Crime scene investigators are the foundation for every criminal investigation. The admissibility and persuasiveness of evidence in court, and in turn, the success of a case, is largely dependent upon the evidence being properly collected, recorded, and handled for future analysis by investigators and forensic analysts in the lab. Complete Crime Scene Investigation Handbook is the most complete, one-stop practical reference for law enforcement and crime scene professionals as well as students looking to enter the field.
The book provides step-by-step methods and best practice protocols for effectively finding, recognizing, recording, collecting, preserving, handling, and packaging evidence. With more than 650 full color photos and illustrations the book covers:
- The investigative team and its responsibilities
- The rules for forensic search and seizure
- Proper documentation of evidence via note-taking, photography, and sketching
- Search patterns and the special considerations for various searches
- The use of alternative light sources
- Presumptive tests via luminol and other methods
- Latent fingerprint processing
- Evidence collection and packaging
- Serological, trace, firearms, toolmark, footwear, tire, and digital evidence
- Injury documentation
- Appendices with a full compliment of sample forms, equipment lists, and checklists to assist in crime scene investigation
A special considerations section reviews topics such as shooting scene and bloodstain documentation, clandestine graves and scattered human remains, fire scenes, and questioned document evidence. The final chapters examine how to develop a working plan and processing methodology as well as effective report writing. This book is a must-have reference for experienced forensic, crime scene, and investigative professionals as well as students in forensic science programs looking to enter the field.
A specially developed companion lab exercise workbook—The Complete Crime Scene Investigation Workbook (ISBN: 978-1-4987-0142-6)—is also available for purchase and can be used in conjunction with this handbook, both for group training purposes or for individuals looking for hands-on self-study.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The Investigative Team. Forensic Search and Seizure. Documentation. Note Taking. Photography. Sketching. Locating Evidence. Crime Scene Searching Techniques. Alternate Light Source. Presumptive Tests and Chemical Enhancements. Latent Fingerprint Development. Evidence Collecting and Packaging. Types of Evidence. Physical Evidence. Serological Evidence. Trace Evidence. Firearms and Toolmark Evidence. Footwear and Tire Impressions. Digital Evidence. Injury Documentation. Special Considerations. Shooting Scene Documentation. Bloodstain Documentation. Clandestine Graves and Scattered Human Remains. Fire Scenes. Questioned Document Evidence. Putting It All Together. Develop a Working Plan and Processing Methodology. Report Writing. Appendices.
With over 22 years combined law enforcement experience, Everett Baxter served as a licensed paramedic in the State of Oklahoma acquiring extensive training and experience in medical emergencies and the mechanism of injury. He holds an Associate in Applied Science from Oklahoma City Community College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma specializing in Emergency Medical Technology. As a member of the Oklahoma City Police Department's Crime Scene Unit he expanded on his medical and scientific education with numerous courses including bloodstain pattern analysis, shooting scene reconstruction, fingerprinting and forensic mapping. He currently teaches a basic Crime Scene Investigations course for the Oklahoma City Police Department and is an adjunct professor at the local college teaching Technical Investigations, police photography, and Basic Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.