Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3: THE CRIME SCENE"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 3: THE CRIME SCENE “Oh, how simple it would all have been had I been here before they came like a herd of buffalo and wallowed all over it.”—A. Conan Doyle, in The Boscombe Valley Mystery, 1892
3 FIRST OFFICER ON THE SCENE A Assess the crime scene and assist those hurtD Detain the witnessA Arrest the perpetratorP Protect the crime sceneT Take notes
4 2. Record the scene Photography Digital camera should have 4 or more megapixels, close-up capabilities, and flash attachment (The more pixels, the more detail captured)Differences in pixels are important in court because the greater the pixel the larger the print can be.
5 PhotographyTwo photos should be taken of each shot in case one is blurred. There are three 3 general categories of photographs:1. Overview (gives general locale and approach route)2. Mid-range (mid-range (10-20 feet) tell a story that helps establish the modus operandi of the offender.)3. Close-up (essential for establishing the corpus delicti of a criminal act.)*corpus delicti – the body of facts that show a crime was committed, includes the physical evidence and/or the body
6 There are two 2 general methods of photography: (1) overlapping, which is a series of photos taken in a circular or clockwise direction, overlapping each slightly to show the overall scene(2) progressive, which starts from a fixed point, photographs each piece of evidence as the photographer moves toward it, and progressively gets closer in the pictures.
7 Photography Bodies are photographed from five angles: (1) head to feet (2) right side(3) feet to head(4) left side(5) straight down from above
8 Notes (written observations) ConstantDetailedLocationTimeHow and by whom item was packagedDisposition of the itemTape-recordedVideotape
10 Sketches (drawn observations) Begin with rough sketchAccurate dimensionsLocation of all objects having a bearing on the caseLetters/numbers assigned to items and include legendCompass heading northFinished sketchDrawn carefullyDrawn to scaleComputer aided drafting
12 Practical measuring techniques Rectangular coordinates: This is the easiest and most used method for most crime scene specialist. Measurements are taken from 2 fixed areas at right angles of each other.2. Triangulation coordinates: This method is designed to measure to an item from 2 fixed points by forming a triangle.
13 3. Conduct a systematic search for evidence Line method – used for outdoor scenes and involves lanes or strips to be searched by one searcher
14 Grid method – used for outdoor scenes and combines a strip search w/an additional strip search conducted at right angles to the 1st
15 Zone method – used for outdoor or indoor and involves dividing scene into sectors which can be searched by a variety of investigators
16 Spiral method – used for large outdoor scenes and consists of starting at the center and following a spiral path out to the perimeter of scene
17 To be collected Victim’s clothing Fingernail scrapings Head and pubic hairsBloodVaginal, anal, and oral swabsRecovered bullets from the bodyHand swabs from shooting victims
18 4. Obtain Standard/Reference Samples Physical evidence whose origin is known, such as blood or hair from a suspect, that can be compared to crime-scene evidenceSubstrate controls – uncontaminated surface material close to an area where physical evidence has been deposited
19 5. Collect and Package Physical Evidence Must prevent contamination, breakage, evaporation, accidental scratching or bending, or loss through improper or careless packagingEntire object should be sentPackage evidence separatelySecure container
20 Special Considerations for Packaging Wet items must be dried before packaging to prevent mold and mildewContainers should be tightly sealed to prevent leaksClothing with trace evidence should be packaged carefullyArson evidence should be kept in an airtight glass container to prevent fumes from evaporating
21 6. Maintain Chain of Custody There must be a written record of all people who have had possession of an item of evidence.The evidence container must be marked for identificationThe collector’s initials should be placed on the sealIf evidence is turned over to another person, the transfer must be recorded.
22 7. Submit Evidence to the Laboratory Personal delivery or by mailMust adhere to postal regulationsCare taken in packaging
23 8. Crime Scene Safety Senses will be shocked Exposure to blood and other biological materialsInoculations against Hepatitis BWear latex glovesProtective shoe coversLiquid repellent coverallsParticle mask/respirator, goggles, or face shield
24 Be alert to sharp objects, knives, hypodermic syringes, razor blades, etc Red biohazard bagDisinfect/decontaminateEating, drinking, smoking, and the application of makeup are prohibited“Infectious Linen” laundered at the expense of the employer
25 CRIME SCENE RECONSTRUCTION StagesData collectionHypothesis formationExamination, testing and analysisDetermination of the significance of the evidenceTheory formulation
26 Legal Considerations at the Crime Scene Evidence may become excluded b/c of an “unreasonable” search and seizure of evidenceMust abide by the Fourth Amendment“…must have probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
27 Justifications for a warrantless search: The existence of emergency circumstancesThe need to prevent the immediate loss or destruction of evidenceA search of a person and property within the immediate control of the person provided it is made incident to a lawful arrest
28 4. A search made by consent of the parties involved
29 Mincey v. ArizonaCourt dealt with the legality of a four-day search at a homicide sceneInvolved a police raid on the home of Rufus Mincey, who had been suspected of dealing drugsUndercover police office forced entry into Mincey’s apartment and was killed in a scuffle that ensued
30 Without a search warrant, police spent four days searching the apartment They recovered bullets, drugs, and drug paraphernaliaItems were introduced as evidence during trialMincey was convicted and on appeal contended that the evidence gathered from his apartment was illegally seized
32 Michigan v. TylerA business leased by Tyler and a business partner was destroyed by fireFire was extinguished in the early hours of the morningFire officials and police were prevented from thoroughly examining the scene for evidence of arson
33 The building was left unattended until 8:00 am Officials returned and began an inspection of the burned premisesAssorted items of evidence were recovered and removed from the building
34 On 3 other occasions---4 days, 7 days, and 25 days after the fire---investigators reentered the premises and removed additional itemsEach of these searches were made without warrant or without consentThe evidence seized was used to convict Tyler and his partner of conspiracy to burn property and related offenses
35 The Supreme Court upheld the reversal of the conviction, holding the initial morning search to be proper but contending that evidence obtained from subsequent reentries to the scene was inadmissable.
36 Case Study: Captain Jeffrey MacDonald p. 44 Called military police in the middle of the night on Feb. 17, 1970Said he had just regained consciousness and found his wife and two young daughters massacred in their homeAs the MPs arrived, they all entered the house, walking around and touching what may have proven to be evidenceMany types of evidence collected, but carelesslyCOC poorly maintained10 years later, Cpt. MacDonald was convicted of the murdersRemains in federal prison
37 Case Study: Mark Winger An intruder named Roger Harrington bludgeoned his wife, Donnah, to death on August 23, 1995Mark had interrupted the attack and killed HarringtonThe case was finally reopened and detectives, going through the files, found yet another surprise - three Polaroids taken by Officer Barringer on the night of the murders, before Donnah Winger and Roger Harrington were moved to the hospital. The photos showed the placement of the bodies, something that police say blew Winger’s version of events out of the water.In 2001, Winger was arrested. On Aug. 1, 2002 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole