Lecture 11 Searching the Scene: Logic in Action . Collecting evidence without a valid reason is also stupidity in action . . Searching: A Philosophy. The crime scene The place where individuals participated in an event at a point in time that resulted in the creation of evidence
Collecting evidence without a
valid reason is also stupidity in action.
The crime might not define precisely the types of evidence present.
understand that certain crime types spawn specific types of evidence.
Common Scene Types
“Processing the scene,”
Modern texts lull students, novice investigators and seasoned
investigators into believing that scene searching is a simple process.
“a series of actions or operations conducing to an end; especially : a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture”
Processing is mindless activity and simplicity in action. The term should
be replaced with something that projects cognizant thought,
“Transitive verb: to observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry.
“Intransitive verb: to make a systematic examination; especially : to conduct an official inquiry.”
Scene investigation and searching is more than a “process.”
It is a scientific endeavor and investigation, and
certainly more than a simple "process."
The Scene Search
Logic in Action
The Meat and Potatoes
The Investigative Glue
Eye for the Future
Using reasoning to recognize
Best way to find objective evidence for court.
Water Line Search
Depending on the nature of the scene,
Movement through scene
Divided by quadrants
Footprint Window Fingerprint
In a large area this method is a recipe for failure.
Areas of Macroscene Elements
Knowing where to look.
Not difficult, but can be elusive without a
clear understanding of the scene characteristics.
Tape lifts of trace material from furniture in a living room, a conversation might go something like this; this could be a phone conversation or could take face-to-face. Understand that a phone conversation like this might take place days or weeks after the evidence had been submitted to the laboratory.
Scientist: “You sent 175 tape lifts from furniture taken from the Dracula scene. I gotta tell ya, there’s no way I do all that work in my lifetime. Why so many?”
Investigator: “I took what I thought was important for the investigation.”
Scientist: “I understand (thinking the investigator is doing CYA), but is there some priority here?”
Investigator: “They were in the room where the murder took place.”
Scientist: “Hmm … Each piece of furniture has a an evidence item number. Evidence was collected from 10 pieces of furniture. Were they all directly involved in the struggle?
Investigator: Lemme check the scene photos.
Investigator: The struggle mostly took place in one area of the living room, probably on the sofa, Item number 4.
Scientist: OK. I’ll start there. What else?
Investigator: A chair near the sofa had been knocked over. It, too, might be a possible. Item number 7.
Scientist: Thanks, I’ll look at both of them. I’ll let you know what I find, and we can decide where to go from there.
Investigator: OK, sounds good.