58th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1981)
FIRST COMBINED SEMINAR, CAC &
NORTHWEST ASSOCIATION OF FORENSIC SCIENTISTS
NOVEMBER 4-6, 1981
SAHARA TAHOE HOTEL
POPULATION SURVEY AND STABILITY STUDIES OF P30 IN SEMEN Edward
T. Blake, Mary Gibbons, George F. Sensabaugh and Jan Bashinski
P30 activity has been assayed in semen samples from 151 individuals using a radial diffusion assay procedure. This study was undertaken to assess the inter and intra-individual variation of this semen specific protein marker. The results of this study revealed that the variation of P30 activity in the population is nearly as great as the acid phosphates variation and that the P30 activity appears to be log-normally distributed within the population. The average P30 level is about 800 μg/ml; the population range is 145 μg/ml to 5900 μg/ml. The intra-individual variation of this protein was assessed by examining multiple samples from 21 individuals. It was found that the intra-individual variation is significantly less than the population variation.
A CASE REPORT; AN UNUSUAL DISTANCE DETERMINATION FEATURE
Raymond J. Davis
A man was charged with second degree homicide in the shotgun slaying of his live-in girlfriend. The defendant, while holding the shotgun, stated that the weapon went off accidentally when he tried to embrace her. The blast struck her in the forehead, killing her instantly. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, and the defendant was not arrested until the following day. The defendant's statement of how the shooting occurred was contradicted by the criminalist and by the pathologist. My tests and observations, however, supported the defendant's statement that the shooting was accidental.
A "SPECIAL" SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
Steven P. Van Ooteghan
Problem: Why and how a 22 cal revolver fired twice with only one pull of the trigger.
Results: A homicide attempt was made with a Clerke 1st .22 cal. revolver which lacked two frame screws and cylinder keeper pin. A piece of coat hangar was used as a keeper pin. Discharging the weapon resulted in the cartridge right of top dead center also discharging, hitting the suspect in the left index finger. The fragment from the suspect's finger formed a jigsaw fit with the frame of the weapon.
Conclusions: In rimfire revolvers employing a cylinder keeper pin, sufficient force can be generated upon firing to cause involuntary secondary discharges in other chambers if items other than the manufacturers keeper pin are used.
The duty of the forensic scientist is to assist the court and not only the prosecutor. He is under constraints to be impartial and truthful, but the defense counsel is not. The scientist by his training seeks after the truth of the matter, and when the defense counsel endorses this concept both disciplines are in agreement. When defense counsel is not concerned with truth, then the two disciplines can come into conflict.
HOMICIDE with A BLACK POWDER HANDGUN
J. D. DeHaan
Problem: A homicide victim found in his home was thought to have been shot with a percussion-cap black powder revolver. It was important to reconstruct the events surrounding the crime since the weapon itself was not recovered.
Methods: Weapons similar to that allegedly used were test-fired, and residues produced from the Muzzle and cylinder were compared to residues at the scene.
Results: The dynamics of both victim and perpetrator could be reconstructed from the physical evidence.
Conclusions: Black powder revolvers produce large amounts of unusual residues which supplement the usual range of firearm evidence to make complex reconstructions possible.
CRITERIA FOR AH ANIMAL FIBER STANDARD REFERENCE COLLECTION -A REPORT REVIEW
Harold L. Stainberg, Consumer Sciences Division, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.
The need and potential use for an animal fiber standard reference collection (SRC) was studied. This would include a SRC system, an intensive training program, accreditation and/or certification of laboratory and individual competence, and supporting research.
The recommended SRC system would consist of reference fibers (SRCI, a descriptive atlas, a key, and a guide. The proposed system would initially include fibers and related information for about 150 species/birds of animals, classified according to 12 characteristics. Additional species, breeds, and/or tidbit characteristics absurd be added as the need for them is shown. Specimens should be well documented and include guard, down, and specialized fibers that are representative of factors such as body parts, seasonal, regional, climatic, sex, age health, etc., variations that are of potential forensic interest.
Linking the sale of the SRC system to participation in a training course would insure that users of the SRC system the chilled and competent. Accreditation, to assure continued overall laboratory competence, should be considered.
The need and development for a parallel human hair SRC system is discussed.
Approximately 5 years and $500,000 will be required to produce the animal Fiber SRC System to be done in 2 phases; research phase - for literature review, population and demographic data assembly and fiber specimen collection and characterizations; development phase - in which the SRC, atlas, key, and guide will be designed and assembled.
Current plans to develop the Animal Fiber SRC have bean tabled by the National Bureau of Standards due to budget restrictions and other studies with higher priorities. Comments and recommendations from crime laboratories, law enforcement authorities, and forensic science associations are solicited.
ANIMAL HAIR STRUCTURE AND IDENTIFICATION
Tom D. Moore Research Biologist, Wyoming Game and fish Research Laboratory
Examination and identification of animal fibers found during the investigation of crimes of violence between man or between man and animal have assisted in the successful prosecution of some of these crimes. A thorough understanding of hair growth, function, chemistry, and structure is a prerequisite for a criminologist to become proficient in hair identification.
To this end, a brief review of the present knowledge of hair individualization is presented. The sires and fine structure of hairs as revealed by light and electron microscopy as well as chemical composition and relation to physics properties are reviewed. Growth and function of lair coats have limited forensic value but are also discussed.
A total of 12 characteristics have been used in identification of animal hair to family and genus. They are color, shape, length, diameter medulla configuration, pigment areas strictures, basal configuration, tip configuration, scale patterns, scale margin types and scale margin distance. Using these characters as well as artificial treatment (bleaching), damage (cutting), and other specialized structures, human hairs are separated to race and body area. Individualization of human hair has been less successful due to extensive hybridization among the population. Conclusions derived about human hair are threefold: Unknown hairs are consistent with a given known sample, are dissimilar 01 differences are not sufficient to draw a conclusion.
Pros and cons of other techniques for hair identification are discussed, but the methods of microscopy are still the only satisfactory procedures.
Examples of cases involving animal hair identification at the Wyoming Game and Fish Research laboratory are discussed.
FORMAL TRAINING PROGRAM IN FORENSIC SEROLOGY FOR NEW EMPLOYEES IN THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BUREAU OF SCIENTIFIC SERVICES
Hark D. Stolorow, Serology Coordinator, Training & Applications Laboratory, Illinois Department of Law Enforcement
The serology training program for the state forensic science laboratory system in Illinois has grow in the past two years to its present 18-months full-time training sequence including modular courses in hair analysis, fiber and fabric analysis, physical fit identification, courtroom demeanor, blood patter interpretation and stabhole interpretation. The basic syllabus for immunology, hematology and biochemistry la currently designed for 15 months of training. The program culminates with three months of supervised casework, reporting, and court testimony.
Implementation of a formally structured course of training in forensic serology has improved delivery of qualified examiners to the state forensic science laboratories in Illinois.
FORENSIC ASTRONOMY IN ACCIDENT SCENE RECONSTRUCTION : A CASE
Paul J. Cashman
Problem: A driver traveling due west struck a pedestrian standing on the right side of the roadway. The driver claimed that the couldn't see the pedestrian because of the setting sun The problem was to determine if the sun's position relative to the driver and pedestrian could have impaired the driver's vision.
Methods: Knowing the approximate time and date of the accident, the sun's geographical position was located through an inspection of the Nautical Almanac. This information, along with the latitude and longitude of the accident site, was entered into the Sight Reduction Tables (H.O. 249) and the sun's altitude and azimuth were established relative to the accident scene.
Results: The results indicated that the sun's position (relative to the accident scene) was approximately 7° above the horizon and 5° north of west.
Conclusions: It was concluded that (relative to the driver) the setting sun was slightly above and almost directly in line with the pedestrian. This supported the driver's contention that her vision had been impaired at the time of the accident.
THE METHODOLOGY AND USE OF SOIL COLOR IN DRY LAND SOILS COMPARISONS
John P. Wehrenberg
Problem: The use of soil color as a comparative parameter is widespread and its value has been well documented. The method is extended to dry land soils.
Methods: A step-by-step rationale for sample preparation, using a buffered acetic acid/hydrogen peroxide solution, is developed.
Results: Actual color comparisons and their quantitative notation (using the Munsell system) must be made under strictly reproducible conditions. Including light source.
Conclusions: It is concluded that soil color is an effective screening device to test whether time consuming, but more conclusive, mineralogic comparisons should be made.
SOME WORK OF THE FORENSIC SCIENTIST
The work of the forensic scientist can assist in answering questions in police investigations, such as reconstructing what happened, confirm or disprove statements from a suspect or a witness, test a theory, narrow the search for evidence, indicate how a crime has been committed, ascertain whether there is an association between a suspect and a scene or a victim. Some case work experience is presented to illustrate this assistance.
THE UTILITY OF ON-LINE SEARCHING IN A CRIME LAB
Problem: On-line searching allows computer access to both technical and non-technical literature. This can be particularly useful since forensic investigations may involve diverse types of materials. A brief introduction to on-line searching will be given, and some examples of completed searches presented.
Conclusion: On-line searching is a useful tool for a crime lab. It allows access both to the scientific literature and to other information or information sources which are useful.
WASHINGTON STATUTES ON DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED: AN UPDATE
Raymond J. Davis
This paper will outline the dual standards currently used in determining blood alcohol levels via whole blood and expired breath samples. This paper will also cover my efforts to obtain information on the statutes and blood alcohol procedures used in the fifty United States. Finally, a comment on the controversial article which appeared in the winter 1981 Massachusetts Law Review - "The single chemical test for Intoxication: A challenge to admissibility".
A REVIEW OR THE CHEMISTRY OF THE LUMINOL REACTION
Ralph S. Maloney and John I. Thornton
Due to the proven carcinogenicity of benzidine and a number of its structural congeners, there is a need for alternative presumptive chemical tests for blood. This work represents a preliminary report on the chemistry of the Luminol reaction, the ultimate aim being to increase the specificity of the reaction by an adjustment of test parameters to minimize the influence of inorganic catalysis. The chemistry of the reaction will be discussed, with comments on each contributing aspect of the reaction. The most salient of these from a forensic standpoint is that of pH., about which there is currently much confusion as to the optimum pH at which the reaction should be run. Luminol does not appear to be mutagenic by the Ames test.
EFFECT OF PBOTEASE ENZYME ON DRUG RECOVERY IN WHOLE BLOOD
A.M. Games J.B. Thush
Problem: Drugs may go undetected due to low circulating levels and/or protein binding.
Methods: Whole blood samples were incubated with a protease enzyme and extracted for propoxyphene. Relative recovery values were determined by gas chromatography.
Results: Spiked samples (in vitro) showed no Increased recovery due to the enzyme. However, in vivo samples did show increased recovery, indicating a different mode of action.
Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate lower and more accurate drug levels may be detected, and present methods for quantitation should be reexamined.
PURIFICATION AMD SEROLOGICAL STUDIES ON TWO LECTIN SPECIFICITIES FROM ULEX EUROPEUS SEEPS: A PRELIMINARY REPORT
Edward T. Blake, George F. Sensabaugh and Jan Bashinski
In 1969 Matsumoto and Osawa discovered that extracts from Ulex europeus seeds contained two biochemically distinct agglutinating specificities. The first of these specificities (lectin I) was found to be inhibited by fucose; whereas, the second (lectinII) was not inhibited This original work has since been expanded by these and other investigators including Xabat's group at Columbia University. The two lectins have been found to differ significantly in their biophysical and serological properties. The recognition that Ulex seeds contain two agglutinating specificities can be expected to have an impact, perhaps profound, on the use of this type of reagent in forensic serology, particularly as it is used in absorption-elution testing. Studies of these lectins may also improve the use of these reagents in inhibition assays and in the determination of secretor status using a combination of ion-exchange, gel filtration, and affinity chromatography both lectins I and II have been isolated to a high degree of purity. Partial biophysical characterization and preliminary serological studies of the purified lectins will be discussed
COMPARATIVE STABILITIES OF MARKERS IN SEMEN
Edward T. Blake, Mary Gibbons, Jan Bashinski and George F. Sensabaugh
The relative stabilities of P30, acid phosphates PGM, Pep A, and soluble ABO blood group substances in semen have been compared under a variety of storage conditions. Particular storage conditions have bean chosen because they might be expected to be used by the operating crime laboratory or because they might duplicate the manner in which samples are handled during at least one part of the evidence collection process. Other storage conditions were chosen in an attempt to duplicate the vaginal environment. Each of the markers was assessed using quantitative procedures. Generally, all of the markers are more stable in frozen samples than in unfrozen samples, and degradation increases as temperature increases. Dried samples are more stable than liquid samples. The relative order of stability of the markers is P30, acid phosphatase, PGM, Pep A, with the ABO blood group substances being a special case.
MULTISYSTEM APPROACH TO RED CELL BLACK POPULATION MARKERS : GROUP IV
Gary Harmor, Brian Wraxall, and Ed Blake
Problem: The electrophoretic combination of red blood cell markers polymorphic in the Black population.
Methods: Conventional agarose electrophoresis followed by enzymatic staining of markers.
Results: The separation of several red blood cell markers (GGPD, PepA, Hb, & CAII) polymorphic in the Black population on one electrophoretogram.
Conclusions: These enzymes can be simultaneously separated on one electrophoretogram. Several of these markers are useful on bloodstains and one marker on seminal stains
THE LEWIS SYSTEM; RELATIONSHIP TO 'SE' AND 'H' IN VIEW OF RECENT FINDINGS IN THE BIOSYNTHETIC PATHWAY
Mark D. Stolorow, Training & Applications laboratory, Illinois Department of Law Enforcement
The unique role of the Lewis blood group system to the secretion of ABH substance in body fluids has been well known for over 30 years. Despite if considerable value in confirming or predicting the ABH secretor status of the donor, Lewis typing is practically unused by forensic serologists in the United States. Traditional theories of the biosynthesis of Lewis and ABH antigens from Type 1 and Type 2 chain polysaccharide precursors have been disproved by recent research findings of prominent immunochemical geneticists.
It is important that forensic serologists who utilize Lewis grouping in the crime laboratory develop a basic understanding of the fundamental biochemical and genetic relationships among La, H, and Se.
STATISTICS APPLICABLE TO THE INFERENCE OF A VICTIM'S BLOOD TYPE FROM FAMILIAL TESTING
David Stoney, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Criminaliatics Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley
Two recently reported cases involving inference of a victim's blood type using parental testing are reviewed. The statistic "frequency of non-excluded couples" was used in these cases to interpret the bloodstain evidence. Two other statistics are introduced; the frequency of non-excluded stains and the times-as-likely statistic. Both the frequency of non-excluded couples and the frequency of non-excluded stains present an inaccurate assessment of the non-exclusion because each considers only a portion of the data. The times-as-likely statistic utilizes all the data and gives results based on probability of gene passage rather than non-exclusion.
THE USE OF ALCOHOL GAZE NYSTAGMUS BY POLICE OFFICERS IN THE
Harcelline Burns, Paul Kayne, Richard Studdard, and Van Tharp
Problem: In a laboratory study Tharp at al. (1981) found that police officers could estimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to within 0.02S* of chemical test results, using the angle of onset of gaze nystagmus. The purpose of this study was to determine if officers could do as well in the field when trained to estimate the angle of nystagmus onset.
Methods: Six traffic officers, three from Los Angeles Police Department and three from San Diego Police Department were trained in alcohol-drug recognition and provided with devices for estimating the angle of onset. For 2-3 months the officers recorded BAC estimates based on nystagmus and the results of subsequent chemical tests. Records also indicated when drugs were suspected.
Results: The six officers were found to be accurate with more than 50% of their BAC estimates being within 0.01% of chemical test readings. In several cases of errors of 0.15% or more, the officers suspected drugs (e.g., PCP).
Conclusions: These results suggest that with adequate training and the proper tools, police officers can be highly accurate in estimating BACs at roadside. The angle of onset of gaze nystagmus is now being accepted as evidence in courtrooms both Los Angeles and San Diego.