WEDNESDAYSEPTEMBER 1ST, 2010Agenda and Lecture Notes
Agenda for 1 Sept 2010 Roll Call Pledge (Weather Permitting) Current Events Birthday List!!! AM session only Discussion-JonBenet Ramsey: Who did it? Lecture: Physical Evidence and theCrime Scene Vocabulary/Spelling word of the Day Reminder: Tomorrow is PANTS day, bringmoney if you want to purchase through theuniform company. ~ $38.00 cash or creditcard. NO checks.
JonBenet Ramsey: Who did it? Discussion: What mistakes were madeduring the initial response to the sceneas well as during the subsequentinvestigation? How did these mistakes sabotage anychances of JonBenet’s killer ever beingbrought to justice?
Physical Evidence and theCrime Scene –Chapter 2 As automobiles run on gasoline, crimelaboratories run on PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.Physical evidence encompasses any and allobjects that can establish that a crime has orhas not been committed or can link a crimeand its victim or its perpetrator. If physical evidence is to be used effectively,its presence first must be recognized at thecrime scene.
Physical Evidence Physical evidence achieves itsoptimum value in criminalinvestigations only when itscollection is performed with aselectivity governed by thecollector’s thorough knowledge ofthe crime laboratory’s techniques,capabilities, and limitations. Investigators must use bothknowledge and discretion incollection of evidence – if everynatural and man-made objectwere collected from a scene, theenormous amount of materialwould immobilize a crimelaboratory.
Physical Evidence and theCrime Scene Thorough and competentinvestigations conducted byprofessional police officers whenpartnered with the crime lab’scapabilities will enhance thechances for a successful criminalinvestigation. Forensic science is, and willcontinue to be, an importantelement of the total investigativeprocess, but it is only one aspectof an endeavor that must be ateam effort. The investigatorwho believes the crimelaboratory to be a solution forcarelessness or ineptness is infor a rude awakening.
Physical Evidence and theCrime Scene Forensic Science begins at the crimescene. If the investigator cannotrecognize physical evidence orcannot properly preserve it forlaboratory examination, no amountof sophisticated laboratoryinstrumentation or technicalexpertise can salvage the situation.Not all crime scenes require retrievalof physical evidence, but once thecommitment is made to process acrime scene for physical evidence,certain fundamental practices mustbe followed.
Preserving and Recording theCrime Scene In order to be useful to investigators,evidence at a crime scene must bepreserved and recorded in its originalcondition as much as possible. Failureto protect a crime scene properly orrecord its details accurately may resultin the destruction or alteration ofevidence, or hinder the search for theperpetrator by misleading investigatorsabout the facts of the incident.
Secure and Isolate the CrimeScene The first officer arriving onthe scene of a crime mustpreserve and protect thearea as much as possible.Of course, priority should begiven to obtaining medicalassistance for individuals inneed of it and to arrestingthe perpetrator. As soon aspossible, extensive effortsmust be made to exclude allunauthorized personnel fromthe scene. As additionalofficers arrive, measures areimmediately taken to isolateand protect the scene.
Secure and Isolate the CrimeScene Ropes or barricades along with strategic positioning ofguards will prevent unauthorized access to the area. Determine the crime scene boundaries. This can beestablished after determining the perpetrator’s path of entryand exit. The obvious items of crime scene evidence must bedocumented and photographed before the initial walkthrough. After the obvious evidence has been documented, then awalk-through of the scene to gain a better overview of thesituation can be performed. Only KEY personnel should beincluded in the walk through. During the walk through a strategy for systematicallyexamining and documenting the entire crime scene can bedevoloped, while preserving the integrity of the evidence.
Record the Scene Photograph – The most importantprerequisite for photographing a crimescene is that it be unaltered. THE GOLDEN RULE: Do not touch,move or alter any evidentiary itemuntil you document the scene!
Record the Scene Photography – Unless injured people areinvolved, objects must not be moved untilthey have been photographed from allnecessary angles. If objects are removed,positions changed, or items added*, thephotographs may not be admissible asevidence at a trial. * (There will be times when things AREadded to a scene, for example, things leftbehind by the ambulance crew.)
Record the Scene If evidence has been removed or moved beforephotographing, the fact should be noted in thereport, but the evidence should NOT bereintroduced into the scene in order to takephotographs. A general rule to remember is that you cannottake too many photographs. Photographs thatare not necessary simply will not be used.Sometimes certain photographs are taken simplyto jog the investigators memory later when theyare writing their report.
Record the Scene Each crime scene should be photographedas completely as possible. Photographs should be taken of the areaimmediately surrounding the crime scene andalso of adjacent areas. This is where importantacts occurred immediately before and after thecommission of the crime. Overview photographs of the entire scene andpoints of entry and exit must be taken fromvarious angles. If the crime occurred in a house, photographs ofevery room must be taken in a similar fashion.
Record the Scene If the crime scene includes a dead body,photographs must be taken to show it’s position andlocation relative to the entire scene. Close up photographs of injuries and weapons lyingnear the body are extremely important. Althoughphotographs will be taken of the body by thecoroner’s office, it is crucial that photographs betaken of the injuries while the body is still at thescene. However, do NOT move the body in order totake photographs of injuries! The body should notbe moved by ANYBODY except investigators fromthe coroner’s office!
Record the Scene After the body is removed from the scene, thesurface underneath the body should bephotographed. As items of physical evidence are discovered, theyare photographed to show their position andlocation relative to the entire scene. After theseoverviews are taken, close-ups should be takenfrom several distances to record the details of theobject itself. If the size of an item is significant, such as abullet hole, a ruler or other measuring scale maybe inserted near the object and included in thephotograph as a point of reference. Be sure thatthe rule that you use can be submitted asevidence!
Record the SceneVideotaping: The same methods should be used forvideotaping that are used for still photography.Crime Scene SketchesOnce photographs have been taken, the crime CSImust sketch the scene. The first sketch, the onedone while at the scene, is the rough sketch.The rough sketch must contain an accuratedepiction of the dimensions of the scene andshow the location of all objects having a bearingon the case.
Record the Scene Objects are located in the sketch bydistance measurements from two fixedpoints. Each item in the sketch should beidentified with a number or a letter. A legend should correlate the letter tothe items description. Every sketch should include a compassheading designating north.
Record the Scene The Finished Sketch The finished sketch is completed with careand concern for aesthetic appearance. The finished sketch must include andreflect all information contained within therough sketch in order to be admissible incourt.
Record the Scene Rough-sketch diagram ofa crime scene. CourtesySirchie Finger PrintLaboratories, Inc.,Youngsville, N.C.,www.sirchie.com.
Record the SceneFinished-sketchdiagram of a crimescene. CourtesySirchie FingerPrint Laboratories,Inc., Youngsville,N.C.,www.sirchie.com.
Record the SceneFinished sketchcompleted withcomputer aideddrafting (CAD)software.
Record the SceneA diagramcompletedwith 3-Dsoftware.
Record the Scene Notes Note taking must be a constantactivity throughout the processing of thecrime scene. The notes may be the only source ofinformation to refresh memory. The notesmust be sufficiently detailed to meet thisneed. Tape-recording notes at a scene can beadvantageous – detailed notes can be tapedmuch faster than they can be written.
Quick Review Physical Evidence includes any and all objectsthat can establish that a crime has beencommitted or can link the crime and its victim orperpetrator. Forensic Science begins at the crime scene,where investigators must recognize and properlypreserve evidence for laboratory examination. The first officer to arrive must secure the crimescene. Investigators record the crime scene by usingphotographs, sketches, and notes and makepreliminary examination of the scene as theperpetrator left it.
Spelling/Vocabulary Word ofthe DayRigor Mortis