33rd SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1969)
May 22-24, 1969

William J. Lee, Firearms Examiner, Los Angeles PD Criminalistics Lab

A film was shown illustrating the operation of the burning bar. A pipe normally 3/8" in diameter and containing approximately eleven metal alloy rods twisted into a cable form the center part of the pipe. These bars are ordinarily supplied in 10-foot lengths. A holder with a neoprene seal is connected to an oxygen tank. The oxygen tank need not be large as the consumption is not excessive. 85 psi is ordinarily used. A ten-foot length of burning bar has a retail price of $8.75 with an overall cost of $42 for the entire set-up including the trigger unit. The burning rate is approximately 2 feet per minute. The manufacturer suggests that the operator wear an asbestos suit due to sparks and slag. The burning bar may be used under water. The legitimate use of this device is in construction and demolition. A temperature of 4500° is achieved at the burning point, normally an oxyacetylene torch is used to start the bar although it may be started by charcoal. Slag from the burning bar is directed virtually straight down, unlike slag from an acetylene torch. There is an excessive smoke generation in the normal use of this device. The burning bar works so rapidly and the heat is so concentrated that the contents of a safe may not be cooked if a burning bar is used to burn a hole through the wall of the safe. The burning bar exhibits very irregular slag marks in contrast to the parallel marks generally seen with an acetylene torch. The noise generated from the burning bar is approximately the same as with an oxyacetylene torch. Wood is something of a barrier to the burning bar, as the device is considerably less effective in burning through wood than through concrete or steel.

Dave Sanchez, Santa Clara County Criminalistics Laboratory, San Jose, Ca

The presentation outlined the basic theory of the internal standard method while deriving a basic working equation. Starting with the assumptions that (1) Linear responses are obtained for compound (2) being analyzed and the internal standard, and (2) A constant concentration of internal standards in solutions analyzed, a basic relationship is derived:


the concentration of the unknown in the solution analyzed
"constant", dependent upon response characteristics of unknown and internal standard and on the concentration of the internal standard.
GC response of unknown and internal standard, respectively.

The principle advantages of this working equation is that the determinative step is independent of the volume injected and of the absolute concentration of the internal standard.

Kai R. Martensen, Executive Officer, California Council on Criminal Justice

The role and function of the California Council on Criminal Justice was presented briefly. California has been awarded its first action money from the Federal Government as $1.9 million block grant to the State. It is anticipated that these funds will be made available for new and innovative ways to fight crime.

In 1965, the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance was created to award grants in aid from the Federal Government. In 1968, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act was adopted which provided for the law enforcement assistance administration for state and local planning, for action projects, for academic assistance and for research and development. While the OLEA received $20.6 million in the years 1965 through 1968, the LEAA received $63 million in 1969 and will receive $300 million in 1970. Of the $63 million appropriated for LEAA programs in 1969, $19 million was allocated for planning money and the remainder for action money. California received $1.3 million for planning with 40 percent going for local units and the remainder to the State to carry out comprehensive planning.

California is divided into geographical regions with a block grant of $10,000 being reserved for each geographical region and the remainder based upon the population.

In all planning grants awarded by the California Council on Criminal Justice under the LEAA programs, planning grants awarded on a 90 percent basis and action grants are awarded on a 60 percent basis. An exception is on construction where the costs are shared on a 50-50 basis between the federal and local governmental agencies. The mechanism involved in submitting a proposal for an action grant by a governmental agency was outline briefly as well as the procedure involved in the evaluation and awarding of the projects by the CCCJ. The CCCJ will act as a project monitor. It is anticipated that in the 1970 fiscal year, California will receive $1.7 million in planning funds and $18.2 million for action funds from the Federal Government.

Ron H. Rogers, Criminology Department, California State College, Long Beach

California is the leading state in the application of the physical and natural sciences to the administration of criminal justice. In recognition of this, and to provide the necessary information for the evaluation of proposals for new laboratories and expansion of existing facilities, the California Council on Criminal Justice has directed a survey to be made of existing crime labs to be submitted to this CCCJ to provide pertinent information. The goals of the survey are indicated to be:

  1. On-site survey.
  2. Describe administration of the laboratory and the relationship to the parent agency.
  3. To identify personnel resources including education, training, turn-over and vacancies.
  4. Evaluate the workload of each laboratory.
  5. To determine the processing time for the examination of various types of evidence and to determine the availability of written reports.
  6. To compile a report of findings.

This report is to be completed by the Fall of 1969 and will be considered in detail by the California Council on Criminal Justice in evaluating grant proposals dealing with crime laboratory operations.

Francis G. Turney, Forensic Chemist, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept., Los Angeles, Ca

A technique was described tor blood alcohol analysis by a modification of the Widmark system (J. Lab. Clin. Med. 38 - 1951).

3 CH₃ CH₂OH + 2K₂Cr₂O₇ + 8H₂SO₄

3CH₃ COOH + 2K₂SO₄ + 2Cr₂ (SO₄)₃

The method described reduces the time necessary for the analysis of large numbers of samples, maintains adequate specificity, is reproducible, allows a high degree of recovery of alcohol, and the accuracy is comparable or better than the Kozelka-Hine method. The limitations are seen as the amount of available glassware and the number of titrations which can be done in a day.

Arnold W. Siegel, Chief Resident Engineer, School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles

A report was made of studies of devices to restrain children in moving vehicles when subjected to collision forces. The design features of various types of restraining devices were compared, and related to the kinematics of sudden deceleration and translational injuries.

John I. Thornton, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, Martinez

A history of the H Blood Group Factor was presented to clarify the nomenclature and to aid in the interpretation of test results in the typing of dried bloodstains with the anti-H lectin.

It is proposed by Weiner, and considerable evidence is available in support of the hypothesis, that the gene which all people possess (except the Bombay type genotype xx) determines the Hood group precursor substance, and that all normal individuals are homozygous, genotype HH, for this is the gene that determines the H substance. It is suggested that the H genes and the ABO genes compete on a phenotypic level for the same substrate. The developed H substance, then, is an immunochemical specificity of an independent genetically controlled side-chain of the basic blood group mucopolysaccharide. To this basic mucopolysaccharide is also attached the group-specific oligosaccharide side-chains determined by the genes A₁, A₂, Ax, and B, with gene O apparently acting as an amorph. Differences in the length of the side-chains determined by the A₁, A₂, Ax, B and O genes are presumed to account for the close association between the H substance and blood groups O and A₂.

Rex Wheeler, Director, Hermosa Beach Police Department Crime Laboratory

An account was presented of the development of a field test card to assist the patrolman in evaluating physiological conditions which may be encountered in individuals under the influence of drugs and narcotics. Included were physiological responses to various stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Copies of the card are available from the author.

Howard Schlesinger, Gulf-General Atomic; Don Bryant, Gulf-General Atomic; John Williams, San Francisco Police Department; Ray Pinker, Los Angeles State College

Schlesinger: A report was given on the statistical treatment of the data from gunshot residue determinations. A slide was shown illustrating the Class A handblanks, a scatter diagram of individuals known not to have fired a handgun. All occupations were represented in the plot. Bo trend toward high Ba and Sb levels was indicated. Another slide was shown of Class B handblanks. In this diagram, environmental factors show a trend toward a high level of Ba, with Sb levels essentially those of the Class A handblanks, in which both Ba and Sb levels were observed to be elevated due to occupational exposure. In this last category, these individuals would represent less than 1% of the US population, with 93% of all occupations having already been tested. Additional slides were shown of the high levels of Ba and Sb encountered with having fired .22, .38, and .45 weapons. Certain calibers show consistently higher levels of Ba and Sb than others. The ratio of Ba to Sb will be constant although the levels will vary.

Bryant: A statistical approach is the only realistic approach to the problem of interpretation, with a comparison of the test results and the ellipses on the scatter diagrams constituting the basis for the interpretation. It is possible that there may exist many instances in which the results are not clear-cut.

Pinker: NAA has in the past failed to discern Dy and Eu tags in gunpowder. Secondly, the Ba and Sb may be dispersed in a cloud and deposited over a large area. As the material is then a surface contamination, it is easily removed or transferred onto the hands of an individual not having fired a weapon. The residues are easily washed off with water without the need of detergent, and may be rubbed off.

Williams (Reading comments of John Davis, Oakland PD): The CAC should take a stand and get an opinion on the validity of the test. Also, a number of other factors should be taken into consideration and the significance of each determined. These might include occupation, the wiping off or washing of the hands, previous firing, handling of the weapon, and the reliability of using a left hand blank. A confidence level should be determined.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department Criminalistics Laboratory and State Bureau CII Criminalistics Laboratory

A film was shown which depicted the destruction of a vehicle by placing six sticks of 40 percent nitroglycerine dynamite between the engine and the fire wall of the vehicle. The detonation was recorded by regular color motion pictures and by color ultrahigh speed motion pictures. A brief description was provided of the damage to the vehicle and the extent to which fragments of the vehicle were scattered about the scene.

Vaniman comment; A recent case involved a home-made type bomb in which red phosphorus was coated on the threads of the pipe. In the event the caps were unscrewed from the pipe, the phosphorus would result in the ignition of the charge contained in the pipe. Extreme caution is advocated in dealing with items of this type.

John F. Williams, San Francisco Police Department Crime Laboratory

A slide was shown of incendiary devices fabricated from sugar, potassium chlorate, sulfuric acid, and wax sandwich bags. Sugar and the potassium chlorate are placed in waxed bags containing in addition a small rubber balloon containing sulfuric acid. Within three to twelve hours, acid eats through the balloon and the heat of reaction causes the fire.

A slide was shown of a second incendiary device consisting of a bottle containing sugar, potassium chlorate and petroleum material with a glass tube containing sulfuric acid and a carriage bolt. When the bottle is tripped, the bolt breaks the tube and allows the acid to come into contact with the sugar and potassium chlorate resulting in a fire. The bombings having occurred at San Francisco State were described briefly. These bombs have been alarm-clock bombs consisting of 1-1/2" pipes containing flaked gunpowder with electrical detonators and alarm-clock timers. In the room of one of the suspects, was found a trembler device which would result in the closing of an electrical contact when the device was disturbed in any way.

Robert Cote, Sgt., Montreal Police Department, Montreal, Canada

Acts of terrorism in Quebec may be traced back to the Spring of 1963, in which a group of secessionists began planting fire bombs in mail boxes. This wave of fire bombing lasted approximately three months, during which time special squads of bomb disposal experts were recruited from local and regional police agencies. In the Fall of 1963, an arsenal was completely emptied of weapons and explosives. A new wave of bombing began in August of 1968 with three bombs being placed in governmental installations. In one instance, 75 sticks of dynamite were detonated against a broadcast tower. In another instance, a shopping bag with dynamite was detonated in the Montreal Stock Exchange. Five individuals have been killed since 1963 including one terrorist in 1966 killed by his own bomb. Numerous individuals have been injured. Following the resurgence of bombings in August of 1968, the longest period of time between bombings was twelve days. Slides were shown of the manner of fabrication of numerous types of bombs including the alarm-clock bombs, wrist-watch bombs, beer can bombs and other infernal devices. A slide was shown of the plans published in a Montreal newspaper depicting the manner of construction of alarm-clock bombs. A slide was shown of the January 12, 1968, issue of Life magazine which also depicts the manner of manufacture of home-made bombs. Slides were also shown of the truck and bomb trailer used by the Montreal Police, the equipment contained in the bomb disposal truck, the construction of a blast shield, and a blasting mat fabricated from ballistics nylon. The use of small magnets inside rubber gloves for the sifting of debris at the scene of an explosion to recover fragments of the timing device was described.

Kathy Lyter, Proctor and Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

A brief history was presented of cleaning products to place enzymatic detergents into proper perspective. No significant changes were made in soaps for many years. In 1933, light-duty synthetic detergents were introduced which although were of limited effectiveness formed the basis for future development. In 1946, the first built detergent (Tide) was introduced. This product had the ability to clean in addition to hard-water advantages. It may be considered as the first generation of modern detergents.

The basic ingredients of a modern detergent are the surfactant or the surface active agent, a builder which is generally a phosphate complex sequestering agent and mildly alkaline, a corrosion inhibiter which is generally a sodium silicate and an anti-redeposition agent, a suds-stabilizer or suppressor, a fabric whitener, perfume and, in some instances, a bacteriostatic agent, an oxygen-type bleach or coloring. In 1967, enzymatic detergents were developed and the detergent "Biz" was introduced in upstate New York. Since that time, numerous enzymatic detergents have been placed on the market. These generally fall into two categories: that of the laundry detergent and that of the presoaking agent. The laundry detergents of an enzymatic nature that are most often encountered are Tide X-K, Punch, Gain and Drive. The pre-soaking agents that are most commonly encountered are Biz, Amaze, Sure, and Axion. The enzyme action is generally that of glucoamylase, converting starch to glucose. The technical problems in producing an enzyme detergent are related to the optimum conditions under which the enzyme must work; namely, heat and alkalinity. In addition, there is the problem of shelf aging and stability during production. A pre-soak enzyme detergent may be used to provide performance options not generally acceptable for use in general laundry detergents. Enzyme detergents are particularly effective with protein and carbohydrate based stains and are not particularly effective on fat stains such as salad oil, grease, etc. All fabrics may be washed in enzyme detergents without concern of damaging the fabric. Enzymes are deactivated by chlorine bleaches and chlorine bleaches are not to be used in conjunction with an enzyme detergent. They must be used in sequence. Perborate bleaches are compatible with enzyme detergents and may be added by some manufacturers. The efficacy of enzyme detergents on grass stains appears to be dependent upon the type of grass and the season. No dermatitis has been reported in ordinary use of enzyme detergents.

John W. Gunn, Jr., Division of Laboratory Operations, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Washington, D.C.

In April of 1968, a merger was effected between the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in the Department of Treasury and the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In August 1968, John Ingersoll was appointed director of the newly formed Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). At the present, fourteen domestic regional offices and three foreign offices are in existence with numerous local offices staffed by approximately 800 agents. In April 1969, a special laboratory system was put into effect for the use of the BNDD. Laboratories are being formed in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco. In addition, a special testing and research laboratory will be in existence in Washington, D.C. Each laboratory will be staffed for the present by ten chemists, a director and adequate clerical personnel. Each laboratory will be administratively responsible to the BNDD headquarters in Washington, and not under the direct supervision of the regional offices. The agency is in the process of upgrading laboratory facilities with respect to equipment and it is anticipated each laboratory will have IR, UV, GC, spectrophotofluorimeter and microscopy equipment. The laboratories will handle all evidence submitted by agents and will provide gratis analysis of material submitted by local law enforcement agencies. The facilities of the laboratory are intended to supplement local laboratories but are not intended to supplant them. The publication of "Micrograms" will be continued as will be the program of distributing standards. Seminars for chemists will continue to be held at the Washington Laboratory through arrangement with the chief chemist of the regional laboratory.

Theodore R. Elzerman, California Department of Justice Bureau of CII

The CII laboratory receives many requests for the examination of broken headlight or taillight lamps to determine if they were on or off at the time they were broken. When all or a portion of the filament is present the examination generally is not too difficult if one finds the presence or absence of molten glass on the filament, tempered colors, a stretching of the filament or characteristic broken filament ends.

On many occasions all that is submitted is a portion of the reflector with smashed posts and no filaments. A procedure is being investigated to determine the presence of tungsten on remaining glass reflector as a guide to determine if the lamp was on or off when broken by the use of fluorescent x-ray spectrograph analysis.

The lamp filament ordinarily is at 2500-3000° in an Ar or Ar-N₂ atmosphere. In the presence of O₂, the tungsten rapidly goes to the oxide, which is soluble in strong Na or NH₄OH. This may then be precipitated by acid and the precipitate subjected to X-Ray Fluorescence.

The factors which are currently being studied include:

  1. Testing of new lamps for background.
  2. Testing of lamps which have not burned out.
  3. Testing of burned out lamps.
  4. Testing of lamps with leaks.
  5. Testing of lamps turned on after filament has broken.

George R. Nakamura and Herman J. Meuron, AFT Laboratory, Internal Revenue Service, San Francisco

A technique was described for an ion pair extraction using a Celite column system which quantitatively separates heroin from diluents and impurities found in illicit preparations.

The column is packed with 3gms of Celite 545 in 2ml of 0.1 N HCl. The heroin is eluted with 40mls of CHCl₃ and determined spectrophotometrically. Impurities may be flushed through the column before the heroin by using 50mls of ethylene chloride (1,2-dichloroethane).

G.F. Sensabaugh, Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California; A.C. Wilson and P.L. Kirk, School of Criminology and Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California

Insight into this problem has been gained by the analysis of a sample of whole human blood that had been stored in the dried state for eight years at room temperature. The sample was tested for the presence of eleven specific proteins. Including six enzymes; seven survived as Judged by their enzymatic activity and activity with specific antisera. However, that the surviving proteins had undergone modification was indicated by several criteria; compared to their analogues in fresh blood, they were less stable, were polydisperse in molecular weight and electrophoretic mobility and were slightly different by immunological criteria.

The nature of these modifications were probed by physical and chemical studies. These studies suggest the following modifications:

  1. Some degradation of protein to low molecular weight peptides, possibly by proteolytic processes.
  2. Amino acid modification of cysteine and lysine. Some cysteine was apparently oxidized to cysteic acid. The amount of lysine modification corresponded to the estimated disappearance of glucose, suggesting a reaction between these two moieties. Ho other amino add modifications could be detected.
  3. Destructive co-oxidation of heme and lipids may have occurred.
  4. Covalent cross-linking of the dried blood protein, including cross links other than disulfide bonds. This cross-linking results in the formation of soluble protein aggregates and is perhaps the key to the loss of solubility of blood stains. Covalent cross-links are known to result from the lysine-glucose reaction.
  5. Changes in protein conformation induced by the chemical modifications and/or the trauma of drying and extraction.

A detailed account of these studies is being prepared for publication.

Bryan S. Finkle, Criminalistics Laboratory, Office of Santa Clara County District Attorney, San Jose, California

The circumstantial and toxicological details of a well-documented 3,4-methylene-dioxyamphetamine (M.D.A.) fatality were presented, including blood and tissue concentrations, ultraviolet, gas chromatography, and infrared instrumental methods of analysis. The presentation also included an evaluation of the analytical results and a note on the composition of the original material ingested.

Richard F. Shaw, San Diego County Coroner's Office, San Diego, California

Examination of the proceedings of the California Toxicology Seminars on the subject of barbiturate analysis of biological samples reveals that in a recent analytical control program with a circulated blood barbiturate sample, eight laboratories participating identify their isolated barbiturates by thin layer chromatography, three laboratories identify by gas chromatography, and three laboratories identify by paper chromatography. Although thin layer chromatography affords the analyst a rapid technique to determine the fast, intermediate, and long acting barbiturates as classes, the separation of the troublesome threesome (amobarbital, pentobarbital, secobarbital) has not been adequately solved by conventional thin layer chromatography. Laboratories utilizing gas chromatography can choose from among a number of methods to achieve specificity and sensitivity for the barbiturates.

Published methods on paper chromatographic identification of barbiturates do not provide the resolution desired for identification of commonly prescribed barbiturates isolated from biological samples. The method described was suggested to our laboratory in 1959. After repeated trials, with varying degrees of success, the method was modified to effect a greater degree of sensitivity and resolution.

The extraction of the barbiturates from blood or urine is by a slightly modified Goldbaum method. A chromatography paper strip is impregnated with silicate-fluorescein solution, dried, and spotted with residues from the extraction. The paper is allowed to equilibrate in a water vapor atmosphere and developed with ethylene dichloride. The paper is allowed to dry and examined under UV light. Reference standards are run along with the test extract. The barbiturate is quantitated by cutting the spot out of the paper, extracted, determined spectrophotometrically, and compared with reference spots. When the reference ratio values of the absorbance spots on the chromatogram were found to be equivocal, the spots were eluted, re-extracted, and re-chromatographed.

Robert H. Cravey and Dwight Read., Office of the Orange County Coroner, California

Of the three intravenous amphetamine fatals reported, little pathology was noted other than edema. Investigation, however, gave strong evidence of methamphetamine abuse.

Isolation of the compounds was by steam distillation from an alkaline media. Acetylated derivatives were analyzed by gas chromatography utilizing a flame ionization detector. The following levels were found in the tissues:

Distribution of Amphetamine Compounds in Coroner's Cases
   ¹. mg/100 ml
   ². mg/100 gm of wet tissue
   n/a not available
   *Morphine recovered from bile 0.002 mg total
Case NumberBlood¹ Liver² Kidney² Urine¹ Brain² Site of
   Methamphetamine mg total
   Methamphetamine 0.010.07n/an/a0.03In excess of 10mg

Richard G. Whalley and Peter Barnett, San Diego Police Department Crime Laboratory, San Diego, California

The legal definition of a driver under the influence in the State of California differs from the technical definition as offered by the AHA and used in many other states. This paper is an attempt to define the different requirements under these two definitions and to examine the impact of each definition on the testimony of the expert. The legal definition essentially compares the suspect with an arbitrary standard, whereas, the technical definition compares the suspect with himself. This difference may influence the opinion of the expert when asked the question.