ON THE COVER: Best practices for collecting evidence from sexual assault cases.



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Cataloging an Early American: A Question of Ancestry

A SKELETON WAS UNCOVERED during construction of a chimney in the town of Guilford, Connecticut in 1952 by the late Stanley Barnes (Figure 1). Based on personal communication, the human remains were found in a fetal position on a bed of shells, and the land owner believed the skeleton to be a Native American. After examination, two main issues seemed to be at odds with this conclusion. The first was the condition of the teeth. Normally, Native Americans are known to have good dental hygiene due to a non-sugary diet (Smith, 1984), but this individual’s oral cavity was in poor condition with obvious cavities in multiple teeth. The second issue was no associated artifacts or clothing were recovered from the burial site. However, due to the friable condition of the bones it is believed that the skeleton was extremely old and potentially Native American or early Colonial, and personal effects may have deteriorated at the burial site even if originally present. In this study, it was confirmed that the skeleton was female, and was likely young (aged 12-25 years) because of the undeveloped wisdom teeth.

Digital Evidence Management

This is a book excerpt from Implementing Digital Forensic Readiness: From Reactive to Proactive Process (2nd Ed.)

EVIDENCE IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT of every digital forensic investigation. Whether it is physical or digital, the methodologies and techniques used to gather, process, and handle evidence ultimately affect its meaningfulness, relevancy, and admissibility. Appropriate safeguards must exist throughout the investigative work to provide assurance that the lifecycle of evidence is forensically sound.

Collecting Evidence from Sexual Assault Cases

BEST PRACTICES have been identified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Working Group (SAFER) to assist jurisdictions and organizations working with evidence from sexual assault cases. These guidelines are intended to assist in the development of standardized practices for evidence collection, tracking, storage, submission, and analysis.

Angular Correction of Forensic Photographs

IT HAS LONG BEEN STRESSED that forensic photographers take close-up evidence photos with a scale perpendicular to the object or surface. The reason for that emphasis is that you may need to make precise measurements either of the object itself or the object in relation to something nearby. You rarely remember to take every necessary measurement while processing an active crime scene. The ability to take critical measurements from your photographs after the fact is highly valuable insurance. When the camera-to-subject angle is not perpendicular, the effects of perspective come into play. Edges are no longer parallel. Squares do not have four 90° corners, they become trapezoidal in shape. The following information is presented to allow you to confirm your photographs are perpendicular to the image plane. If the photographs are not at right angles, we explain here how to modify them.

Product Review: Full Spectrum Imaging System

TOO MANY TIMES WHEN PROCESSING EVIDENCE, we crime scene investigators come to a fork in the road and ask ourselves: Do we process for DNA, or do we process for latent prints? Once we contemplate which process would be best, we hope that we made the most logical decision for catching our suspect.

Tool Kit: Aerial Imagery

Here are a few tools and services for capturing aerial imagery.

Forensic Conference Returns to Abu Dhabi in October 2018

The 2nd edition of GCC Forensics Exhibition and Conference will take place October 30-31, 2018, at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Following a successful event launch last year with over 900 delegates in attendance, the Middle East’s must-attend forensic science event returns with an extended floorplan in a bigger venue. Under the directive of our event Chairman and Director of the Abu Dhabi Police Forensic Department, Brigadier General Abdulrahman Al Hammadi, this year’s exhibition and conference will focus on emerging technology trends for the sector including artificial intelligence, future foresight, and innovation.

Four Ways to Recover DVR Video Evidence

One of the best resources available to you at a crime scene is the video footage found within nearby surveillance cameras. Whether you are a Crime Scene Investigator, a Detective, or a Digital Forensics Specialist… knowing how to properly and safely recover video evidence from DVR surveillance is vital to the success of your investigation. There are four main ways to recover DVR surveillance footage, both on-scene and back in your crime lab.

Is Your Laboratory Looking for a 3D Imaging System for Cartridges and Bullets?

The Evofinder® Automated Ballistic Identifications system provides a unique solution for 3D imaging of both bullets and cartridge cases with a high degree of accuracy and speed as well as providing automatic correlations with statistical analysis. The Evofinder® system is uniquely capable in its ability to capture both pristine and deformed evidence in 3D, quickly and accurately.

Forensic Nursing Science and Practice Conference to be Held in October

Join nurses, researchers, educators, legal professionals, and multidisciplinary partners as they share their knowledge and expertise through cutting-edge presentations at the International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice - October 24-27 2018 in Reno NV.


Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.