ICSIA Examiner's Newsletter
ICSIA Examiner September 2013
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Daryl W. Clemens, Editor


From the Editor

September, as some of you may remember, is a busy month for me. Grand Rapids hosts ArtPrize, in which I have once again entered a digital artwork. It's also my wife's birthday, the same day this newsletter is due, not to mention the opening of hunting season. So many things to do, plus the return of school has only slowed crime a little. The weather took a turn towards the cool, and it's just a matter of time until we have snow once again.  

This month issue is focused on latent prints, we have a couple of things from Hayden, showing some photography techniques as well as a couple of articles on latent processing.

Got comments/questions or want to submit an article for The Examiner?  e-mail me: Daryl W. Clemens

President's Message


As you know from previous newsletters we had a vendor booth at the IAI Conference in Rhode Island this year. While the attendance was not as good as previous years out booth was well attended. Most that stopped at the booth were not even aware we existed so it was a success for us in just getting the word out. Even Dr. Henry Lee stopped at the booth and we visited for a while. I have known him for over 20 years and taught with him in the past. He took some of our flyers to pass out in his classes and symposiums.  It was an expensive trip but one we felt was required to help promote ICSIA.

Our CSI Conference in May 2014 is shaping up well. We are getting a lot of inquiries and hits on the conference web pages from a variety of states and countries. We even received a Conference Registration form from Liberia, Africa!  This should be an interesting CSI conference with an opportunity to network directly with CSI from all over the world!  But we are limited in space so if you intended to attend the conference I would not wait too long to register.

We are still accepting presentation and workshop proposals so if you have one or know of someone that should be here please let us know.  Our Conference agenda will not be formalized until later but the tentative topics are posted on the web site at: http://www.icsia.org/conference/agenda.html   Those listed with a presenter have been confirmed.
In the last issue of the Examiner I had a short article on lighting of a footwear pattern. We received a concern from a member that the image was not properly photographed by the standards we use to certify.  In other words it was a poor image to be displayed. While we do attempt to deliver the best we sometimes have to work with what we have. The images that were posted were taken by me over 30 years ago and the “standards” were different then. A 6 inch ruler was common practice to use as a scale. The reason why it was common practice then was that we were still in the film days and the person making the enlargement from the 4 X 5 negative would simply lay the 6 inch ruler on the paper and match the size. The images are also cropped from the original images which I did not make note of in the article.  It was an unusual lighting condition that caused the two images to look so different that I felt the information needed to be shared.  Sorry if this has caused anyone to think otherwise but we will always do the best we can to share information with the members.

If any of you have photographs to show things such as this or a new technique or an old one or one of your CS vehicle, patches or crime scene that you want to share with us please do not hesitate to send Daryl the information to be shared with others.  We need the members to be active.
Stay safe!
Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA)

Processing is a Process

by Daryl Clemens

If you take a look at Dick Warrington's article in the side column, you'll see that he talks about decision making when you approach latent processing at a scene. In it he talks about how not printing certain items can leave you open to questions at trial, which is certainly true. However, just because we don't powder an object, or bring it back and superglue it does that mean it wasn't processed?
It is important to remember that the reason that we refer to the search for latent fingerprints as "Processing" is because there is a process involved. Some people approach fingerprint development with the attitude that they are simply going to apply powder to the surface and see if anything shows up. There are, or should be, several steps involved in determining which (if any) technique will be applied in a particular search for fingerprints.

Read More

Macro Photography Depth-of-Field

by Hayden Baldwin

This photo series shows the importance of managing your depth of field, using the lens aperture.
See the rest of the photos Here

ICSIA’s CSI Conference

Education, Training and Technology, May 13-15, 2014, Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, North Little Rock, Arkansas

More details coming soon- Keep checking our Conference Page for the latest.

On the Web- 

By Daryl Clemens

Nano-particle fingerprint powders Interesting discussion on the new nanoparticle fingerprint powders. If you scan down, you'll see a response from Allen Miller of Forensic Source who will be supplying these powders in the US.

Michele Triplett's Fingerprint Dictionary  Is there a fingerprint related term you are unsure of? You can find it here.
Wikipedia has quite a long entry on fingerprints. And, while one must always be careful with Wikipedia entries- in that they may not always be perfectly accurate, it's pretty good and includes information on numerous fingerprint related topics and quite a selection of links to source materials.

Crime Scene Investigation Guide from NFSTC. Now available on your Kindle or other e-book reader, as well as in .pdf format.

Axial Lighting

by Hayden Baldwin

Axial lighting technique helps reduce glare from occurring on a highly reflective surface like glass, rear view mirrors, chrome objects, floor tiles, CD or DVD and more.  Axial lighting is an excellent technique for photographing unenhanced latent prints on reflective surfaces.
Read More

Product Spotlight- SRN 1000 System

Stop Rubbernecking

The SRN 1000 SYSTEM is a Privacy, Safety and Security Barrier comprised of 3 steel tripods of 3 ½ feet tall, that can be extended to 6 feet high.
At the base of each is an attached tripod.  Weight is added for extra stability.

When completely extended, 4 all weather, heavy duty barrier screens are attached to the poles by a rotating turret, making it able to be angled in any direction, maintaining 12 foot length.

Once the barriers are attached, strategically placed magnets in the fabric are constantly brought back and reattached to the poles, as wind pulls them away.

Quickly assembles and easily transports.

For  Company Information and a personal Demonstration:  Visit www.srn1000.com
Above photo by Daryl Clemens

Decision Time: Processing Prints

By Dick Warrington
This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine®  October/November 2007, Reprinted with Permission.

We all know that evidence from a crime scene can make or break a case. The amount of evidence identified, collected, and processed is dependent on the crime scene officer’s training or lack thereof. If you fail to fingerprint certain objects or surfaces, you can leave yourself open to questions from defense attorneys if your case goes to trial. You can prevent that ‘Pandora’s Box’ from opening if you are as thorough as possible. In this issue I’ll take a look at different types of prints and the decision-making that goes into processing them.
One of your first tasks is to make a preliminary survey of the crime scene to determine what needs to be processed. This initial survey will dictate what technique you’ll need to use to develop or lift prints. Depending on the technique needed, you may be able to process at the scene. For other techniques, you’ll need to take the evidence back to the office or send it to the lab. If you know what the experts can do, you’ll be sure to collect the proper evidence.


Product Spotlight- 
SecureDry™ Evidence Drying Cabinets

Safely dry wet evidence while protecting the evidence from cross contamination and workers from harmful fumes and odors.
SecureDry™ evidence drying cabinets are designed to provide a secure and dedicated area for drying wet evidentiary items while creating a barrier to keep out the potential threat of cross contamination.  The cabinet utilizes pre-filtration, HEPA and carbon filtration to minimize the potential for environmental cross-contamination and employee exposure to odors or biological material. SecureDry™ is constructed from rigid thermally-fused polypropylene, creating a continuous chamber.

For more information call 1-877-328-3912 or visit Mystaire Online

Cell Phones

Smartphone Technology for Capturing Untreated Latent Fingerprints Feasibility Research

An interesting article from the NIJ on capturing images of unprocessed latent prints on various surfaces. They use both a Canon DSLR and a Motorola Droid smartphone. The Canon, unsurprisingly, provides superior images. However, identifiable images could be captured with the phone. Just another indication of where this technology is going. Expect the cameras to continue to improve, and for the AFIS vendors to offer smartphone apps to interface with their products.
Read More

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