69th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1987)
Joint Meeting of CAC & Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists
May, 1987
Reno, Nevada

TRACE EVIDENCE: ON THE CUTTING EDGE
Blake, Marty; Oakland Police Dept., Criminalistics Lab, 455 Seventh St. Oakland, CA 94607;

During a sexual assault which occurred at the victim's residence the assailant used a pair of scissors, belonging to the female victim, to cut off her clothing. The assailant fled with the scissors. Scissors recovered from the suspect's residence were submitted for trace evidence examination. Many fibers were found which were consistent with the victim's clothing sources.


A PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE OCCURRENCE AND FORENSIC SIGNIFICANCE OF VOLATILES OTHER THAN ALCOHOL IN THE BREATH OF DWI ARRESTEES
Lucien Haag; Forensic Science Services, 4034 W. Luke Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85019

Volatile compounds other than alcohol purportedly in the breath of some DWI arrestees have frequently been alleged to produce erroneous or elevated blood alcohol results on non-specific infrared breath analyzers. The gas chromatographic analysis of approximately 5000 retained breath samples from DWI suspects has provided a practical means of assessing the frequency of occurrence of such substances and their actual impact on the previously recorded test result. Acetaldehyde occurs frequently in such samples but in concentrations far below that which could affect a result on an infrared breath testing device. The appearance of acetone in breath specimens is rare and sufficiently low so as to cause no significant error with current infrared analyzers. Several case examples showing the presence of other volatites will also be presented. No case was found where any of these substances produced an erroneously high blood alcohol reading.


A SURVEY OF CURRENTLY AVAILABLE BALLISTICS PROGRAMS FOR P.C.'S; CAPABILITIES AND APPLICATIONS TO FORENSIC PROBLEMS
Lucien Haag & Jon Kokanovich; Forensic Science Services, 4034 W. Luke Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85019

There are a number of commercially available "ballistics programs" which offer the forensic scientist a powerful analytical tool in evaluating a number of exterior and terminal ballistic questions that can arise in shooting cases. Following a brief review of the basic parameters of interest in the flight of a projectile, the computational capabilities of the more common programs (Sierra, Proware, Pejsa, Load From A Disc) will be described. The presentation will conclude with several case examples that will incorporate most of the issues of forensic importance.


FRACTAL DIMENSIONS OF STRIATED TOOLMARKS
John Thornton; School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

A plot of log distance versus log stride length of a striated toolmark will deliver a linear relationship. The slope of this line represents the fractal dimension of the toolmark. This type of plot is frequently referred to as a Richardson Plot, and may assist in the development of an algorithm by which striated marks may be characterized


APPLICATIONS OF FTIR MICROSPECTROSCOPY IN FORENSIC ANALYSIS
J.P. Beauchaine, J. Peterman, R.J. Rosenthal; Nicolet Analytical Instruments, 5225 Verona Rd. Madison, Wl

Forensic analysis is an area of challenge and importance. The analysis of small, often minute samples taxes scientist and instrumentation alike. Materials collected from crime scenes nearly always require special handling. The forensic scientist is required to provide Identifications and evaluations based on spectroscopic methods which will be upheld in courts of law. Confirmation of the identity of genesis of a powder, liquid, fiber or chip of paint is required in some instances which is non-destructive. The analysis of such materials by infrared spectroscopy is particularly important. The infrared spectrum provides a unique signature for a given sample. Such spectra can be searched against a database and matched to known reference spectra. Traditional methods of analysis for powdered drug samples involved mixing the sample in a diluent of KBr or nujol for the infrared analysis. Adequate data could be obtained, but valuable evidence would be lost in the sampling process. Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) spectrometers, with their signal- averaging capability combined with the sampling capabilities of an infrared microscope permits investigations of these types of samples. Optical microscopes have been employed for some time in the assessment of materials such as fibers, bullets, and paints. Advantage can be taken of cross polarization and other enhancements in distinguishing amongst different components of a complex powder or other mixtures.


CONFLICTS IN MICROSPECTROSCOPY
S.T. Bijasiewicz; J.P. Beauchaine; Nicolet Analytical Instruments, 5225 Verona Rd. Madison, Wl

The need to identify extremely small particles such as individual polymer fibers, minute paint chips, characterization of multiple component drugs and other imperfections In industrial processes stimulated the development of Fourier Transform Infrared Microspectrometry. The advent of FTIR spectrometers, combined with powerful sampling accessories and special sample handling techniques, has enabled spectroscopists to routinely analyze sub-nanogram quantities of material. With the Increase in popularity of micro-FTIR, there is a greater necessity to devise methods of sample preparation and handling techniques. This paper will discuss the various infrared accessories, from microscope analysis to diffuse reflectance infrared spectrometry and demonstrate sampling techniques and "tricks" used in FTIR microspectroscopy.


GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY AND GC/MS OF SUGAR-T MS DERIVATIVES
W.K. Jeffery, N.M. dark, J. Leslie, RCMP Laboratory, 5201 Heather St., Vancouver. B.C. V5Z3L7

This paper describes a simple derivitization procedure to identify diluents in illicit drug samples. It provides a gas Chromatography screening method using Kovat indices as well as a mass spectrometry identification of all diluents. The mass spectrum of all diluents are provided.


GOLD REFINING IN CLANDESTINE DRUG LABORATORIES
Jerry Massetti; California DOJ, 6014 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno, CA 93710

Gold refining operations have been encountered in clandestine drug laboratory investigations. These present safety considerations to criminalists and investigators. Gold refining has also been used as an argument in court proceedings to suggest a legitimate use for stockpiled drug related chemicals.


USEFULNESS OF IMMUNOGLOBIN ALLOTYPES IN THE ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT EVIDENCE
M.S. Schanfield; Allotype Genetic Testing, Inc., 1430 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309
And E.T. Blake; Forensic Science Associates, P.O. Box 8313, Emeryville CA 94608

Human immunoglobin allotypes (Gm and Km) are polymorphic in all populations, with each population characterized by the presence of unique Gm "alleles" or demonstrating marked variation in the "allele" frequencies. The literature reports mixed success at detecting immunoglobulin allotypes in either liquid semen, or prepared stains. There is only one publication on the actual testing of semen stains from two sexual assault cases (Shaler, R. C.: J. For. Sci. 27: 231 (1982)). With the availability of new reagents and new procedures for allotyping it was decided to evaluate the usefulness of immunoglobin allotyping in submitted case evidence. A total of 28 pieces of evidence from 17 sexual assault cases were tested for one or more G1m, G3m and Km allotypes, with selected samples also tested for G2m n and A2m 1 and 2. Except for one liquid aspirate, all samples tested were extracts prepared by the authors. With one exception all evidence had been stored frozen from one to three years prior to testing. Approximately two-thirds were drainage site evidence (panties, panty liners, Clothing, sheets, or carpeting) while one-third were swabs (vaginal or introital). Allotypes were detected in 89% of the evidence. In 42% of these, allotypes provided information on the type of the semen donor, an additional 15% were informative, If other Information was added, thus 57% of the samples were potentially informative. A total of 69% of the drainage site evidence was informative, while only 37% of the swabs were. Victim allotypes were detected in 77% of typabte stains, indicating that victim allotypes must be considered in the evaluation of results. Acid phosphatase quantitation was available on a small number of specimens indicating that G3m allotypes are detectable at semen dilutions of 40 or less while G1m and Km allotypes are detectable at dilutions of 200-300. The results from the analysis of one case indicate that variation in the method of extraction may yield different detection rates. Allotypes of semen or vaginal origin not previously reported are G1m z, G1/3m g5, G2m n, G3m bO and s, A2m 1 and 2 and Km 3. In conclusion, immunoglobulin allotypes provide evidence on the genetic type of semen donor's in a significant proportion of sexual assault evidence.


HTLV-III (AIDS) IN THE FORENSIC LABORATORY
David Bigbee, FBI Laboratory, 9th & Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20535

Possible origin, manifestations, epidemiology, handling and sterilization of the HTLV-111 (AIDS) virus, and the FBI Laboratory policy of evidence contaminated with the virus.


IDENTIFICATION OF DRUGS OF ABUSE BY GC-IR-MS
Wayne P. Duncan; Hewlett-Packard Corp., 1601 California Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304

The analysis of illicit drugs requires the very highest level of confidence in assigning structures to components of unknown mixtures. In particular, designer drugs pose an ever increasing problem for all levels of law enforcement. Clandestine laboratories are producing a broad range of substances which are closely related analogs of known drugs of abuse. In some cases the designer drugs not only have the physiological activity of the parent drug, but also may have very serious and harmful side effects. It is essential in the successful prosecution of these cases that the very similar chemical structures be carefully and unambiguously identified. One particularly troublesome drug of abuse which is spawning a plethora of street substitutes is amphetamine. A mixture of amphetamine and several of its isomers were analyzed by GC/FTIR/MS. Visual comparison of the mass spectra indicated that most of the isomers could be positively identified by the mass spectral data alone. However, a few of the isomers had very similar mass spectra and could not be positively identified visually or by a library search of a mass spectral data base. On the other hand, the isomers with very similar mass spectra were readily confirmed by their unique infrared spectra. Several "real world" samples involving designer drugs were also analyzed including a confiscated clandestine laboratory reaction pot mixture and biological fluid from a drugged race horse. Mass spectral library search results were combined on the same workstation with infrared library search results to provide a combined GC/IR/MS "hit list". The two dimensions of data resulted in unambiguous confirmation of each of the very closely related chemical structures. The likelihood of successful prosecution of designer drug cases in a court of law is greatly enhanced by two independent types of data as demonstrated here.


THE USE OF GC/FTIR IN CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IDENTIFICATION
W.D. Pertsins & M.A. Davis; Perkin-Elmer Corp., 411 Clyde Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043

Infrared spectroscopy is a well recognized technique for the identification of controlled substances, but positive identification is sometimes complicated by the presence of impurities. Gas chromatography, on the other hand, is an excellent separation technique but is considered by some to lack specificity. Combining the two techniques enables the analyst to realize the strengths of both while minimizing the disadvantages of each. This paper will describe a simple-to-use GC/FTIR system and illustrate its application with case studies of the identification of controlled substance.


CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES INFORMATION SYSTEM (CSIS) DATA BASE
Clyde F. Richardson; Drug Enforcement Admin., 1405 Eye St. NW, Washington, DC 20537

The CSIS data base is a DEA on-line data base containing approximately 1500 substance records. Substances can be searched by name (common, product, synonym, name fragment, or soundex), DEA substance code, CAS Registry Number, molecular formula, and Code of Federal Regulations number. Other search routines are DEA Microgram search and Probable Substance Search. There is also a Newsletter containing current items of interest to DEA employees such as new drugs of abuse, recent DEA drug control actions or significant seizures. Each substance record has data fields labeled:

  1. Toxicity,
  2. Physical Properties,
  3. Analytical Notes,
  4. Synonyms,
  5. Hazards,
  6. Chemicals Required for Manufacture,
  7. Substance Used For Synthesis off, and
  8. Other Regulations Pertaining to Substance.

ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF COCAINE FROM SMOKING DEVICES
Joseph P. Bono; Naval Investigative Service, Regional Forensic Laboratory, P.O. Box 220, Naval Station San Diego, CA 92129

With the increased number of improvised smoking devices containing cocaine submitted to forensic science laboratories, it is imperative that the forensic chemist be able to separate the cocaine from other residues which may be present. The cocaine will usually appear to be a tar-like substance and will be combined with the other residual materials sometimes including marijuana. This paper presents an approach for the separation of the "charred" cocaine residue from the smoking device, and a clean-up procedure for isolating the cocaine for analysis by infrared spectrophotometry. Also discussed will be situations which the forensic chemist may encounter in the future in distinguishing Cocaine "Base" from Cocaine "Salt". If Cocaine Base is rescheduled a Schedule I controlled substance while Cocaine Salt remains a Schedule II controlled substance, great care must be taken in the extraction procedure. In the method presented here, the possibilities of conversion of the "Base" to the "Salt" or (more legally damaging) the conversion of the "Salt" to the "Base" are precluded. With impending legislation in California, the question of distinguishing Cocaine HCl from Cocaine HBr, Cocaine HI, and from other salts will be discussed but probably not resolved.


COMPARISON OF AXE TOOLMARKS
Jon Spilker; Oregon State Police, Crime Lab, 700 SE Emigrant St., Pendleton, OR 97801

Problem: compare wooden poles to see if they were cut by the same axe.

Method: toolmarks were photographed with oblique light and time exposure enhancement (10-15 minutes at f/32). Photographs were compared directly to toolmarks for identification.


FTIR DRUG ANALYSIS WITH A MICROSCOPE
Richard Smith

Due to the high energy throughout, good spectral resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio, rapid data collection, and the ability to perform digital processing on acquired spectral data; methods not practical for dispersive IR become ideal for FTIR. With the ability to do an IR through a microscope attachment the possibilities are increased. Some of our present methods for drug analysis will be presented to show the increase in ease, efficiency and capability we have realized with FTIR.


THE EFFECTS OF LONG TERM FROZEN STORAGE ON THE TYPEABILITY OF ENZYMES IN BLOODSTAINS
Richard Berger & Maria Fassett, Washoe County Sheriff, P.O. Box 2915, Reno, NV 89505

A total of thirty three bloodstains stored at -20°F for periods of time ranging from 3 1/2 to 7 years were re-examined for Group I and Group II enzyme activity using two different sets of methodologies. After five years, typability ranged from 87% to 100% for the seven blood grouping systems examined; no major differences in typability between the two methodologies were observed. However, after seven years, significant typability decreases were observed most notably for PGM with either methodology and for Glol employing the BAS methodology. In a total of 334 analyses, no typing discrepancies were noted in comparison to the original typings.


EVALUATION OF THE NON-EQUILIBRIUM IEF SYSTEM FOR ESD, ACP1, PGM1, AK, AND ADA (MODIFICATION OF KUO)
David C. Stockwell, Daniel J. Gregonis, Donald T. Jones; San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office, Forensic Science Laboratory, P.O. Box 1557, San Bernardino CA 92402

At the Fall 1986 CAC Seminar, S. Kuo reported on the expanded use of a non-equilibrium IEF system employing a chemical spacer (MOPS) to type common phenotypes of the EsD, PGM1 sub, AcP1, AK, and ADA enzyme systems. This "multisystem" approach has the potential to minimize sample use, decrease casework analysis time, as well as offer a single system with a high probability of discrimination (combined PD- 0.96). Kuo generally reported on the discrimination of common phenotypes; however, interpretation of results could be questioned if rare phenotypes are confused with common phenotypes. Literature sources indicate this possibility. The "focus" of this paper is to determine the ability of a modification of Kuo's procedure (the use of MOPS and HEPES) to simultaneously type and discriminate common and rare phenotypes in all five systems, and to compare the results to those cited in the literature.


ABH BLOOD GROUP SUBSTANCE LEVELS IN MATCHED BODY FLUID STAINS: A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
Theresa F. Spear & Sharon Binkley, Alameda County Sheriff, 15001 Foothill Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94578

Although there have been numerous studies which have examined the ABH blood group substances (BGS) levels in semen, studies reporting on the BGS levels in other body fluids (saliva, vaginal samples, urine, and perspiration) are not frequently encountered in the literature. This study was designed to examine the ABH BGS levels in matched body fluid stains (urine, semen or vaginal samples, and perspiration) from a limited number of secretor and non-secretor individuals using both the absorption-inhibition and absorption-elution techniques. The purposes of this study were:

  1. to determine if it is possible to detect BGS in urine and perspiration stains. This information would be useful in interpreting ABO results when typing mixed body fluid stains and in assessing the feasibility of typing these body fluids if they are encountered as evidence;
  2. to determine if it is possible to detect ABO BGS in the body fluids of non-secretors; and
  3. to compare the results obtained with typing body fluid stains by the absorption-inhibition technique with the results obtained with the absorption-elution technique.

Results from this study showed that semen stains from secretor donors displayed the highest levels of ABO BGS when compared to the other body fluids. Vaginal swabs from secretor donors showed the greatest variation in BGS levels. A and B BGS from type A and B secretors were detected in both urine and perspiration stains by both the inhibition and elution techniques. H BGS was never detected in any of the urine or perspiration stains from any of the donors tested. In general, saliva and vaginal stain extracts displayed lower levels of BGS than semen stains but higher levels than urine or perspiration stains. No dear, consistent trends were seen in the relative levels of BGS from a series of body fluid stains from any one individual. Thus, for example, relatively high levels of BGS in saliva would not guarantee that BGS would also be detected in the corresponding urine or perspiration stain. Body fluid stains from non-secretor individuals displayed BGS levels that were never detected by the inhibition technique and only rarely by the elution technique.


UNUSUAL TYPEWRITER IDENTIFICATIONS
Lowell Bradford; P.O. Box 1148, San Jose, CA 95108

In the examination of a will written in the Hindi language, the authorship of typing of the address of letters used as exemplars became an issue. Unusual ribbon performance was a major factor in a novel identification. The original objective was to determine authenticity of the holographic will, but the typewriter problem emerged as an unexpected development. Classical methods of typeface examination with gauges and microscopy were employed and demonstrative photographic exhibits were prepared for trial.


THE CALIFORNIA CRIMINALISTICS INSTITUTE
Cecil Hider; California DOJ, California Criminalistics Institute, P.O. Box 1337, Sacramento CA 95813

No abstract received.


METHODS OF FORENSIC DNA TYPING
Howard C. Coleman, Sound Scientific

Recently a great deal of excitement has been generated in the forensic community by the suggestion that examination of DNA can provide positive certain identification of the source of a blood, semen, hair root, or other tissue specimen. This excitement is justified because of the extreme individual variability present in genetic material. Currently two systems are under development that perform the DNA assays in slightly different ways. The first method performs the Southern blotting assay under low stringency conditions, and so many genetic loci are simultaneously detected. This method known as "DNA fingerprinting" has a number of problems when applied to forensic analysis. An alternate method is to perform the blotting under high stringency conditions in such a way that a series of highly polymorphic loci are examined individually. This method allows easier and more exact data interpretation, examination of a larger proportion of forensic samples and is more robust technically.


THE IDENTIFICATION OF DNA RFLP'S: CASEWORK APPLICATIONS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF BLOODSTAINS, SEMEN STAINS, AND TISSUE SPECIMENS
Robert C. Shaler, Alan Giusti, Michael Baird; Lifecodes Corp., 4 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford NY 10523

Since DNA forms the genetic basis of life, its potential as a comparative tool with unprecedented discriminatory power in forensic serology is gaining popularity. The identification of Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP's) using specific DNA probes from restriction endonuclease digests provides the basis of a DNA comparative test with direct application to crimes of violence and paternity disputes. Several casework examples which have been examined for RFLP's will be discussed to illustrate the quality and stability of DNA available in actual casework specimens. Specific examples will be chosen to detail bloodstains, semen stains, and tissue specimens.