CURRENT ISSUE

ON THE COVER: Vehicles are no different than a crime scene in the field, but the do have the benefit of being processed in a more controlled environment. Investigators should take advantage of this opportunity. Image from Processing Vehicles Used in Violent Crimes for Forensic Evidence by Christopher D. Duncan. Read more in the current issue of ETM.

 

 

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Getting DNA from Shell Casings

Getting DNA from spent shell casings has been a difficult, if not impossible, forensic challenge for law enforcement over the years. It was believed the heat from the firearm when a round is shot destroys the DNA. Despite this widespread belief, police continue to submit their casings to be swabbed, often getting minimal results, if any. There comes the point when you begin to think, "Why do I keep doing this when I keep getting the same results?"

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How to Collect Evidence of Domestic Violence

As many survivors unfortunately find out, abusive partners are cunning individuals who don’t just abuse the person they’re in a relationship with. They can also abuse the courts and criminal justice systems by attempting to twist the truth, blame the victim, and feign innocence after an arrest. That’s why it is vitally important that a survivor prepare for court hearings equipped with as much evidence of the abuse as possible. In this piece, we’ll outline what types of evidence a survivor can try to assemble and how to do so as safely as possible.

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Prioritizing Officer Safety in the Field as Fentanyl Fatalities Rise

Early in my career while working at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, my biggest concern was illegal production of methamphetamine and working tirelessly to shut down meth labs that continued to pop up across the state. As time passed, I joined the Clandestine Laboratory Response Unit where I’m now focused on new, emerging threats—both seen and invisible to the naked eye. The most terrifying of these is fentanyl, the highly fatal substance that can hide on surfaces and in the air in trace amounts.

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New Fingerprint Imaging System Uses AI to Detect Ridge Detail

Sponsored
Could AI-assisted ridge detection be the next big thing in fingerprint examination? Chemical reagents including ninhydrin, 1,8-diazafluoren-9-one (DFO), and 1,2-indandione are in widespread operational use in forensic labs across the globe. Here in the US, many fingerprint experts will use at least one of these processes on daily basis when searching for and revealing fingerprints on items of semi-porous evidence such as paper or card. The method is sound, and the results are consistent—the only problem being the huge amount of time that is spent post-treatment individually examining each item of evidence, diligently marking up and photographing any resulting prints.

However, all of that could be about to change thanks to the development of an exciting new fingerprint technology known as AARI.

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Tool Kit

Check out the latest products and services for use at the crime scene, laboratory, and beyond.

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Is There a Drug Problem Hiding in Your Property Room?

One of the highest-priority – and often misunderstood – items in a property room is drugs. Agencies need to develop robust policies and procedures to ensure the integrity of drug items in the property room.

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Gang Migration to Rural and Suburban Areas

Gangs are continuing to proliferate, and healthcare personnel will encounter their members and associates in a variety of settings. Subsequently, it is critically important to raise awareness, enhance forensic assessment, and maintain facility safety.

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Utilizing Medical Illustrations as Demonstrative Aids for Trial

Medical illustration is a multifaceted profession from the anatomical to cellular level, visualizing and communicating complex medical concepts. Here's how a medical illustrator can help transform complex medical information into visual images.

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Processing Vehicles for Unique Types of Evidence

Vehicles are no different than a crime scene in the field, but they do have the benefit of being processed in a more controlled environment. Investigators should take advantage of this opportunity.

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Three Days of Digital Forensics Learning at PFIC

Learning the tips and tricks of the digital forensic investigative field can be a full-time job. So there is no better opportunity than to take advantage of excellent training options with industry experts all in one location. That is where the PFIC event comes in to help.

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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.

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