ICSIA"s Newsletter May 2015

ICSIA Examiner May 2015
Kyprianos Georgiou, Editor

From the Editor

Dear members,

It is now time for our next newsletter "The Examiner".  Like I mentioned in previous editions, we will be exploring different issues that CSIs are phased with on their day-to-day work. This month's edition, we will be exploring "Photographing and documentation of the crime scene".

Several equipment are currently used by law enforcement agencies for recording/documenting crime scenes. Equipment recommended by ICSIA is includedhere. CSIs undergo a series of trainings whilst on the job. ICSIA developed a “training checklist” which outlines the series of training they must go through to develop the necessary skills required to help them perform their roles as CSIs. Some protocols are also provided on our website to follow when investigating a crime scene for physical evidence here and a vehicle for physical evidence here. Hayden has also wrote some really useful articles which are provided later on in this newsletter.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to contribute any articles in future newsletters, please do not hesitate to contact me through this link K.Georgiou@tees.ac.uk

Director's Letter

Greetings from the Director!

The CSI Conference in May 2016 is shaping up so please check the web site frequently to see the updated agenda as we move towards the conference.
Technology has made our work easier and also more difficult. DNA has changed the way we collect and preserve evidence.  Nanotechnology has filtered down to some of the powders we may be using in crime scenes but also presents additional potential health hazards. Scene documentation has greatly changed with the advent of 3D laser measuring and many are now using mobile apps to document the “volume” crimes like theft, burglaries, and other property crimes. But we must not forget the basics. It is the basics that give us the foundation in both knowledge and skills. If you don’t know how to use the equipment or when to use it, then it defeats the purpose of having it. The cameras are becoming more like computers and cell phones are taking images now that surpass some of the DSLR just a few years ago. But without that core knowledge of photography and the skills required to optimize the taking of the image we are reduced to being Point and Shoot photographers.  Never forget the basic skills you were taught in training.

The holidays are upon us and for most of us we know what is coming, crime.  The world has changed and it has become a more dangerous place to live and work in. Keep your wits about you when at the crime scene, stay safe and we hope to see you at the CSI Conference.

Hayden B Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association


ICSIA's 2016 Conference

Kansas City, Missouri
Welcomes the 2016 ICSIA Conference.
May 19 - 21, 2016.

Book your place now for another great conference.

Crime Scene Processing Protocol

By Hayden B. Baldwin 

In the endeavor of completing a work task certain criteria to complete the work task is needed. Crime scene processing is no different in that respect than to other work related tasks such as exchanging a motor in a car, painting a landscape scene or preparing a meal. There are certain tasks related to each work objective. In the field of crime scene processing several books have been written on what these tasks are and how they should be incorporated into the field of crime scene processing. Yet each book varies only in the technique used, not in a change of the basic protocol used for the processing of crime scenes.

Read the full article here


Crime Scene Reconstruction as an Art

Det/Lt. Timothy F. Hahn, SCSA (Ret) - tim_hahn@msn.com

What is Reconstruction?

“Crime scene reconstruction is the art of interpreting the available information to determine what actions were taken by both suspects and victims at the scene of a crime.”
Crime Scene Reconstruction falls more into the category of an art rather than a science.  This is due to the fact that multiple disciplines are used during a reconstruction.  A reconstruction artist must not only be well versed at working crime scenes and investigating those crimes, but must also have additional training in blood spatter interpretation, firearms trajectory analysis, wound ballistics, wound analysis and much more. Any artist worth his or her salt in this field also has numerous contacts that can be consulted at various times.

Read the full article here 

Photographic Techniques for the Laser or Alternate Light Source

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

As crime scene technicians we are accustom to photographing the crime scenes and using forensic photography techniques to capture on film the fingerprints, footwear patterns, toolmarks, bite marks and blood spatter patterns that are found at the various crime scenes. Why then do we have a problem photographing items with the laser or ALS source? We think of the laser or ALS as another light source, such as the photo bulb or electronic flash, however it is not the same photographic technique.

Read the full article here 

Slave Flash Photography Using a Slave Flash with the Epson PhotoPC

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

The Epson PhotoPC digital camera has a built-in flash sufficient for distance of 10 feet or less. This flash is similar to flashes built-in on most point and shoot type cameras. Their flash range is limited. However, with a slave flash, the distance can be increased to 18, 25, even 40 feet...depending on the flash used as a slave flash.
A slave flash is ANY photographic flash attached to a slave unit. A slave unit has a sensor built into the unit that is flash sensitive. The slave unit can "sense" when a photographic flash has been fired. The slave unit then closes its circuit and activates whatever flash is attached to it. Most are so sensitive that they can be activated 100 feet away in full sunlight!
Read the full article here 

Oblique Lighting with the ALS

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

Photographing a footwear impression in dust is sometimes difficult, especially if the dustprint is on a highly reflective surface, such as a gelatin lift or mylar from an electrostatic dustprint lift. Either reflective surface will cause glare back into the camera from the light source. However by using the ALS, a beam of light can be positioned so the light is parallel and just above the reflective surface. This lighting technique has proven successful in photographing these difficult surfaces. No camera reflections, no light flares, no hot spots - just even lighting for a photograph suitable for comparison to the suspected footwear.

Read the full article here 

Night Photography timed exposures

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

This article is demonstrating a series of photographs taken at different exposure times
Read the full article here 


Creating panorama photos in crime scenes using your current camera equipment 

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

Panoramas in crime scene work has always been a useful tool in depicting the area near the crime scene or even in the crime scene. In the past the equipment required to create and shoot panoramas was cost prohibitive for most police agencies. Now panoramas can be made with your current camera equipment. Nothing new to buy and the software is available free from various sources. Panoramas are nothing more than a series of photos taken so the image is overlapped from one image to the next. Many of the newer imaging programs have this feature.

Read the full article here

A sample of Cross polarization with linear lighting

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

A linear polarizing sheet was used as a filter over the light source and a circular polarizer used on the camera.

Read the full article here 

Macro Photography DOF

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

Macro photography requires a greater DOF to ensure the fingerprint or mark on curved objects are in focus.

Read the full article here 

Photographing and casting of three-dimensional tracks

by Ernest D. Hamm

Track evidence at the scenes of crime is probably the most overlooked and under collected type of evidence than any other form of physical evidence encountered by a crime scene investigator. However, it is probably the easiest to recognize and, with minimum effort, to document and recover. Man has been using tracks as a form of human and animal identification for hundreds and hundreds of years. Modern man almost automatically assumes their presence at a scene. Tracks have been used and accepted as a standard for establishing one's presence in a place, evidence that "he was there". Even though it has been widely under used over the years, track evidence is probably the oldest form of criminalistics that was used in an investigation.

Read the full article here 

Crime Scene Sketching 

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

It can be very difficult to describe the layout of an area, building or even a single room to someone. However, with the use of a sketch it becomes much easier to describe and understand the floor plan. The prosecuting attorney may use a sketch to demonstrate to the jury the layout of the building. They may ask the witness to indicate on the diagram exactly where he was when he heard the gunshot. This method of demonstrative evidence can far easier explain to the jury what happened and where it happened. The rough sketch that was completed by the crime scene investigator is for the preparation of a finished diagram to be used in a court presentation. The investigator may draw a rough sketch of a scene to aid in their investigation by recording certain important facts that are difficult to put into words.

Read the full article here 

Crime Scene Interpretation 

by  Hayden B. Baldwin

The reconstruction of crime scenes is a miss nomenclature. You are in reality interpreting the information that you find by examining and processing the scene for evidence. This evidence will then permit you to make factual statements in regards to your findings. For instance, examining a footwear impression left at a scene you will be able to determine what direction the person was walking when that impression was made. Therefore you are interpreting the information you discovered to develop a factual reconstruction. In other words you are placing your interpretations in a logical order to reconstruct what has taken place in the crime scene. This will apply to all crime scenes that are left intact and are not disturb by the victims, paramedics or police officers. Without this "virgin" crime scene the interpretation could be altered and may not be as it was when the suspect(s) were there. Never, never assume or guess at the reconstruction without all the facts from the interpretation.

Read the full article here


Attending a crime scene - A FLOs perspective 

by Kalisa Hadji

During the investigation of major crimes, different departments in law enforcement are required to aid in the investigation. Forensic Laboratory Officers (FLO) (working in a fingerprint development lab), in my department (Scientific Support Unit) we are not required to attend every crime scene for the investigation unless the incident is a major crime. The main reason for this is due to Health and Safety issues risen from the chemicals used for the development of latent finger marks

Read the full article here

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

Future Editions of "The Examiner"

The themes for the following 2 editions of the "The Examiner" are:
  1) November 2015: Photographing and documentation of evidence and crime scenes.
  2) January 2016: DNA

If you would like to contribute any papers/articles/stories from your experiences about any of these themes, please do not hesitate to contact us here with your papers in order to include them in our future newsletter.

Thank you


Record, Manage, Report and Collaborate on all aspects of a crime.

CrimePad® is the professional-grade iPad, Windows, and Android app that allows every law enforcement user to record, track, maintain, collaborate and report on all the data within a criminal investigation or a crime scene.

For for more information about CrimePad click here

Crime Scene Documentation: Start to Finish

By Dick Warrington

This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine® October 2010, Reprinted with Permission.

One of the most important aspects of any crime scene investigation is properly documenting the crime scene. This documentation provides a record of the evidence found at the scene and the observations of the scene itself at the time it was discovered. A complete and accurate record of the scene is essential for investigating the crime and for presenting the case when it goes to court.

Read the full article here

Above photo by: John- MTSOfan on Flickr.com


Formed in 1999, Cellebrite has worked with a number of agencies world-wide. They can help in criminal investigations by analysing mobile devices, websites, cloud systems and many more.

Click here for visiting the website. 

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