair spray. This will help to keep the fine detail of impression from
being damaged during casting process.
CSI 19

o Use Plaster of Paris tends to be very fragile a better substance to use is


o Plaster of Paris

 You will need rubber bowl, water, and spatula for mixing.
Reinforcing materials.

 With wood or corrugated-box material, build a frame around the

impression to be cast. Spray the surface with light cooking
spray. Let it harden.

o Water filled impressions

 If impression is in a puddle of water you cannot drain, or if it is in


 Build a frame around impression and sift dry plaster impression

until water is absorbed.

• Lightly cover impression with talcum or baby powder to

help soal ip moisture.

o Casting tool marks and small impressions

 Use silicone rubber, latex rubber, moulage, or one of the

compounds that dentists use for making impressions for

 Build a frame around the impression, hold mix in and around

impression until it dries and remove.

 If impression is on door or window frame, remove door frame if


o Each tool is unique. Metals used for most tools come in different
degrees of hardness.

o Stress and wear eventually cause weakness in all tools and the tools
develop cracks, stress fractures and degeneration from use, time and
the elements.

o Whenever two objects come together by pounding, cutting and

scraping, prying or rubbing, they mark each strike other one way or
CSI 20

o Tools such as hammers and mallets make impressions on the objects

they strike.

o Tools such as screw drivers make impressions on wooden doors and

window frames.


• Fingerprints have been, and will continue to be one of the best forms of
identification available to a police investigation.

o Everyone has fingerprints and footprints with friction ridges.

o No two individuals in the world have ever been found to have the same

o Identical twins may have the same DNA but do NOT have the same

• In order to collect and preserve fingerprints efficiently for the expert in the
laboratory, you do not have to be able to analyze and compare prints.

• The skin on the surfaces on the hands and feet is quite different from the skin
on the rest of the body. It consists of raised portions of skin known as friction

• The skin is an organ of the body that consists of two layers. The top or outer
layer of skin is called the epidermis and contains the friction ridges.

• The dermis is beneath the epidermis and is joined together by dermal


• Sweat glands and ducts secrete sweat through the pores of the skin and
clings to the friction ridges. Sweat consists of water, salts, and oils.

• When you touch an object, fingerprints are transferred onto the surface with
the sweat and other materials in the pattern of the ridges.

• Types of prints:

o Latent prints
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 Prints left on a surface that is invisible to the naked eye.

 The prints must be made visible with the aid of chemicals,

powders or infrared lighting.

o Patent prints

 Prints that are visible to the naked eye.

o Plastic prints

 This print is three-dimensional and the individual has touched

some type of pliable substance such as wax, chocolate, or

o Inked prints

 Made by applying a thin later of black printer’s ink.

• Types of print patterns

o Loop pattern

 Most common pattern

o Whorl pattern

 Second most common pattern

o Arch pattern

 Least common print pattern.

• To understand what makes an individual’s fingerprint pattern unique, the

examiner looks at the individual characteristics formed by the friction ridges.
These are also known as points of identification.

• The examiner forms an opinion as to whether the points were made by the
same person.

• If you come across a scene that is completely devoid of prints, you may have
a scene that has been carefully wiped clean of all prints to hide identity of

• When searching for prints, be aware of palm and footprints.

• Before processing any surface for latent prints, carefully examine the surface
to determine which method you will use to lift the prints.
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o Porous items such as paper or cardboard can be better processed at

the lab using chemical fuming.

 Iodine fuming or Ninhydrin fuming are chemical fuming


 Superglue

11- documenting the scene