ON THE COVER: There are a few simple guidelines to help the fingerprint examiner prepare to present a case in court. Read more in the current issue of ETM.



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Woman Identified Through Genetic Genealogy After Almost 55 Years

January 20, 2021—A young woman’s identity was brought to light this week, almost 55 years after she was found drowned in Pecos, Texas motel swimming pool. The case came together through DNA technology, genetic genealogy, community support, and teamwork.

Tool Kit: Narcotics

Here's a few items to help with narcotics detection and destruction.

K9 Chemistry: A Safer Way to Train Detection Dogs

TRAINED DOGS are incredible chemical sensors, far better at detecting explosives, narcotics and other substances than even the most advanced technological device. But one challenge is that dogs have to be trained—and training them with real hazardous substances can be inconvenient and dangerous.

Photo Documentation of Abuse: Key Considerations

IT IS A DIFFICULT PART OF THE PROCESS of serving an abused child: documenting the evidence of abuse to ensure justice for the victim. That’s why the National Children’s Alliance’s (NCA) latest edition of its Standards for Accredited Members mandates that to achieve this high level of practice in serving children, Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) must collect “diagnostic-quality photographic documentation” of exam findings, and protect, store, and release these images in a secure, sensitive way.

DNA Profile Interpretation & Probabilistic Genotyping Software

ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING TASKS for today’s forensic scientists is the interpretation of low-level, degraded, or mixed DNA profiles from evidentiary material.

Can You Own a Person?

CONSIDER THIS CASE STUDY: A 27-year-old female presents as a trauma activation after being found unresponsive in the stairwell of a casino. She has extensive swelling and bruising to her face and an obvious deformity to her lower leg. Upon arrival to the trauma center, she is examined by the trauma team and her belongings, which included multiple cell phones, are bagged up to be transported with the patient upon disposition. Aside from the medical management of this patient, do you have any other concerns about her? Without any additional information, is this something that is reportable in your current jurisdiction? Would you be concerned about allowing visitors to see this patient?

In Retrospect: Through the Lens of Time

AT 9:15 P.M. ON AUGUST 6, 1930, New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Force Crater was seen in midtown Manhattan near the intersection of 8th Avenue and West 45th Street. Then, the judge disappeared forever. On the west coast, in Hollywood, California, in 1922, film director William Desmond Taylor was found dead, shot in the back in his own home, yet no one was ever charged for his murder.

Court Preparation and Presentation of Fingerprints

EVERY FINGERPRINT EXAMINER may be called on to testify about the identification or nonidentification of a fingerprint. This process, while sometimes daunting, may be undertaken as a professional through practice and persistence. Like anything else in life, the inexperienced examiner may be intimidated initially by the setting of the courtroom and all of the court attaché. As one becomes more experienced and comfortable, the process of presenting a case in court becomes more manageable. As a witness, the fingerprint examiner will be called on to testify as an expert. The judge will grant expert status based on the knowledge, training, and experience of the fingerprint examiner. The following are guidelines that the examiner may practice and use to present a case.

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.

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.


Crime Scene Revisited

Faces of the victims recovered from the scene of a genocide.