41st SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1973)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
May 17-19, 1973
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
THE FORMATION OF BLOODY FINGERPRINTS
Jan S. Bashinski, Oakland Police Department
On occasion in cases involving bloody fingerprints, a question will arise as to whether the bloody ridge structures represent a print made by a bloody finger or whether they have resulted from the deposit of blood on top of an already present latent fingerprint. Experiments were conducted to determine what type of information about the mode of origin of bloody fingerprints could be obtained from a study of the distribution of blood in the ridges and farrows of the latent print. Although the results were not always reproducible due to the obviously large number of variables involved, a few generalizations could be made about the manner in which structures which appear to be fingerprint ridges can be formed with blood. The most striking observation in this series of tests was the finding that ridge structures in a latent fingerprint can be "developed" by being streaked over with a suitable bloody object. Even though the bloody "ridges" on the surface can be shown to actually represent furrows in the latent print, this type of print "developed" in blood could be mistaken for a "bloody fingerprint".
ALCOHOL ANALYSIS BY THE AUTOANALYZER
Brandon H. Armstrong & Robert T. Ekhaml, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
When you are a laboratory which decides to use a relatively new system for forensic analysis of alcohol, there are several considerations and several problems. One consideration is whether the system will provide a more efficient and economical method for analysis. A second, consideration is the ease of access to the company for consultation and assistance. One must be ready for some operational difficulties inherent in a system not tried and proven by many tests in many laboratories over extended periods of time. Through everything, there is a constant need to convince, reconvince, assure and reassure your own organization about all aspects of the instrument. Specific aspects of operation will be discussed.
AUTOMATICALLY INJECTED GC ANALYSIS OF BLOOD ALCOHOLS
Sharon Lynch, Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Toxicology Laboratory
For over the past year, the Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Toxicology Laboratory has been using an improved method, of alcohol analysis based on an automatically injected gas chromatograph. The gas chromatograph system, two methods of sample preparation, and our experiences with the system will be presented and discussed.
SPECIFICITY IN INFRARED BREATH ALCOHOL ANALYZERS
Richard A. Harte, Omicron Systems Corporation
With the introduction of breath alcohol analysis equipment operating on the principle of infra-red analysis at 3.39 microns wavelength, questions have been raised regarding possible interferences by such materials as acetone, acetaldehyde, other alcohols, etc. It can be shown by:
- Calculations based upon data from gas tables
- Data from the accepted scientific literature
- Laboratory experimentation
- Experience from field operation
- No substances normally found in the breath, or even occasionally found in the breath of subjects will record, a false positive reading in a properly designed IR instrument.
- No material which is capable of some infra-red absorption in the wavelength band of a properly designed instrument is found in the breath in sufficient quantities to give a false positive reading.
APPLICATION OF SCANNING, ELECTRON MICROSCOPE TO FORENSIC PATHOLOGY
Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D. & David M. Matsuyama, M.D., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner County of Los Angeles
The Scanning Electron Microscope is found to be a powerful tool in detecting elements and minute objects on the surface of the skin in the case of close range and far distant gun shooting, stab and blunt force wounds. In addition to the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), an emergency dispersive x-ray analyzer would encompass greater spectrum of application in Forensic Pathology and Medico-Legal investigation of sudden, unexpected, unexplained or violent deaths or injuries. The determination of age, race, stature, and sex of the skeletal remains can be determined by a standard forensic anthropology study. However, the length of time the skeletal remains have been buried in a specific location cannot be accurately determined by a conventional method. The application of SEM on this subject is under study with the view of determining a more accurate assessment of the age of the remains.
AN EVALUATION OF MODIFICATIONS TO THE COBALT THIOCYAHATE COLOR TEST
Richard L. Watkins, Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory
A variety of drugs that give a positive reaction with the cobalt thiocyanate reagent have been tested in the Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory. The drugs were reacted with modifications to the CoSCN test. Differences between a number of them in their reaction to the modified test were observed and will be described in this paper.
TEST TUBE PYROLYSIS OF POLYMERS FOR IR COMPARISONS OF FORENSIC INTEREST
L.A. Maucieri, California State Department of Justice, Investigative Services Branch, Sacramento
A simple rapid pyrolysis procedure for managing insoluble or intractable polymers for IR comparisons will be described. The technique requires a Bunsen burner, some glass tubing, a NaC1 cell window, and an IR spectrometer. With this procedure, IR spectra of wire insulation, construction materials in automobiles, and components of homemade weapons are readily obtained.
SIGNIFICANT BAILING WIRE CHARACTERISTICS
Allen J. Boudreau, Fresno Sheriff's Department & William C. Smith, California State Department of Justice, Fresno Regional Laboratory
This paper deals with the operation and various differences encountered in discriminating commercial mechanized bailing machines. A rapid method of determining the class of machine from an examination of the "wire knot" is discussed. An evaluation of the individual characteristics and origin of striae produced by bailing machines is presented.
THERMOLUMINESCENCE OF SOILS
Lucien C. Haag, Phoenix Crime Laboratory & D.D. Lawson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
The Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory in cooperation with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, has been exploring the possible usefulness of thermoluminescence (t.1.) as an adjunct to existing techniques available for the forensic examination of soil evidence. The following subject areas will be covered:
- Sample collection and size requirements and sample preparation.
- The cost, design and usage of a basic thermoluminescence photometric system.
- The results of thermoluminescence studies on approximately 100 soil samples.
- The present limitations and value of this technique.
- Other potential areas of application.
A PHYSICAL EVIDENCE TEXTBOOK FOR INVESTIGATORS
Charles V. Morton, California State University, Los Angeles
A textbook is needed which will present Criminalistics to police investigators in a manner, and with a perspective, which will help them to maximize the effective use of physical evidence. Most textbooks presently cover this material from the standpoint of general investigation or spend excessive time discussing the laboratory analysis of the evidence. The result is that little emphasis is placed on the actual responsibilities and limitations of the police investigator in his utilization of physical evidence, The observation and collection of physical evidence in a manner which will optimize the later reconstruction of the incident, by providing the laboratory with the best information and material, will be the major thrust of this textbook. A rough working outline of the proposed text-book and the philosophy guiding it will be presented. In addition, a questionnaire will be presented after a discussion of its objectives and intended use. The members will be asked to consider the questions and the problems involved in answering them. This would aid in the development of a more satisfactory questionnaire which would be mailed out after the meeting. Subsequently, I would ask permission to visit each laboratory this summer to help collect the data and information and to gain a better perspective of the needs of the laboratory as they relate to the field investigator.
CLANDESTINE DRUG LABORATORIES
Michael D. Miller, Dallas Regional Laboratory Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs
Slide presentation of various drug laboratories encountered by Dallas Regional Laboratory in the past four years.
STEPS TO BE CONSIDERED IN DEVELOPING A SOLVENT SYSTEM FOR T.L.C.
Rodney H. Andrus, California State Department of Justice, Fresno Regional Laboratory
This paper deals with the necessary steps that are needed in developing a thin layer chromatography solvent system. It describes the alteration of a present system to fit the Individual analyst's needs. This procedure is illustrated by a description of a new thin layer chromatography solvent system, for Identification of marijuana, developed by the author.
THE STRUCTURE OF HAIR: A REVIEW
Edward F. Rhodes, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley
The gross morphology of hair is dependent upon the organization of cellular and molecular structures within hair. The various levels of organization, from the alpha-helix to the cell, will be described and the relationship of these organized structures to gross hair morphology will be illustrated.
STUDIES ON SPECIES DETERMINATION IN BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL
G.F. Sensabaugh, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley
Immunological methods are standardly used for the determination of species in evidence of biological origin such as blood stains. We have found that "species specific" antisera from different sources are not species specific and, further, are not specific for the same proteins. The former result is not unexpected from the standpoint of molecular evolution; the latter result indicates a gap in knowledge concerning what proteins best reflect species differences. Data will be presented to illustrate the limitations of immunological techniques in species determination.
ASPECTS OF COLOR PERCEPTION IN MICROSCOPY
Keith Inman, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley
The physics and the physiology of color are discussed with reference to the comparison of certain types of evidence, principally colored fibers, paint, and ink. The implications of hue discrimination of the human eye to evidence comparison are discussed, and the use of a background of a complementary color in cases of low saturation is considered.
IMPACT FRACTURES IN GLASSY POLYMERS
Edward F. Rhodes, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley
Glassy polymers are increasingly being used in architectural and engineering situations in lieu of glass, the two polymers of principal application being acrylics and polycarbonates. The appearance of fracture surfaces of acrylic polymers is related to the direction of force applied to the surface, but significant differences are noted relative to glass. The most salient feature of fractured surfaces in polymers is hackle which is decidedly curved and quite prominent, giving the appearance of conchoidal markings with a reverse relationship to that of glass.
STUDY OF "KILO" BRICK MARIJUANA SEIZURES
Roselyn Ereneta, San Diego Customs Laboratory
The first documentation of criminalistic factors available in the above seizures was documented for Microgram, October 1972 edition. Since that time, the study has been refined to incorporate the absolute THC range for unadulterated seizures coming across our borders. In addition, a time versus degradation curve for seizures over the last 10 years, has been plotted as well as a new factor in comparison cases. This is the rapid change of THC acid to THC after harvest in a variety of proportions present in seizures thereby adding significance to its use in comparing common points.
SOIL COMPARISONS IN CRIMINALISTICS: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
John I. Thornton, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley
A research team at the University of California has reviewed the question of the comparison of soil from the criminalistics standpoint. A number of techniques have been evaluated for the characterization of soil, most directed toward soil organic matter. Progress in this research will be reported to the California Association of Criminalists over a period of 1 1/2 years. This first report will set the stage for later discussions of soil enzymology, the kinetics of enzyme reactions in soil, oxidative susceptibility and other techniques.
TOOL MARK MODELS: EFFECT OF PHASE
James W. Brackett, Jr., San Mateo County Coroner's Office
The effect of phase shift on ideal striated mark comparisons of identical or similar properties is studied, by means of random number models in order to increase our understanding of the marks. Phase displacement of different striae sets of similar properties causes little effect; the results are simply random comparisons. The effect of phase displacement on identical striae sets is great near the identity position, and decreases in a damped oscillatory manner to become a random comparison as the phase displacement increases. These effects agree with theory for all displacements at p = 2, and for p greater than 2, at displacements up to and including 2 p units; but for other conditions, the effects cannot be reliably formulated. For large displacements, an algorithm based on the theory, and use of modified Pascals triangles appears to agree in a satisfactory manner with the results from the models. Implications of this behavior and limitations of this technique are discussed. Work is continuing.
A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF AMPHETAMINES AND AMPHETAMINE TYPE COMPOUNDS
Gary Cortner, California State Department of Justice, Fresno Regional Laboratory
This paper explores the general screening procedures as well as the specific crystal identification of the amphetamines and amphetamine type compounds. It presents in a systematic format similarities and variations exhibited by various color and crystal tests. The systematic approach presented, allows the analyst to establish a fundamental basis for evaluating the employed tests. This data is particularly applicable to persons starting on drug identification training as well as individuals who have not undertaken a systematic approach toward crystal tests. The data presented, allows one to obtain from a central reference source, the background information needed for an identification basis.
METHOD FOR DIFFERENTIATING THE OPTICAL ISOMERS OF AMPHETAMINE BY THE SIMPLE AND DIRECT EXAMINATION OF MICROCRYSTALS
Jack H. Clark, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Criminalistics Laboratory
Although it has been asserted and generally accepted that d- and 1-amphetamine cannot be differentiated by the simple, direct examination of their microcrystal forms using ordinary light microscopy, this investigator offers a method of observation that will easily result in just such a determination.
RAPID AND SIMPLE PROCEDURE FOR MAKING CYLINDRICAL TOOL MARK CASTINGS
Stanley D. DORRANCE, California State Department of Justice
A method used for casting lead in a recent tool mark case was presented. The case involved the cutting of locks with a pair of bolt cutters. It was desired to somehow case lead in a cylindrical manner so as to duplicate the clasp of the lock. It was found that disposable test tubes were ideal for this purpose. The size of the test tubes used was 10 mm x 75 mm. Furthermore, the hardness of the metal used for the casting had an effect on the test marks obtained. It was found that No. 2 bullet casting lead yield better characteristic marks than did pure lead.
A METHOD FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF SMOKELESS POWDERS AND THEIR RESIDUES BY THIN-LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY OF MINOR CONSTITUENTS
James L. Booker, Investigative Services Branch, California State Department of Justice, Sacramento
Smokeless powders may be distinguished from each other by a simple thin-layer chromatography separation of their minor constituents. The characteristic components are also present in particulate fired powder residue and in non-particulate deposits. Comparisons of residues from weapons, cartridges, and cartridge cases can be easily made without disturbing any of the usual evidentiary characteristics of the artifacts.