Updated the Fingerprint Interest Group (FIG) page
with FIG #60; Artifacts, Live Scan; submitted by Charlie Parker. You can send your example of unique distortion to
For discussion, visit the CLPEX.com forum FIG thread.
Updated the forum Keeping Examiners Prepared for
thread with KEPT #34; Verification: What information did you know
by Michelle Triplett. You can send your
questions on courtroom topics to Michelle Triplett:
Updated the Detail Archives
we looked at a new book chapter on bias.
we look at how Dr. Bond's technique helped a Georgia cold case. More
on this technique in future Details.
Fingerprint evidence in a double homicide nine years ago in southeast
Georgia has been revealed through a technique developed by a British
forensic scientist who says his method could help detect latent prints on
bullets or terrorist bombs.
British Scientist Helps with Georgia Cold
The Associated Press
John Bond of the University of Leicester uses an electric charge to
detect print fragments left by the faint corrosion produced by sweat on
metal. The charge attracts fine powder to the latent print similar to the
action of a photocopier on a piece of paper.
Kingsland Police Chief Darryl Griffis read about Bond's work and sent a
cold-case detective, Christopher King, to England with four shell casings
found after two auto-title pawn business managers were robbed and fatally
shot Dec. 1, 1999.
King believes one of the casings revealed enough detail of a fingerprint
ridge to provide an identification. But Griffis cautions that the crime is
far from being solved.
"I'm happy with the results right now, but we have a lot of work to do with
it," Griffis said Thursday.
The suspect, or suspects, could have come from almost anywhere. Kingsland is
just a few miles from the Florida border along Interstate 95, the major East
Coast artery from Maine to Miami.
The four shell casings from a 7.65 mm, or .380-caliber, gun were processed
for latent fingerprints using traditional methods of dusting and fuming with
Bond, who also works with the Northamptonshire Police, examined the casings
using the new technique. He found fingerprint ridges on three, one with
detail that King found surprising.
"These results are better than I had expected and better than I hoped for,"
the detective said.
Bond said he was not optimistic when he first saw the shells because they
are smaller than what his team has worked on, "which meant the contact area
between a finger and the casing would be small because of the tight radius
of the casings."
"This is the first 'live' case we have looked at where we have found points
of identification on the enhanced fingerprint," Bond said.
But even if there is not enough to identify the offender, the process might
help to eliminate suspects, he said.
Bond said he is averaging about one call a day, mostly from the U.S., about
- Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony - #34
Verification: What information did you know?
by Michele Triplett, King County
Disclaimer: The intent of this is to
provide thought provoking discussion. No claims of accuracy exist.
Question Ė Verification:
What information about the conclusions were you given?
I was given the conclusions of the original examiner but it
didnít influence my own conclusion.
I was given a chart of what was seen during the analysis
phase, documentation of the comparison, and the conclusions.
I wasnít given anything.
Answer a: Itís very
common for the verifier to know the conclusion of the original examiner.
If people completely understand their function as a verifier then
knowing someoneís previous conclusion shouldnít be a biasing factor.
Stating that knowing the conclusion didnít influence your decision
sounds defensive and only needs to be stated if youíre asked about this.
Answer b: This answer is
honest, clear, and confident.
Answer c: If this is true then I
see nothing wrong with this answer but I donít think this happens very often
in our field.
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