ON THE COVER: The formulation of a clear and explicit strategy in casework can improve an agency's ability to both recover physical evidence and ensure relevant forensic testing is completed. Photo by Erick Bryant, Crime Scene Analyst, Colorado Bureau of Investigation



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GCC Forensics Exhibition & Conference Announces Agenda

GCC Forensics Conference & Exhibition is the must attend event for the entire forensic sector in the Middle East.The Conference Agenda for the 3rd edition of the GCC Forensics Conference, organized by Clarion Events, has been released. Following the unprecedented success of the first two editions of the event, there was an overwhelming response to the Call for Abstracts and the agenda is packed full of first-rate speakers from around the world.

Upcoming Conference: GCC Forensics Conference and Exhibition

GCC Forensics Conference & Exhibition is the must attend event for the entire forensic sector in the Middle East.

Tool Kit: Digital Evidence

Here's a few items for your digital evidence tool kit.

Entomological Alteration of Bloodstain Evidence

INSECT ARTIFACTS ARE A RESULT of insect activity after the blood from a violent event has been exposed to the environment. It is important to realize necrophagous flies (Diptera) and other arthropods can produce stains and artifacts as a result of feeding on various types of fluids originating from the human body at the crime scene, including blood as well as semen, vaginal fluid, saliva, and decomposition fluids (Benecke & Barksdale 2003; Rivers & Geiman 2017; Rivers & McGregor 2018). These different fluids can yield stains and artifacts varying widely in terms of their shape, color, and size (Fujikawa et al. 2011; Durdle et al. 2013). Any insect or arthropod may leave blood tracks of a diminutive nature simply by walking through wet blood and tracking it onto a nearby surface (Figure 1). In the case of flies, the most common artifact is in the form of regurgitated or defecated blood, and this common pattern is known as fly specks (Figure 2). Fleas (Siphonaptera) can also be responsible for defecating partially digested blood that originated from the victim or others who were present at the scene. Characteristics such as size, shape, and pattern are used by bloodstain analysts to distinguish insect artifacts from legitimate or unaltered blood spatter (Bevel & Gardner 2008).

Maximizing Forensic Science Capabilities in Criminal Investigations

THE USE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE to support criminal investigations is widely recognized. Probably due to mass media and entertainment exposure, it seems that just about everyone understands that scientific analysis of physical evidence is used to bolster criminal investigations. Research and practitioner observations clearly illustrate that investigations with physical evidence and supporting forensic examinations are more often solved and fare better once in the judicial system. With this in mind, it would seem reasonable to believe that most investigations result in the recovery and forensic testing of physical evidence. The reality, however, paints a different picture.

Expert Q&A: Jason H. Byrd & Jeffery K. Tomberlin

An interview with Jason H. Byrd and Jeffery K. Tomberlin, editors of Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations, Third Edition.

Planning and Positioning of the 3D Laser Scanner

WHEN AN AGENCY DECIDES to enter the world of 3D laser scanning to document crime scenes, they often struggle with remembering the best techniques and practices that are available to them. When it comes to training, there is never enough time in the day. We are often multi-tasking to meet the demands required of the complex task of crime scene processing, and that creates a struggle to keep up with the latest developments. Technology is continually advancing and, although it is beneficial to us, it is sometimes a challenge to keep up to date with our skills. This article is a compilation of the best techniques available to the crime scene investigator for documenting crime scenes in the 3D world of laser scanning.

NIBIN Policies and Procedures for the Property Room

THE DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE of the International Association of Property and Evidence (IAPE) Professional Standards discusses the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and the importance of addressing NIBIN recommendations when writing retention policies in your property room. If you are tasked with the management and upkeep of a property room, there are several questions you should ask yourself before considering NIBIN:

1) Do you have evidence or found-property firearms in your property room?

2) Do you have fired cartridge cases in your property room that have been submitted as evidence or found property?

3) Are any of these items collecting dust on your shelves?

4) Are you destroying firearms without test-firing them?

The Role of the Forensic Nurse Expert

PROFESSIONALS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ARENA may be familiar with the role and practice of the legal nurse consultant (LNC). The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants defines legal nurse consulting as the analysis and evaluation of facts and testimony and rendering an opinion related to nursing care and practice and its outcomes (AALNC, 2019). The LNC generally works behind the scenes in a variety of malpractice and negligent death cases and does not usually testify in court. The LNC can work to assist the attorney in understanding medical technology, medical terminology, procedures, treatments and other healthcare related topics.

Grappling with the Opioid Epidemic

A GROUP OF MORE THAN 45 EXPERTS convened in Washington, DC July 18-19, 2019 to present the latest information on the ongoing threats from opioids and other emerging drugs. Hosted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum focused on forensic, public safety, and health responses to the epidemic.

Don't Miss the World's Largest Meeting for DNA Forensics

DNA typing was in its infancy, RFLP was state of the art and the world-wide web was years in the future when the first International Symposium on Human Identification was held in 1989. Thirty years later both forensic science and ISHI have progressed in ways that would have seemed unlikely three decades ago.

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.


Interview with an Expert

One of the more specialized areas of crime-scene investigation has to do with searching for evidence of arson. To get some background in this area, we spoke with an individual who has had more than 46 years in fire service, 24 of which have focused specifically on fire/arson investigation.