49th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1977)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
MAY 12-14, 1977
INDIAN WELLS. CALIFORNIA
ORTHO-PHTHALALDEHYDE FOR SUPERIOR FLUORESCENT VISUALIZATION OF LATENT FINGERPRINTS
S. W. Mayer, C. P. Meilieur, and P. F. Jones
The use of ninhydrin and, more recently, flourescamine for the visualization of fingerprints has been documented. We have found that o-phthalaldehyde is even better for visualization because of its greater sensitivity and its significantly lower cost (compared to fluorescamine). Additional advantages of o-phthalaldehyde are that it is stable in water, the reaction with primary amines proceeds rapidly at normal room tem-peratures, and only one step is required for latent fingerprint visualization. We have also found the Babington nebulizer ideal for producing sprays of the o-phthalaldehyde solution.
M.O.L.E. - A MOLECULAR MICROPROBE FOR MICRO SAMPLES
M. Delhaye and J. M. Lerner
The M.O.L.E. is at the same time a molecular microprobe, a microscope, and a microspectrophotometer. It is based upon the principle that all molecules when excited by either continuous or pulsed laser energy will emit characteristic radiation be it Raman, fluorescence, phosphorescence, etc. The M.O.L.E. enables the shifts in frequency from the excitation wavelength to be readily detected in samples down to 1x1 in size.
For the Forensic scientist, the applications of this technique are endless; e.g. "identification" of trace solids, comparison of micro samples for similarity and purity, detection and identification of trace organic compounds on surfaces. Analysis can sometimes even take place on material forming an inclusion in living tissue, e.g. micro crystalline deposits in organs.
WEAVE PATTERN COMPARISONS
Gary Cortner and Rodney Andrus
Weave pattern comparisons have occasionally been used to determine whether or not two pieces of cloth had a common origin.
This paper explores the use of the Faxitron Soft X-Ray Unit as well as the use of a diffused light box source for making weave pattern comparisons. Weave patterns associated with bed sheets, household draperies, and various types of tape will be discussed as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each method.
EVALUATION OF A FORENSIC ALCOHOL SCREENING PROCEDURE
E.C. Griesemer, G.R. Nakamura, and T.T. Noguchi
A diffusion method, which employs acid permanganate to detect a small amount of alcohol in body fluids, was evaluated for its lowest limit of sensitivity and its reactivity in presence of a number of volatile and nonvolatile chemicals and drugs.
HAPTOGLOBIN TYPING OF BLOODSTAINS BY SDS GEL ELECTROPHORESIS OF IMMUNOPRECIPITATES
Edward T. Blake and George F. Sensabaugh
Haptoglobin is a good genetic marker of individuality; unfortunately, it is difficult to type in bloodstains more than several weeks old. We outline here a general approach to haptoglobin typing which involves selective isolation of haptoglobin using antigen-antibody immunoprecipitates. The immunoprecipitate is then dissolved in the detergent, sodium dodecyi sulfate (SDS), and analyzed by electrophoresis in gels containing SDS. SDS electrophoresis separates polypeptide chains by size; haptoglobin typing can be achieved because the allelic products have different molecular weights and hence different electrophoretic mobilities in this gel system. This technique allows the selective isolation and typing of haptoglobin from bloodstains which are up to 18 months old; this greatly extends the typing potential for haptoglobin over currently available methods. The technique of selective isolation by immunoprecipitation may be applicable to the analysis of other polymorphisms in bloodstains.
HITACHI POLARIZED ZEEMAN ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROPBOTOMETER
Dr. John Miller
A new generation of flameless atomic absorption spectroscopy which utilizes the polarized Zeeman Effect to provide background correction and true double beam operation. This permits elemental analysis of samples with pre-treatment either totally eliminated or greatly simplified. This includes samples of complex matrices, such as blood, urine, etc.
RAPE KIT EVIDENCE COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS AT THE ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF CORONER LABORATORY OF CRIMINALISTICS
The procedures for rape kit evidence collection and analysis at the Orange County Sheriff Coroner Laboratory of Criminalistics will be reviewed. The laboratory is currently typing all such evidence in the ABO and PGM systems in addition to determining the presence of semen and foreign pubic hair. Problems encountered in antigen stability, seminal-vaginal PGM activity, and aspermatic semen identification will also be discussed.
RECENT STUDIES INVOLVING BULLET LEAD FRAGMENTS
Vincet P. Guinn
Previous instrumental (nondestructive) neutron activation analysis studies of bullet lead by the author and his co-workers have been continued, improved, and extended. The INAA screening procedure developed now determines the levels of Sb, Ag, and Cu in even a tiny bullet fragment, nondestructively, in an analysis time of two minutes, and hence is quite inexpensive. At present, various brands of shotgun pellets are also being analyzed. Examples of use of the method in connection with various cases will be given, e.g., the President Kennedy assassination, the SLA shootout, and a recent Nevada murder case.
PLANS FOR IMPLEMENTING REGULAR PROFICIENCY TESTING OF LABORATORIES LICENSED FOR FORENSIC ALCOHOL ANALYSIS
Daniel R. Morales, Ph.D.
Provisions in the Health and Safety Code assign to the Department of Health responsibility to "insure the competence of such laboratories and employees to prepare, analyze, and report the results of such tests," referring to forensic alcohol analysis. The California Administrative Code (Title 17) contains regulations which the Department of Health uses to administer this responsibility. Among the principal elements in the regulations are the following: written method descriptions, on-site inspections, and proficiency testing. With the adoption in late 1975 of amendments clarifying the regulations, the Department of Health worked with the licensed laboratories during 1976 to guide them in filing method descriptions which clearly demonstrated their abilities to meet the requirements of the regulations. During early 1977, the emphasis shifted to on-site inspections, whose goal is to corroborate that laboratories' operations were consistent with their filed written descriptions. Now, emphasis is about to shift to a program of regular proficiency testing of laboratories. This presentation will describe and explain the Department of Health's plan for implementing regular proficiency testing.
EXPERIENCES WITH A BARBITURATE RADIO-LMMUNOASSAY SCREENING PROCEDURE FOR POST-MORTEM SAMPLES
R.H. Bergeson, G.R. Nakamura, and G.A. Sims
Experience with a radio-immunoassay technique for screening postmortem blood and/or tissue samples is discussed. A statistical look at the results is presented along with blood and tissue levels.
RAPID PHENOTYPING OF THE GROUP SPECIFIC COMPONENT (GC) IN DRIED BLOODSTAINS BY IMMUNOFIXATION ON CELLULOSE ACETATE
Patricia L. Zahac
A method is described for the determination of the genetically-controlled Gc system by electrophoresis on cellulose acetate membranes followed by immunofixation with a specific anti-Gc Antiserum. The method has been applied to samples of plasma, whole blood, and dried bloodstains. Multiple specimens can be analyzed simultaneously within 60-80 minutes. In contrast to conventional immunoelectrophoresis methods on agar gel, immunofixation on cellulose acetate is rapid, accurate, reliable, and economical.
HAIR AS EVIDENCE
Dean L. Moyer, M.D.
Five case histories illustrating how hair specimens provided essential information in the prosecution of homicide and rape cases. This case material will illustrate a few of the significant changes that may occur in hair. The cases will include the detection of chemical poisoning, adherence of foreign material to the hair shaft, types of trauma im-posed on the hair shaft, the presence of medications in hair, and the detection of local, systemic and congenital diseases effecting hair.
HAIR AND THE CRIMINALIST
Don R. Tyson
Since hair is often found at the scene of violent crimes, documented baseline studies of "normal" hair structure, ultrastructure, and chemistry are required to develop parameters that will be useful in forensic science. We will discuss the structural and functional parameters of a large sample size of hair shafts and will demonstrate the norms by which comparisons can be made. We will compare the important parameters between individuals and demonstrate the usefulness of these parameters in the detection of criminals. Structural and biochemical parameters of hair shafts found at the scene of two recent homicide cases will be compared with suspect hair to demonstrate the potential accuracy and constancy of all factors as well as their shortcomings.
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE AND PORSCHE STRIPPING
James M. White
A case is presented in which stolen wheels were identified to a specific stripped vehicle base on individual wear characteristics at the contact points between the wheels and the corresponding hubs.
AN IMPROVED TECHNIQUE FOR THE PREPARATION OF TEICHMANN AND TAKAYAMA BLOOD CRYSTALS
Steven M. Sottolano and Dr. Peter R. De Forest
An improved method for obtaining Teichmann and Takayama crystals in the forensic identification of bloodstains is described. The method is both easier to apply and more sensitive than the conventional technique. A quantitative comparison was conducted between the conventional and proposed method. The comparative ease of performing the tests was measured by asking students who were unfamiliar with the traditional crystal tests to attempt to obtain the crystals by these and the proposed method.
EAP: A POPULATION SURVEY OF MEXICAN SURNAMED INDIVIDUALS IN SAN BERNARD/NO
206 samples of blood were obtained from Mexican surnamed individuals in San Bernardino, and the EAP type was determined. The population distribution and gene frequencies will be discussed.
AN IMPROVED FERROUS METAL DETECTION REAGENT
John I. Thornton and David A. Stoney
The synthesis and use of a new ferrous metal detection reagent is described. The reagent, pyridyldiphenyltriazine, is the product of a simple and straight-forward synthesis. It is readily soluble in acetone, and gives an intense magenta complex when sprayed on the hands of a test subject. The principal advantage of this reagent over PDT is its solubility in non-polar solvents, allowing for the evaporation of the vehicle solvent and preventing the runoff of the solvent from interfering with the interpretation of the pattern of the complex. The principal ad- vantage of this reagent over hydroxyquinoline is that the complex is visible and may be readily photographed with ortho film.
A NEW TMDT CHEMICAL
Steve Glass and Nancy Grais
A new chemical has been found for TMDT which eliminates the need of ultraviolet light and special film. In the presence of iron, this chemical gives an emerald green color and a rust brown color in the presence of copper (brass). The hands can then be over-sprayed with 8-hydroxyquinoline if the detection of other metals is desired.
ARGON LASER DEVELOPMENT OF LATENT FINGERPRINTS
Stephen Shatter and John I. Thornton
Latent fingerprints have a native fluorescence which has not been observed until recently, probably because the quantum yield is so low that only a very powerful source can excite the latent print sufficiently to stimulate the fluorescence so that the print can be visualized. An 8 watt laser, with all Argon lines lasing, has been used to visualize latent fingerprints on various substrates. The strongest Argon line is the 514.5 nm line. The fluorescence emission maximum is around 550 nm, which is separated from the excitation by a cutoff filter passing energy above 540 nm. The technique appears to be useful in developing latent fingerprints on substrates where conventional developing techniques are not feasible.
RESPONSE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HUMAN BRAIN
Dr. Carroll T. White
In recent years a number of researchers have been studying the nature of the electrical responses of the human brain to various kinds of stimulation through the senses, primarily audition and vision.
Among other things it has been found that these responses are extremely sensitive to variations in visual pattern. So sensitive, in fact that visual examinations, including eye-glass fitting can be done without the cooperation of the person being tested. This technique is now beginning to be used routinely in the visual testing of infants and young children.
More recent work has shown that these approaches can also be used for the study of color vision. This has intrinsic scientific value, of course, but of more immediate interest is the fact certain of the specific color responses are extremely sensitive to disease entities of many kinds, and are also very much affected by various drugs.
Current work is beginning to deal with higher perceptual aspects of brain functioning, such as changes that may occur during the course of learning, or how the brain reacts to familiar versus non-familiar objects.
THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL, MARIJUANA, AND OTHER DRUGS ON DRIVING PERFORMANCE
Herbert Moskowitz, Ph.D.
The effects of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs on driving performance will be discussed with special emphasis on the nature of the impairments that lead to increased accident probability, the blood alcohol levels at which these impairments appear, and the role of factors such as age, driving experience, and drinking history.