1st Edition

Scientific Foundations of Crime Scene Reconstruction Introducing Method to Mayhem

By Ph.D. Nordby Copyright 2013
    684 Pages
    by CRC Press

    681 Pages 863 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Philosophers of science have long used reconstructive reasoning to develop historical explanations covering the origins of natural phenomenon. The application of the scientific method is a powerful tool for solving crimes through reconstruction of the events. Scientific Foundations of Crime Scene Reconstruction: Introducing Method to Mayhem demonstrates how to use the scientific method and exercise the critical thinking that is essential for the development of sound data and the construction of reliable explanations.

    • Provides a clear yet rigorous account of the scientific method accessible to non-philosophers

    • Supplies examples showing the application of scientific methods to the reconstruction of events that leave physical evidence at crime scenes

    • Presents self-contained chapters—each with specific points about how a scene reconstruction is built upon the analysis of specific physical evidence

    • Discusses the scope and limitations of physical evidence and the resulting analyses that they support in crafting scientific crime scene reconstructions

    • Includes case studies of crime scene reconstructions from Dr. Nordby’s experience, complete with color photographs and laboratory notes

    Moving systematically from case to case, this volume is an essential reference for forensic and law enforcement professionals who need to step into new or unfamiliar areas to understand how science can help them do their jobs. It enables forensic scientists to apply the natural sciences to casework in shooting and nonshooting cases. It also educates attorneys who need to understand scientific evidence and the process of crime scene reconstruction from the scientific point of view.

    Shootings. Three Strikes and Out. Misplaced Method. The Room with the View. See No Evil. A Christmas Story. Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer. Man Down. Nonshootings. A Flash in the Pan. The Party’s Over. The Picture of a Crime. Cold Case Crackpots. Bombs Away. The Brothers Grimm. Slow But Sure: Testudines Chelonia. Appendix A: Error Rates, Certainty Factors, and Confidence Coefficients. Appendix B: Bloodstain Pattern Basics. Index.


    Jon J. Nordby runs Final Analysis Forensics, an independent consulting practice in death investigation, forensic science, and forensic medicine. He specializes in scientific scene reconstruction, evidence recognition, collection and analysis, ballistics, bloodstain pattern analysis and medical-legal death investigations.

    He served the National Disaster Medical System with Region X DMORT, deploying to the scene of the 9-11 World Trade Center attack on the United States. He has worked as a medical investigator with the Pierce County and King County (Washington) medical examiners' offices and the British Columbia Coroner’s Service Forensic Unit. He also taught crime scene investigation and scientific evidence analysis to countless members of Washington State's legal, coroner, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, Dr. Nordby has investigated and reconstructed a number of officer-involved shootings as well as many homicide cases around the United States, Canada, and Europe. All the cases and discussions in this volume are developed from his own scientific work with each case and his investigative experience over the last 25 years