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.

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.

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.

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New Books

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Most forensic disciplines attempt to determine the “who” of a crime. But bloodstain pattern analysis focuses on the “what happened” part of a crime. This book is the third edition of Blood-stain Pattern Analysis. The authors explore the topic in depth, explaining what it is, how it is used, and the practical methodologies that are employed to achieve defensible results. It offers practical, common-sense advice and tips for both novices and professionals.