32nd SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1968)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
October 17-19, 1968
Herman J. Meuron, Chief Chemist, A.T. & T. Division, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, San Francisco
The administrative procedures used by six scientific organizations to develop and adopt their ova "official" methods were reviewed. The societies were: Association of Cereal Chemists, Society of Enologists, AOAC, Society of Brewing Chemists, Society for Testing and Materials, Committee on National Formulary. These societies all have extensive testing and evaluating programs which appear to be beyond the capability of CAC to initiate for criminalistic methods.
It is suggested that CAC concentrate on studying what methods are needed to establish identity or quantitative assay of substances "beyond a reasonable doubt" and if such a project is ever undertaken, issue these guidelines in loose-leaf form. Further exploration of this subject would be at the discretion of the membership. Also covered was The National Referral Center for Science and Technology, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540.
AN UNUSUAL FIREARMS CASE
Glenn R. Vaniman, District Attorney's Crime Laboratory, Sacramento County
A British 303 rifle was received by the laboratory with a ruptured .30 carbine cartridge case in the chamber. The rifle was involved in a homicide where the victim was shot through the head. A .30 caliber carbine projectile was recovered.
When the ruptured carbine case was removed, it was found to contain a somewhat deformed .30 carbine projectile that had been driven back against the base of the ruptured cartridge case.
The problem that confronted the laboratory now was to load the rifle in such a manner that when fired, one projectile leaves through the barrel, a second projectile stays in the chamber and is driven toward the bolt.
The above conditions were met as follows
- Pull the projectile out of a .30 carbine case and drop it in the chamber of the rifle.
- Pour the powder from the case in the chamber behind the projectile.
- Take a live .30 carbine cartridge and wrap it with rubber bands sufficiently to hold it in the larger .303 chamber so that the firing pin will ignite the primer.
PAPER CHROMATOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION OF MEATS
Oscar Brunetti, California Fish and Game, Sacramento
Mr. Brunetti described the paper chromatographic identification of meats with particular reference to deer. Differences in protein patterns from tissue homogenates may serve to distinguish between deer and other species, may distinguish between Coast and Valley deer, and may indicate differences in diet in various species. Mr. Brunetti states that he has not been successful in achieving similar differences using blood instead of tissue homogenates.
A NOVEL FIELD KIT FOR PRELIMINARY AND RAPID SCREENING OF NARCOTICS
Paul Dutch, P.M. Labs Inc., Los Angeles
In view of the increasing crime rate in addiction and sale of narcotics and dangerous drugs, it appears that a. narcotics field detection kit for the purpose of screening and obtaining preliminary information would be of great value. Test procedures and the chemistry of a versatile field kit were described for rapid analysis of opiates, cocaine, methadone, demerol, barbiturates, amphetamines, marijuana and LSD. The test reagents are packaged in sealed glass ampoules, which extends shelf life and minimizes the possibility of reagent degeneration. The quantity of reagent is matched to a single test.
The chemical structure of LSD, psilocin and 2,14,5-Trimethoxyamphetamine and their relation to hallucinogenic activity was discussed. It is postulated that hallucinogenic drugs form rings similar to the 2nd and 3rd rings present in LSD as a result of an intermolecular hydrogen bonding phenomena.
STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF BACKGROUND FORENSIC ACTIVATION ANALYSIS DATA
V.P. Guinn, R.P. Hackleman and H.L. Schleslnger, Gulf General Atomic Incorporated, San Diego
In our AEC/Justice Department study at Gulf General Atomic, of applications of forensic activation analysis, we are presently concentrating on large-scale studies of (l) gunshot residues (and related occupational handblank samples), and (2) the trace-element characterization of specimens of paint, paper, and bullet lead. These studies have already produced a fairly large volume of experimental data, posing many problems in. their proper statistical treatment and evaluation.
In the gunshot-residue work, the barium and antimony values found in firings are found to be represented very well by a bivariate normal (BVN) distribution function (actually log-normal). Occupational hand-blank values for Ba and Sb, similarly treated, fall into four classes, only one of which gives a BVN distribution that overlaps appreciably with the firing distributions (overlapping least with firings of larger calibers). In the studies of paint, paper, and bullet lead, many elements (rather than only two) are detected and measured. For such data, an analogous multivariate normal (MVN) distribution function (again, log-normal) has been developing which represents the experimental data quite well. During the coming year, many more data will be obtained, and treated with computer programs based upon the respective BVN and MVN functions. These will eventually provide a firm basis for the proper interpretation of results obtained in actual cases.
ILLEGAL FIREWORKS AND DEVICES
Jack Smith, Fire Prevention Engineer, State Fire Marshal, Sacramento
The State Fire Marshal's entry and interest into the field of fireworks is predicated upon legislative statutes set forth in sections 12500 through 12801, California Health and Safety Code. Contained within these sections are the definitions of all fireworks (Section 12502) and more importantly the definition of "Dangerous Fireworks" (Section 12503). Also, they contain the means of defining "safe and sane," and specific pyrotechnic items for commercial, industrial, and agricultural uses, or for religious ceremonies, with the advice of the State Fire Advisory Board. (Eleven fire chiefs).
The State statutes have set very definite delineations between the "dangerous" and "safe and sane" fireworks, when they can be used, how they may be used, who can use then, and where they may be fired. As an example, all "dangerous fireworks" are expressly prohibited for sale, use and possession by the general public. Their use is confined strictly to licensed pyrotechnic operators firing an insured ($20,000) or bonded ($10,000) public display.
"Safe and sane" fireworks, which are the only fireworks legally available for sale and use by the general public are, nevertheless, subject to strict state and local laws and ordinances. Even though the State Fire Marshal's regulations govern these items, there is no state preemption in their use. Local authority, by ordinance, may prohibit sales and use. In fact, this prohibition is in effect in many cities and counties throughout the State. Where permitted, the retail sale and public firing of these items is restricted, by state law (12703), between twelve (12) noon on the 28th of June to twelve (12) noon on the 6th of July. All unsold stocks of these "safe and sane" items must then be returned on or before the 31st of July to the approved storage facilities of a licensed fireworks wholesaler, to a magazine or storage place approved by the chief of a city or county fire department or fire protection district, or to a place approved by the State Fire Marshal (12709).
All fireworks, before being imported, exported, sold or offered for sale (in California) shall be classified by the State Fire Marshal, as being either "dangerous," "safe and sane," or "agricultural and wildlife" fireworks. In addition, no fireworks shall be sold, offered for sale, discharged, or transported within the state without having first been classified and registered by the State Fire Marshal. Every fireworks item which has not been submitted for classification or which does not bear the classification label of the State Fire Marshal shall automatically be considered to be "dangerous fireworks" (12701).
Each case or carton of dangerous fireworks offered for sale, sold, consigned or delivered within this state, for use or sale within the state, must bear the approved State Fire Marshal label or stamp. Also, each "package" of safe and sane fireworks shall be marked as "safe and sane" and shall bear the State Fire Marshal's classification label and license number. To clarify the matter of labeling a "package" of safe and sane fireworks, it must be remembered that numerous items are individual pieces and are not contained within a package; therefore, these items must be individually stamped with the approved seal.
In order to identify and evaluate "dangerous fireworks" it is necessary to list the chemicals which have been named in the statutes (12503) as prohibited materials. The chemicals listed are
|Phosphorous||Chloride of potash & sulphur|
|Sulpho-cyanide||Chlorate of potash & sugar|
|Mercury||Snakes, boas constrictors & snake nests containing bicholoride|
|Potassium picrate||All pyrotechnic items containing gun Powder|
|Gallic acid of mercury|
Articles commonly known as son-of-gun, devil-on-the-rock, crackit-sticks, and automatic torpedoes which contain arsenic; and our old friend the sparkler, if the sparkler is more than 10 inches in length or more than 1/4 inch in diameter.
Incidentally, these large sparklers make ideal flaming arrows, when lit and used in conjunction with a good bow. They are invaluable in igniting the tops of palm trees and roofs.
A new section - 12760.5 (will become law on November 13th) has been added to the Health and Safety Code, which reads, "No person may sell, or transfer to the general public any material or materials of any kind, or any explosive substance, which is designed or intended by the seller to be assembled by the person receiving such material or explosive substance and when so assembled would constitute an item of fireworks as defined in this part."
"This section shall not apply to any manufacturer, importer, exporter, importer and exporter, wholesaler, or public display licensee holding a valid license issued pursuant to this part." A very interesting article on this subject was just published in the September edition of "Fire Journal" of the National Fire Protection Association entitled, "Mail Order Explosives for Children."
BOMBS AND EXPLOSIVES
Group Discussion - Dave Burd, CII, Sacramento
The investigation of an incident involving the use of explosives may present certain unique problems and considerations. Many criminalists may be unfamiliar with actual explosive devices and their effects. The characterization of an explosive residue and a determination of the type of explosive used may be quite difficult.
The first motion picture film shown depicted the effects of detonating a 1/2 gallon bottle of gasoline with a black powder-filled carbon dioxide cartridge.
The second film shown illustrated the explosive effects of a series of detonations of dynamite in a vehicle. The first charge was one stick of 40% nitroglycerine dynamite on the front seat. The second shot was one stick of ammonium nitrate dynamite in the trunk, and the third shot was 3-1/2 sticks of 40% nitroglycerine dynamite on top of the engine in front of the firewall.
Paul Dougherty, San Mateo Sheriff's Department; A series of slides was shown illustrating various types of explosives, detonator, initiating devices, triggering mechanisms, incendiary devices, and appearance of fragments of exploded devices.
Duayne Dillon and John Thornton, Contra Costa Sheriff's Department: A short description was provided of a test in which six sticks of 40% nitroglycerine dynamite was detonated between the engine and the firewall of a vehicle. Regular speed and ultra-high speed motion pictures were taken of the explosion, a print of which will be made available later to interested individuals.
Fran Turney, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office: A description of an automobile bombing was presented in which one stick of dynamite was detonated with a Sears kitchen timer. The driver was injured, but the passengers escaped before the car caught fire.
Terry Coddington, San Francisco Police Department: An attempt to manufacture gunpowder in prison was successfully attempted by utilizing lead and silver oxide diverted from the prison hospital laboratory.
John Williams, San Francisco Police Department: Many incidents have arisen in which expended miniature CO cartridges or film cassettes have been loaded with powder or match heads and detonated. The force of the explosion is considerable.
Duayne Dillon, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department; The military authorities who ordinarily deal with the disposal of explosive ordinance material may not be familiar with commercial blasting materials such as ordinary dynamite. In addition, they may not be accurate in their speculation as to what type of device or explosive was used. Experience has shown that it is often difficult to adequately preserve a bombing scene for proper collection of the physical evidence.
Bob Cooper, Alameda County Sheriff's Department: in the past twelve months, 27 bombs or explosive devices have been placed or detonated in Alameda or Contra Costa County. One bomb which was recovered intact was found to consist of nitrocellulose powder, ammonium nitrate, black powder, and an Atlas booster initiating device.
APPLICATION OF OLFATRONIC PRINCIPLES TO CRIMINALISTICS
Andrew Dravnieks, Olfatronics and Odor Science Center, IIT Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois
A peculiar form of information relative to an item or substance is carried by odorous and non-odorous vapors. While sight and sound signals are in the form of energy, odor is carried by matter. The amounts of matter in air needed to produce odors may be extremely small. Humans can detect some substances at a level of 0.01 mg/cubic meter of air, and many animals may far surpass this in sensitivity. The odor-perception acuity of animals could not be matched before the early 1960's with the advent of flame ionization gas chromatography. Now, in principle, the capabilities and the versatility of olfatronic detection can exceed those of animals, since detection can be extended to non-odorous vapors. Olfatronics is defined as an instrumentally determined chemical signature. For some criminalistics applications, a chemical signature may need more refinement, as the vapors detected may not be the principal species or in fact may not be the species of interest. An example of such on instance is in the olfatronic detection of dynamite. Ethylene glycol is much more easily detected than the nitroglycerine itself. Satellites of the main working compound may be better materials to detect. Dinitrotoluene present in TNT is more easily detected by flame ionization gas chromatography than the TNT. Slides were presented illustrating a GC device designed to detect ethylene glycol dinitrate (in lieu of nitroglycerine) within a 2-4 minute time period at levels of 1-2 parts per billion. The purpose of the instrument is to detect dynamite carried abroad aircraft. A sample of air is collected and any ethylene glycol dinitrate present is absorbed onto a Gold surface. This surface is then flash heated and the vapors flushed with Argon into a short GC equipped with an electron capture detector. There is a batch flushing operation between cycles. The closest interfering material so far identified is nitrobenzene. To extend the limits of sensitivity, the vapors in the air sample must be concentrated 1000 to 10000 times before the actual gas chromatographic analysis. However, air contains approximately 3% water and concentration of a large quantity of air results in much condensed water. Absorbance of the water vapor will result also in the absorbance of the organic material. This is rectified by allowing the water vapor to pass while absorbing the organic material on Apiezon L or Silicone on Teflon. Air is pulled through a floating bed of Teflon particles at a rate of 0.751/sec at 80°C. The sampling tube is then heated to 120°C and flushed with Helium into the GC and chromatographed at l80°C.
Some success has been achieved in olfatronic pattern classification by sources. The major factors are to (l) Divide in zones of partition coefficients, (2) Select zones that discriminate best, (3) Represent a pattern by a point in a multidimensional space, and (4) Project a print on a plane and cluster for similar sources. Some general success is achieved in distinguishing between different individuals on the basis of the olfatronic pattern of body odors.
Dr. Stuart Adelman - Optics Technology Inc., Palo Alto
Dr. Adelman described the newly developed analytical technique of Biophosphoranalysis. Although the technique is new and the potential applications are not yet clearly defined, the technique may have some possible application in the analysis and characterization of organic materials which may be encountered in criminalistics.
GAS CHROMATOGRAPH ALCOHOL ANALYZER
Manley J. Luckey, Luckey Laboratories, Inc., San Bernardino
A prototype GC-alcohol analysis system was presented which will shortly be in full production. The gas chromatograph is basically a Carle Model 8000, equipped with a 1/8" x 5" Poropak S column, 80-100 mesh. Poropak was selected as a column packing due to its ability to separate water from other materials as a well-resolved and symmetrical peak. The blood protein and other non-volatile materials of a whole blood sample are retained on the head of the column by packing a short plug column with glass wool. The thermistor detector utilized provides a dynamic range of 50000 to 1, enabling determination of an extremely wide range of concentrations. The detector is maintained in a separate oven from that of the column. The compact portability is maintained to have an application in drinking driver enforcement programs, and the instrument is asserted to work well with breath and urine alcohol samples as well as blood. For the graphical representation of the detector response, a Westronics recorder is utilized.
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION, PART I
Arnold W. Siegel, Director of Engineering, Trauma Research Group, U.C.L.A., Los Angeles
The Trauma Research Group of UCLA is a medical-engineering program directed toward vehicle collision research. It is supported by the Automobile Industry and the national Highway Safety Bureau. Some of the problems and solutions that the Group has studied were discussed. Also discussed were some of the changes resulting from the National Highway Safety Bureau's Safety Performance procedures. These are reviewed in terms of before-and-after "live" collision studies, as well as some statistical regression analyses resulting from certain vehicle collision design changes. It was shown that although certain dangerous aspects of collision have changed, the frequency of an individual's contact has not. Illustrative examples are provided from major problem areas: the windshield, the wheel-column system, the instrument panel, the side impact area.
The change in the windshield injury problem was developed by means of a comparison between the older windshield glass, typified by a 1962 Rambler, and the newer generation of windshield glass which is standard in all 1966 and later domestic automobiles. The change in thickness of the plastic interlayer moved from the previous 0.015" to 0.030", and has resulted in the severity of injuries moving downward into the minor-moderate area of the injury scale, even at higher impact speeds. This reduction of dangerous injuries was shown on the UCLA scale which is a slightly modified ACIR type of scale. These improvements are directly attributable to the thicker interlayer, and to a different cohesive bond between the plastic and the two layers of glass.
Another serious source of injuries is from wheel-column contact, such as might result, from impact with a power pole. In pre-1967 vehicles, dangerous and fatal injuries occur even on impact as low as 10 to 15 miles an hour. Autopsies document aortic rupture and cardiovascular and cardiothoracic damage. On impact with a rigid wheel-column system, the forces of impact may be transmitted to the heart which may literally explode. An aortic water hammer effect, another very serious problem, can develop because of hydrodynamic changes within the body. This high incidence of dangerous and fatal injuries has been reduced as a result of the collapsible energy-absorbing wheel-column systems developed by the Automobile Industry.
The effectiveness of the energy-absorbing wheel-column is well illustrated in the report of an accident involving a driver who weighed well over 200 pounds and was tall. The man had been entertaining some people and was under the influence of alcohol. He was driving at 40-45 miles an hour in a 1968 vehicle when he struck a power pole. On impact, his chest contacted the wheel-column system, his knees moved into the instrument panel about six inches, then his face struck the windshield. He sustained minor abrasions to his face from the new glass, contusions of the knee, several fractured ribs and general stiffness. The forces of impact, which might have gravely endangered him, served instead to collapse the wheel-column approximately six inches.
The survivor of that accident was driving a car with a Type III collapsible column. The other wheel-column types include: Type 1 - rigid, Type 11 - 1967 load distrib. hub, Type IV - combination of collapsible column load distrib. hub. Additionally improvements of the collapsible wheel-column system have dramatically increased the survival factor for the elderly.
The changes in the instrument panel are another safety improvement. The Jake Kulowski-type injury (the knee, femur and hip fractures) is now uncommon except under circumstances of extreme speed. Although much progress has been made within the last three or four years, more research is needed because, as the vehicle impact speed increases, the severity in terms of fracture of the lover extremities also increases.
The fourth problem area, side impact, has been of interest for a number of years. In the early 1960's UCLA conducted a profile of side impact collisions. We found the various levels of impact for anthropometric dummies ranged to a 30G deceleration on the chest and 40 to 50G to the head. However, with dummies we were unable to develop the internal injury pattern resulting from penetration of the interior surfaces (armrest) into the body.
The new improved, broad, hard type armrest has led to an important change in the penetration injuries of the door and armrest into the interior of the body. The new armrest allows the pelvis to contact the broad surface; the older narrow armrests did not allow contact of the pelvis but rather penetrated into the body interior. This improvement, plus a change in personal safety habit patterns, i.e., the increasing use of shoulder-lap belts, and the fact that upon side impact the neck pockets in the shoulder webbing, all will help to reduce side-impact injuries.
It should also be noted that cardiovascular damage can be expected with side impact. An example was given of a man with multiple fractures who developed cardiac EKG changes over a period of 24 hours. By 48 hours, there was definite, permanent damage. Blood enzymes are also of interest and a paper is being prepared to show the relationship-and lack of correlation between enzyme release and trauma.
The new side impact beam, introduced on the "B" and "C" body vehicles by General Motors for 1969, will accomplish a decrease in side impact injury. It will reduce penetration into the side of the struck car and will reduce some of the penetration into the side of the occupant.
A detailed discussion of a four-car accident was presented. In this one accident which involved 15 persons, all of the aforementioned problem areas are included. An overview was presented which illustrates the benefits of previous research, as well as the need for more research.
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. "Crashworthiness of Automobile Seat Belts," hearing before a subcommittee of the Committee of Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 85th Congress, pp. 157-180, Aug. 1957.
- Severy, D.M. and A.W. Siegel. "Car Crash Tests and Basic Results," Fourth Stapp Car Crash Conference Proc., 1959.
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. "Automobile Head-On Collisions, Series II," SAE Transactions, 67, 238-264 (1959).
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. Auto Crash Studies, UCLA Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering, Report 59-10, Jan. 1959.
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. "Automobile Head-On Collisions, Series III," J.Soc. Automotive Engineers, SP-174, 62 pp. (1960).
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. "Barrier Collisions, Series IV; An Evaluation of Motorist Force and Injury Control Systems," Highway Research Board Proc. 40, 5141-556 (196l).
- Severy, D.M., and A.W. Siegel. "Engineered Collisions," Fifth Stapp Automotive Car Crash Conference Proc., pp. 33-147, Sept. 1961.
- Severy, D.M., J.H. Mathewson, and A.W. Siegel. "Automobile Side Impact Collisions, Series II," Society of Automotive Engineers Report, No. 491A, 1962; Traffic Safety, pp. 99-107, Dec. 1964.
- Nahum, A.M., A.W. Siegel, and S.E. Miller. "Injury in Nonfatal Accidents. I. Windshield Injuries," Eighth Stapp Car Crash Conference Proc., pp. 12-31, 1966.
- Nahum, A.M., D.M. Severy, and A.W. Siegel. "Automobile Accidents Correlated with Collision Experiments: Head-On Collisions," Ninth Stapp Car Crash Conference Proc., pp. 303-316 (1966).
- Nahum, A.M., A.W. Siegel, and S.B. Trachtenberg. "Causes of Significant Injuries in Nonfatal Traffic Accidents," Tenth Stapp Car Crash Conference Proc., pp. 182-196 (1966).
- Nahum, A.M., A.W. Siegel, and P.V. Hight. "Injuries to Rear Seat Occupants in Automobile Collisions," Eleventh Stapp Car Crash Conference Proc., pp. 159-1714 (1967).
- Nahum, A.M., and A.W. Siegel. "Biodynamics of Injury to the Larynx in Automobile Collisions," Ann. of Oto., Rhin., and Laryng. 76, 781 (1967)
- Siegel, A.A. "Automotive Collision Investigation and Human Injury Patterns," paper presented to 2nd International Congress on 'Road Traffic Technique' and five other organizations on European Continent, Oct. 1967.
- Lasky, I.I., A.W. Siegel, and A.M. Nahum. "Automotive Cardio-Thoracic Injuries: A Medical-Engineering Analysis," SAE Auto Engineering Congress, Paper No. 680052, Jan. 1968.
- Nahum, A.M., A.W. Siegel, P.V. Hight, and S.H. Brooks. "Lower Extremity Injuries of Front Seat Occupants," SAE Mid-Year Meeting, Paper No. 680483, May, 1968.
- Siegel, A.W. "Whiplash," presentation to American Trial Lawyers Assn., Los Angeles, Calif., May 1968.
- Siegel, A.W., and P.V. Hight. "Automotive Collision Reconstruction Elements," presentation to Assn. of Southern California Defense Counsel, 7th Annual Seminar, Los Angeles, California, June 1968.
- Siegel, A.W., and A.M. Nahum. "Automobile Collision and the Effect of the New U.S. Standards," Fonds d'Etude et de Recherches pour la Securite Routiere (Fund for Study and Research on Road Safety), Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 1968.
- Siegel, A.W., A.M. Nahum, and M.R. Appleby. "Injuries to Children in Automobile Collisions," Twelfth Stapp Car Crash Conference, Oct. 1968.
- Siegel, A.W., W.T. Van Wagoner, and A.M. Nahum. "Case Comparisons of Restrained and Nonrestrained Occupants and Related Injury Patterns" presented to the SAE International Automotive Engineering Congress and Exposition, Jan. 1969.
APPLICATION OF ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROMETRY
Donald E. Thorpe, Thorpe Laboratories, Division of Finalysis, Inc.
A brief review of the basic principles of Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry is made with comments on the generally accepted advantages and disadvantages of the method as compared with Emission Spectrophotometry listed below:
|(15 elements - equal sensitivity)|
|ADVANTAGES||Provides a convenient profile of elemental composition||Few spectral interferences|
|Flame temperature not critical|
|DISADVANTAGES||Temperature critical||Lamp needed for each element|
|Operator training essential||Limited to liquids|
|SENSITIVITY||24 elements more sensitive||17 elements more sensitive|
The use of chelates and resins to concentrate the element of interest, reduce background, and provide enhancement of signal is of prime consideration in dealing with quantitation of elements at the detection limit.
There appears to be a need for further study on the stability of various chelates as indicated by the paper by Kalt and Boltz, Analytical Chemistry, 40, p. 1086, No. 7, June 1968.
Recently offered accessories from the Perkin-Elmer Corporation suggest advantages from the Deuterium background corrector for elements whose (*) resonance lines lie below 2500 A and the Sampling Boat which allows the evaporation of 1 ml of liquid and obtaining the signal of easily atomized elements by inserting the boat into the air-acetylene flame; their brochure lists the following elements for the boat technique: As, Bi, Cd, Pb, Hg, Be, Ag, Te, Th, and Zn.
Our work with the determination of mercury in urine by the APDC chelate extracted into MIBK indicates that spuriously high values related to background are seen unless special attention is given to complete phase separation; 2500-3000 rpm is often necessary.
THE COMPUTERIZATION OF TOXICOLOGICAL DATA
Jim Brackett, Brian Finkle, Frances M. Evans, California Department of Justice, CII, Sacramento
In May of last year, many of the practicing toxicologists in California met and decided there was a definite need for the exchange of toxicological data. Subsequent to that meeting a committee of three, consisting of Jim Brackett, Brian Finkle and myself, was appointed to study the types of data that should be exchanged. This committee met several times and came to an agreement that there were two forms of data available. The first is experience and case data and the second is analytical data. The second type being so voluminous should be handled by computers. The seminar group agreed with this approach and the committee was authorized to act on the recommendation.
At this point, the Department of Justice was confronted with the proposal that the toxicologists contribute data and the department handle reproduction until the data collected was unmanageable by duplication techniques. Six analytical methods were decided upon for inclusion into the computer for which volunteers were asked to handle each subcommittee. The chairmen are:
|Jim Brackett||- Ultraviolet|
|Brain Finkle||- Infrared|
|Paul Lebish||- Gas Chromatography|
|Phil Reynolds||- Thin Layer Chromatography|
|Dick Shaw and Bob Cravey||- Paper Chromatography|
|Cecil Hider||- Crystals|
Codes for the various data forms were devised and presented to the Data Processing Center for the Department of Justice.
At this point we have duplicated the first half of the U.V. data (approximately 400 compounds) in code. It is a big project that will require much technical know-how and many man-hours of labor before it can be presented to the computer for the ultimate use of the policing agencies throughout the state.
EDUCATION IN CRIMINALISTICS
H. John Funk, Attorney General's Laboratory, Toronto, Canada
Unless or until criminalistics is recognized as a necessary profession, which depends upon a general demand or need for its services which in turn is predicated on the support of the various levels of society's organizations, i.e., Governments, - there will not likely be a sustaining source where academic institutions turn out a finished product in the form of qualified criminalists.
What then are the alternative(s)? Well, depending again on local structure of law enforcement generally and the level of support both financially and administratively, one can set up some arbitrary thresholds of academic achievements. If these requirements are limited, some areas will settle for people with less than a University Degree who, because of their special interest in criminalistics, are willing to train on-the-job with minimal rewards, and establish their reputation and acceptance in the field (including the courts) through self-education and long experience.
However, because our society is becoming more complex and we pride ourselves in our technical achievements, I believe that the administration of justice deserves a "first class" support from its scientific community. It therefore becomes necessary that our criminalists are qualified to utilize new techniques and equipment to provide the best answers required by those who sit in judgment on civil or criminal disputes. I submit, therefore, that we have to recruit not only at the Bachelor's level but also Post Graduate workers. These people will have the raw materials; it will still be up to the individual laboratory to produce the finished product.
Now I will speak from a narrower platform. The R.C.M. Police has in the past culled individuals from within its ranks and after a suitable baptism in criminalistics supported them through school including the Ph.D. level. This is time consuming and expensive, however, they still have to supplement their staff by hiring civilian graduates in the various sciences and training them in the laboratory. One of the disadvantages of transforming a Policeman to a Scientist is that he will find it more difficult to maintain an objective approach. I fully appreciate that there are spheres of activity where there is no formal education available, such as firearms and document examination. This is not to say that a Science Degree is not desirable even in these areas.
Becoming even more provincial, I will address myself to the situation as it exists in Ontario. We are not much different than most other crime laboratories in North America - like "Topsy" we just grew.
Starting with consulting services of interested university staff around the turn of the century, a medico-legal laboratory was set up by the Provincial Government in the mid-thirties. This consisted of one Pathologist and his Assistant, who attempted to cope with the obvious in the more serious cases. This operation survived, more or less, until the early-fifties when Dr. H. Ward Smith was appointed for the purpose of providing a wide spectrum of services for criminal investigations in Ontario. The staff that has since accrued largely came from universities at the graduate levels. All of these vent through an intern period of a more or less informal nature. The result is a preponderance of scientists with a low support of technical assistance. In part, this has been or our own doing, although we were also influenced by our courts who require direct testimony, that is, the evidence must he given by the person who did the work. Nevertheless, technicians can assist in many areas, under supervision, and we plan for the future to reduce the ratio between Scientists and Technicians. We will also continue to recruit from colleges and universities and then train them at the various levels.
During the past two years we have attempted to set up a formal training program which is aimed at a general proficiency in one of the major disciplines, e.g. toxicology, chemistry, etc. This is designed so that we can evaluate a person before the end of the first year and allow another year during which he associates with senior examiners and may go to court on minor cases. For this purpose we have compiled a Training Manual which outlines procedures, techniques, use of equipment and the 'required reading.' This training includes written reports on "case" material covering all types of evidence, utilizing accepted techniques, as well as an "interview" by a panel of three.
To assist in the implementation of this training program, each Section has been compiling a Methods Manual which incorporates procedures, techniques, use of equipment and source references. It seems incongruous that such a manual has not been published, but I suspect that few laboratories (if any) have all their methods between two covers, available to their trainees.
One of the criteria necessary for the crime laboratory to be of the utmost value is a well-informed investigator. The criminalist should therefore be interested in the training of police officers. I do not know the status or the problems in this regard as it may exist in California, or for that matter in other parts of the U.S.A. (except that some Police Chiefs of major cities enjoy a better reputation in this respect than others). If your trend is the same as ours then you have found a marked improvement over the last few years.
In Ontario we have essentially two police organizations - one which has Jurisdiction over rural areas and small towns, the Ontario Provincial Police; the other comprising municipal police forces of smaller and larger cities. During the last few years, the individual disparate training courses have been organized under one body - the Ontario police College. The staff of this college is responsible for the recruit and advance training of all law enforcement personnel in the province. Guest Lecturers are invited to augment this staff, particularly in the further training of senior and special investigators. These are drawn from all levels of the community, including on occasion, North Western University.
All recruits receive a minimum of two hours from a senior member of our staff usually during their second year. Courses for criminal investigators include six to eight hours of forensic science. Other special groups such as identification officers (evidence technicians) usually spend two days with our staff. This degree of exposure to scientific criminal investigations is far from ideal, but our efforts are limited by present circumstances. This type of training is doubly rewarding in that it brings returns in the form of properly prepared evidence, adequate control material, etc., and it benefits the investigator with a stronger scientific support of his case.
There are other ways through which a Police Officer can improve his knowledge. Unfortunately, most often these opportunities exist only in the large cities. Our laboratory is offering an evening course through the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, which is attended largely by Police Officers. Other courses in certain aspects of law enforcement are also available in some Community Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. To what extent the individual police department will reward their officers for this extra effort remains to be seen.
Another group which receives only marginal attention is the Legal Profession. Our Director has only two hours to talk to the Local Bar Admission class. So far we have had only a one-day seminar with Judges and Defense Attorneys. Our only contact with Grown Attorneys (Prosecutors) is the occasional seminar or panel discussion at their Annual Meetings. I am sure both parties can benefit from a better understanding of each other's roles.
This has been an attempt to outline some of the problems associated with the training of the criminalist and those directly related to his operation. I have generally indicated how we in Ontario try to improve this situation. I am not offering any all-purpose remedies, but strongly suggest that a continuing education within the ranks of criminalists, as well as those for whom we provide a service, will be one step towards improving the status of criminalistics.