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Documenting the Crime Scene Getting Started. Record Information Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

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Presentation on theme: "Documenting the Crime Scene Getting Started. Record Information Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Documenting the Crime Scene Getting Started

2 Record Information Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

3 Field Notes Investigative notes are a permanent written record of the facts of a case to be used in further investigation, in writing reports, and in prosecuting the case. Detailed notes can make or break a conviction.

4 How to Take Notes Don’t include words such as: a, and, and the Use standard abbreviations such as mph, DWI, and Ave

5 Advantages of Photographs They can be taken immediately They accurately represent the crime scene and evidence They create interest and increase attention to testimony

6 Disadvantages of Photographs They are not selective They do not show actual distances They may be distorted and damaged by mechanical errors in shooting or processing

7 Common Photographic Equipment 35mm Digital camera Instant print camera Fingerprint camera Video equipment

8 Advantages of Digital Cameras Elimination of time and expense involved in developing photographic film Quickly adaptable as e-mail attachments Easily incorporated into written reports Record information about each photograph Consistency

9 What to Photograph Long-range pictures of the locality Medium-range pictures of the immediate crime scene and objects of evidence within the area or room Close-range pictures of specific evidence

10 Photogrammetry Refers to the 3-D measurements of the real world directly from photographs for use in courts Can accurately locate and measure any object appearing in two or more photographs Can automatically orient photographs taken from awkward angles Can correct camera misalignment

11 Types of Investigative Photography Surveillance Photography Aerial Photography Night Photography Laboratory Photography Mug Shots Lineup Photographs

12 Types of Laboratory Photography Microphotography- takes pictures through a microscope Macrophotography- enlarges a subject Laser-beam photography- reveals evidence indiscernible to the naked eye Ultraviolet-light photography- uses the low end of the color spectrum to make visible impressions of bruises and injuries long after their actual occurrence

13 What to Photograph Take sufficient photographs to reconstruct the scene. Such as: The Entrance Point The Crime Commission Area The Exit Point

14 Admissibility of Photographs in Court Photographs must be: Material Relevant Competent Accurate Free of Distortion Non-inflammatory

15 Crime Scene Sketches Accurately portray the physical facts Relate to the sequence of events at the scene Establish the precise location and relationship of objects at the scene Help create a mental picture of the scene Permanent record of the scene Usually admissible in court

16 Crime Scene Sketches Sketch all serious crime and crash scenes after photographs are taken and before anything is moved. Assists in: Interviewing and Interrogating people Preparing the investigative report Presenting the case in court

17 Materials for Making Scale Drawings Materials: Drawing Kit Triangular scale rule Templates Indelible Ink Drafting Table T-square Drafting Paper Colors Uses: Tools for drawing Accurate Scaling Curves/odd shapes Permanent Finishing Ease of drawing Accurate lines Absorbs color better Area comparison

18 Steps in sketching the scene 1. Observe and plan 2. Measure and outline the area 3. Plot objects and evidence within the outline 4. Make notes 5. Identify the legend and the scale 6. Reassess the sketch 7. File the sketch

19 Step One: Observe and Plan Observe the scene as many times as needed until you can recall facts and placement. Plan in advance how you will process the scene to avoid damaging evidence.

20 Step Two: Measure and outline the Area All measurements must be accurate. Do not move items while measuring. Do not measure moveable items. Measure wall to wall. Determine the scale by taking the longest measurement at the scene and dividing it by the longest measurement of the paper used for sketching. Ex: If you paper is 10in and the room is 100ft long, the scale would be 1 inch equals 10ft

21 Step Two: Measure and outline the Area Measure the doors and windows. (record the measurements and determine if they open in or out.) Sketch the location of physical objects of the room. Place items of evidence and objects in the sketch at the same time. Use numbers to designate items and letters to designate evidence.

22 Step Two: Measure and outline the Area Use exact measurements to show location of evidence in a room and in relation to all other objects. Measure and re-measure before you leave the scene.

23 Step Three: Plotting Objects and Evidence Rectangle-coordinate method- uses two adjacent walls at which fixed points from which distances are measured. (Restricted to squared or rectangular areas) Baseline method-establishes a straight line from one fixed point to another. Triangulation method-uses straight-line measures from two fixed objects to the evidence to create a triangle with the evidence in the angle formed by the two straight lines.

24 Step Three: Plotting Objects and Evidence Compass Point Method-uses a protractor to measure the angle formed by two lines. Cross-Projection Method-presents doors and walls as if they are one surface. Objects of evidence can be measured to show their relationship on a single plane.






30 Step Four: Taking Notes Take notes to document items such as: Temperature, lighting conditions, colors, and people present.

31 Step Five: Identify the Scene Prepare a legend containing: Case number Type of Crime Name of Victim Location Date Time Investigator Anyone Assisting Scale of Sketch Direction of North Name of the Person Making the Sketch

32 Step Six: Reassess the Sketch BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE SCENE Make sure nothing has been overlooked Compare the scene with the sketch Are all measurements included? Have all notations been made? Have you missed anything?

33 Step Seven: File the Sketch Submit the Sketch to the case file The admissibility of the sketch is so if it accurately portrays a crime scene.

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