T H E
D E T A I L
Monday, May 5, 2003
BREAKING NEWz you can
compiled by Jon Stimac
McKie Posts Case Update - ONIN.com
discussion board - May 1, 2003 ...As the battle to have the truth heard enters its sixth year it is revealing to look at some of the evidence SCRO and their supporters are denying...
Print License Woes for So. African Man - THE
DAILY NEWS, SO. AFRICA - May 02, 2003 ...required
in South Africa, police could immediately confiscate his license because
it lacked the necessary fingerprint...
to Track Foreign Visitors by Fingerprints - THE
SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, UT - April 30, 2003 ...foreign
visitors arriving in the US will be tracked by a new system that verifies
their identities through fingerprints...
Hook Up to Fingerprint Database - THE
LOWELL SUN, MA - April 28, 2003 ...PD
is one of the first municipalities in MA to go online with its Live Scan
Fingerprint Storage and Transfer System...
Point, Click Through Evidence - NEWS
14 CAROLINA, NC - April 28, 2003 ...fingerprinting
system in NC allows law enforcement to keep and maintain a database of
criminals in the state, while also using it to find suspects...
Good morning via the "Detail," a weekly e-mail newsletter that greets
latent print examiners around the globe every Monday morning. 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
Last week, David "Ski" Witzki brought us some more information on the Reyes case in
Florida. This week, Steve Scarborough gives us some of his thoughts on current and recent
research in the field of fingerprints.
number of universities have established biometric research centers and in
there is the MIT Media Lab,
for Automatic Identification and the
A great deal of research papers and presentations have come out of this
By Steve Scarborough
Recently, critics allege that there is
no modern research being done in the field of fingerprints, and that fingerprint
validation studies do not exist. During
the course of conducting research for my Daubert Card article for The
Detail I found that both of the above statements were untrue. There is an
enormous amount of current and recent research regarding fingerprints.
Of course, the research that
has a high impact, from my point of view, is the skin development studies done
by Dr. Babler 
and others, which has been so eloquently presented by Kasey Wertheim and Alice
The structure and en-uterine formation of skin relates to the fundamental
principles of permanence and uniqueness. Conclusions of identity in fingerprint
examination are built upon the foundational works of Inez Whipple-Wilder,
Harris Hawthorne Wilder
AFIS has also spurned a lot of biometric research such as the "Automated
Systems for Fingerprint Authentication Using Pores and Ridge Structure,"
Proceedings of SPIE, Automatic Systems for the Identification and Inspection
of Humans, in
(SPIE Vol 2277) published in 1994.
Additionally the research to
standardize AFIS technology has produced quite a bit of research in the area of
biometrics and frequency studies.
Other modern fingerprint research has been published around the world. A
lot of important research has been recently published in
. All the papers published on point minimums where statistical models are
examined, surely qualify scientific testing of the fundamental principles of
fingerprint comparison. One excellent example is
“A Review of the Sixteen Point Fingerprint Standard in England and
As a matter of fact, as I see it, the studies to determine the scientific
basis for the use of a minimum point standard, such as those by the IAI
Standardization Committee in 1971-73 and the 1995 Ne’Urim Declaration were
also scientific research studies in Fingerprints.
A significant analysis of the discipline has
been presented in papers published Christophe Champod, assistant professor,
Institut de Police Scientifique et de Criminologie, University
. One of his interesting articles
that cites a lot of contemporary writing about fingerprints, is “The Inference of Identity of Source: Theory and Practice”
Other recent and current research has been
done in the area of biometrics. Perhaps due to the commercial aspect, some of
the research in this area has been overlooked. However, one must believe that in
order for companies, stockholders and investors to have confidence in their
product, serious research must prove the effectiveness of their products.
There are numerous studies regarding the effectiveness of biometrics, and
specifically fingerprints, in industrial security and other commercial aspects.
There are also extensive university level
research projects in the area of biometrics.
has been a leader biometric research led by scientists Anil
Jain and Salil Prabhakar. Jain and Prabhakar have contributed some thirty
publications in the field of biometrics and fingerprints and many more on
general biometrics. Probably the
best known article being “On the Individuality of Fingerprints” 
by Jain, Prabhakar and Sharath Pankanti. There are literally hundreds of
university research papers in the field of biometrics going back to late ‘80s
and the early ‘90s.
W. Babler, “Quantitative Differences in Morphogenesis of Human Epidermal
Ridges and their Configurations.”
K. Wertheim, A. Maceo, Friction Ridge Formation During the Critical Stage,
JFI, 52 (1) Jan./Feb., 2002
Inez L. Whipple-Wilder, The Ventral Surface of the Mammalian Chiridium
J. Morph Anthropol 1904.
Harold Cummins and Charles Midlo, Finger Prints, Palms and Soles An
Introduction To Dermatoglyphics, 1943. Fingers, Palms, and Soles,
Harris Hawthorne Wilder, Personal Identification;
Harold Cummins and Charles Midlo, Finger Prints, Palms and Soles An
Introduction To Dermatoglyphics,
The Blakiston Company, 1943
and Evatt, A Review of the Sixteen Point Fingerprint Standard in England and
Whorld, 21 (82), Oct. 1995, and in the JFI, 46 (1), Jan./Feb. 1996
(link was operational May 5, 2003)
"Everytime a line stops or splits it's called a typica. The amount of typica (with no difference) make's it an identification or not."
Submitted by Michele Triplett
CLPEX.com this week...
Created a RSW 13 page for the
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in-service training course held
last week. See what they said about the Ridgeology Science Workshop!
Updated the Detail Archives
Updated the Newzroom.
Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners. This is a free
newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent print examiners. There are no
copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open for all to visit.
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!