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So You Want to be a CSI?

Author(s): Susan Clutter, Leggie Boone, David McGill

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2021

Pages: 288

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Crime scene investigation isn't an academic, cut-and-dry process. There is no set of ideal procedures that universally applies to all crime scene processing. 

Isn't it time for a textbook that reflected that?

So You Want to be a CSI? presents Crime Scene Investigation as students would encounter it in the real world, where inclement weather, poor scene security, lack of proper equipment and packing materials, and rodent-invested crime scenes all impact the role of the CSI. It combines the expertise of its three authors, who have 45 years of combined crime scene investigation experience, to prepare students for the field, dismantling the myths of the profession created by television shows and the media. Chapters include four overarching, fundamental topics: Before Entering the Crime Scene, Biological Evidence, Crime Scene Photography, and Crime Scene Search.

So You Want to be a CSI? not only provides a foundation for future crime scene investigators, but it also authentically explains the daily challenges and rewards of this fascinating career.

CHAPTER 1: BEFORE ENTERING THE CRIME SCENE
Background Brief
Crime Scene Investigation in Real Life
In the Beginning: The Bill of Rights
Exceptions to a Search Warrant
Laws Regarding Forensic Testimony
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 2: THE ROLE OF FIRST RESPONDERS AND CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS
The Point of this Chapter
First Responders
Universal Precautions
Infectious Diseases and Airborne Pathogens
Police Officer Role
Crime Scene Investigator Role
Other Forensic Science Disciplines
Education
Forensic Organizations
Certifications
Performing the duties of the position
Initial Survey of the Scene
Recognizing Potential Evidence
360-degree survey
Types of Evidence
Classifications of Evidence
Reminders
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 3: CRIME SCENE SEARCH
Linkage Theory
Locard’s Principle
Scene Walk-Through
Crime Scene Search Techniques
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 4: CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHY
Background Brief
Digital Cameras
Crime Scene Photography
Evidence Placards
Documentation Strategies
Photographing People
Perspectives and Lighting
Environmental Challenges
Digital Enhancement
Videography
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 5: DOCUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE RECOVERY
The Point of This Chapter
Common Forms and Logs
Chain of Custody
Barcoding Systems for Evidence Management
Other Documentation
Packaging of Evidence
When Considering Packaging Options, Ask Yourself These Questions
Digital Evidence Recovery
Accreditation
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 6: CRIME SCENE SKETCHING
Rough Sketch vs. Final Sketch
Scope of the Scene
Types of Scenes
Equipment for Sketching
Three Different Traditional Measurement Systems
Three Types of Traditional Sketches
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 7: BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE: DNA FAQ
Historical Brief
OK. I Guess My Next Question Should Be About What DNA Is, but I Don’t Need a Thesis Either!
Seriously? You’re Going to Throw More Big Words My Way for Me to Explain to the Jury?
What Kinds of Biological Stuff Has DNA in It?
Where Do I Look to Find DNA at the Crime Scene?
What Can I Use to Help Find Biological Materials?
What If It Looks Like a Biological Fluid, but We Aren’t Sure?
Once I Find Biologicals, How Do I Recover the Evidence Properly?
What If the Biological Fluid Is Already Dry?
Should I Swab the Whole Blood Drop up to Make Sure I Get It All?
This DNA Typing Is Fantastic! I’m Just Gonna Swab Everything I Recover!
What Is Touch DNA?
Who Decides What Evidence Is Processed for DNA?
So, CSIs Recover the DNA, and Labs Process the DNA, but How Do We Find out Who Matches the DNA Profile?
How Long Does It Take From DNA Recovery on the Scene to the Arrest of the Suspect?
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 8: FINGERPRINTS
The Point of This Chapter
Basics of Fingerprints
What Are Fingerprints?
Morphology/Physiology
Types of Prints as Evidence (Latent, Patent, Plastic, Etched, Inked)
Fingerprint Patterns
Fingerprint Classification
Latent Prints
Surfaces
Chemicals
Photographing Latent Prints
No Prints
Latent Print Examination
Comparison
Evaluation
Verification
Known to Known Comparison
Automated Fingerprint Identification System
Deceased Fingerprints
The Geek Aspect of Latent Prints
The Bottom Line
Activities
Questions
References

CHAPTER 9: IMPRESSION EVIDENCE
Historical Impression Evidence
Types of Impression Evidence
Footwear Impressions
Examination Quality Photographs for Impression Evidence
Casting Impressions
Special Circumstances When Casting
Snow Impressions
Impressions Made in Blood
Tire Track Impressions
Track and Trail
Toolmark Impressions
Fabric Impressions
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 10: TRACE EVIDENCE
What is Trace Evidence?
Types of Evidence
Common Types of Trace Evidence
What do the results mean?
Hairs and Fibers
Paint
Glass
Soil
Additional Examples of Trace Evidence
Historical Problems with Trace Evidence
Activity
References

CHAPTER 11: FIREARMS EVIDENCE
Historical Brief: A Tale of Two Ballistic Examiners
Safety First
Types of Firearms
Terminology and How Firearms Work
Recovering a Firearm
Ballistics

CHAPTER 12: DEATH INVESTIGATION
Historical Brief
Physical Trauma and Death Investigations
Physical Trauma
Sharp Force
Gunshot Wounds
Blunt Force
Death Investigations
Time of Death Estimations
Decomposition
The Bottom Line

CHAPTER 13: RECONSTRUCTION
Historical Brief
Reconstruction
Trajectory Analysis
Reconstruction with Glass Fracture Evidence
Blood Pattern Interpretation

CHAPTER 14: LOOKING BACK, AND THE PATH FORWARD
Taking the ‘Junk’ Out of ‘Junk Science’
Perceptions of CSIs
Coping Mechanisms
The Bottom Line
References

GLOSSARY
INDEX

Susan Clutter

Susan Clutter received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science from the George Washington University. She worked as a CSI for the Montgomery County and Baltimore City Police Departments in MD before becoming a college professor in 2003. She has taught at various colleges in the Maryland and Virginia area, and has taught forensic courses for the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy and the State Department. Her specialty areas include Crime Scene Investigation, Blood Pattern Interpretation, and Fire Science. Susan is now an Associate Professor in the Forensic Science program at Youngstown State University. She has one 16 year old son and a very bossy corgi.

Leggie Boone

Dr. Leggie [Leh ‘jee] Boone is a Forensic Analyst for a sheriff’s office in Florida.  She has been involved in forensic sciences since 1993, including overlapping years as a crime scene investigator and educator in Baltimore, Maryland.  Crime Scene Investigation found her shortly after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, while she worked toward her initial journey: Veterinary Science.  As a civilian investigator, she learned her city, her law enforcement family, and self-reliance in coping with the tragedies of criminal violations daily.  Sometimes, that method of decompression included writing songs, writing poetry, or dreaming graphically detailed dreams and journaling them. When her daughter was born, she left the hectic schedule of being a Forensic Services Supervisor, pharmacy assistant, and adjunct professor to teach full-time. Teaching high school and college sciences inspired the pursuit of her Master’s degree in Forensic Science.  In 2008, she moved to Florida where she returned to crime scenes and was recruited to become a Forensic Analyst with her current agency.  She has also been active in her community through the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and NAACP memberships, and affiliation with multiple civic organizations.  Boone attained her Ph.D. and Master of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration, in Criminal Justice, with the goal of improving policies and curricula in collegiate forensic sciences and law enforcement agency crime scene investigation training.  Through it all, she is still dreaming vividly with plans to produce volumes for interpretation, enlightenment or entertainment. She is inspired by the constant support of her mother and daughter, both named Leggie, and is driven by her faith to be an author, a leader, and an agent of social change.

David McGill

David McGill received his BA at the University of Maryland at College Park, and his MFS in forensic Science at The George Washington University. He has over two decades of forensic examination experience, with a specialization in Footwear and Tire Track Examination. He is a Police Training Commission Certified Instructor, and in addition to his publication with Kendall Hunt, he also has published several research articles on Crime Scene Investigation.

Related ISBN's: 9781524989705, 9781792431838

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