63rd SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1984)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
May 9-12th, 1984
REPORT ON MEDICAL PROTOCOL FOR EXAMINATION OF VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
JAN BASHINSKI, Oakland Police Department Crime Lab, 455 7th St., Rm 608, Oakland, CA 94607, and CECIL HIDER, California Department of Justice Laboratory, 820 Francis Botello Rd., Goleta, CA 93107
The State Office of Criminal Justice Planning has established a Medical Protocol Committee to review the current Title 22 protocol for the treatment of sexual assault victims in hospital emergency rooms and to recommend appropriate revisions. As the crime laboratory representatives on this Committee, we have solicited suggestions for revisions via CACLD and the Northern and Southern CAC serology study groups and have relayed these suggestions to the full Committee. The Medical Protocol Committee has assigned us the task of drafting revisions of those portions of Title 22 dealing specifically with evidence collection and preservation issues. Additionally, we have agreed to attempt to develop a statewide uniform kit for collection of evidence from sexual assault victims, subject to the approval of the CAC and CACLD. The purpose of this presentation is to review the current status of the work of the Medical Protocol Committee and to provide the Criminalistics professionals in California with an opportunity for additional input.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR A BETTER ELECTROPHORESIS PLATE
David Sugtyama and Katherine Vukovich, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Criminalistics Laboratory, Los Angeles California 90057
Occasionally, case volume and lack of time prevent the criminalist from solving the problems that arise in running electrophoresis systems. This situation may result in a lack of confidence in recognizing enzyme banding patterns. This presentation will cover some trouble-shooting techniques on Group I and II and PGM subtyping on agarose. Hopefully, these techniques will serve as reminders for most, yet offer tips on how to obtain better results and make you work easier.
INTERPRETATION OF TRACE ELEMENT COMPOSITION OF BULLET LEADS
PETER D. BARNETT, Forensic Science Associates, Emeryville, CA. 94608
Trace element analysis of bullet lead can be used in an attempt to establish an association between bullets. A small lead fragment was recovered from the body of a homicide victim. The trace element (Sb, Cu, Sn) content of this bullet fragment was compared with the trace element composition of .223 caliber rifle bullets recovered from the suspect's residence and that of .22 caliber bullets recovered from the victim's residence. This was, in many respects, an ideal case for such analysis since only two possible sources for the bullet were present, and more than adequate samples from each of the two possible sources were available. This type of data can either be analyzed by statistical tests of the two populations, or by comparison of the elemental profiles of individual bullets. These two approaches will be described, and the necessity of the former emphasized.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON QUALITY CONTROL OF SHOTSHELL AMMUNITION
PETER VINCIE, B.S., and JOHN THORNTON, D.Crim. Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of Calif., Berkeley, CA. 94720
Situations occasionally arise in which the distance of a shotgun to the target at the instant of discharge if of investigative interest. If the target has intercepted only a fraction of the shot, an estimate must be made of the maximum extent of the shot dispersion. This may involve counting the shot, and the question that immediately arises is how likely is a shotshell to contain the precise value stated in the literature? A total of 48 shotshells (approx. 14,000 shot total) were examined, with the shot weighed and counted, The observed data were compared with the literature values; the data are presented in terms of Bean, range, variance, and standard deviation. A handout reflects these data.
FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE
LUCIEN C. HAAG, Forensic Science Services, 4034 West Luke Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85019
One of the more unusual and interesting aspects of being an independent criminalist in a free society is the type of casework one might receive. This slide presentation will summarize the design, construction and type of explosive used in the new M75 Soviet plastic hand-grenade and the nature of the fabric employed in a Russian bulletproof vest, both of which were recently obtained in Afghanistan.
Beyond the novelty of such unusual samples there also lies a forensic value. The vest presented some analytical prob-lems by virtue of the non-existence of known, standard specimens of the Kevlar-like sample. The largely plastic construction of the grenade combined with the frequent arming of terrorist groups with Soviet weapons makes the prospect of this device ultimately being used by such a group a genuine possibility.
The final portion of this paper (unrelated to the previous topics) will be a description of the class characteristics of a new line of smokeless propellants being offered for handloaking purposes by the Accurate Powder Company of McEwen, TN.
THE WOUND PROFILE: A METHOD FOR DETERMINING WOUNDING POTENTIAL OF VARIOUS PROJECTILES
MARTIN L. FACKLER, M.D. Letterman Army Inst. of Research Presidio of San Francisco, CA. 94129
A method is presented for predicting wounding potential by shooting projectiles into 10% gelatin blocks kept at a temperature of 4°C. Blocks (25x25x50 cm) are placed end-to-end so that the entire track of the missile is captured The penetration and fragmentation pattern in these blocks previously was found comparable to wounds in living swine leg muscle. The extent of the radial cracks in the gelatin approximated the temporary cavity size in swine muscle. Measurements of the penetration depth, permanent cavity, and temporary cavity are taken from longitudinal sections of the blocks and fragmentation pattern is mapped from bi-planar x-rays of the blocks. The four wound components, penetration, fragmentation, permanent cavity, and temporary cavity are diagrammed on what is termed a "wound profile". This visual presentation should help to make the basics of wound ballistics more understandable, and the recovery of the projectile for examination inherent in the method should find use in forensic applications.
Profiles of wounds from some common weapons will be shown.
USE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC DISTORTION IN BLOODSTAIN PATTERN CRIME SCENE RECONSTRUCTION
ANITA K. Y. WONDER, Wonder Institute, Box 13891, Sacramento, California 95853
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis can require a work up of a crime scene entirely from photos. Accurate interpretation in such situations can usually be reached with the use of competently taken photos, unit of measure with stain, and scene sketch. One situation, however, creates the need for special consideration: when high depth of field photography is used to record bloodstains or curved surfaces. Evaluation of scenes, experiments, and photos have shown that instead of decreasing accuracy of interpretation from such records, high depth of field viewed stains on curved surfaces actually aided in the location of the source for resultant blood projectiles. In order to make use of this specific situation, however, it is necessary that special care be used in recording information at the primary crime scene work up.
DETERMINATION OF BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS USING A DIRECT READOUT SPECTROPHOTOMETER
PAUL G. BLYSTONB, H. LEE COLLINS The Hach Company, P.O. Box 389, Loveland, CO 80539
Blood alcohol samples are analyzed widely for legal purposes using the Widmark procedure. This method, however, involves tedious, manual titrations of dichromate solutions and subsequent mathematical conversion of titration values to a reported blood alcohol result. Both steps can be eliminated by measuring dichromate concentration directly at 444 nm with a micro-computer controlled spectrophotometer. Solutions of dichromate which have been exposed to blood or urine samples are transferred to cuvets. The Spectrophotometer (Hach DR/3000) is zeroed with a blank dichromate solution (0.0217 normal) and standardized with a dichromate solution corresponding to a 0.20% blood alcohol level. The instrument computes and stores the calibration curve. Blood alcohol values of cuvets containing unknown solutions are displayed directly in digital readout. The Spectrophotometer interface with an APPLE desk-top computer provides additional capability to print, average and store data. This variation of the Widmark method demonstrates how a small computer controlled Spectrophotometer can reduce potential operative errors and save time.
PRECISION, ACCURACY AND ERRORS IN SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES
Raymond J. Davis, Quantum Analytical Laboratory, Seattle, WA 98104
There is little, readily available information one can refer to when obtaining material on assessing the magnitude of errors in scientific procedures.
Basic science texts touch briefly on this subject but not in sufficient detail to provide the scientist with the necessary skills for interpreting test results or measurements.
The interpretation of test results is dependent upon several factors:
- the methodology employed,
- the quality of chemicals and reagents utilized,
- the skill of the analyst, and
- the confidence the analyst places on his/her test results.
This confidence is often expressed or rendered in court when we provide testimony on the forensic significance of the physical evidence we examine.
This paper will outline the types & sources of errors often encountered in scientific Procedures.
ION PAIR EXTRACTION OF COCAINE
John Hartmann, BS Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's Office, 550 N. Flower, Santa Ana, CA 92702
The application of some inorganic anion ion pairing agents to the liquid-liquid extraction separation of cocaine from some local anesthetics is briefly explored. Cocaine, benzocaine, lidocaine procaine, and tetracaine; CI, Br, I, SCN, CIO4; CH2CI2 CHCl3, CCl4, Cl2HCCH3, CIH2CCH2CI in various combinations were tested. The following extraction gave 62% cocaine recovery as well as at least 50: 1 enrichment relative to any of the other listed drugs. One volume of a 1 M CIO4 salt solution in dilute acid containing a suspected cocaine mix is extracted twice with 5 volumes of CHCI3, washed once with 1 volume of CIO4, and back extracted into 0.2 N H2SO4. Other anions and solvents yielded poorer absolute or relative recoveries or UV absorbing interference.
THE COMPARISON OF MOLD MARKS ON CAST BULLETS AND PUNCH MARKS IN COPPER GAS CHECKS
PHILIP M. KELLETT, San Bernardino Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino, CA 92403
For various reasons it is not unusual for a firearms examiner to fail to identify the gun in which questioned bullets were fired. In some cases examiners have successfully implicated a suspect by comparing ammunition components from the crime scene to ammunition recovered from the suspect. This report describes a case in which cast bullets with gas checks were stolen by the suspect and were subsequently used at the scene of a homicide. Toolmarks on the interior surface of the copper gas checks from the suspect's bullets were identified to toolmarks on the interior surface of the gas check recovered at the crime scene. Also, mold marks on the bullet from the crime scene were identified to mold marks present on the bullets in the suspect's possession. This report will also present a method used to manufacture bullet molds.
THE EFFECT OF LATENT FINGERPRINT DEVELOPMENT BY CYANO-ACRYLATE FUMING ON BLOODSTAIN TYPING
ROBERT KEISTER, MARY GRAVES and MARGARET BLACK, Forensic Science Services, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Dept., Santa Ana, CA 92702
Latent fingerprint development using cyanoacrylate fumes is investigated as to its effects on blood group factors. Bloodstains are prepared on substrates of glass, metal and plastic, subjected to cyanoacrylate fuming, then typed in the following systems: Species, ABO, PGM, EsD, GLOI, EAP, AK, PGD, Gc, Tf, Hp, and IEF of PGM and EsD. No discrepencies in stain typing were found between fumed and unfumed stains and routine typing of the blood standard. In this qualitative study under near ideal conditions no reduction in sensitivity was found. Further studies are intended to test increased exposure through thinner stains, and the use of three cyanoacrylate products on the market.
ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE FOR SHORT RANGE BULLET TRAJECTORIES
FRANK H. CASSIDY, Santa Barbara Regional Lab, Calif. Dept. of Justice, Goleta, CA 93117
A simple, clear method was desired to ascertain the location of a bullet at any one place
in its short-range trajectory. A three-dimensional model of the trajectory was analyzed by mathematical methods and the results were graphed on an alignment chart. The graphs on the alignment chart enable one to theoretically pin-point the location where the gun was fired. The method will be discussed and illustrations shown.
ENSEMBLES OF SUB-CLASS CHARACTERISTICS IN PHYSICAL EVIDENCE EVALUATION
JOHN THORNTON, D. Crim., Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
The notion of class characteristics carries with it the idea that the characteristics may distinguish between but not within the same provenance. This holds true for many types of physical evidence, but in some categories of evidence there may exist a set of sub-class characteristics which are the result of poor quality assurance in manufacturing processes. One may consider these characteristics in terms of ensembles, the result of which is to discriminate between items of the same provenance. An example is to be seen in the Titan .25 automatics listed in the CLIS printout. Of 241 Titan automatics with complete information, ensembles of class characteristics partitions the total number of firearms into approximately 200 categories (the precise number depending upon how the ensembles are selected), transcending conventional class characteristics and tending toward individuality.
THE EFFECT OF TIME, TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY ON THE SURVIVAL OF PGM SUBTYPING ISOZYME BANDS
THERESA F. SPEAR, M.A., and SHAROH A. BINKLEY, M.S., Alameda County Sheriff's Department Criminalistics Laboratory, San Leandro, CA 94578
Bloodstains were made from six different PGM phenotypes and then stored both wet and dry at room temperature, 37°C, and 60°C for up to sixteen weeks. These blood samples were then analyzed by electrophoresis in a pH gradient gel using commercially prepared, ultrathin, polyacrylamide, pH 5-8 gradient gels in an attempt to ascertain the relative stabilities of the isozyme bands and the possible presence of the c- band or storage bands in the diagnostic regions of the plate.
There were no indications that the negative isozyme bands were more labile than the positive isozyme bands or that the 2 isozyme bands were more labile than the 1 isozyme bands. For the most part, non-diagnostic bands were only seen in the 2+ region of the plate and were primarily associated with the phenotypes which had the 1- isozyme band. Also, in bloodstains maintained wet, non-diagnostic bands were occasionally seen in the 2- region of the plate. In every instance these bands were significantly less intense than the primary bands and typically slightly anodal to the true band location.
PANEL REPORT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE ON BREATH ALCOHOL RETENTION
LOWELL W. BRADFORD, Private Consultant, P.O. Box 1148, San Jose, CA 95108, WILLIAM L. CASPER, California Department of Justice, LUCIEN C. HAAG, Forensic Science Services, KATHRYN J. HOIMES, Contra Costa County Criminalistics Laboratory, and JOHN L. RAGLE, Orange County Criminalistics Laboratory
The Ad Hoc Committee on Breath Alcohol Sample Retention has developed recommended procedures and performance criteria which must be met by breath capture devices for referee analysis in order to be acceptable. The Committee evaluated those devices which are currently available and found that all lacked the advantages of blood and urine samples for referee analysis. The Committee has recommended to the CAC Board that it adopt as policy the Committee's procedures and performance criteria and the preference for blood and urine samples over breath samples for referee analysis.
ZAPPED BY AN ALUMINUM PAINTING POLE - BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EVIDENCE?
KEITH E. PETERSEN INMAN, B.S., MCrim Forensic Science Services, Signal Hill, CA 90806
This brief-case report relates the analytical findings of the examination of suspected blood stains on an aluminum pole. The pole was being held by a painter when it accidentally touched a 12,000 volt power line. Attorneys wanted to know if the red stains on it were blood.
The suspected stains gave some indications of being blood, but were negative for some of the classical tests for blood. Ultimately, no conclusion could be made as to whether the substance was or was not blood.
The case presents several interesting twists that make it a fascinating forensic study.
THE UNIQUENESS OF TOOLMARKS FOUND ON FILM PACKS INSERTED INTO A POLAROID SX-70 LAND CAMERA
WILLIAM CORAZZA, California Department of Justice, Santa Rosa Criminalistics Laboratory, 7505 Sonoma Highway. Santa Rosa. CA 95405
An empty Polaroid film pack discovered near the body in a recent homicide was found to have a number of striated areas on its plastic surface. If it could be shown that these striations were unique and therefore were made by a particular camera, the potential value of this piece of evidence would be enhanced. This paper will detail the procedures followed in determining that some of these markings were indeed unique. The parts of a Polaroid SX-70 land camera which are capable of marking a film pack and the processes used to manufacture these parts are discussed. Finally, the areas on the film pack where reproducible toolmarks would or would not be found are mentioned.
A SAFER REAGENT FOR DEVELOPING BLOODY FINGERPRINTS
JOHN R. PATTY & MICHAEL W. GIBERSON, Criminalistics Laboratory Division, Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner's Department, Martinez, CA. 94553
Forensic literature has included many articles on the development or enhancement of latent or semi-visible bloody prints. Benzidine or a benzidine derivative was used as a spray using diethyl ether as a solvent. This reagent is thought to be too dangerous for routine use in the field because benzidine is a carcinogen and ether is highly flammable and in mist form, is explosive.
The authors have developed a new reagent which is safer to use. This reagent uses leucomalachite green in a spray using Freon 113 (1,1,2 Trichloro-trifluoroethane), ethanol, glacial acetic acid and water as the solvent mixture.
The reagent is sprayed, in a fine mist, over areas suspected of bearing bloody prints. If a bloody print is present it will turn a bright blue-green in 10-20 seconds. As with benzidine, the background develops, but at a much slower rate. Therefore the developed prints must still be photographed to preserve them.
THE EFFECT OF PRESERVATIVES ON BLOOD SAMPLES
JAMES M. STREETER, Criminalist, Sacramento Regional Laboratory, 4949 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95820
Blood samples were obtained from five individuals in three types of tubes: (1) lavender stoppered tube, (2) grey stoppered tube, (3) yellow stoppered tube. Aliquots were removed and stored in the freezer while the remainder of the blood was stored in the refrigerator.
After approximately five months, PGM conv., sub., EAP, AK, ES-D, and Hp electrophoresis was performed on all the samples and any difference in the electrophoretic patterns was noted.
There was a marked decrease in the ability to correctly identify the phenotypic patterns in the liquid samples stored in the refrigerator. While no aberrant bands were produced, some isozyme bands decreased in activity.