35th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1970)
April 23-25, 1970

Lowell W. Bradford, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County, San Jose, Ca.

A concept for the Criminalistics Institute was discussed which provides for the combination of education, research and development, data collection center and service center into one organization at a central location. The staff of such an institute would be able to perform the multiple functions involved with the spin-off of having available an adequate faculty to teach criminalistics students through the graduate level with a truly scientific and professional capability. It is envisioned that such an institute would combine the following functions:

Research on technological methods; development of archives of information and physical evidence material; institution of a data bank with retrieval systems which would integrate archive information, collected experience data, and would be available to operational laboratories; research in Systems Development by a link-up with operations laboratories that could serve as a test-bed for operations research and analysis; an educational system on Criminalistics provided with a link-up to an institution qualified to conduct a core curriculum; link-up with adjacent operational laboratories for the purpose of student orientation, internships, data development, input bases for methods research and data retrieval needs.

William C. Smith, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County; San Jose, Ca.

A report of several interesting terminal ballistic phenomenon encountered with the use of caliber .30 ammunition. Firings were into 1/4" mild steel plate. The entry side of the plate exhibited a "cratered" effect which resembled a typical exit hole. The exit side had very little "cratering" and could be mistaken for an entry hole. A ferrous metal fragment, approximately 1/2" in diameter, was recovered to the rear of the target.

These effects are believed caused by the fact that as the round strikes the plate, the bullet jacket is stripped off and the heat evolved on impact causes the metal to flow outward, forming a "cratered" effect. The force of the round striking the plate drives out a steel plug (ferrous fragment mentioned above) which becomes a secondary projectile. The forming of this plug results in a relatively smooth exit hole.

Don M. Harding, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County, San Jose,Ca.

A rapid procedure for screening possible seminal stains and vaginal aspirates, using a spectrophotometer, was reported. No incubation period required, and final results can be recorded in 15 minutes, longer if inhibition technique is combined. Quantitation and specificity phases of studies have not been completed. When results are positive, phase microscopy is used to search for spermatozoa. The substrate consists of 50 mg sodium alphanaphthyl phosphate in acetate buffer (pH =5).

Buffer 41 grams sodium acetate, 10 ml. glacial acetic acid, made up to 500 ml aqueous

David W. Sanchez, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County, San Jose, Ca.

A rapid technique for coating surfaces, such as tool marks, with a thin, uniform layer of metal oxide was described.

The applicability of this technique to criminalistics was first described by Green and Burd, J. of Crim. Law & Criminology & Police Science (1950). Their technique has been modified in the following manner:

  1. The metal used for the oxide coating is aluminum and to the extent that the filament vaporizes, tungsten.
  2. Heat is supplied by a tungsten wire filament attached to a transformer rheostat set up. (The apparatus was built by Bob Frazier of JPL).
  3. For objects which need to be rotated, i.e., bullets and cartridge cases, a small motor is suspended above the filament.

The procedure involves wrapping aluminum foil around the tungsten filament and then increasing the current slowly until a steady stream of oxide is evolved. The object to be coated is rotated in the stream.

Benefits of the modifications (of the technique as described by Green & Burd) are:

  1. An extremely thin film of oxide can be easily applied.
  2. Layer thickness and uniformity of thickness can be accurately controlled.

Joseph B. Jackson, Laboratory of Criminalistics, San Bernardino County

A new instrument, Carle-Instruments, Inc., model 3000 Thermal Analysis System, was used for the first time to provide data for court presentation. The instrument studies the evolution of gases from solid or liquid samples on the order of 0.02 mg as a function of temperature.

The temperature range is from ambient to 560° with a maximum rate of linear increase of 32°C/min. A carbon specific flame ionization detector is used to study evolved gases.

The technique was used to compare submitted tire samples from the suspect vehicle with a black abrasion transfer on the rear of the victim's vehicle in a fatal traffic collision. One of the tire samples provided was elimi-nated as a cause for the transfer while the second behaved similarly to the transfer material. These results were successfully presented in court and the instrument approved by the court as a valid method for comparing or-ganic solids.

Kenneth S. Field, Public Safety Research, Stanford Research Institute

It is recommended that CAC become the advocate for future planning in the field of Criminalistics Laboratories. Specifically, CAC should adopt the following basic objective: to design a Master Plan that will reflect the immediate and the long range requirements for criminalistics laboratories in California.

To accomplish this task, positive steps should be taken to ascertain the state of the current crime lab situation; particularly the uses made of laboratory outputs.

Once the current situation (and its shortcomings) is understood, a trend analysis should be made of the environment in which the laboratories will be operating between now and 1980. This, in turn, must then be translated into broad laboratory future requirements. By comparing the current situation with these future requirements, the basic material for the design of a 10-Year Master Plan will become apparent. Once the Master Plan is prepared, implementation can commence.

Robert G. Cranston, Laboratory of Criminalistics, San Bernardino County

A limited study was made of the rate at which used Breathalyzer ampoules deteriorate under various conditions. If the ampoules are opened and stored in a box, the apparent blood alcohol level was found to increase at a rate of approximately .02-.03% per day.

When using simulator samples, the apparent blood alcohol level increased approximately .03-04% per day when the used ampoules were stored in a box, left out on a window sill or in capped 1-oz. bottles.

A rubber cap was devised for the ampoules. When using simulator samples and storing the ampoules with the caps, the apparent blood alcohol level increased by approximately .004% per day.

Incidentally, it was noted that rotation of one of the ampoules can cause a variation of as much as .02%, Also, removing the bubbler tube can increase the result by as much as .04%.

In summary, it seems that the ampoules cannot be easily or simply stored.

Howard L. Bodily, California Department of Public Health

Chapter 1421 of the Health and Safety Code requires the Department of Public Health to adopt and publish regulations licensing laboratories and personnel engaged in performing tests for alcohol on persons involved in traffic violations or accidents. The regulations are to be adopted by July 1, 1970 and may include regulations necessary to assure competence of the laboratory and personnel, including periodic inspection of the laboratory. The regulations must also cover testing of breath samples by or for law-enforcement agencies including definition of procedures to be used in administering breath tests.

The law details the formation of an advisory committee representing district attorneys, public defenders, coroners, criminalists, pathologists, and analytical chemists. This committee has been appointed with the addition of a representative from the Departments of Justice and Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol and the California Peace Officer's Association.

The advisory committee is now assisting the department in the development of such regulations which will go to the State Board of Health for adoption following a public hearing.

While the regulations are still in a formative process, they will likely contain the following:

  1. Education and training qualifications of the laboratory director and analytical personnel.
  2. Examinations for licensure and probably a blanketing in procedure for persons now working in the field.
  3. Requirements regarding equipment, facilities, internal quality control and proficiency testing.
  4. Establishment of criteria which analytical instruments must meet.
  5. Education or training of personnel engaged in performing breath tests.

Laboratories are required to have a license to operate on or after Jan. 1, 1971.

L. V. Bradford and C.L. Hider, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County, San Jose, Ca.

The problem of analyses of samples of drugs and narcotics obtained by police investigators was subjected to the Operations Analysis and a solution to the problem was developed which has been highly efficacious. The solution involved the development of an analysis methodology directed toward the rapid and succinct identification for six of the most commonly encountered drugs and narcotics in the current enforcement program, but has been expanded to include less frequently encountered drugs, the whole total of which is now 24. Part of the optimization included a short form report procedure and an analysis "while-you-wait" procedure to accommodate officers who are in a hurry to obtain a search warrant or a complaint. The complete optimization includes use of facilities, methodology, clerical work, security, storage and time for analysis and report. It has been possible to dispose of approximately 90 such cases per week with 60 man hours of effort. The response time per case is usually less than fifteen minutes.

Kenneth V. Goddard, Laboratory of Criminalistics, San Bernardino County

The increasing use of marijuana throughout the country, especially in Southern California, is presently requiring Criminalists with little or no academic training in Botany to identify leaf fragments of marijuana solely upon the observation of specific botanical characteristics by microscopic technique.

Although it is doubtful that this lack of formal training does in fact hinder a competent on-the-job trained Criminalist, it would certainly be beneficial if that Criminalist could testify that a chemical test of reasonable and known specificity was performed to confirm his opinion.

The most notable and perhaps the most specific of these chemical tests is the Duquenois-Levine test. Since its development in 1938, this test has been the subject of much discussion and experimentation, generally to the effect that the test is not specific for marijuana and that it is of relatively little use in the identification of marijuana. While much of this research has already been duplicated many times. It is difficult for labora-tories to obtain lists of actual plant species examined, much less obtain actual samples for personal evaluation.

The purpose of this project has been twofold: first, to establish a collection of properly classified plant species for the purpose of comparison and for the training of new criminalists and deputies; and secondly, to determine if any of the collected plant species are similar to marijuana with respect to botanical characteristics or reaction to the Duquenois-Levine test.

Recent investigation by George Nakamura (Cystolith Hairs of Cannabis and other Plants, Journal of the AOAC, January, 1969) and M.J. de Faubert Maunder (Bulletin on Narcotics, October-December, 1969) as well as many others, has resulted in compiled lists of plant materials similar in botanical or chemical characteristics with marijuana. In general, the data presented below supplements these previous lists although there is duplication in a few instances.

To date, this project has involved the essentially random collection of approximately 520 plant species at Botanical Gardens, Arboretums and in their natural environment in Southern California. Of these 520 species, approximately 350 have been examined microscopically and chemically (Duquenois-Levine). None of these 350 species have resembled marijuana microscopically and, while many of these plants have reacted to the chemical test, none have given a typical marijuana reaction with respect to color and time of reaction.

The conclusion reached thus far in this project is that the Duquenois-Levine test may indeed be specific for marijuana if a typical deep purple-Violet color reaction is obtained in less than ten seconds which extracts properly into chloroform. Any weak reaction, with respect to color or length of time (one to ten minutes) should be treated as suspect and disregarded in favor of a microscopic examination.

Allan Gilmore, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Sacramento County

An aid grant under the California Traffic Safety Program made possible through the support of the Office of Traffic Safety, State of California and the National Highway Safety Bureau was obtained to evaluate a method of analyzing blood alcohol by automation.

Equipment was obtained from Technicon, Tarrytown, New York. The procedure is enzymatic using a fluorometer as a detector. The procedure is currently completing 20 samples per hour with a good possibility of increasing the speed to 40 or 50 per hour. The cost is less than $0.15 per sample and the results show good precision.

Moderated by Lowell W. Bradford, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Santa Clara County, San Jose, Ca.

Participants in the panel discussion looked at the question of what a reporting system is expected to accomplish. It was brought out that one approach which is useful for budget objectives and justifying costs has to do with where the time goes and how many cases are involved. Such a system of reporting fails to measure effectiveness because it really doesn't state what the usefulness of the operation is. It simply gives an idea of the location and amount of the workload activity.

Another panelist brought out the point of answering the question of "Who is it that really needs the results of such data," and that the workload can be identified with the types of evidence which were available. A warning was given on the dangers of overstandardization of methods to obtain uniform data.

Another panelist brought out the importance of feed-back information as related to the management aspects of crime laboratory operation. Workload trends must be analyzed by managers to ascertain the best application of assets. This kind of data would also be useful in planning future laboratory operations. In summary, it was pointed out that there are several categories of workload and data collection that can be used for management information planning and finding out what the system is doing. One can look at who the users are, the kind of a problem which is being solved, physical object and examination categories, type of examinations made, instruments or facilities being used, and outcomes of examination.

On the other hand, these are not measures of effectiveness because effectiveness refers to the use which is being made of workload results and only the user of the results can determine whether or not the work accomplished has served a useful purpose. Effectiveness in this sense normally means decision making by the user. It is apparent that two kinds of data are needed:

  1. An examination of user applications of workload output to ascertain whether or not the laboratory effort is being applied to productive end use.
  2. For planning of new laboratory systems, a uniform monthly workload report by existing laboratories would be helpful if it would adopt categories such as the following:
(1) Blood alcohol analysis cases:
a. total traffic enforcement cases
b. total non-traffic enforcement cases
(2) Narcotics cases - non-physiological sample cases_________________
(3) Physiological cases tested for drugs, poisons, Narcotics _________________
(4) All other cases_________________
(5) Man hours obligated to court, hearings, grand jury, etc._________________
(6) Population serviced_________________

Panelist Ron Briglia - Laboratory of Toxicology, Sacramento County
The purposes of identifying workload may be many faceted including demonstrating the activity of the laboratory to administrators and for budgetary purposes regarding equipment and personnel. The most common way is to present statistics showing the number of cases received, the number of cases worked, the specific number of varied chemical and physical examinations, the number of court appearances, etc. This type of presentation shows the activity of the laboratory but does not really indicate how time is spent in the laboratory. Another approach is to show time spent on various types of cases and analyses. A general outline showing the major categories to be considered is as follows:

  1. Narcotics Testing
  2. Toxicology - Tissues
    1. Coroner
    2. Driving
    3. Probation
  3. Drinking Driver
  4. Paternity
  5. Other Crimes
    1. Homicide
    2. Rape
    3. Etc.
  6. Testimony
  7. Miscellaneous

Each major category can be further broken down and the time spent on various specific types of examinations can be shown. From this one can see if too much or too little time is being spent in a particular phase, if the time spent is of relative value to ultimate outcome of case, which direction research should take, etc. In summary, both types of data presentation, that is, statistical and time distribution, are of value in identifying workload.

Panelist W. Jack Cadman - Laboratory of Criminalistics, Orange County
Our problem at present is that the various laboratories are not reporting the same things because we are not doing the same things or doing them in the same way. Each laboratory has evolved in a manner which has been a function of the political jurisdiction under which it was created; i.e., city police department, county district attorney, county sheriff's department, or State of California Department of Justice. Further each laboratory is a reflection of the person(s) who has been the administrator and the person(s), board or commission over him. Policies of the local news media, taxpayers associations, grand juries, or relative insulation from these things have had an effect. The capabilities, background experience, education and interests of the laboratory director and the men under him as well as the equipment and budgets have been vastly different from one laboratory to the next. The attitudes of the local courts and attorneys have played a part in creating differences.

The workload is not necessarily the sum total of the cases received nor is it the total cases in which there is a follow-up request or subpoena. The type(s) of evidence available will also have a great affect on our ability to identify the workload, i.e., blood alcohol, drug form, narcotics, homicides or suicides for verification or real "who dun its?"

Standardization carried too far could wipe out the incentive and challenge to the individual. Rather we should develop along agreed-on guidelines which challenge the individual and give him a sense of worth and allow professionalization.

Panelist Herman Meuron - Laboratory of Criminalistics, Alameda County
Reports as related to Lab Management: Reports must serve a useful purpose. Two types: (a) feeder reports which are the usual summary of operations discussed by Ron Briglia show a history of accomplishment during the reporting period; and (b) management reports which use feeder reports as well as other sources to apprize management of the progress of the laboratory and can be used to discuss problem areas.

A laboratory develops a statement of its mission and objectives. Objectives are very carefully selected and are quite broad and include such statements as "career development of criminalists," "providing a creative environment," etc. Objectives are changed as the laboratory develops. For each objective, an Operating Plan is developed as veil as means of measuring success or failure. Reports may be made by "failures" or "exceptions" to emphasize problem areas. To illustrate this a hypothetical laboratory was followed through three stages of development:

"First generation"
Laboratory at first level of supervision; reports are "raw" data made merely to justify the continued use of the laboratory. Continues for several years with some expansion.

"Second generation"
Laboratory at middle management level; reports are still mostly "raw" data used to support increased budgets for more personnel and equipment which becomes automated and sophisticated.

"Third generation"
Laboratory manager joins upper management of department and participates in setting policy. Intra- as well as inter-departmental problems are worked on. Subordinate laboratory supervisors are developed, new methods and research are undertaken and tough problems are solved. Objectives are constantly being reviewed and altered. Reports merely use raw data as feeders and reports are designed to uncover how better to serve the scientific community and the Criminal Justice System.

Since presently all our laboratories are at different stages of development, no single form for a real management-type report can be devised. The best we can do is standardize a raw-data report and this would only have limited purpose.

A Master-Plan for a Lab System, state-wide, can only unfold when all laboratories are at least at the second generation stage or entering the third generation phase.

Panelist Fred Wyribrandt - Laboratory of Criminalistics, State of California
The type of reporting system used in most crime laboratories is not uniform and tends to reflect in-house activity and not the true caseload as it relates to the Criminal Justice system. The in-house system reflects the number of separate tests and is an index of time and motion of personnel or instrument use.

A very simple method of uniform reporting would be to report cases worked in categories as segregated by Bureau of Criminal Statistics, such as Blood-alcohols, Dangerous Drugs, Narcotics and Marijuana. In addition, the seven major crimes used in uniform crime reports would be used. This would give the Crime Laboratory an index for evaluation as measured by the total input. It would also help in measuring the effectiveness of the laboratory in its operation as to its interaction with the agencies it serves.

Arnold W. Slegal, Trauma Research Group, University of California, Los Angeles

A brief discussion of mechanics, kinematics and kinetics introduced the subject. The frequency of vehicle impact direction led to a description of classical occupant kinematic patterns. Several examples were discussed for each of frontal, side, rear and rollover impacts. The discussion not only included classical kinematic patterns, but also the expected injury patterns for each collision type.

The second part of the paper discussed complex case examples where the forensic aspects of kinematic and injury patterns were used in legal proceedings. A 16mm sound film showing the kinematics of full size anthropometric dummies under experimental collision conditions completed the paper.

Ronald Brigila, Laboratory of Toxicology, Sacramento County

An 18-year old male was found dead in a hotel room after a session of sniffing "Pertussin" sprayed into plastic bags. The main pathological finding was aspiration of gastric content. The cause of death was listed as aspiration of gastric content due to inhalation of toxic ingredients of "Pertussin." The ingredients of Pertussin medicated vaporizer are: menthol, eucalyptus oil, triethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, solvent and propellants.

Utilizing gas chromatography, vapors from a standard solution of Pertussin in water showed two minor peaks and a major peak on both Halcomid M-l8 and Poropak Q columns. Vapor samples of the blood showed the presence of the major peak on both columns. Vapor samples of the lungs showed the presence of the major peak and another unidentified peak on both columns. Considering the boiling points of the ingredients present in Pertussin the most likely compounds giving the GC response are freon 11 and 12. The conclusion drawn is that analysis by gas chromatography indicates the presence of Pertussin ingredients in the blood and lungs of the victim.

Operating conditions: Column: Halcomid M-18, 80-100, 7 on Chrom W, 6 foot
Oven: 100° C
Injector: 260° C
Nitrogen: 18 p.s.i.
Column: Poropak Q, 150-200, 6 foot
Oven: 170°C
Injector: 260° C
Nitrogen: 30 p.s.i.

Instrument - Varian 1200, F.I.D. Dectector

Dwight Reed and Robert H. Cravey, Laboratory of Toxicology, Orange County

A gas chromatographic method for alcohol analysis is presented which employs a vapor phase technique and utilizes 1,4-dioxane as an internal standard. Results compare favorably with those derived from duplicate analysis by distillation oxidation methodology.

Carol Bennette, Field Emission Corporation, Anaheim, Ca.

Increasing public concern over the rising crime rate has placed considerable pressure on criminalists to search for newer and better methods. The potential uses for X-rays are well known; locating and examining bombs, looking at wipings around bullet wounds, locating bullets in walls and furniture, determining firing range from powder patterns, examining questionable documents testing viability of marijuana seeds, comparing visually similar fabrics. X-ray has remained an essentially unexploited tool because the necessary equipment was dangerous, cumbersome, complicated and expensive. Now two new X-ray machines are available that are designed to overcome the problems.

The Faxitron 805, an inexpensive, completely automatic, lead-lined cabinet "X-ray machine, eliminates radiation danger and makes taking a radiograph as easy as pushing a button. With variable-voltage from 10 kV to 130 kV, subjects ranging from paper to steel weapons can be examined. A fluoroscopy attachment aids in positioning objects before radiographs are made. With automatic exposure control and Polaroid film, this machine offers the criminalist a time-saving device for solving many of his problems.

Portability finds many uses. An increasing need exists for on-the-spot radiographs of suspicious packages as an aid in bomb detection. In disaster cases, radiographs taken before the victims are removed offer valuable clues, not only for victim identification, but also for cause determination. The Faxitron 846 miniature portable with tubeheads no bigger than a flashlight can be easily carried into the field to fill this need.

Field Emission Corporation would like to thank the following for loaning radiographs taken with the Faxitron 805: DeWayne Wolfer, Los Angeles Police Dept. Criminalistics Laboratory - radiographs of lead wipings on tissue and cloth, real and fake gems, simulated bomb, loaded weapon, safe clay, loaded dice, and several others.

Allan Gilmore, Sacramento County Criminalistics Laboratory -radiographs of a bomb.

Sgt. Beach, Orange County Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory -radiographs of a bomb.

Paul Dougherty, San Mateo County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory -decomposed shirt.

William J. Collier, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Phoenix, Arizona

This paper presented a special purpose gas chromatograph for breath and head space blood alcohol determinations. At the present stage alcohol from breath and blood are less than +/- 5% of the accepted value.

The analyses made on this hydrogen flame ionization detector are complete in 60 seconds after injection. This device also provides an indium metal capsule of breath for remote sampling. The capsule contains 1/4 ml alveolar breath.

The carrier gas is 40% H2 and 60% N2 and the column is 100/120 mesh Porapak Q. No other external source of compressed gas is required,

For quantitative accuracy an integrated ethanol peak is provided.

With suitable dilutions alcoholic beverages can be analyzed.

For further information on the use of this device known as the G.C.I. (Gas Chromatographic Intoximeter) the following may be contacted:

W.J. Collier, Director or M.R. Forrester
Crime Laboratory 720 Washington Ave.
12 North 4th Ave St. Louis, Mo. 63101
Phoenix, Arizona 85003