28th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1966)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
October 14-15, 1966
HISTORY OF CRIMINALISTICS
Duayne Dillon, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office
This paper was a review and continuation of the subject from the previous seminar. Dillon traced the development of Criminalistics In California, the events which led to the emergence of criminalistics in the early 1900's and the establishment of other laboratories in the United States.
The first police laboratory in California and probably in history was in 1923 in the Los Angeles Police Department. The L.A. Sheriff s, CII and San Francisco laboratories started up in this 1930-32 era and, with L.A. P.D., remained the only California laboratories until the end of World War II.
Dillon also traced the development of the School of Criminology from the initial summer session program in 19l6 under Vollmer.
LSD - THE OTHER SIDE OF REALITY: AKRON-TV (Ch 4) FILM
Dr. Joseph Downing, San Mateo County Mental Health Program
This was a 28-minute film made by KRON-TV about 3 years ago as a public information presentation, made before legislation was being contemplated. The interviews attempted to balance the comments regarding the use and value of LSD. In the question-and-answer session following the film. Dr. Downing stated that:
- LSD users tend to avoid sedatives (including alcohol) but may take methedrine to counteract the lethargy,
- the direct effect lasts 6-12 hours; having a subsequent after-experience without additional LSD is fairly uncommon,
- overdose is safe from a biological toxicity standpoint (one man who took 3000 micrograms was oriented but agitated and jittery),
- nicotinic acid (Vitamin B3) is an antagonist and probably the easiest way to bring somebody out of an LSD state.
A SENSITIVE BIOASSAY FOR LSD
John Thornton (and Duayne Dillon), Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office
Bioassay was investigated as a possible means of determining it a subject is "under the influence" of LSD. Nominal hallucinogenic doses give blood levels of approximately 10-15 x 10-9 gm/cc. Half-life of USD in blood la approximately 3 hours. The primary detoxification mechanism is excretion into the bile with maybe as much as 1-2% in the urine. Urine excretion must be neutral for recovery, as it will irreversibly aromaticize to napthalene derivatives if acid and racemize to pharmacologically inactive iso-lysergic acid if basic.
A four-page handout described the bioassay method, using Siamese fighting fish in 10-15 ml of water solution with a minimal detection limit of 2-3 micrograms of the drug. Although references indicated the test is specific for LSD, Thornton expressed reservation, in that other hallucinogens have not been tested.
The procedure was not recommended for use on biological material as originally conceived, but Thornton thought that it might have applications in some instances of LSD drug identification.
THE NUCLEAR WITNESS (28-minute film prepared for the Atomic Energy Commission)
Dr. Vincent Guinn, General Atomic, San Diego
This is the film that was shown at the previous seminar. The film was introduced by Guinn as a non-technical film, not a training film, but designed for an educated layman-type of audience and for presentation to service clubs, law enforcement personnel and educational T.V. audiences.
Critical comments made after this showing of the film included:
- film oversells N.A.A.,
- film falls to indicate that N.A.A. is an extension of other techniques, falls to bring the crime laboratory into the investigation, and fails to indicate that the crime laboratory should generally pre-examine the evidence before submitting it to activation analysis,
- the film presents too much emphasis on court acceptance, whereas acceptance of any method should be based on what is acceptable by the profession. (The fact that courts have heard testimony on a particular analytical technique and have considered such testimony has no bearing on the scientific basis and ac-curacy of the technique and the interpretation of the results, and should not be used as a criterion of acceptability of an analytical technique or interpretation.)
HINE-PARKER BREATH COLLECTION DEVICE
Kenneth D. Parker, The Hine Laboratories, San Francisco
Parker showed and demonstrated a breath collection device for which a patent has been applied. It consists of a gas collection tube of an approximate 30 ml capacity, with stopcocks on both ends and a mouth piece T-tube attached to one end. The collected breath sample can be held for as long as 8 days without any measureable loss of alcohol.
Parker did not want to divulge any details on the procedure used to sample the collection tube (multiple tests can be performed) or analytical procedure. He stated that he would at a later date.
There was a handout of the instructions to the officer and diagram of the collection device.
CONSTRUCTING A LOW-COST INFRARED VIEWER
John L. Yee (and Byron Mobus), Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
Yee described the construction of an I.R. viewer at a cost of $25.00. It is serviceable as a screening device for examining documents, chromatograms, clothing for powder residues and for determining if IR photography would be of any value.
A handout (1/lab) included the wiring diagram and parts list.
ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROPHOTOMETRY
Kenneth D. Parker, the Hine Laboratories, San Francisco
This was primarily a review of the types of AA instruments and their advantages with some general comments on types of interferences and how to deal with them.
Possible applications of AA to criminalistics problems were mentioned; however, no specific details of analysis or comparisons were given.
Multi-source lamps are generally not as satisfactory as single-element lamps.
INDIVIDUAL AND CLASS CHARACTERISTICS OF TOOLS-SOME INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS
David Q. Burd, State Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
This paper was originally scheduled for the May, 1966 Seminar. See the 27th Semi-Annual abstracts for the author's prepared abstract.
USE OF HAMILTON SOLID SAMPLER AS A LIQUID SAMPLER
Ronald J. Briglia, Sacramento County Coroner's Office
The technique described is not for strict quantitative work, but has been found satisfactory for screening semi-quantitative analysis of blood for alcohol.
The regular Hamilton microsyringes require frequent repair due to breakage and frozen syringes from dried blood. The solid sampler is all metal and much more sturdy and has less freezing problems. The desired volume is adjustable with the plastic piece in the main body of the syringe. With it in the deepest position, approximately 1-1/2 microliters can be delivered.
There was a 1-page handout showing details of the syringe.
A PROCEDURE AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING THREE-DIMENSIONAL REPLICAS OF WOUNDS
C.M. Wilson, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory and Dr. Thomas Noguchi, Los Angeles County Coroner's Office
The apparatus for spraying Woods metal (M.P. 70° C.) was described by Mr. Wilson as consisting of:
Pressurized gas (air, N₂ or dry CO₂) passing through a single-stage regulator (70-100 psi) is then passed through 1/8 inch copper tubing coiled around the heating element of an "American Beauty" soldering iron and then to the atomizing jet.
The technique is capable of accurately casting very minute detail as good as, and perhaps better than, any other casting material, including silicone rubber. Fingers can be sprayed without discomfort, even though the molten reservoir is considerably above the melting temperature.
Dr. Noguchi had exhibits of casts made of crush injuries of the scalp made by a blunt instrument, a stab wound in liver, a bullet entrance hole, a stab wound showing characteristics of a Phillips screwdriver tip, and a cast of a "living" finger.
Penetrating wounds can be cast by a combination of spraying the surface and injection into the deeper areas.
REFERENCE: Goin, Lauren J. (1952), J. Crim. Law, Criminology, and Pol. Sci., 43, 250.
FURTHER DISCUSSION OF MANUFACTURER'S MARKINGS ON CARTRIDGE CASES
C.M. Wilson, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory; see also, 27th Semi-Annual Abstracts, May, 1966.
Manufacturing processes in current use are essentially the same as 35 to 40 years ago, except modern plating processes may cover over some of the marks on cartridge cases and bullets. With a series of slides, Mr. Wilson described the method of blanking, drawing and forming cartridge cases and bullets and the markings that could be expected to be produced from the various manufacturing steps.
It was stressed that examination of manufacturer's marks was something that need not be done routinely, but that the criminalist should not overlook the possibilities of developing significant information from these comparisons. He pointed out that there may be a battery of machines feeding hoppers of both cases and bullets for later steps in production and that a box of ammunition may well contain cartridges that have been produced by a varying combination of machines.
NEW FORENSIC ACTIVATION ANALYSIS STUDIES AT GENERAL ATOMIC
Dr. Vincent Guinn, General Atomic, San Diego
Some new exploratory studies are underway; auto-radiography, tracer tagging cartridge components and code tagging various materials (two fiber and one glass manufacturers are already deliberately tagging their commercial products).
New counting technique using a Germanium semi-conductor detector gives tremendously improved resolution and greater certainty of identification.
Now doing large scale statistical studies on paint samples (survey of different types, colors and brands of paints) and a similar study of paper and glass.
BREATHALYZER OPERATOR TRAINING
L.B. (Ed) Miller, Los Angeles Police Department
The newest edition of the L.A.P.D. training booklet was being reprinted and will be sent to those requesting it. A copy of the latest check list was passed out to each laboratory. Both would need to be modified for current (model 900) Breathalyzer instruments.
Miller discussed the various topics and particular points covered in their officer training program.