ICSIA's Newsletter March 2015
ICSIA Examiner March 2015
Daryl W. Clemens, Editor

From the Editor

It's been a long cold winter here in the midwest, but the weather is finally warming. Not only that but we have a fresh crop of new CSI's at my agency, all young and inspired and ready to work. Here at the examiner we have new blood too. I'm pleased to announce that Kyprianos Georgiou will be taking over the editor position. We will be doing the next couple of newsletters as a team, with the intent of handing off all responsibility by the end of the year.
Got comments/questions or want to submit an article for The Examiner?  e-mail me: Daryl W. Clemens

Director's Letter

Greetings Members!

The CSI Conference is just around the corner and I hope to see many of you there.  Our membership is increasing with new memberships coming from as far away as South Africa.  We will in fact have presentations at the conference about the forensic and CSI systems from other countries such as South Africa, Poland, Belize and maybe a few others.  ICSIA is truly an international association.  I believe at the conference you will see about 25 attendees from 14 different countries !  The conference promises to be well worth the cost to your agency or money well spent by you.  So far there about 8 vendors and more may join us as we get closer to the conference. Workshops are planned as well as break-out sessions of special interests. The shuttle is free from the airport to the hotel and a shuttle will be available in the evenings to take people to Bourbon Street and back!  If you are unable to make please share the info with others so they too can enjoy the conference!  http://www.icsia.org/conference/2015/index.html

We continue to see changes in forensics and crime scene work. It is a never ending changing field with new technology being introduced frequently. The conference will address some of those changes including those on DNA, UAV’s and new techniques. We will also demonstrate some of the “old” techniques.  I say old because I have been at this for about 45 years now and things we did decades ago are “New” to some of the CSI’s now.  Sometimes we take for granted what we know and assume everyone knows the same information.  In my travels I find that is not true.  So we will address some of the older techniques that may be new to others!

We will have a new newsletter editor by the time the conference starts. But I want to take this opportunity to Thank Daryl Clemens for doing an excellent job as the editor for all these years.  Job well done Daryl!

If you have not taken the time to read the newsletters they are posted on the web site and do contain some great information, links, articles and techniques.  It is input from you that will keep the newsletter going so please consider sharing your knowledge, photographs and techniques with ICSIA Members.

ICSIA also has articles in the Evidence Technology Magazine.  http://www.evidencemagazine.com/  We strongly encourage you all to participate and get published.  The magazine is available for free in print and digital format. It is only available in digital format for those outside the USA.

Stay safe and we will see you at the conference!

Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA)

ICSIA's 2015 Conference

New Orleans, Louisiana (Jefferson Parish) 
Welcomes the 2015 ICSIA Conference.
May 19th-21st, 2015
More details will be posted on icsia.org as they become available, but make plans now to attend.

Next Generation Identification (NGI)

by The Federal Bureau of Investigation

Identification and Investigative Services

Next Generation Identification LogoThe NGI system, developed over multiple years, is an incremental replacement of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that provides new functionality and improves existing capabilities. 

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division operated and maintained IAFIS, which became the world’s largest person-centric biometric database when it was implemented in July 1999. Since then, advancements in technology and the changing business needs of IAFIS’s customers necessitated the next generation of identification services. To further advance biometric identification services, the CJIS Division, with guidance from the user community, established the vision for the Next Generation Identification.

Read More 


By Kyprianos Georgiou

1. What are fingerprints? 

Throughout the last few decades, different attempts have been made to define fingerprints. Some defined fingerprints as a pattern resulted from “the perspiration of sweat exuded from the sweat pores which occur in single rows along the ridges of the friction ridge skin” (Jackson and Jackson, 2008). Langford et al (2005, p. 153) defined fingerprints as “deposits of fatty residue left after sweat has evaporated”. Some others defined fingerprints as the “reproduction of friction skin ridges found on the palm side of the fingers and thumbs” (Saferstein, 2007, p. 432). Triplett (2010) however, defines fingerprints as “the unique pattern that is created by the friction ridges on the fingers; this pattern may be transferred from the fingers to other items in the form of a known print”.

These ridges, “form patterns, considerable in size and of curious variety of shape, whose boundaries can be firmly outlined and which are little worlds in themselves” (Galton, 1892). Sir Francis Galton, started growing interest in fingerprint research in 1988. He conducted many experiments over numerous years in order to determine the persistence of fingerprints on different individuals’ fingers. After personal correspondence with Sir William Herschel, he obtained old fingerprint samples (deposited up-to 31 years earlier – 1859) that were used by Herschel for his own research. After intensive examination of these fingerprint samples, he concluded that fingerprints are both permanent and unique, and he developed a “systematic, understandable and applicable system for fingerprint classification” (Holder, Robinson and Laub, 2011; p. 100). The human skin is the heaviest and the largest organ. Humans have two different types of skin; volar and smooth. The smooth skin consists of hair, sebaceous glands and sweat glands, whereas, the volar skin only contains sweat glands (Ashbaugh, 1999). These sweat glands are located on what are known as “papillary ridges”.

Read More

On the Web- 

By Kyprianos Georgiou

This is a really interesting article (.pdf) comparing the use of the conventional "Superglue fuming" with one of the latest (ish) developments "PolyCyano" (a combination of superglue and a dye which fluoresces under UV light):
Get the article here

This PDF file was taken from the "National Institute of Standards and Technology" and it explores different aspects of latent fingerprints. It also explains the framework developed for ID search on AFIS:

This site identifies a number of issues relating to latent finger marks. It also has several articles about latent prints from Interpol, FBI and NIJ and more:

This PDF file identifies the different chemical enhancement techniques for the development of latent fingerprints. It also includes a brief history of fingerprints:

I hope you enjoy it all


Online Training

ICSIA collaborated with the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Arkansas to produce an online training course: Crime Scene First Responder For The Uniformed Officer

Parabon Announces Collaboration with Dr. Bruce Budowle

Reston, Va. (February 17, 2015) - Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today at the Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, a collaboration with Dr. Bruce Budowle, Executive Director of The Institute of Applied Genetics at the University of North Texas. Dr. Budowle will conduct a blinded validation of Parabon’s Snapshot™ DNA Phenotyping Service, a first-of-its-kind forensics offering that can interrogate an evidentiary DNA sample and produce an accurate composite image of the source.

Although major metropolitan police departments and federal agencies have privately validated Snapshot and are actively using the service, the collaboration announced today seeks to perform the first Snapshot validation study intended for peer-reviewed publication.  Dr. Budowle, one of most widely published and respected names in DNA forensics, has ample experience validating forensic methods, having worked at the FBI Laboratory Division for over 25 years before moving to academia, where he has published nearly 500 articles and testified in over 250 criminal cases in the areas of molecular biology, population genetics, statistics, quality assurance and forensic biology

Read More
Above image from Arrowhead Forensics

Tools of the Trade: Dealing with Unusual Surfaces

By Dick Warrington

This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine® August/September 2013, Reprinted with Permission.

For the past several years, I’ve taught a class on developing and lifting prints off unusual surfaces. This class is very popular because it shows Crime Scene Officers that the only “surfaces” where you can’t get prints are air and water; everything else can be processed with the right products and the right technique. In this issue, I’ll provide an overview of advanced ways to deal with unusual surfaces.

Multi-Textured/Multi-Contoured Surfaces
Some of the most challenging surfaces to work with are multi-textured or multi-contoured. If you find evidence on one of these surfaces, you need to be prepared. Otherwise, you may have to settle for simply photographing the evidence instead of casting impressions and lifting latent prints. Let’s take a look at a the products and techniques that you can use on these kinds of surfaces.

Read More
Above photo by: John- MTSOfan on Flickr.com

Cell Phones

The use of mobile devices has become an essential part of our lives. According to Danyl Bosomworth there are over 1.7 billion people in the world who either own a mobile phone or a mobile device. In the US, it is estimated that 90% of  American adults own a cell phone and 58% own a smartphone. In July 2014 (UK), 99.7% of houses and offices had access to mobile 2G mobile coverage from at least one operator. Criminals will, therefore, at some point use their mobile devices before and/or after they commit a a crime.

Analysing mobile devices as part of criminal investigations it is extremely important as part of the investigation process. With the advances of mobile technology criminal investigators must keep up-to-date with the different tools in order to help them improve their working practices during investigations. Mobile/Cell phone forensics, is a software developed for recovering data from mobile devices.

In 2014, NIST publish a report providing guidelines to Digital Forensic Investigators Read More (.pdf format)

I hope you enjoy these. Please let me know what you think.

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