Fisher’s Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation First International Edition

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ISBN 9781439817049
Cat# K10881



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  • Updates the previous edition and focuses on international practices and procedures
  • Explores the dimensions of knowledge required by crime scene investigators to perform their jobs professionally—from basic principles to practical applications
  • Discusses all forms of evidence and all types of crime scenes
  • Includes hundreds of diagrams and color photographs of actual crime scenes
  • Contains boxed sections emphasizing salient points
  • Offers ancillary material, including PowerPoint® slides and a test bank to qualifying instructors




    Barry Fisher’s Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation has long been considered the "bible" of the crime-solving profession, drawing from the author’s 40-year career in forensic science, including his time spent as the crime laboratory director for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Now for the first time, commissioned authors working out of the United Kingdom and Denmark present Fisher’s Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation First International Edition—the latest edition of a classic volume, now oriented specifically to an international audience.

    Maintaining the same format as the U.S. editions, the book focuses on international procedures, laws, and cases. The book’s three-part structure highlights the importance of approaching the topic from three consecutive perspectives. The first is that crime scene investigation is a subdiscipline of forensic science, and thus the first section, entirely new to this edition, explores the forensic process and the basic principles and practices of crime scene investigation.

    The second perspective is that crime scene investigation is about identifying and recovering different forms of evidence, each with its own methods for identification, recovery, and analysis. To that end, the book discusses trace and impression evidence, establishing personal identity, forensic biology, and evidence associated with firearms, arson, and explosions.

    Lastly, crime scene investigation is ultimately about describing the location, modus operandi, time frame and sequence of events, identity of persons involved, and motive for different types of crime. Highlighting this focus, the final section presents chapters on the investigation of various crime scenarios, including those involving illicit drugs, sexual assault, burglary, motor vehicles, and homicide. The book closes with new appendices exploring the cutting-edge world of digital evidence.

    Enhanced with hundreds of diagrams and color photos of actual crime scenes, this volume combines time-tested procedures with an international scope to provide an essential resource for investigators in Europe, Australasia, and Canada charged with solving crimes and bringing offenders to justice.

    William Tilstone talks about the book on the CRC Press YouTube Channel.

    Table of Contents

    Forensic Science and Evidence

    From Science to Scene
    The Investigative Star in Crime Scene Investigation
    The Investigative Star
    Tactical Use of the Star
    Strategic Use of the Star
    The Forensic Process: Performance, Practice, and Procedures of Scene Investigation
    The Forensic Process
    The Forensic Process Prior to Scene Examination
    The Forensic Process at the Scene
    The Forensic Process after the Scene Examination Is Completed
    Practical Scene Investigation: The Body in the Woods
    Discovery of the Body in the Woods
    The Scene
    The Autopsy
    Identification of the Victim
    The Primary Crime Scene
    Examination of Exhibits
    Continuing the Investigation by Other Means
    Practitioner Competency, Professionalism, and Codes of Conduct
    Education, Training, and Competency
    Controlling Codes
    Best Practice
    Establishing Personal Identity
    Fingerprints and Palm Prints
    Handwriting Examination
    Identification of Human Remains
    Identification in Mass Disasters
    Trace Evidence and Miscellaneous Materials
    Sources of Trace Evidence
    Collection and Preservation of Trace Evidence
    Examples of Trace Evidence
    Forensic Biology
    Searching for Bloodstains
    Collection and Preservation of Bloodstains
    DNA Typing
    DNA Databases
    Development of Forensic DNA Techniques and Standards
    Other DNA Typing Systems
    Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA)
    Impression Evidence
    The Nature of Impression Marks
    Footwear Marks
    Marks on Clothing, Possessions, and Parts of the Body
    Tooth Marks
    Typed Documents
    Firearms Examination
    Characteristics of Firearms
    Firearms Evidence
    Firearms Databases
    Arson and Explosions
    Illicit Drugs and Toxicology
    Illicit Psychoactive Drugs
    Investigating Sexual Assault
    First Officer Attending and Clinical Examinations
    Investigation of the Scene
    Date-Rape Drugs
    Other Sexual Assaults
    A Final Word on Consent
    Burglary Investigation
    Volume Crime
    Scene Investigation
    Motor Vehicle Investigation
    Vehicle Theft and Recovery for Examination
    Abandoned Vehicles
    Murder in a Vehicle
    Hit-and-Run Investigations
    Vehicles Found Under Water
    Wheel Marks
    Homicide Investigation
    The Initial Scene
    Suicide, Murder, or Accident?
    Detailed Examination of the Scene
    Special Considerations Regarding the Discovery of Old Remains
    Estimating the Time of Death
    The Autopsy
    Serial Murders
    Digital Evidence
    Digital Devices
    Crime and Digital Evidence
    Protecting the Overall Scene
    Computer Systems
    External Storage Devices
    Peripheral Devices
    Mobile Phones
    Other Handheld Devices
    Audio and Video Recording, Storage, and Playback Devices, Including CCTV Surveillance Equipment and Digital Cameras
    Video Game Consoles
    Global Positioning Systems, Including Satellite Navigation Units

    Author Bio(s)

    William (Bill) Tilstone has a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow. He spent seven years as a lecturer in the University’s Department of Pathological Biochemistry, where his research on drug kinetics in overdose and on the biochemistry of the body’s responses to major trauma led to his introduction to forensic science. He was a lecturer in forensic science at the University of Strathclyde, also in Glasgow, where he worked for 12 years and served as a professor and head of the Forensic Science Unit for six years. While at Strathclyde, he was actively involved in casework, mainly in forensic biology for the public prosecutor and in toxicology for the defence. Bill left his academic position to become the first director of the newly established Forensic Science Centre in South Australia, a position he held until 1996, when he accepted the position of Executive Director of the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), in Florida. This history has given him a unique blend of experiences in forensic science, including practical casework, teaching, and research, as well as executive management in academia, government, and private business, covering three different countries. He has contributed more than 100 papers and reviews to the literature and two books in addition to the present work. After retiring from the NFSTC in 2007, he continues to serve as the quality manager and assessor for an American forensic accrediting body and has also maintained his academic links in Scotland.

    Michael Hastrup began his investigation career in 1984 when he was employed as a police officer with the Danish National Police. This was followed by employment as a detective inspector before joining the National Centre of Forensic Services after nine years of service. He worked as a fingerprint examiner before moving to the Scene of Crime Section in Copenhagen, where he began his career as a crime scene investigator which continued until 2010. He now works in the Quality Management Section within the National Centre of Forensic Services. Michael represents Denmark within the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), where he has been an active member of the Scene of Crime Working Group since 2005 and a member of its Steering Group since 2008. He also represents the Danish National Police in the ENFSI Quality and Competence Liaison Group (QCLG). He is the European CSI representative within the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Working Group 10, tasked with producing a globally applicable guideline for implementation of accreditation standards in the field of crime scene examination.

    Camilla Hald received a M.Sc. in social anthropology and subsidiary studies in rhetorics from the University of Copenhagen in 2002 and received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Aarhus in 2011. Her dissertation was entitled "Web without a Weaver: On the Becoming of Knowledge. A Study of Criminal Investigation in the Danish Police." Camilla has acted as a consultant for the Danish National Police and has taught criminology at the Danish Police College since 2000. She has held a tenured position with the Danish National Police Knowledge and Research Centre since 2007 and is currently employed as chief advisor in the Research and Development Unit. She is currently working primarily on epistemological and methodological issues related to crime investigation, scene investigation in particular, and is actively involved in the development of police science as a distinct discipline in Denmark and Europe. She is a member of the European Police College (CEPOL) Research and Science Working Group, an expert group tasked with promoting the use and development of research and science in police practice and education within the European Union.