Forensic Analysis of Tattoos and Tattoo Inks  book cover
1st Edition

Forensic Analysis of Tattoos and Tattoo Inks

ISBN 9781482221466
Published September 10, 2015 by CRC Press
382 Pages 284 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Forensic Analysis of Tattoos and Tattoo Inks is the single most comprehensive resource on the analysis of tattoo inks and use of tattoos as a tool in forensic investigations and criminalistics. The book begins with a history of tattoos and tattoo inks, and covers the use of tattoos throughout time as aids in the identification of individuals. It presents identification methods of identification through tattoos on charred, decomposed, mummified, or otherwise unidentifiable remains in both criminal investigations and mass disasters.

This book provides an understanding of the process of tattooing and the roles of tattoos in criminological inquiry and legal matters. It scientifically evaluates tattoo inks, documenting the physical properties of the inks both macroscopically and microscopically as well as spectroscopically—identifying the optical and chemical properties of the various pigments found in these inks. A thorough analytical method is developed to conform to current laboratory accreditation standards and the satisfaction of legal standards such as Frye, Daubert and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Forensic Analysis of Tattoos and Inks shows how routine scientific inquiry can be applied to tattoo evidence by adding an objective component to interpretation, identification, and individualization of tattoos and tattoo inks in investigations. It presents the science and chemistry of tattoos and tattoo inks as a reliable tool in forensic casework and other related criminal and legal matters.

Table of Contents


Tattoos and Tattooing
Terminology and Technique
Tattoo Prevalence and Interpretation

Tattoos and Tattooing in Criminology and Criminal Investigations
Tattoos and Criminological Theories
Tattoos and Forensic Investigations
Identification and Individualization
Tattoos and Criminal Investigations
Tattoos in the Courtroom
Tattoos and Scientific Inquiry

Tattoo Modification, Removal, and Detection
The Anatomy of Human Skin
Tattoo Pigments and Human Tissue
Detection of Pigments in Tattooed Skin
Visualization of Tattoos
Tattoo Removal Methods
Thermal Cautery and Laser Tattoo Removal


General Components of Tattoo Inks
Liquid Composition of Tattoo Inks
Pigment Composition of Tattoo Inks
Homemade Tattoo Inks
Professional Tattoo Inks

The Chemistry of Tattoo Inks from Ancient to Modern Times
Black Tattooing Pigments
Red Tattooing Pigments
Orange Tattooing Pigments
Yellow Tattooing Pigments
Green Tattooing Pigments
Blue Tattooing Pigments
Purple Tattooing Pigments
White Tattooing Pigments
Brown Tattooing Pigments
Modern Tattooing Pigments
The Transition from Natural to Synthetic Pigments in Tattoo Inks
Additional Studies and Reports on Tattoo Ink Composition
The Liquid Composition of Modern Tattoo Inks
Additional Studies of Modern Tattoo Inks and Pigments


Alternate Sources of Tattoos and Tattoo Inks
Pigments for Medicinal Purposes
Pigments for Cosmetic Purposes
Pigments Used in Art and Manufacturing
Writing Inks

Modern Organic Pigments

The Chemical Analysis of Modern Tattoo Inks: Microscopy
Iron Works Brasil Tattoo Inks
Skin Candy Tattoo Inks
Flying Tigers Tattoo Inks

The Chemical Analysis of Modern Tattoo Inks: Spectroscopy
X-Ray Fluorescence: Theory and Practice
UV-Vis Spectrometry: Theory and Practice
Infrared Spectrometry: Theory and Practice
Raman Spectroscopy: Theory and Practice
SERS: Theory and Practice
Instrument Calibration, Method Development, and Standard Practices
Spectroscopic Analysis of Tattoo Inks
Chemistry and UV-Vis Spectroscopy
Tattoos in Tissue

The Chemical Analysis of Modern Tattoo Inks: Spectroscopy
Results: Pigment Standards
Results: Tattoo Inks
Results: Pigskin


Current Status and Future Work
Scientific Inquiries
Legislation and Regulation Concerning Tattooing

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Michelle Miranda holds a PhD in criminal justice with a forensic science concentration and an MPhil in criminal justice from The CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Miranda is a diplomate with the American Board of Criminalistics and a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She worked as a criminalist in the Trace Evidence Section of the NYPD crime lab, and as both a medical photographer and a death investigator for regional medical examiner’s offices in New York State. She is an adjunct assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is currently employed as an assistant professor in the Department of Security Systems and Law Enforcement Technology at Farmingdale State College (SUNY).


"The literature within the forensic domain is limited in this area. The text gathers together much of this and as such acts as a useful reference." - Niamh NicDaeid, Springer, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry