ICSIA Examiner's Newsletter

ICSIA Examiner November 2012

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Daryl W. Clemens, Editor

From the Editor

Welcome to our final issue of 2012. I think we've had a good run this year, but it's not too soon to start thinking about next year either. I'd love to see some more great articles and photos, and with the Holiday Season fast approaching, now is the time to start those projects so that you have plenty of time to work all the kinks out.

We've got another good edition for you this month with two articles on evidence packaging, each from a slightly different perspective, as well as an article on how to photograph laser reconstructions in the daylight. (Yes, you can photograph a laser in full sunlight- it's a bit tricky, but it can work).


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

 President's Message

Message from Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
Greeting Members!
Here it is mid-November and the holiday season will soon be upon us.  I would like to take this time to wish all of you and your families the Happiest of Holidays!  Our prayers and thoughts go out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This will not be a joyous season for them.
Our membership continues to grow but we still need more members.  Please talk to other CSI’s about ICSIA and if everyone can get just one person to join we will have doubled our membership by next year!  In light of that goal we have placed an AD in the Evidence Technology Magazine in the Vendor Showcase section inside the front cover.  While this is a great spot to showcase us I believe our best advertisement is from you!  Please help support ICSIA in getting one more person to sign up as a member!
Daryl continues to work hard in producing a great newsletter. He needs your support.  If you have a photo to share, a story to share, or technique to share we would like to hear from you. If you wish to contribute an article so you can say you are “published” then please submit the article to Daryl for approval.
As a reminder we can only be as great of an association as the input we have from you. If we are not doing something that you would like to see then please drop us a note, call us, or contact any of the members of the Board of Directors. We want to hear from you!
We have updated the definition of a CSI and have it posted on the web site at http://www.icsia.org/csidef.htm     Your comments are not only welcomed but also encouraged.
We are active on Facebook and Linkedin, please visit us there!
Happy Holidays to all and be safe out there!

Hayden B. Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA)

Evidence Packaging Standards and Procedures

By Robert A. Doran

There are four primary purposes for evidence packaging: safety, preservation of evidence, identification as evidence and maintaining the chain of custody. Each of these four purposes has applicable standards that should be adopted and adhered to by law enforcement agencies.


The first step in packaging evidence is to classify the items for routing after packaging. Items of physical evidence that will be routed immediately to evidence room storage or the crime lab should be separated from items that are lost / found or abandoned (are not evidence and the owner is unknown) and safe-keeping items (items for which the owner is known and the items may be returned to the owner, e.g.; recovered property or photograph and return to owner). Items of evidence to be routed to the crime lab should be packaged separately from those items to be stored immediately. Separate packaging should be used, also, for items of evidence not found or collected together.

Read More (.pdf format)


Daytime Laser Photography

by Christopher D. Duncan

Investigators attempting to recreate the flight paths of fired projectiles or bullets have a number of options, including the utilization of trajectory rods, colored strings, and lasers.  Each of these reconstruction tools have their own benefits and weaknesses, but lasers have always provided the straightest and sharpest representation of a fired bullet's flight path or trajectory.  Unfortunately, lasers have typically been limited to use during the nighttime or in lowlight conditions.  However, by using high-powered lasers and a couple of photographic accessories, investigators are able to photograph laser trajectories at crime scenes processed in the daytime hours.

Read More


IAI Anniversary "Brick"

ICSIA has purchased a brick celebrating the 100th anniversary of the International Association for Identification which will occur in 2015. The brick will be part of a tree shaped display- "Our Centennial Tree reminds us of the tremendous legacy that our Association has built over the past 100 years. The IAI Centennial Tree will travel with us over the next four years and will be on display at each Conference."  You can see what the display looks like in the IAI brochure.

Congratulations to the IAI


On the Web

By Daryl Clemens

One of the problems faced by law enforcement is the use of inhalants, in fact a colleague tells me that they have recently had numerous deaths attributed to abuse of "canned air" dusting spray. 

There is a list of commonly abused inhalents and their effects at:  http://www.inhalants.org/scatter.htm

Also here is a link to an article on using an infrared camera (or a standard digital camera, with the infrared cut-out removed) to locate hidden bloodstains:  http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/343007/title/Camera_hack_can_spot_cleaned-up_crimes 

And a novel method of increasing field of view with a camera system can be found here: http://disp.duke.edu/projects/AWARE/



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AirClean Systems Downdraft Dusting Stations

Product Spotlight- 
AirClean Systems Downdraft Dusting Stations

New from AirClean Systems is the DDS (downdraft dusting station) series of latent print dusting stations. The DDS series pulls air away from the operator in two directions. First, air is pulled downward into the stainless steel work surface. This will remove the heavier particulate found in latent print powder. Additional, air is pulled horizontally to the rear of the workstation to capture lighter-weight particulate. Dual zone filtration makes the DDS series of downflow latent print stations ideal for processing latent evidence with finger print powders.

More info:  AirClean Systems

Photo by:  1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team


Evidence Packaging

By Dick Warrington

This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine®  April 2008, Reprinted with Permission.


The evidence you’re likely to come across at a crime scene can vary greatly in size, type, and physical structure. You may have items as small as human hairs and as large as SUVs. You may have items ranging from solid and stable, like a hammer, to fragile and subject to change, like footprints left in snow. No matter what you’re presented with, though, it’s up to you to capture all of the evidence you find and maintain its integrity; if you fail to do so, you may jeopardize your entire case when it goes to court. Let’s take a look at the best way to package the evidence you find at crime scenes.

Read More

Coolpix S800c

Cell Phones

By Daryl Clemens

In this editon of the newsletter, we are looking at a camera with a cell phone operating system- specifically the Nikon Coolpix S800c.  Now I haven't actually used the camera myself, so I'll be relying on reviews from DPReview and CNET to give you an overview of the camera.

This is a 16 mega-pixel, point and shoot style camera. It has built in Wi-Fi, but no cellular data (3G, 4G). At the time I'm writing this it retails for just over $300.00.

Read More

Preview by DPReview

Review by CNET

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