Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
Deputies Faulted for Failing to Use Identity Process –
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, MI - July 16, 2004
...mistaken identity is not unusual
when police first arrive at accident scenes, but most agencies
follow steps to quickly clear up the confusion...
Forensics Expert Links Werner to Murder Scene –
LEADER TIMES, PA - July 15, 2004
...man accused of stabbing his wife
left bloody fingerprints on the duct tape wrapped around her
Fingerprint Decision Put Off –
TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE, WA
- July 14, 2004
...city council put off a vote on a
proposal to allow the City Police to stop using a fingerprint
database system developed by a local company...
Want a Life of Crime? Wait Till You're Old –
ARIZONA REPUBLIC, AZ - July 13, 2004
...National Biometric Test Center at
San Jose University that said about one out of every 50 people has
fingerprints that don't "work," for one reason or another....
14 new smileys!! on the SmileyFiles page.
Only two weeks this year
of Ridgeology Science Workshop:
November 15-19, 2004
Registration forms available online at
Please fax registration to:
January 31 - February 4
(dates updated on 7/21)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Registration forms available online at
Both are expected to fill quickly, so se sure to
sign up asap.
Lisa Steele brought us an article recently published in the Criminal Law
Bulletin that outlined "The Defense Challenge to Fingerprints.
CLPEX.com begins accepting the first examples of some of the "best
non-matches" or "Close Calls" that do not match. The coordinator of this
page is hereby deemed "Captain Close" aka "Pretty Darn" and wishes to remain
anonymous. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Before we start discussing the concept of
prints that are "pretty darn close" I wanted to explain the purpose for the new
page in a little more detail.
The purpose of this page is NOT to provide guidance or training for new
fingerprint examiners. In fact, discussions with several people over the
last few months revealed hesitancy to even post these types of images on the
internet for many reasons. However, when the good of having these images
available for trainers is considered, there seems to be much more support for
the page. Several close friends have stated that this page will be a
valuable resource because the more we study close non-matches, the better
position we will be in when articulating how we know a "tough" identification
when we see one.
Therefore, the purpose of the Close Calls page is to provide fingerprint
trainers with examples of some of the closer non-matches that have been found so
that these images can be used correctly and explained in a classroom environment
to teach fingerprint-related concepts. If you are a trainer or know a
fingerprint trainer, this resource is intended for that purpose.
The "Close Calls" page contributes to the idea that fingerprints are completely
unique and therefore are a valid and reliable means of identification.
Even these "best case" prints show multitudes of detail that are totally and
completely out of tolerance for the level of clarity seen in the images.
We know this! There is no need to spend time writing a note to Captain
Close or myself expressing disdain that a particular submission isn't even
"close". If someone thinks it is close enough to send in to this page,
apparently for some it is "close". Therefore, we proceed with posting on
the Close Calls page knowing that we are further confirming the principles that
we know to be true and that form the foundation of our science... that friction
ridge skin is unique and permanent.
The link to the new "Close Calls" page is under the "Site Features" section of
We encourage you to submit your Close Calls for the benefit of
fingerprint trainers everywhere. If you have an example, please visit the
"format your submission" page for recommended steps to get the right combination
of resolution and file size. Then just e-mail your image(s) to Captain
Close and we'll handle the rest!
This week we also review an article submitted to CLPEX.com addressing last
week's Defense Challenge to Fingerprints. I also posted this entire 26
page article in the Reference section under "Scientific Issues", and offer a
review of the article as this week's Detail.
Scientific Principles of
Friction Ridge Analysis, by Tom Ferriola
This article serves as an excellent summary of the methodology and philosophy of
friction ridge identification. The article was written to address the
identification of latent print impressions an applied science involving
Ridgeology as an umbrella covering the disciplines and topics upon which we
practice that applied science.
The article begins by acknowledging the reason behind permanence being friction
ridge skin structure and uniqueness being friction ridge formation.
Fingerprint identification is then described as being a reliable applied or
forensic science as opposed to "pure" science.
The author describes that Ridgeology isn't just the use of edges and pores in
comparison... rather it is a holistic approach that recognizes that all features
weigh differently on the "scale" of identification and that training affects the
scale in a significant way.
Statistical models are mentioned and historical figures are discussed at length.
A short discussion on the William West case leads into another discussion on
uniqueness. Distortion and clarity are tied to the reasons behind a
non-numeric standard and the methodology of using that standard is discussed in
length, including a detailed definition of the three levels of detail.
ACE-V is discussed in practical terms and the concept of targeting is included
in this discussion.
Legal issues are then discussed with emphasis placed on the fact that
fingerprint identification is one of the only disciplines that does not offer a
means to express possible identifications. The Mitchell case is
highlighted with an emphasis on Daubert Concepts. A complete list of legal
and reference citations are listed to conclude this paper.
Over-all, this is an excellent review of the scientific principles of friction
ridge identification, and a recommended read for all latent print examiners.
To discuss this Detail, the
message board is always open: (http://www.clpex.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=2)
More formal latent print discussions are available at
FUNNY FINGERPRINT FIND
"The test uses mass spectrometry -- the same technique relied upon by crime
labs to identify fingerprints"
reported WCVB-TV in Boston.
A Misstep That Every Leader Must Avoid
An important goal is to be the kind of
leader who reinforces the right behaviors in his (/her) people. Do this
well, and your employees will perform above your expectations because they want
You can limit, even cut off, this enthusiasm by communicating one crucial
communications misstep: Making liberal use of "Great, but..." statements.
Consider these examples:
1) "You did a great job organizing the celebration with our key customers, but I
had really expected more of them to attend."
2) "Your department's performance during the first two quarters was on target
and on budget, but I'm not sure we'll be able to keep it up."
Some managers use "great, but..." statements because they don't want to
misrepresent a situation. Others don't want to leave their people thinking
that everything is all right. No matter the reason, these statements
You can get around a "great, but..." statement by separating your feedback with
time. If that's not possible, then separate your statements . Notice
how the same examples, slightly reworded, remain spurs to achievement:
1) You did a great job organizing the celebration with our key customers.
I was pleased with the way it turned out. Did you expect more attendees?"
2) Your department's performance was great. The next two quarters are
going to be rough. Everyone's maximum efforts will be needed to hit our
numbers. How are you all feeling about it?
It takes thought and practice to remove those "...buts" from your statements.
Do it. The effort pays enormous dividends in morale.
"Unlock Behavior, Unleash Profits,
by Leslie W. Braksick, via Leadership Strategies, Premiere Issue, 2004, 800.722.9221, briefings.com.
UPDATES ON CLPEX.com
Added the Close Calls page
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.
If you have not yet signed up to receive the Weekly Detail in YOUR e-mail inbox,
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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!