The most important part of a CSI’s (crime scene investigator) job is accurate documentation of properly collected evidence. Documentation tells the story of the crime and can ultimately prove a suspect guilty. Through an array of specific exercises and actual document templates used in practice, Crime Scene Processing and Laboratory Workbook teaches students the proper physical evidence collection and processing techniques which will enable them to master the skills necessary to become a proficient CSI.
Building on prior knowledge and facilitating hands-on experience, this laboratory manual allows students to practice the methods, procedures, and techniques associated with forensic science, crime scene investigation, documentation, and evidence handling. What makes this lab manual unique is that it follows a single hypothetical case to show each of the investigative techniques in the context of a real crime. Highlighting the skills and equipment needed for each assignment, the text presents over twenty separate exercises that alternate between investigating physical evidence specific to the crime scene and evidence specific to the laboratory. The book also provides useful forms, including the laboratory submission request, that duplicate real-world experience and demonstrate how to properly collect, record, and submit evidence.
This volume is a useful companion to Gardner’s Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation and Fisher’s Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation. The exercises are designed to be completed with or without the help of a partner or as a member of a team. The appendices contain supplemental forms and numbered tent cards that can be used during the exercises along with other additional material such as a glossary and instructions on how to accurately write reports.
Table of Contents
Exercise 1 Camera and Equipment
Exercise 2 Report Writing and Crime Scene Documentation
Exercise 3 The Crime Scene
Exercise 4 Photo Imaging Assignment
Exercise 5 Evidence Collection and Packaging
Exercise 6 The Secondary Crime Scene
Exercise 7 Fingerprints
Exercise 8 Close Up or Bench Photo Imaging
Exercise 9 Wafting
Exercise 10 CSI vs. Real CSI
Exercise 11 Advanced Fingerprints
Exercise 12 Presumptive Testing for Blood
Exercise 13 Blood Drops and Blood Spatter Patterns
Exercise 14 Car Crash
Exercise 15 Toolmarks
Exercise 16 Recovering a Firearm
Exercise 17Interactive Virtual Crime Scene
Exercise 18 Soil
Exercise 19 Forensic Entomology
Exercise 20 Additional Practice with Your Camera
Exercise 21 Microscopy
Exercise 22 Footwear Impressions
Appendix A Report Form Instructions
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Scales
Appendix D Tent Cards
Appendix E Photo ID & North Card
Appendix F How to Print Small Images
Appendix G Extra Reports
Appendix H "Maggot Motel"
Patrick Jones and Ralph E. Williams are with Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The preface of this workbook states that its intent is to assist students in learning the "techniques of collection and processing crime scenes". The authors have achieved this goal.
—Mike Illes, Trent University and Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, Vol. 43, No. 1, March 2010