ON THE COVER: Piecing together fragmented evidence, such as pieces of burnt bone, can be made easier with the use of 3D imaging and printing technology. Read more in the current issue of ETM.



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UW-Platteville Criminal Justice Program Recognized as Top in Country

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's reputation as a leader in distance education has been recognized again, as Online School Report noted the criminal justice program as one of the Best Online Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice in the country.

In Memoriam: Gary E. Gulick

On September 27, 2020, Evidence Technology Magazine co-founder Gary Gulick—my business partner, mentor, friend… my dad—passed away at his home in Kearney, Missouri at the age of 82. In the intervening weeks, I have written his obituary for the local papers, looked through old photos, laughed, and cried. And now I am attempting to write one last tribute in the pages of this magazine, the creation that brought him a sense of immense pride.

Crime Scene Reconstruction: Beginning the Process

THIRTY YEARS AGO, when I began my career in the forensic field, I often wondered how the senior crime scene investigators were able to construct such complicated and sizable cases in a way that seemed so methodically seamless. The enormous amount of evidence and information was neatly compartmentalized and flowed effortlessly as the cases were presented in court. As my career as a CSI progressed and my education, training, and experience expanded, I learned that my early mentors were using a systematic and methodical process that I would later come to know as Crime Scene Reconstruction.

Hemp or Marijuana?

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST) has launched a program to help laboratories accurately measure THC and other compounds in cannabis products, including hemp and marijuana. The program aims to increase accuracy in product labeling and help forensic laboratories distinguish between hemp, which is legal in all states, and marijuana, which is not.

Tool Kit: PPE & Safety

Here's a few items to help with personal protection and safety.

Product Review: Crime Scene Assistant

DEVELOPED BY EXPERIENCED crime scene investigators, Crime Scene Assistant is a smartphone app developed to be a pocket quick-reference guide for first responders to help maintain the integrity of a crime scene. According to the developers, “The app is a concept that has been brought to life as a result of personal field experience, and an acknowledgement that forensic awareness on the frontline is imperative.”

Photo Documentation and the Medical-Forensic Examination

ANYONE WHO REMEMBERS watching the movie My Cousin Vinny (Lynn 1992) knows how a photograph might provide definitive findings during a trial. In the film, an inexperienced attorney, Vincent “Vinny” Gambini travels to a small southern town with his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito, to represent his cousin in a murder case. Mona Lisa’s continuous picture taking of the surroundings of the community with an inexpensive pocket camera causes frustration throughout the film, but eventually produces a photo that holds the key to the murder case.

An Introduction to Household Dust

THE AUTHORS' HYPOTHESIS, “that the combination of animal, mineral, vegetable, and synthetic materials within any given household dust specimen, in combination with the DNA of its living inhabitants and visiting individuals, offers to the forensic scientist a formidable cocktail of irrefutable, scientifically sound data which is unique to any single location, and thus can be used to unequivocally identify any site on this planet,” is the underpinning for their work. The authors offer this chapter toward proving their thesis.

3D Imaging and Printing Helps Piece Together Fragmented Evidence

IN FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS, it is not uncommon to come across fragmented evidence—be it glass, plastic, or any other material that has been subjected to some degree of force. These broken fragments are put through a physical fit test, where they are manually pieced together. If the pieces fit neatly together, then we can assume that those fragments originated from the same object. This may sound straightforward, but manually handling the fragments of evidence is not always that simple. This is especially true when confronted with burnt human remains.

New Trends in Today's World of Evidence Management

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES maintain an extensive inventory of crime scene evidence. The proper tagging, labeling, and marking of evidence provides a chain of custody to support the claim of evidence presented in court is the same evidence that was collected at a crime scene. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can facilitate, standardize, and automate inventory for law enforcement evidence management.


Forensic Podiatry (Part Two of Two)

THE DISCIPLINE of forensic podiatry—or, in other words, the examination of pedal evidence—has progressed significantly over the past ten years. It is no longer a question of “What can you do with a footprint?” but rather, “Who can we use to evaluate the footprint?” Cases involving pedal evidence, especially bloody footprints and issues of determining shoe sizing or fit issues compared to questioned footwear, have become more common over the past two or three years.