38th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1971)
OCTOBER 21-23, 1971

Benjamin W. Grumbaum, Environmental Physiology Laboratory University of California, Berkeley

The newest methods and equipment for the specific and sensitive identification of materials of biological origin, fresh or aged, was described. Because of the high degree of differentiation possible between species and within the species, due to genetic polymorphism of enzymes and other protein factors as well as the transient factors, it should be now possible to discriminate and identify stains and fluids of questioned biological origin. These methods as described are primarily important to the forensic scientist. They can be extremely useful also in blood banking, in genetics and to some degree in every field of biology.

Herman J. Meuron, Private Consultant in Criminalistics

Paradise is the official description of Hawaii. As a generalization, Crimes can be divided into those between residents as victim and suspect, and between resident as suspect and tourist as victim. Because a large number of low paid, uneducated native people live near luxury homes and apartments there are a large number of thefts of items such as radios, TV and stereo sets. The effect of religion, superstition, and Asiatic background tend to make the average person quite uncommunicative in reporting a crime or reluctant in testifying as a witness. The use of physical evidence in trials is not nearly as common as in California with the exception of drug cases.

Elliott B. Hensel, Office of Public Safety, U.S. Agency for International Development

A criminalistics advisor in an emerging nation must be a broad generalist prepared to cope with everything from forged passports to a witch doctor's brew. Examples were cited of the numerous unusual problems encountered by this speaker in five foreign countries.

Robert R. Ogle and Dorothy Northey, Contra Costa County Criminalistics Laboratory, Martinez, California

The detection of Rh factors in bloodstains utilizing an instrumental approach was described. The technique involves testing the eluate from an absorption-elution method in the Auto Analyzer. The operational principles of the instrument were described and results obtained in a study performed under a grant from the California Council on Criminal Justice were presented. The initial cost and the operating cost of the instrument were estimated. The authors concluded that the instrumental approach represented a significant advance in the abilities of the forensic scientist to deal with evidence bloodstains.

S.M. Ojena and P.R. DeForest, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York

An improved immersion method for refractive index determinations on small transparent particles such as glass fragments was described. The method features accurate match point determinations coupled with accurate and convenient control of the refractive index of the immersion liquid. The Mettler Hot Stage is utilized to vary the refractive index of the liquid by changing its temperature. The point at which the liquid and particle match is sensitively determined using the phase contrast microscope. This technique was discussed in relation to the conventional immersion methods. The excellent sensitivity of the method allows individual lens and reflector components of automobile headlamp glass to be examined for point-to-point variations in refractive index. The range of variations found was compared to the range of refractive indices between headlamp glass samples which were produced during a three month period of time by the three U.S. manufacturers of headlamp glass.

Philip Lum and Paul Lebish, Criminalistics Laboratory, Alameda County Sheriff's Department

A rapid, convenient method is used to extract the major non-phenolic peyote alkaloids-mescaline, anhalonine, lopho-phorine and peyophorine. A portion of the extract is subjected to a presumptive chemical test found to be specific to date for peyote among cacti. The remaining extract is used, as desired, for one of three complementary methods. The first method is adequate, in absence of reference alkaloids or extract standards, for identification of 0.2 to 2.0 gms of peyote material by color tests and UV absorptions. The second alternative method is adequate in the absence of reference alkaloids for identification of 2 grams or more peyote ma-terial by IR of the three major alkaloids-mescaline, anhalonine and lopho-phorine. The third method is primarily used in conjunction with a previously "standardized" extract for identification of 20 mg or more peyote plant material.

Arthur L. Cunn, Nassau County Police Department, Mineola, New York

The evolution of criminal bombs including types, makeup and use. In 1960 in the 'United States, we had only about 40 police and public safety personnel involved full time in the handling of bombings. Through a series of 158 slides we show types and makeup of devices encountered, case-studies of bomb scenes and blast sites, blast seats, victims of explosions both natural and criminal. Also covered is equipment used by the Nassau County Police Department in the detection, neutralization and transportation of bombs and explosive devices. Scientific evaluation of debris at blast sites. Including separation of unburned, unexploded particles—included is collection, preservation at court presentation of bomb evidence, and forensic methods to ascertain the type and amount of explosive used. Special tools, techniques and innovations used by the Nassau County Police Department including the use of cryogenics and X-ray and fluoroscopy in bomb cases.

W.J. Collier, Shaun Coles and Richard Watkins, Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is the study of nuclei in an organic molecule (in this case the hydrogen nuclei) which give a resonance signal under the influence of an irradiating 60 MHz frequency when the molecule is placed in a sweeping magnetic field of 14,092 G. There are three separate pieces of information obtained from the spectrum which may help to identify the sample or elucidate its structure:

  1. The peak positions or chemical shift of the hydrogen resonances which can identify the different functional groups and their substitutes.
  2. Integration of the spectrum which indicates the ratio of hydrogen in the different peaks for that molecule.
  3. Multiplicity of the separate peaks which gives information about the neighboring hydrogen to the one that gives that peak.

NMR as an analytical tool is used in much the same as IR except that the spectra are much less complex and easier to interpret. The technique is generally considered to be of higher specificity than IR since a larger amount of information about the molecule is contained in the spectrum. The combination of NMR and IR may-be considered to be of equal specificity to mass spectrometry with added advantages of simpler instrumentation and easier data interpretation and handling. Sampling is particularly easy; the material of interest being dissolved in 250 u1 of a non-protonic solvent and placed in a special tubular cell in the instrument. The NMR technique was used to characterize all the common narcotic drugs and to investigate whether impure "street" materials could also be specifically characterized. For instance, amphetamines and the related stimulants all have quite different spectra which are readily related to the differences between the molecules. A suspected "minibenni" tablet was crushed and dissolved in D2O, the tableting material allowed to precipitate at the bottom of the cell and the NMR spectrum obtained. Perfect correlation of peak positions, integration and multiplicity was obtained when compared with the spectrum of pure d-1 amphetamine except for one group of peaks attributed to starch. The percentage composition could be obtained by integration against an internal standard. Total time for analysis — 15 minutes. The barbiturates were characterized the same way and a suspected secobarbital tablet identified by this means. Heroin, procaine, cocaine, atropine and the morphine family all have quite different spectra so that a suspected narcotic material may be readily and specifically identified. A seized "paper" was analyzed by the same means and perfect correlation was obtained with the spectra of heroin and procaine. Furthermore, the integration showed the relative compositions of the heroin, procaine and carbohydrate filler material. Marijuana and hashish identification is another problem where NMR was used. Firstly, the spectrum of a pure sample A THC sample was obtained and then samples ?of marijuana and hashish were extracted with either pet ether or the NMR solvent CDC13. The spectra of these samples were measured and good correlation was obtained with that of the pure THC, showing that the samples contained this active ingredient. The THC was extracted by this means in large enough quantities that no interference was observed from other isomers or from carotenes and other plant extracts, which turn the solution dark brown and make the normal spectro-photometric study of such solutions difficult. NMR may also be used like IR to identify other organic materials such as solvent residues and soluble polymeric materials.

Edward Blake and Duayne J. Dillon, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley

The specificity of the catalytic color tests for blood was discussed with respect to microorganisms. Aerobic organisms, which contain the respiratory enzyme catalase, gave positive reactions with these tests and the activity of these organisms was unaffected by heat or prolonged drying. Fungal catalase (A. niger) was tested with the Takayama reagent and gave crystals indistinguishable from those obtained with blood. Because of these considerations it is the opinion of the authors that immuno-chemical tests should be employed when the presence of blood must be established.

John E. Costain and George W. Lewis, U.S. Postal Service Crime Laboratory, San Francisco, California

This paper is primarily a discussion of practical techniques for viewing and photographing infrared luminescence including detailed descriptions of light sources, filters, IR image converters, cameras, films, exposure data and related topics. Also included are some theoretical lack-ground information and several applications of the technique to questioned document problems.

Dr. J. Wells, Center of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, Canada

The reactions of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) ?? and 1 tetrahydro-cannabinol (? ? THC) with N-chloro and N-bromo succinimides, cupric bromide and cupric chloride have been studied. M-chlorosuccinimide reacts to give the 3' monochloro cannabinols; N-bromosuccinimides reacts similarly. Cupric bromide and cupric chloride react to give the 3', 5' dihalogen derivatives. The TMS ethers and the heptafluorobutyryl esters of these derivatives have been detected in sub-nanogram quantities by a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector.

Elliott B. Hensel, Office of Public Safety, U.S. Agency for International Development

Questioned documents can be examined in strange languages and peculiar writing systems by using techniques of comparative analysis usually applied to imprints and tool marks.

Stan Dorrance and Duayne J. Dillon, Contra Costa County Criminalistics Laboratory, Martinez, California

The material presented represents some preliminary work done with ninhydrin and the chemical development of latent fingerprints. The study investigated such parameters as ninhydrin concentration, solvents, pH ranges, and developing conditions. The latter being restricted to air, humidification, and hot press. Comparison of the different ninhydrin solutions and developing techniques was accomplished with the use of an internal standard. This internal standard consisted of a water solution of the amino acid serine in concentrations of 0.0025 ug/ul and 0.0125 ug/ul. The serine was deposited as spots on paper with 20 ul capillary tubes. After the water had evaporated the ninhydrin was applied and allowed to react. Solvent investigation was restricted to dimethylsulfoxide, dimethylformamide, and a system consisting of ethanol/petroleum ether. The former two reagents were tested because of the absorption effect they have upon ninhydrin. The results indicated that the best preparation of ninhydrin was a 0.5% solution prepared in the following manner. The appropriate amount of ninhydrin is dissolved in as little ethanol as possible. Once the ninhydrin has dissolved, the proper amount of petroleum ether is added. The final method of development made little difference on the final outcome, except for the time factor. In this respect the hot press method of development was preferred. The study is not complete; results obtained with dimethylformamide looked promising with the internal standard but did not work at all on fingerprints. This is only one thing we will want to look into. It was also suggested that ultra-violet radiation aids the development.

Louis Maucieri, Department of Justice, Sacramento, California

This work involved the electrophoretic identification of hemoglobin A (normal), hemoglobin S (sickle cell) and hemoglobin F (fetal). Blood samples of about 24 persons (many of these were Negro) were made available as evidence in a recent multiple homicide. Two of these were found to contain sickle cell hemoglobin. Samples of fetal blood were obtained from a nearby hospital. These were electrophoresed using a variety of conditions with good separation resulting from the following: Sartorius brand cellulose acetate membrane, Beckman B-3 buffer in cathode aide (pH 8.4), tris buffer in anode side (pH 8.9). Electrophoresis was from (-) to (+) with 120 volts power for 40 to 60 minutes. Development was in Ponceau-S stain, with a wash in 5% acetic acid. Membrane strips are then set aside to dry and provide a permanent record. Several samples of blood were dried on cloth to test the technique on dried stains. If mercaptoethanol extracts were electrophoresed with no noticeable difference compared with blood lysates. The method provides an additional procedure for subclassifying blood in situations involving Negros or in cases of infanticide or criminal abortion. The technique is very old (i.e., Pauling 1949) and represents an additional check on presumptive tests for blood hemoglobin (e.g., Benzidine), and an alternative to the crystal tests (e.g., Takayama).

Duayne J. Dillon, Contra Costa County Criminalistics Laboratory, Martinez, California

The traditional manner of assessing the utilization of physical evidence in terms of laboratory workload statistics, and the short-comings of this approach were discussed. More recent studies by Parker (Berkeley, California), and Shaw (England) which approached the question in terms of occurrence of evidence, laboratory submissions and applications to the investigation were also considered. Finally, the results of a compilation of studies of 1500 commercial and residential burglaries investigated by eight Bay Area law enforcement agencies during the period 1968 through 1970 were presented. This report included information on each burglary as to the method of entry, evidence technician utilization, fingerprint processing and results; and finally, the incidence in which other physical materials were collected at the crime scene. Examples of lack of physical evidence collection in these investigations included the conditions under which glass was collected in less than 1% of residential burglaries when it was available in 10% and the collection of such samples in 3% of commercial burglaries when it was available in 31%. Suspect's wallets or identification cards were found at the scenes of residential burglaries more often than glass, tool marks or paint were collected. The data indicates so little recovery of physical evidence as to suggest its usage in either the investigation or prosecution of crimes is quantitatively insignificant.

Frances Evans, Department of Justice, Sacramento, California

This case Involves the death of two youths (subjects B & C) and hospitalization of two other subjects (D & E). The youths were between the ages of 17 and 20 and had no previous history of drug abuse. A fifth person (subject A) reported that they got together to drink and get "high." They drank beer and then took a turn sniffing some "white stuff" from a knife blade. Subject A said that the "white stuff" was wrapped in some yellow papers which were found at the scene. By the time it was subject A's turn, subjects B and C had started to convulse. Chemical and spectrophotometric analyses of the white material remaining on the papers identified the material as heroin hydrochloride (> 90% purity). The pathological report on the subjects B and C stated that both had suffered convulsions. Subject B had vomited and death was due to asphyxiation. Both victims suffered pulmonary and cerebral edema and extreme swelling of the nasal mucosa. No needle marks were observed. Toxicological analysis was performed on the samples supplied by the pathologist.

Subject B Subject C
Blood alcohol 0.13% w/v 0.03% w/v
Narcotics (morphine)
  Blood (25 cc) Neg Neg
  Liver Neg Neg
  Kidney Neg 0.01 mg %
  Urine Neg
* None taken at autopsy

Morphine was detected in the hospital urines of subjects D and E who were released from the hospital two weeks later suffering severe heart and kidney damage. During subsequent investigation by the Sheriff's Office subject D related that he had received the powder from a friend in Vietnam via U.S. Mail. The Coroner's inquest ruled that the deaths were due to an accidental overdose of heroin.

Stanley Morgenstern, Musa Sansur, Anthony Baccafuri - Presented by Ramon Greenfield, Technicon Corporation, Tarrytown, New York 10591

A sensitive and specific automated method for the fluorometric determination of morphine in urine was developed. The analysis is performed at a rate of 50 samples per hour. The method is based on the oxidation of morphine to the fluorescent pseudomorphine dimer. Morphine is extracted from urine at pH 9.4 with a mixture of organic solvents. The organic phase is washed with a dilute buffer at pH 9.4 and is further extracted by means of a dilute alkaline solution. Following the third extraction step, two equal portions of the alkali phase are buffered to pH 9.4. Potassium ferricyanide solution is added to the sample segment, and water is added to the "blank" segment. Each of these solutions enters a separate fluorometer and the fluorescence is recorded. An increment in fluorescence of the sample as compared to the blank indicates the presence of morphine. Concentrations as low as 0.2 ug/ml of free morphine in urine are easily detected. Over 500 subjects from a methadone maintenance program have been tested. Results of these tests will be discussed.

George Nakamura, Thomas Noguchi, Los Angeles County Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner; and John Thornton, University of California, School of Criminology

A gas chromatography procedure was used to study the hydrolysis of diacetylmorphine in alkaline aqueous solution by a pseudo first order reaction. The deacetylation proceeded by pathway of 6-monoacetylmorphine; the conversion of heroin to 6-monoacetylmorphlne was found to be considerably greater than that of 6-monoacetylmorphlne to morphine when reactions rates were measured. The procedure was applicable to the study of in vitro heroin degradation in blood.

Ernest Griesemer and Jack Villaudy, Office of Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner

In 2,000 recent toxicology cases there were 81 propoxyphene and 4 codeine requests. For comparison there were 76 phenothiazine and 35 amphetamine requests in this group. This 4.5% rate of propoxyphene requests led us to summarize the analytical results and to compare the circumstances for positive cases. From 81 requests 19 were positive for liver propoxyphene. Levels ranged from 1.1 - 53.5 mg %. When the level was less than 4 mg %, the circumstances suggested it was therapeutic unless other drugs contributed to the cause of death. One case was a heart failure with liver propoxyphene at 1.8 mg %. There were several cases at 4 mg % and above with death due to propoxyphene alone. Of 9 suicides 3 were negative for other drugs. Six had additional drugs in the tissues. These included salicylates, barbiturate, codeine and/or alcohol. Propoxyphene levels ranged from 2 - 53.5 mg %. Of 9 overdose cases in which suicide was not indicated, 3 were negative for other drugs. Propoxyphene levels ranged from 1.1 - 32 mg %.