Editorial: It's Been There the Whole Time...

Sometimes a theme emerges from our story lineup. It is not always intentional or expected. But when I finish up the production process, I look through the book—and I see it. The theme was sitting there the whole time… I just didn’t find it right away.

As it happens, that is the theme I detected when I reviewed this issue: How to use new techniques to find things you couldn’t see before. For example:

  • On Page 20, Michael Stapleton and Kourosh Nikoui provide an independent review of a new product that offers a simplified, streamlined method of making latent print impressions on paper visible using heat and forensic light source.
  • On Page 25, Dr. Austin Richards and Rachel Leintz discuss UV imaging and—more specifically—longwave UV imaging in real time, allowing you to more easily find patent shoe prints, blood, or even re-painted vehicle damage that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
  • On Page 30, cold-case research expert Silvia Pettem explains how utilizing the media can help investigators find people and bits of information that, of course, always existed… except the people who had the information were not aware that someone wanted to know.
  • Finally (and please forgive me for making this leap), there is the promotion in this issue’s Digital Edition. If you are reading this editorial in the print edition, there is a good chance you have yet to venture online to view our Digital Edition. It has been around since 2008, but maybe you just haven’t found it yet. Well, we are working to make sure that even if you love your print edition, you will check in on the Digital Edition from time to time. We are including exclusive articles (specially formatted for easy online reading), unique video, and—in the July-August 2012 issue—we’re giving you the chance to sign up to win a pretty nifty prize. Just look to the left of this page to learn more. That same page in the Digital Edition contains a form where you need to go to enter the sweepstakes.

We have been working to make our “portable, sharable, saveable” Digital Edition better than ever. So…I hope you find it.

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Evidence Technology Magazine

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Lifting Latent Fingerprints from Difficult Surfaces

ALMOST ANYONE can find, process, and lift a latent print that happens to be in a logical and obvious place like a door handle, a beer can, or a butcher knife. But sometimes, a latent print is not just sitting there in a logical and obvious place. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination to find the print and your skills to lift it.