Crime Scene Forensics: A Scientific Method Approach

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ISBN 9781439859957
Cat# K12738



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ISBN 9781439859964
Cat# KE12943



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    • Combines the essential components of theory and practice for firm comprehension of crime scene forensics
    • Examines the complete range of evidence found at a crime scene
    • Describes techniques for preserving the scene
    • Presents workshops to simulate actual tasks at a crime scene
    • Includes more than 200 color illustrations

    Instructor’s manual with mock crime scene examples, learning points, test banks, and a grading rubric is available with qualifying course adoption.


    Bridging the gap between practical crime scene investigation and scientific theory, Crime Scene Forensics: A Scientific Method Approach maintains that crime scene investigations are intensely intellectual exercises that marry scientific and investigative processes. Success in this field requires experience, creative thinking, logic, and the correct application of the science and the scientific method.

    Emphasizing the necessary thought processes for applying science to the investigation, this text covers:

    • The general scene investigation process, including definitions and philosophy as well as hands-on considerations
    • Archiving the crime scene through photography, sketching, and video
    • Managing the crime scene investigation—the glue that holds the investigation together
    • Searching the crime scene—the logical byproduct of archiving and management
    • Impression/pattern evidence, including fingerprints, bloodstains, footwear impressions, and tire track impressions
    • The biological crime scene and recognizing, collecting, and preserving biological evidence, including forensic entomology and evidence found at bioweapon scenes
    • The fundamental principles of evidence as expressed by the Principle of Divisible Matter and the Locard Exchange Principle: every touch leaves a trace
    • Trace evidence, including glass, paint, and soil
    • Shooting incident scenes, with discussion of bullet paths and gunshot residue

    The final section examines fire scenes, quality assurance issues, and methods for collecting and preserving various evidence types not covered in other chapters.

    The delicate balance among logic, science, and investigative activity must be understood in order to successfully work a crime scene. Enhanced by more than 200 color images, this volume provides investigators and students with the tools to grasp these critical concepts, paving an expeditious path to the truth.

    Table of Contents

    The Philosophy and Essentials of Crime Scene Forensics
    Crime Scene Forensics: Philosophy, Practice, and Teaching
    The Scientific Method, Bias, and Reasoning
    Management Basics: The Investigative Glue
    The Fundamental Principles of Evidence
    Searching the Scene: Logic in Action
    Forensic Archiving: Today’s Eye for the Future
    The Principles of Forensic Photography
    The Paper Trail: Case Files, Worksheets, Notes, and Sketches
    Videography: The Forensic Documentary
    Impression Evidence: Patterns of Identity
    Fingerprints: The Intellectual Ingredients
    Fingerprints II: On-Scene Considerations
    Pattern Evidence I: Footwear Impressions
    Pattern Evidence II: Vehicle-Involved Scenes
    The Biological Crime Scene
    The Biological Crime Scene: It’s Not Just About DN A
    Introduction to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: The Basics
    Mass Fatality Events, Bioweapons, and Microbial Forensics
    Forensic Entomology: Bugs and the Postmortem Interval
    Microscenes and Trace Evidence
    Microscenes: Hair and Fibers
    Glass: A Multitasking Class of Evidence
    Soil and Paint as Evidence
    Bang! It’s a Shooting Incident Scene
    Introducing Shooting Scene Investigations
    Vehicles as Shooting Incident Crime Scenes
    Miscellaneous Considerations and Specialized Scenes
    Fire Scenes: A Scientific Method Investigation
    Quality at the Crime Scene
    Collection and Preservation of Evidence
    Scientific and Technical Working Groups

    Author Bio(s)

    Robert C. Shaler’s research and professional interests focus on applying science and technology to crime scene investigation. His current research is related to identifying human and bacterial DNA in fingerprints and to quantifying the biological response to trauma and stress by analyzing postmortem blood and tissue. He has taught workshops to law enforcement on crime scene investigation, crime scene reconstruction, and bloodstain pattern analysis. He is the recipient of a U.S. patent for a novel method for developing fingerprints, a continuing project for which he recently received funding from the National Institute of Justice. He is the author of over 40 publications and chapters in four books.