Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing  book cover
1st Edition

Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing

ISBN 9781420068214
Published November 24, 2010 by CRC Press
251 Pages - 85 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

When a crime or other incident takes place, clothing items are often present or left behind, and can become directly involved in the case itself. Items of clothing are thus one of the most common types of exhibit examined in court. They can provide valuable information in cases of violent crimes, such as homicide or rape, as well as in burglary, robbery, arson, and vehicular accidents.

A unique reference in the forensic arena

The first of its kind, Scientific Protocols for Forensic Examination of Clothing discusses the forensic examination of clothing in criminal cases. It examines the ramifications of DNA profiling and its effect on the screening approach to clothing examination. Coverage includes protocols and procedures, preliminary assessment, examination, testing and sampling, quality assurance and control, and the significance of results.

Applicable to a myriad of readers

Suitable for a wide range of readers, this book is designed for examiners trying to decide how to approach a clothing examination, those looking for more information on a specific topic, laboratory quality assurance officers in need of a reliable reference, as well as attorneys, investigators, archaeologists, and curators.

Expert authors

Author Jane Moira Taupin has testified as a forensic expert more than 130 times. Chesterene Cwiklik is a founder of the Pacific Coast Forensic Science Institute. Their expertise makes this a valuable resource for all those who examine clothing items and interpret subsequent findings.

Table of Contents

Protocols, Procedures, and Philosophy
The Importance of Clothing Examination

Clothing a "Crime Scene"
Multiple Hypotheses, Alternative Explanations
The Origin of Evidence
Searching for Evidence and the Screening Effect
Checklists, Guidelines, and Protocols
Nonprescriptive Holistic Approach
Preliminary Inquiries
Focus of the Examination
Information Concerning the Crime
Levels of Information
History of Exhibit
Reference and Control Samples
Preservation, Handling, and Storage
Contamination Issues
Health and Safety
Preliminary Assessment
Clothing Construction
Yarn and Fabric Composition
Yarns or Threads
Sewing Terminology
Clothing Construction Terminology
Stains and Deposits
Information from Preliminary Examination
Getting Started: Workflow for Examination of Stains and Deposits
Sampling of Stains and Deposits
Questions That Can Be Addressed by Stains and Deposits
Sorting Tools for Stains and Deposits
Establishing a Reference Collection
Writing Reports
Terminology for Stains and Deposits
Pattern Evidence
Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA)
Firearm Discharge Residue Patterns
Direct Contact Impressions: Imprints and Indentations
Physical Fit
Damage Categories
Examination Approach
Normal Wear and Tear and "Recency"
Holes and Punctures
Physical Fit
Glass Cuts
Microbial Damage
Thermal (Fire and Heat) Damage
Firearm Damage
Other Textiles
Glossary of Terms
Human Biological Evidence
Vaginal Secretions, Urine, Feces, and Vomit
Wearer DNA
Trace DNA
Multiple Body Sources
Nonhuman Biological Evidence
Traces and Debris
The Nature of Debris
Sorting Tools for Evaluating Traces and Debris
Composition of Debris
Component vs. Non-Component Debris
Transfers of Debris
Questions That Can Be Addressed by Examinations of Traces and
Questions of Contact
Target vs. Context-Based Examinations
Absence of Debris
Summary: Nature, Composition, Source, and Transfers of
Traces and Debris
Sampling and Sorting
Reference Samples and Reference Standards
Reconstruction of Events
Process-Based Descriptive Terminology for Traces and Debris
Trace Evidence Recovery Guidelines (SWGMAT, 1999)
Results and Their Significance
Significance of the Evidence
Context of Evidence Obtained from Clothing
Objectivity and Opinion
The Adversarial System and the Law
Interpretation and Communication of the Evidence
Peer, Technical, and Administrative Reviews
Training and Maintaining the Expertise of the Clothing Examiner

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Forensic scientists and technicians, attorneys, and judges.


An interesting feature of this text is the practical exercises at the end of each chapter encouraging the reader to apply the various principles under discussion, and to visit local good and bad examples of green chemistry.
—Lucy Mitton, Chemistry World

"The science is supported by excellent illustrations and case studies. Each chapter is well-referenced for further study. … essential for the proper understanding and preparation of that special case."
Law Society Journal

"The authors are experienced forensic scientists with different perspectives; their experiences combine to provide useful suggestions for the practitioner responsible for the forensic examination of clothing. The forensic scientist assigned to examine clothing for physical evidence would benefit greatly from a full understanding of the suggestions in this book. More importantly, stakeholders (investigator, litigator, and trier of fact) will benefit from clothing examinations conducted in the ways described in this book."
— Richard E. Bisbing, in American Academy of Forensic Sciences

" … provides a very good starting point for readers that have no or limited exposure to the field. I would recommend this book to any forensic examiner understudy … "
—Ghislain Cormier, National Operations Specialist, RCMP Forensic Investigations Support Services, Ottawa, Ontario

"This is a practical and useful book ... more than meets the hopes of the authors. It should be essential reading for all forensic scientists to remind them tht the forensic process is holistic and not about single evidence types."
—James Robertson, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences