Mechanics of Impression Evidence  book cover
1st Edition

Mechanics of Impression Evidence

ISBN 9781439813706
Published February 23, 2011 by CRC Press
241 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

As forensic technology becomes more sophisticated, courts are demanding more scientific content and juries are expecting meticulous confirmation of facts alleged. Greater attention is now paid to increasingly finer details and improved methods of describing every form of evidence. Applying physics, chemistry, and engineering to the process of analysis and interpretation, Mechanics of Impression Evidence reflects the shift to these heightened standards and offers a starting point for significant change in the way that impression evidence is considered, utilized, and presented.

Concepts discussed in this groundbreaking text include:

  • The three-dimensional nature of the human fingerprint and a shift toward a more holistic image of the surface of friction skin
  • Dimensional stability and striation mark issues, which can change the way footwear outsoles are evaluated and compared
  • The research and development of electrostatic scans that could possibly save lives and locate or describe evidence as never before
  • The growing availability of new measurement techniques that can improve evidence testimony
  • The use of personal experimentation to support conclusions or confirm that which is otherwise considered fact

Making use of logic and science to question our approach to impression evidence, this volume begins with simple ideas and basic notions and uses these building blocks to suggest and consider potentially controversial changes in the way evidence is located, interpreted, compared, and presented.

Table of Contents

Forensic Analysis of Wood DNA; S. L Wilson and D. S. Pierce


Materials, Methods, and Results


Signs of Evolution

A New Beginning for Forensics

Substrate to Structure


A Basic Look at a Popular Substrate



Ivory Tower Syndrome

The View Has Changed

The Basis

The Ground We Walk On

Soil Composition

The Structure of Soil

Influences that Act on Soils

A Curious Destination for Minerals and Dyes

Measurement; E. Liscio and D. S. Pierce

The Relevance of Measurement

Accuracy and Language Issues


Stereoscopic Images and Scanning Synopsis

Fluids; P. Mallay and D. S. Pierce

Simple Drops

Modeling Droplets

Sample Calculation

Experimental Process

Friction and Fluids

Analysis and Comparison


Surface Pairings

The Value of a Surface Pairing

Sequential Analysis


Coincidental Impressions

Paired Surfaces at a Point of Contact

Industrial Materials


Sources of Bias

Creation Theory Bias

The Awful Truth about Bias




Exhibits to Evidence

Re-Creating the Scene

The Use of Observations

Validation Study of Three-Dimensional Striations from Outsoles

Beginning with Markings

The Hypothesis

Empirical Studies

Dimensional Stability of Outsoles

Experiments with Casual Exposures to Solvents

Summary of Possibilities and Probabilities of Validation

Potential of Electrostatics

Images of Electrons

Toward Development of a Unified Theory

Collective Value


Appendix: Terminal Velocity Calculator



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David S. Pierce is certified as a footwear examiner by the Canadian Identification Society and has had numerous articles published in the Journal of Forensic Science.