21st SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1963)
May 24-25, 1963
Ventura, California

J Robert Davidson, San Bernardino Sheriff's Office

Davidson reported on a hospital patient who had been receiving codeine as the only narcotic being administered (continuously for a period of over 6 months). This patient's urine (taken 10 hours after the last dose of codeine) contained .85 mg of codeine and .50 mg of morphine, the morphine representing 37% of the total narcotics recovered. This relatively high percentage of morphine is higher than reported in available literature and raises the question of whether or not the source of urine morphine (with codeine present) can be postulated as being from an intake of morphine or heroin. One probationer showing approximately a 1:1 ratio of codeine to morphine admitted taking two bottles of TH & C per day for an extended period but repeatedly denied the use of morphine or heroin.

Allan Keltz, Uni-Tech Corporation, Panorama, California

Demonstrated the use of a benzidine reagent designed for long stability and ease of preparation in field use. The benzidine reagent is supplied in a Sterox suspension form and is added to acetate buffer solution for use. The perborate is also supplied in a suspension form in saline.

This stabilized reagent was stated to be sensitive to 1:500,000 and stable for at least 6 months (time since development).

The reagent is available in kit form for field or laboratory use.

William Penprase, Los Angeles Police Department

Penprase briefly discussed some of his recent activities documented with his voluminous notebooks and probably worth several journal publications; however, the material was too quickly and generally covered to abstract.

David Q. Burd, CII, California Department of Justice

Burd announced the CII is setting up a file to be circulated periodically, giving a list of weapons (or bullet or cartridge case characteristics) wanted on recent major crimes. The purpose is to keep laboratories informed on weapons wanted so that firearms sections can supply exemplars to other agencies from weapons coming to their attention.

Don Harding, San Mateo Sheriff's Office

Using manikins, the trajectories of bullets within the body can be illustrated by drilling holes in the manikin and inserting wooden dowels. The use of manikins can be an aid in reconstructing the events of the crime, even to the point of placing the manikin in position at the scene in relation to where bullets passing through the body struck some fixed object.

Such manikins or photographs can be used in court; gave case law citations of California Supreme Court holding such demonstrative evidence proper if it can be used for clarification of testimony regarding the crime.

John Paro, Smith Kline & French Laboratories, Los Angeles

Discussed the general medical use of amphetamine and the symptoms of abusive use of the drug. Three illegal sources of drugs were given:

  1. illegal manufacture (or import)--the principal source,
  2. Druggists and Doctors, and
  3. diversion of drugs (warehouse theft)--the smallest source of illegal distribution.
(Illegal manufacture may even go beyond the point of copying only drug form and markings to include forgery of the packaging. Beware: don't identify manufacturer on visual comparison.)

John Paro, Gene Schultz, and Donald Fletcher, Smith Kline & French Laboratories

Smith Kline & French Laboratories now offer a drug product identification service to law enforcement. It was stated that there is no charge for this service and the S K & F would furnish the expert witness if needed. The purpose of this service are:

  1. S K & F recognized the need of the service by many law enforcement bodies,
  2. to gather data on illegal manufacturing sources of dangerous drugs and
  3. to be better informed to guide legislation in the field of drug manufacturing and supply.
They request 10 tablets for examination, but will get by on 1 or 2 if need be. Their laboratory will identify not only the active ingredients, but the excipients as well, for this along with careful measurement of the die characteristics, is the means of identifying the source. Their laboratory has an expanding reference collection of over 2000 legitimate amphetamine products.

For further information and special identification Request Forms, write S K & F Product Identification Laboratory, 1500 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia 1, Pa.

Other comments of Interest:
S K & F die tolerances - +/- .001
S K & F placebos are not generally distributed but are supplied only to doctors by specific request.
Offered pure drug samples of their products by "writing a letter with the department's official letterhead to Don Fletcher of the Law Enforcement Liaison Unit" at the above Pennsylvania address.

Dr. Vincent Guinn, General Atomics, San Diego

Reported on continuing research of application of Neutron Activation Analysis in Criminalistics Problems:

Regarding firearms discharge residues, a paraffin is as good as any in collecting sample. Method detects antimony and barium from the primer. Still get negative results on persons who are known to have recently fired a weapon.

Survey studies show no two plastics, auto greases or tire rubber to be identical.

Clifford Cromp, Los Angeles Sheriff's Office

Discussed a recent study utilizing four subjects with whiskey and two with beer. Utilized a variety of field tests, a questionnaire involving considerable handwriting, and a reaction time--a decision making instrument. Tested subjects when at a calculated level of 0.10% and again later at higher level. The whiskey subjects were near the expected values, but the two beer drinkers were .12% instead of .10 %.

Stressed importance of learning curve in decision making test.

Cromp will send out copies of data to those interested.

Dwayne Dillon, Contra Costa Sheriff's Office

Showed slides and photographs illustrating comparison and identification of impression made by the forearm of an individual.

W Jerry Chisum, San Bernardino Sheriff's Office (presented by J. Robert Davidson)

Presented a new method of restoring serial numbers in aluminum alloy by etching. The procedure has been successfully used on firearms, motorcycles and power tools.

Procedure: Sand smooth as usual. Pre-treat surface about 10 seconds with concentrated NaOH (not an essential step, but helps) and wipe off with cotton. Add .1 M HgCl2 in 1 N HCl to surface and work with a cotton swab for a minute or two. If numbers do not appear, examine as surface dries. Stop the reaction by swabbing with an acid etching agent or a reducing agent, and then wash with water.

Lowell Bradford, Santa Clara District Attorney's Office

Bradford commented briefly on the report submitted by him to the National Safety Council for the year 1962. He did not have the data available for presentation and has supplied it for enclosure here.

The study incorporated data from five California counties: San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Orange and Los Angeles. "Approximately one-half of all drivers killed who were blood tested were alcohol related. (Editor's note: 42% at .10 or greater, 34% at .15 of greater and 56% of the fatal pedestrians were .10% or greater.) Of the group imbibing alcohol (fatal drivers), more than 82% had blood levels greater than .10%. Single vehicle crashes with a driver fatality constituted 40% of all vehicle deaths and two-car collisions with responsible driver fatalities made up 34%."

For a copy of the actual statistical data, write Bradford.


Dillon - Trace evidence and drugs are the only areas in which all 14 California laboratories surveyed conducted examinations.

Burd - CII has pure drug reference collection obtained from manufacturers. If need pure drug for standard in a hurry, send telegram to CII, attention: Laboratory.

Burd - California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, can identify fish species from pieces by cytology.

Brackett - Danger of mercury exposure from Kozelka - Hine. Found mercury under mercuric oxide tube which was leaking on heating tape.

Miller - Had a "homemade" $150 G-C apparatus on display. Drew much interest from members, many of whom would like details.

Harding - Showed a copy of Cartridge Headstamp Guide, Henry P. White and Burton D. Munhall; Publisher; H.P. White Laboratory, Bel Air, Maryland. (1963) $10.00. A desirable reference for any firearms section.