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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, May 17, 2004

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.

Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Police Fingerprint Bit-Off Finger To Find Jaguar's Victim NEW MEXICO CHANNEL.COM - May 14, 2004 ...a man has been banned from an Albuquerque Zoo after he stuck his finger into the jaguar's cage and the big cat bit it off...

Police Trained to Use Fingerprint Device   OREGONIAN, OR  - May 13, 2004 ...device captures fingerprints at the scene and remotely transmit them to a database...

Giving The Feds The Finger IDG NEWS SERVICE, US  - May 13, 2004 ...IAFIS was created to improve the speed and accuracy of fingerprint identification...

Spain Unsure About Fingerprint Origin STATESMAN JOURNAL, OR  - May 9, 2004 ...Spanish investigators have doubts that the print found on a plastic bag linked to the Spain bombing is that of Oregon lawyer…



From the IAI Monthly Update, by Joe Polski:

2004 St. Louis Conference

The 2004 Conference Program is now available on the IAI’s website, (  Registration however, will not be available until approximately the middle of May.  The conference registration booklet is currently at the printer and will be going in the mail within the next week.  I will send an announcement by e-mail to everyone on this Monthly Update e-mail list when registration is open.  This year we will launch a new registration feature to allow conference registration via the IAI’s website using any major credit card.  In addition a registration form will be available for down load from the site and is also included in the registration booklet.

Attention Division Secretaries – Conference Exhibit Space

If your division is interested in obtaining space at the St. Louis Conference to display your division wares or activities please contact IAI Conference Planner, Ann Punter by e-mail at or by phone at (909) 481-3308.  Ann will arrange table space for you.

Crime Scene Certification Testing

Due to a variety of circumstances, the testing phase of the Crime Scene Certification Program is now being handled from the IAI Office rather than by the Certification Board Secretary.  There have been a few glitches in the process as the handoff from the Board Secretary to the IAI Office took place but we are hopeful that most of those have been ironed out.  Day to day matters of the Crime Scene Certification Program are handled by Molly in my office so don’t hesitate to contact her with specific questions about applications, tests etc.  You can reach her by phone at (651) 681-8566 or by e-mail at

Former Board Secretary Kathy Saviers has resigned from the Crime Scene Certification Board as did member Karen Hare.  President Johnson and Board Chair Dennis Honeycutt are in the process of identifying two new board members and also selecting a new board secretary.  Anyone interested in serving on the Crime Scene Certification Board is asked to contact Board Chair Dennis Honeycutt at (252) 756-4755 or by e-mail at or contact this office.  Please note that in order to serve on this board, you must possess a current crime scene certification.

180 Day Study

A great big thank you to all who responded to the survey sent from this office a few weeks ago.  We received approximately 85 responses, a number quite remarkable considering the short time frame to respond.  The IAI’s response to the 180 Day Study has now been completed and forwarded to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  Committee Member Mike Campbell drove to this office from Milwaukee a few weeks ago to assist in compiling that 180 Day Study.  We thank Mike for his commitment of time and talent to this effort.

On May 18th and 19th, NIJ is hosting a Summit Meeting in Washington, DC that will bring together the committee members from each of the four participating organizations (IAI, AAFS, NAME and ASCLD) to present their findings and work to meld the individual reports into one.  The report will then be forwarded to the Senate Appropriations Committee who made the original request for the study. 

Unfortunately, NIJ did not provide any financial assistance for this study.  Such assistance would have been immensely helpful and would have allowed a more scientific analysis of data and more thorough research and analysis of existing data.  Our report is based on the information provided to us by the respondents to the survey as well as thoughts of the IAI’s committee members. 

After the report is presented at the Summit Meeting, we will make it available to any interested parties. 

The preparation of this report has been an all consuming task for the past several weeks.  I can truly say I’m happy this is completed.

FBI Advisory Policy Board (APB), Identification Services Sub-Committee (ISS)

Steve Nash, the IAI’s representative to the above committee recently attend an ISS meeting during which several matters dealing with fingerprint identification were discussed.  Image capture and retention resolutions and US-VIST fingerprint identification programs were also discussed.  After the full APB has a chance to discuss these issues at its meeting next month, we will provide more information.

In a related area, the IAI was asked by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to name a person to serve on a committee to oversee NIJ’s efforts to create a research solicitation (bid) dealing with equipment to potentially interface IAFIS with the needs of the US-VIST program.  President Jan Johnson appointed Peter Komarinski, Chair of the AFIS Committee, to this position.  We look forward to hearing from Peter as this project moves along.


From Christophe Champod, University of Lessaune, Swizerland

Dear Colleagues,

Our institute is serving as coordinating laboratory for the 14th International Forensic Science Symposium to be held in Lyon in October 2004 (more info on

Our role is to prepare a review paper covering all material published or unpublished (including trend assessments, internal reports, etc.) from 2001 until today in the forensic fields of marks and impressions
(both detection and identification). That includes fingerprints, toolmarks, footwear marks, earprints, footprints, etc.

Our library allows us an easy access to most mainstream forensic journals, however we would like to cover unpublished (or published in less readily available journals) work as well.

If you would like that we give an echo to some of your unpublished (or to be published) work, feel free to contact us and send us the relevant material. We will make sure that our report cover your material and provide it full visibility. The review paper will be published in the proceedings of the meeting. Feel free to share this demand with any colleague who would be interested.

We thank you in advance for your kind assistance and we look forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,

Christophe Champod


Last week, Andre Moenssens examined the 3rd Circuit US Court of Appeals' decision upholding the conviction of Byron Mitchell.  This week, we look at the use of pattern types to diagnose medical conditions.

There are numerous articles in the dermatoglyphic field of study regarding pattern types in a population sample.  This week's Detail looks at one of them.  The question I would like to raise for discussion (on the message board) is whether conclusions such as the following are guiding and directing doctors in the right direction.  As you read the conclusion in the study below, think in terms of sample size, statistical analysis, pattern formation, induction versus deduction, and whether fingerprint patterns should be used in such a way.  Then make your way to the CLPEX board, see what people have said, and/or jump in yourself.


J Anat. Soc. India 49(2) 153-154 (2000)
Utility Of Finger Prints in Myocardial Infarction Patients

Dhall, U; Rathee, S.K; *Dhall, A; Department of Anatomy & *Medicine, Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS, Rohtak. INDIA

Abstract : Dermatoglyphics has been well established as a diagnostic aid in a number of diseases having hereditary basis. Genetics plays an important role in etiology of coronary artery disease, so a study was done on 84 persons of both sexes (42 patients of mycardial infarction & 42 controls) to find out variations in dermatoglyphysics of these patients. It is deducted that patients of myocardial infarction have higher incidence of whorls & lower incidence of loops in all the digits.

Keywords :
Dermatoglyphics, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary artery disease

Introduction :

Development of dermatoglyphic pattern is under genetic control. This is evident from the clear resemblance of dermatoglyphics among related persons (Schaumann and Alter 1976). Dermatoglyphics as a diagnostic aid is now well established in a number of diseases which have a strong hereditary basis. The etiology of coronary heart disease is believed to be multifactorial with genetics playing an important role. Variations in dermatoglyphics in such patients are, therefore, expected.

Heart diseases are now considered as No. 1 killer in Western countries. Their diagnosis is often difficult due to sparsity of physical signs, specially in rural areas of developing countries where diagnostic facilities are lacking. It is, therefore, all the more important to pay attention to the preventive aspects of the disease. In the present study a preliminary observation was made of the usefulness of finger tip patterns in serving as predictor for myocardial infarction among aged individuals living in Haryana.

Material and Methods :

This study was conducted on 84 persons. Out of these 42 (32 males, 10 females) were confirmed patients of myocardial infarction (M.I.) admitted in Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak (mean age : 51.4±5.19 years). Diagnosis was confirmed by different investigations carried out in this hospital during their hospital stay. The other 42 individuals (34 males, 8 females) forming the control group were randomly selected from the attendents of various patients. They all were above 50 years of age (mean = 52.4±2.45 years) and on interrogation did not have any heart problem or any symptoms related with heart problems. Finger prints of all these cases were taken on white paper by the ‘ink and paper’ method with the help of printer’s ink and analyzed for the pattern types. Percentage of whorls, loops and arches were compared in the two groups.

Results were subjected to statistical analysis using ‘Z’ Test.

Observations :

Table 1 : Comparison of total number of fingerprints between patients and control group.


Type of finger prints Control Patients P Value
Arches 9.66% 9.42% Not significant
Loops 67.37% 54.71% P<0.001
Whorls 22.97% 35.87% P<0.001

Table-I shows comparison of total number of different types of finger prints in control and M.I. patients. It is observed that the total number of whorls was significantly higher in patients with myocardial infarction as compared to control group (p<0.001) while there was significantly less number of loops in heart patients (p<0.001). No significant differences were seen in the number of arches in the two groups.

Since there were significant differences in total number of loops and whorls in the two groups, these were further compared in individual digit.

Table-2 shows comparison of percentage of whorls and loops in individual digit in two groups. All the digits in patients showed higher percentage of whorls, the difference being significant statistically in right thumb (P < 0.05), right little finger ( P<0.01) and left ring finger (P<0.05). Also all the digits showed lower percentage of loops in heart patients as compared to control group. The difference between two groups was statistically significant in right thumb (P<0.01) and left ring finger (P<0.05). Table 3 shows comparison of different types of finger tip patterns in control & heart patients. Significantly more number of heart patients showed the presence of whorls in one or more fingers as compared to controls (90% vs, 71%; P<0.05). The difference in incidence of loops and arches was not statistically significant.

Table 2 : Comparison of percentage of Whorls and Loops in each digit in two groups.

  Right hand         Left hand        
Control Patient P-value 17.6 38.0 <0.05 22.5 31.0 N.S. 15.4 28.5 N.S. 51.3 61.9 N.S. 20.3 29.6 <0.01 11.1 28.5 N.S. 22.5 33.3 N.S. 10.3 19.0 N.S. 37.2 57.1 <0.05 13.9 19.2 N.S.
Control Patient P-value 79.4 50.1 <0.01 60.0 52.4 N.S. 76.9 71.4 N.S. 46.2 33.3 N.S. 70.3 60.7 N.S. 75.0 59.8 N.S. 57.5 54.8 N.S. 76.9 57.1 N.S. 61.5 33.3 <0.05 80.6 67.9 N.S.

N.S. = Not Significant

Table 3 : No. of persons showing different finger tip patterns


Finger tip pattern Control n=42 Patients n=42 P Value
Whorls 30(71%) 38(90%) <0.05
Loops 42(100%) 40(95%) Not Significant
Arches 10(24%) 13(31%) Not Significant

Discussion :

Rashad and MI (1975) reported significantly higher frequency of true whorls in M.I. patients. Rao (1995) reported that persons who have predominant whorls in finger prints have higher incidence of widespread arterial and venous thrombosis. Bhatt (1996) presented data showing significantly higher incidence of whorls and lower incidence of loops in patients with myocardial infarction. He also reported significant differences in controls and patients in the incidence of whorls and loops in all the individual fingers. Observations of the present study add support to these earlier observations. Such differences were significant only in right thumb, right little finger and left ring finger, where whorls were significantly higher in patients with myocardial infarction. Similarly loops were significantly less in right thumb and left ring finger in heart patients. Further 90% heart patients showed whorls on one or more fingers as compared to 71% controls.

This being a preliminary study, only suggests an increased risk of myocardial infarction in persons having predominance of whorls. Such persons can be identified by this simple and economical technique for having finger prints. These persons may be screened regularly for coronary artery disease as a preventive measure. Further studies are, however, needed to support the idea particularly with detailed analysis of other risks factors and severity of disease which have not been taken into account in the present study. Also more detailed analysis of palmar prints i.e. total ridge count and atd angle may further elaborate their relationship with coronary artery disease.

Summary :

Study was conducted on 84 persons of both sexes. Out of these 42 were confirmed patients of myocardial infarction and other 42 were normal healthy persons. Their finger prints were taken and analysed for pattern type. Study group showed significantly higher incidence of whorls (P<0.001) and lower incidence of loops (P<0.001). Loops and whorls were further compared in individual digits. All the digits in heart patients showed lower incidence of loops and higher incidence of whorls. This simple technique may thus be utilised for screening of high risk patients.

Acknowledgement :

The authors are grateful to Sh. R.K. Sharma, Astrologer and Fisheries Development Officer, Rohtak, Haryana for suggesting the topic and co-operating during the study.

References :

1. Bhatt, S.H. (1996): New sign of myocardial infarction. Medicine Update September: 411-416.
2. Rashad, M.M. and MI, M.P; (1975): Dermatoglyphic traits in patients with cardiovascular disorders. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 42: 281-284.
3. Rao, U.R. (1995): Anticardiolipin antibodies. Medicine Update Apicon 95: 17-19.
4. Schaumann, B. and Alter, M.A.: Dermatoglyphics in medical disorders. Springer, New York. (1976)


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Managers respect employees who take responsibilities seriously.  Use these three top techniques to show your professionalism and commitment to your organization:

1. Find ways to add value to your organization.  The most successful people - at any level of an organization - identify opportunities to enhance their company's profits.  You'll score well-deserved points if you can find ways to streamline processes and reduce costs.

2. Seek out new responsibilities.  Don't let your job description limit you.  For example, even if online research is not part of your job, take the initiative to research market trends or track competitor information, and you'll gain more visibility in your company.

3. Take credit for work well done. 
But don't overdo it.  If you spend a considerable amount of time and effort on a project, make sure your boss understands the energy you put into it, including results.  But don't spend too much time bragging about your efforts.

From the editors of Communication Briefings, March, 2004, 800.722.9221,



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