The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science: A Laboratory Manual, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science

A Laboratory Manual, 1st Edition

By Kathy Mirakovits, Gina Londino-Smolar

CRC Press

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Description

Once confined to four-year colleges and graduate schools, forensic science classes can now be found in local high schools as well as in two-year community colleges. The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science: A Laboratory Manual is designed for the beginning forensic science student and for instructors who wish to provide a solid foundation in basic forensic science topics and laboratory techniques. Divided into five distinct sections, the book covers a broad range of subjects, including fingerprinting, shoeprint analysis, firearms, pathology, anthropology, forensic biology, drugs, trace evidence, and more.

The book includes extensive notes for instructors to assist in pre-laboratory preparation. Highly illustrated with extensive diagrams and photos, this comprehensive laboratory workbook contains enough pedagogic content to enable it to be used alongside and forensic text or even as a stand-alone text. The laboratory exercises include pre- and post-laboratory questions, illustrating basic crime scene scenarios and clearly stating the objectives of each exercise. Many of the exercises also have additional advanced lab exercises and options for educators with access to more specialized equipment.

The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science lends itself to a wide range of academic levels and environments. It is a welcome primer to instructors wanting to conduct experiments, each using essential laboratory techniques, and to address core forensic science concepts.

Table of Contents

FORENSIC SCIENCE AND CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation: Solving the Puzzle

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Locard’s Exchange Principle: Transfer of Evidence

Background

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

Physical Matches

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

The 3Ls: Locating, Lifting, and Logging Evidence

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Discussion Questions

Evidence Collection: Making an Evidence (Drug) Fold

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Materials

Procedure

Classifying Evidence: Is This Class or Individual Evidence?

Introduction

Materials

Procedure

Follow-Up Questions

The Basic Crime Scene Sketch

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Follow-Up Questions

Crime Scene Investigation

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

PATTERNS AND IMPRESSIONS

Fingerprints

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Questioned Documents

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Advanced Laboratory Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Firearms Identification Web Quest

Procedure

Questions to Answer

Case File Exercise

Basic Firearms Identification: Examining Bullets and Cartridge Casings

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

Basic Toolmark Identification: Screwdriver Comparison

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

Shoeprints

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

FORENSIC BIOLOGY

Serology

Introduction

Scenario

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Procedure

Advanced Laboratory Procedure

Discussion Questions

Advanced Questions

Worksheet

Pathology: The Autopsy

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

DNA Analysis

Introduction

Scenario

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Procedure

Advanced Laboratory Procedure

Discussion Questions

Advanced Questions

Worksheet

Hairs

Introduction

Scenario

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Procedure

Discussion Questions

Worksheet

Forensic Anthropology: Determination of Stature

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

Basic Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Background

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

FORENSIC CHEMISTRY

Inks

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Illicit Drugs

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Advanced Laboratory Procedure

Summary Questions

Advanced Summary Questions

Worksheet

White Powder Testing

Introduction

Scenario

Materials

Procedure

Post-Laboratory Questions

Calculating Blood Alcohol Concentration: The Widmark Formula

Introduction

Fibers

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Polymers

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Fire Debris

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Explosives

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

FORENSIC PHYSICS

Accident Investigation: Skid to Stop Mathematics

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Procedure

Work Space for Calculations

Post-Laboratory Questions

Glass

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Procedure

Summary Questions

Worksheet

Forensic Analysis of Glass: Identifying the Type of Glass

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Scenario

Post-Laboratory Analysis

Measuring the Diameter of a Human Hair

Introduction

Pre-Laboratory Questions

Materials

Procedure

Apparatus Setup

Post-Laboratory Questions

About the Authors

Kathy Mirakovits teaches forensic science and physics at Portage Northern High School in Portage, Michigan, and physics at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in science education from Western Michigan University and has completed over 15 graduate hours in forensic science. She has taught at the high school and two-year-college levels for a total of 25 years, teaching general science, physical science, chemistry, biology, earth science, and physics. She conducts workshops across the United States for teachers who wish to learn the application of forensic science in a school curriculum. She currently serves as the high school director for the Michigan Science Teachers Association.

Gina Londino received her master’s degree in chemistry from Purdue University in Indianapolis. Her main focus in graduate school was in forensic analysis of pigmented ink using pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. She also performed research on biomarkers at Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, through the ADME department throughout graduate school. Gina is currently a senior lecturer in the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis, where she has been teaching introductory courses in forensic science, forensic chemistry, and forensic microscopy since 2006. She has designed multiple courses in forensic science, including a variety of beginner-to-advanced laboratory exercises.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW041000
LAW / Forensic Science
SCI013000
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General