Crime Scene Forensics : A Scientific Method Approach book cover
1st Edition

Crime Scene Forensics
A Scientific Method Approach

ISBN 9781439859957
Published December 28, 2011 by CRC Press
644 Pages 232 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $24.00
was $120.00
USD $96.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Bridging the gap between practical crime scene investigation and scientific theory, Crime Scene Forensics: A Scientific Method Approach maintains that crime scene investigations are intensely intellectual exercises that marry scientific and investigative processes. Success in this field requires experience, creative thinking, logic, and the correct application of the science and the scientific method.

Emphasizing the necessary thought processes for applying science to the investigation, this text covers:

  • The general scene investigation process, including definitions and philosophy as well as hands-on considerations
  • Archiving the crime scene through photography, sketching, and video
  • Managing the crime scene investigation—the glue that holds the investigation together
  • Searching the crime scene—the logical byproduct of archiving and management
  • Impression/pattern evidence, including fingerprints, bloodstains, footwear impressions, and tire track impressions
  • The biological crime scene and recognizing, collecting, and preserving biological evidence, including forensic entomology and evidence found at bioweapon scenes
  • The fundamental principles of evidence as expressed by the Principle of Divisible Matter and the Locard Exchange Principle: every touch leaves a trace
  • Trace evidence, including glass, paint, and soil
  • Shooting incident scenes, with discussion of bullet paths and gunshot residue

The final section examines fire scenes, quality assurance issues, and methods for collecting and preserving various evidence types not covered in other chapters.

The delicate balance among logic, science, and investigative activity must be understood in order to successfully work a crime scene. Enhanced by more than 200 color images, this volume provides investigators and students with the tools to grasp these critical concepts, paving an expeditious path to the truth.

Table of Contents

The Philosophy and Essentials of Crime Scene Forensics
Crime Scene Forensics: Philosophy, Practice, and Teaching
The Scientific Method, Bias, and Reasoning
Management Basics: The Investigative Glue
The Fundamental Principles of Evidence
Searching the Scene: Logic in Action
Forensic Archiving: Today’s Eye for the Future
The Principles of Forensic Photography
The Paper Trail: Case Files, Worksheets, Notes, and Sketches
Videography: The Forensic Documentary
Impression Evidence: Patterns of Identity
Fingerprints: The Intellectual Ingredients
Fingerprints II: On-Scene Considerations
Pattern Evidence I: Footwear Impressions
Pattern Evidence II: Vehicle-Involved Scenes
The Biological Crime Scene
The Biological Crime Scene: It’s Not Just About DN A
Introduction to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: The Basics
Mass Fatality Events, Bioweapons, and Microbial Forensics
Forensic Entomology: Bugs and the Postmortem Interval
Microscenes and Trace Evidence
Microscenes: Hair and Fibers
Glass: A Multitasking Class of Evidence
Soil and Paint as Evidence
Bang! It’s a Shooting Incident Scene
Introducing Shooting Scene Investigations
Vehicles as Shooting Incident Crime Scenes
Miscellaneous Considerations and Specialized Scenes
Fire Scenes: A Scientific Method Investigation
Quality at the Crime Scene
Collection and Preservation of Evidence
Scientific and Technical Working Groups

View More



Robert C. Shaler’s research and professional interests focus on applying science and technology to crime scene investigation. His current research is related to identifying human and bacterial DNA in fingerprints and to quantifying the biological response to trauma and stress by analyzing postmortem blood and tissue. He has taught workshops to law enforcement on crime scene investigation, crime scene reconstruction, and bloodstain pattern analysis. He is the recipient of a U.S. patent for a novel method for developing fingerprints, a continuing project for which he recently received funding from the National Institute of Justice. He is the author of over 40 publications and chapters in four books.

Support Material


  • Instructor Resources

    To gain access to the instructor resources for this title, please visit the Instructor Resources Download Hub.

    You will be prompted to fill out a regist