ON THE COVER: What happens when crime scene evidence taken from biohazardous conditions is taken back to the digital forensic lab for processing? Read more in the current issue of ETM.



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Shots Fired: When a Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words

WE HAVE ALL HEARD THAT SAYING: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the field of forensic video and image analysis, that adage is certainly applicable. The increase in storage space, speed of processors, and improved technology has resulted in an increase in quality video in many of our law enforcement investigations, including 4K-resolution footage. The quality of images produced from this evidence can often solve cases that would have been useless in the past. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth tens of thousands… unless it is the video of a shooting.

Determining Forensic Significance

LET’S SAY THAT SOMEONE ON A HIKE finds a bone and brings it to a police officer. Perhaps not long before, a jogger went missing in the same area, and everyone is on heightened alert to look for the remains and body. Any bones found in the vicinity may be collected and are assumed to belong to the missing.

Tool Kit

Check into Tool Kit to find products and services for the crime scene, forensic lab, and beyond.

Dealing with Contaminated Digital Devices

Could evidence collected on crime scenes be biohazardous to the teams processing the evidence?

Alternate Light Source Technology in the Detection of Evidence and Injury

A VICTIM CALLS 911 with a domestic complaint involving assault and strangulation. Law enforcement personnel arrive but see no visible injury to either party and no arrest is made. The victim transports herself to a local hospital where she is discharged in stable condition, having no neck CT as no injuries were noted.

Fire Departments and Investigators Increase Use of Drone Technology

FIRE DEPARTMENTS ARE WAKING UP to the advantages of using drones to aid in their dangerous work. Drone technology and imagery offers a literal overall view at the scene of an active fire and, increasingly, in the investigation that follows. Firefighting professionals have continued to realize the important role that even consumer-level unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can play in their always-changing field.

Investigating Bodies in Submerged Vehicles

SUBMERGED VEHICLES can be present in any jurisdiction possessing waterways for a multitude of reasons. On occasion, vehicles are submerged to conceal the vehicle itself or the evidence inside. Suicidal individuals drive vehicles into lakes and rivers as a means to end their lives. In this instance, the vehicle upon recovery may have the driver contained inside (Figure 1).

Reheating Cold Cases

How investigative genetic genealogy helps law enforcement agencies find possible suspects in murders, rapes, and infanticides from many years ago.

Announcing ISHI 32: Attend In-Person or Virtually!

The 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI 32) will be held this September at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Long-time conference attendees might remember that Coronado Springs Resort played host to ISHI 10 in the way back year of 1999.

Tool Kit: Showcase for Forensic Products

Browse all 19 products in this edition of Tool Kit.


Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.