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The Science of Crime Scenes
2nd Edition - July 7, 2017
Authors: Max M. Houck, Frank Crispino, Terry McAdam
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The Science of Crime Scenes, Second Edition offers a science-based approach to crime scenes, emphasizing that understanding is more important than simply knowing. Without… Read more
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The Science of Crime Scenes, Second Edition offers a science-based approach to crime scenes, emphasizing that understanding is more important than simply knowing. Without sacrificing technical details, the book adds significantly to the philosophy and theory of crime scene science. This new edition addresses the science behind the scenes and demonstrates the latest methods and technologies with updated figures and images. It covers the philosophy of the crime scene, the personnel involved at a scene (including the media), the detection of criminal traces and their reconstruction, and special crime scenes, such as mass disasters and terroristic events.
Written by an international trio of authors with decades of crime scene experience, this book is the next generation of crime scene textbooks. This volume will serve both as a textbook for forensic programs, and as an excellent reference for forensic practitioners and crime scene technicians with science backgrounds.
Includes in-depth coverage of disasters and mass murder, terror crime scenes and CBRN (Chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear) – topics not covered in any other text
Includes an instructor site with lecture slides, images and links to resources for teaching and training
Forensic program students, forensic practitioners and crime scene technicians with science backgrounds, and those interested in the science of crime scenes (sibling forensic science programs, such as anthropology and digital evidence)
Table of Contents
Forensic Science as History
What Plagues Forensic Science?
Complexity: The World Is More Complicated Than We Can Imagine
Individual Focus: The Tyranny of the Particular
Applied Science: A Book of Recipes
Entropy and Taphonomy: The Center Cannot Hold
Crime Scenes as a Process
Section 1. The Science of Crime Scene Investigation
Chapter 1.0. The “Forensic Mindset”
Forensic Professionals are Knowledge Workers
Hunting as an Origin for Forensic Science
Trifles, Traces, and Clues
From Science to Art to Literature
Evidence Is Proxy Data
Chapter 1.1. From Scene to Laboratory to Court
Access to the Scene
Sensitivity to Initial Conditions
Chain of Custody
Submitting Evidence for Analysis
Conclusion: Evidence in the Courtroom
2.0. What Is a Crime Scene?
Staged Crime Scenes
Chapter 2.1. Crime Scene Intelligence: Connecting People, Places, and Things
Connections Through Contact: Transfer and Persistence
Classification and Resolution
Individualization of Evidence
Relationships and Context
Known and Questioned Items
Section 2. Personnel and Procedures
Chapter 3.0. Personnel
CSI Isn’t Like CSI
High-Performance Workplace Organizations
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder for Crime Scene Investigators
Forensic Scientist Focus
Cost, Time, and Quality
Building the Team
Chapter 3.1. First Responder on the Scene
Securing the Scene
Preserving the Scene
Preserving the Scene
Releasing the Scene
Chapter 3.2. The Investigator-In-Charge
What Attributes do Successful IIC People Have in Common?
Chapter 3.3. The Forensic Team: Officers, Scientists, and Specialists
What is a Crime Scene Team?
Forensic Specialists at Crime Scenes
Chapter 3.4. Nonforensic Personnel Superiors, Officials, and the Media
1.110—Media Relations, Effective Date: 3/21/2012
Public Information Officers
15Minutes of Fame
Chapter 4.0. General Crime Scene Procedure
Chapter 4.1. “Freezing” the Scene and the Three R’s (Recognize, Recover, and Record)
Chapter 4.2. The Chain of Custody
A Chain of Custody Example
Problems With Chains of Custody
Chapter 4.3. Recording the Scene: Sketching, Photography, and Video
Geographic Information Systems and Crime Mapping
Section 3. Detection and Reconstruction
Chapter 5.0. Searching for Evidence: Recovery
From Trace to Proof, or Why Finding a Trace Is Not Sufficient
Which Evidence Is Useful?
The Search for Evidence
Practical Search: Focal and Ancillary Points
Optimizing the Search: Applying Locard’s Theory
Chapter 5.1. Detecting
What Is Light and How Do We See an Object?
From Theory to Practice: The Forensic Light Source
General Crime-Scene Screening
Specific Crime-Scene Screening
Chapter 5.2. Collection
Types of Evidence to Collect
Materials and Containers
Available Techniques to Collect Evidence
Chapter 5.3. Preserving
Threats to Evidence (Schiro, 2016)
Safety at the Scene
Chapter 5.4. Submitting Evidence to the Laboratory
Request for Laboratory Examination
General Submission Guidelines
Latent Prints Evidence
Chapter 6.0. Evidence Types and Enhancement
Chapter 6.1. Chemical Evidence
Restoration of Serial Numbers
Chapter 6.2. Biological Evidence
DNA and Trace DNA
Chapter 6.3. Impression Evidence
Fingerprints, Palm Prints, and Bare Footprints
Integrating a Global Analytical Sequence
Other Human Prints
Shoeprints and Tireprints
Chapter 6.4. Other Types of Evidence
Computers, Cellphones, and Other Mass Storages
Insects and Time Since Death
Chapter 7.0. Crime Scene Reconstruction
Chapter 7.1. An Archaeological Approach
Of Artifacts and Evidence
Time and Space
Chapter 7.2. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Droplet Size and Force
Types of Bloodstains
Chapter 7.3. Photogrammetry and 3D Reconstruction
3D Lasers Scanners
Section 4. Special Crime Scenes
Chapter 8.0. Special Crime Scenes
Chapter 8.1. Disaster and Mass Fatalities
The Disaster Scene
Chapter 8.2. Terrorist Crime Scenes
School Shooting Incidents
Chapter 8.3. CBRN Crime Scenes
Preparing for Forensic Collection
Collecting Relevant Evidence
Entering the Hot Crime Scene
An Operative Flowchart
Chapter 8.4. Underwater and Underground Crime Scenes
Underwater Scenes (Voillot, 2001; Becker, 2013)
Locating the Scene
Working the Scene
Preservation of Materials in Water
Underground Scenes (Gagnier, 2009)
No. of pages: 460
Published: July 7, 2017
Imprint: Academic Press
Hardback ISBN: 9780128498781
eBook ISBN: 9780128498774
Max M. Houck
Dr. Max M. Houck is an international forensic expert with over 25 years of experience. Houck has experience in the private sector, academia, local government, and worked at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory Division. He has worked as a forensic anthropologist, a trace evidence analyst, a researcher, and has managed millions of dollars in grants and awards. Most recently, he was the inaugural Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences in Washington, D.C., overseeing 150 employees and managing the forensic science laboratory, the public health laboratory, and crime scene sciences for the nation’s capital. Houck has worked on a number of mass casualty scenes, including the Branch Davidian Investigation and the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
Widely published, Houck has dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and is the author and editor of numerous books. He is co-author of the best-selling Fundamentals of Forensic Science, Science of Crime Scenes, and Success with Expert Testimony, among others. He is the editor of the Advanced Forensic Science series of books. Houck is also founding co-editor of Forensic Science Policy and Management (the official journal of ASCLD), the only journal that addresses the management, policy, and administration of forensic science.
Houck has served on numerous committees, including for the National Academies of Science, NIST, Interpol, The Royal Society, the Director of the FBI, and the White House. He is a popular public speaker and has given presentations at NASA, the Max Planck Institute, an Oxford Roundtable, as well as keynote talks at numerous international conferences. Houck has taught at several universities, including West Virginia University and University of Tampa. His research topics include management, leadership, and policy implications for forensic organizations.
Houck has a Bachelors and Masters degree in anthropology from Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry Summa Cum Laude from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Affiliations and expertise
Vice President, Forensic and Intelligence Services, LLC, Virginia, USA
MPhil and PhD from the University of Lausanne, Frank Crispino is a former Cadet of the French Air Force Academy and a retired Colonel of the French Gendarmerie, qualified from the French War College (the Gendarmerie is a French police with a military status). During his law enforcement career, he served as:
- Head of two Gendarmerie regional criminal investigations departments in charge of investigating serious, organized international crimes and preventing terrorist incidents;
- Deputy chief of the anti-terrorism office at the General Directorate of the French Gendarmerie in Paris.
- Head of the forensic anthropology department (1993-1997) and the fingerprint department (1997-1999) at the Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale (IRCGN – Forensic Lab of the Gendarmerie).
- Forensic adviser of the Brigadier General, head of the forensic assets of the Gendarmerie, in charge of proposing new strategies to develop forensic intelligence.
From February 1999 to July 2002 he provided forensic capacities to the Palestinian Authority granted by the European Union within the Oslo Agreements, and became Scientific and Forensic Adviser of the European Union Special Adviser Office (EUSAO) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on counter-terrorism. He left the Middle East after the destruction of the Palestinian forensic assets in 2002.
In the summer of 2012, prof. Frank Crispino joined the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, Canada, to launch the first forensic academic programme in this French Canadian Province, aiming at educating forensic scientists dedicated to security traces investigation and analysis. He is the author of about 50 papers in various forensic and security journal.
Affiliations and expertise
Chemistry-Biology Department, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Mr. McAdam has 40 years of experience in the field of forensic investigations. He has served with distinction both the Washington State Patrol (30 years) and The Northern Ireland Forensic Science Service (10 years). He is currently employed as the Laboratory Director of the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. He is also a proud graduate of the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1979. He has developed subject matter expertise and decades of total experience in the following areas of trace evidence:
• Glass analysis (23 years)
• Paint analysis (23 years)
• Small particle identification (23 years)
• Fibers (14 years)
• Explosives (3 years)
• Hair (17 years)
• Clothing damage interpretation (20 years)
• Scanning Electron Microanalysis (17 years)
• Shoe impressions (14 years)
• Tire impressions (14 years)
Furthermore, during the course of his career, Terry McAdam has personally processed over 330 violent felony crime scenes, to include homicides and rapes (175), arsons and bombings (60), hit and run accidents (45), and firearms assaults (50). Terry McAdam has also played an integral role in the investigations of both the Robert Lee Yates (Spokane and Tacoma serial murder) and the Gary Leon Ridgeway (Green River serial murder) cases. He has testified in various felony cases in superior and federal courts throughout the State of Washington on 175 occasions involving trace evidence and crime scene processing. In addition to his academic credentials and work experience, Terry McAdam has successfully completed nearly 900 hours of additional education and training in forensic science and crime scene technology during his tenure with the Washington State Patrol.
Affiliations and expertise
Laboratory Manager, Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, USA