71st SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1988)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
MAY 19-21, 1988
A QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM MODEL FOR FORENSIC SERVICE
Louis A. Maucieri; California Criminalistics Institute, 4949 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95820
A general quality assurance model for a forensic service laboratory is described. It cites the need for clear expectations on evidence handling, analysis, and review. A new approach for peer group assessment of proficiency is offered. Test criteria for drug identification, skills confirmation and quality improvement feedback are suggested. A proposal for resolution of disputed cases, and a computer expert systems approach as a renewable resource are presented as guides for decision making.
HYPERCARD: A RECENT INNOVATION IN INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL
Charles Morton; Institute of Forensic Science, 2945 Webster Street, Oakland, CA
HyperCard™ is a program released in 1987 by Apple Computer for the Macintosh™. It has been variously described as a database, a non-linear text file format (hypertext), a programming language and, by its creator, as an information erector set. In actuality, it is all of these and more. Text, graphics and sound are all readily incorporated into "stacks of cards" which contain information organized for rapid and intuitive retrieval by both the creator of the "stack" and others who may or may not be computer literate. Its ability to help manage information in the Criminalistics laboratory will be explored and the process by which a relative novice can control how information is organized, stored and retrieved will be demonstrated and discussed. A sample "stack" will be created using HyperCard™. There will be a brief look at the process of accessing and sharing information through HyperCard™.
NORLAND OPTICAL ADHESIVE, AN ALTERNATIVE MOUNTING MEDIUM
Richard S. Brown; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, 550 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana, CA 92702
Norland Optical Adhesive is an optically clear non-solvent based urethane (pete: see numbers on h/w abstract that go here) NOA is used to cross-section single fibers, mount hairs and mount other forms of trace evidence. Technique is discussed. Samples will be available.
FIBER IDENTIFICATION BY THIN FILM FTIR
Richard S. Brown; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, 550 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana, CA 92702
Fibers are identified using thin-film FTIR as a complement to microscopic procedures.
HYPERTEXT AND HYPERMEDIA: A FORENSIC PROSPECTIVE
Ferdinand G. Rios, M.P.H.; Group Telein, 1631-G Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709
Within the last ten years the world has experienced an "information blitz" like none that has ever been seen before. Yet, most of the information retrieval systems which are currently available, particularly for the scientific community, only extend the methodologies which were originally developed for manual retrieval systems. Although these manual systems appear to have a hierarchical structure using footnotes, embedded cross- references and other notations, they can only be read in a linear fashion. The concept of hypertext is one where windows on a computer screen contain text or graphic material for which links are established to other text or graphic information. These links can either be "hot spots" in the document (which can be used for associated notes or complete item substitution) or pointers to other areas of the same document or to an entirely different document
MICROSCOPICAL IDENTIFICATION OF TOOTHPASTE ABRASIVES
James G. Bailey; Los Angeles Sheriff Criminalistics Laboratory, 2020 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. CA 90057
A dried toothpaste stain became important in a recent homicide case. In order to compare the stain with a suspected tube of toothpaste, the abrasives were separated by centrifugation and analyzed microscopically with both polarized light and Dispersion Staining. It was found that many brands of toothpastes use different abrasives in their formulation. The identifying characteristics of these abrasives and the composition of major brands of commercially available toothpastes will be discussed.
THE PRACTICE OF SAFE CRIMINALISTICS PRESENTED TO THE PROFESSION BY THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
James L. Norris, Senior Criminalist; San Francisco Police Department Crime Laboratory, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
As 1988 begins approximately 75,000 people now show symptoms of AIDS. That number is expected to rise to 300,000 by years end. There is little or no hope of a cure being found in this century. Recent studies have shown that the AIDS virus is present in blood, semen, saliva and other bodily fluids in both the wet and dry state. These facts make it imperative that personnel exposed to bodily fluids of others be it in the laboratory, at the crime scene, or in the field, take the necessary precautions to insure that the chances of infection are as low as possible. It is important to remember that now that this disease is so widespread, it is necessary to take "universal" precautions based on the likelihood of a particular act causing a transfer of bodily fluids. That is, barrier precautions must be taken whenever physiological fluids are handled. It is no longer acceptable practice to base decisions of how to proceed in a particular case on whether or not the blood or bodily fluids involved came from a member of a "high risk" group.
A NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC EASEL USEFUL FOR ELECTRO-STATIC VISUALIZATION OF DOCUMENTS
Duayne Dillon(1) and Stephen Ojena(2);
(1) Criminalistics Service Center, P.O. Box 488, Martinez, CA 94553
(2) Contra Costa County Criminalistics Laboratory, Martinez, CA
A newly designed portable easel provides for vacuum mounting of documents for photography. When coupled with a commercially available power source, the unit also provides a means for the electro-static visualization of indentations on documents.
EARLY QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS LITERATURE: A BOUND COMPILATION OF ARTICLES DISCOVERED IN THE U.C. BERKELEY LIBRARY
Duayne J. Dillon; Criminalistics Service Center, Martinez, CA
A bound volume of handwritten copies of 19th century articles pertaining to various aspects of the field of questioned documents was found in the Main Library of the University of California, Berkeley. The search for the original source of this manuscript provided an interesting view of the field and its practitioners in the late 1800's.
AVOIDING ERROR IN THE EVALUATION OF INK-TYPING INTERSECTIONS
Lowell W. Bradford; P.O. Box 1148, San Jose, CA 95108
A demonstration of the technology required to differentiate ink writing over typing from typing over ink writing and the experimental evidence upon which it is based. Application to a case in point.
Gerald R. McMenamin; Department of Linguistics, California State University, Fresno, CA 93740
Forensic Stylistics is concerned with authorship identification, based on the underlying linguistic patterns which help to discriminate one writer from another. These patterns can be described and measured by linguistic analysis, making strong authorship attribution possible. A case that presented particular methodological problems in data analysis involved a restaurant employee injured on the job. He was said to have written a letter "signed" by the independent engineer, saying that the accident was due to the negligent restaurants faulty equipment. Problems focused on are: the relationship between descriptive and quantitative variables and findings; the use of computer text processing and analysis; the Test of Independent Proportions as a statistical test of difference; and the relationship of findings to the degree of qualification of stated conclusions.
DNA TYPING FOR CHARACTERIZATION OF FORENSIC BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS
Bruce Budowle; FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135
The extraordinary variability and stability of the genetic material - deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) - make DNA a good candidate for forensic analysis of evidentiary biological materials. Due to advances in the field of molecular biology relatively simple techniques for detection of polymorphisms at the level of the genetic code have been provided. The FBI has developed a broad-based research program to evaluate and/or develop molecular biology techniques for characterizing body fluid stains. The systems under investigation are restriction fragment length polymorphisms of single copy locus (such as variable number tandem repeats) and multi-copy locus (midi - and minisatellite) probes, polymerase chain reaction, dot blots, direct sequencing of mitochondrial DNA, and in situ hybridization. Due to the advantages and disadvantages of each of these techniques, a number of approaches and protocols are envisioned to address the variety of samples encountered for forensic analysis. To make these approaches applicable to the characterization of forensic materials issues such as quality and quantity of retrievable DNA, individualization potential, sensitivity of detection, reproducibility, reliability, validity, availability of probes, other reagents and equipment, the use of isotopic vs. nonisotopic labels, ease of assay, budget, personnel and technology transfer are being addressed.
HAIR WE GO AGAIN
Edward Rhodes; Santa Ana Police Department Crime Lab, 24 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701
A limited sample of hairs was gathered from 9 individuals. The visual appearance of hairs from these individuals showed a range of colors and texture. By careful selection of hairs from one individual or two individuals, areas of comparison could be found that showed dramatic similarity or difference where they might not be expected. This simple experiment reminds the examiner of the problems with hair examination when it is not thorough or when the examiner's training is inadequate.
INCREASED SENSITIVITY IN THE DETECTION OF GC PROTEINS ON CELLULOSE ACETATE MEMBRANES. THE ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE ENHANCEMENT METHOD OF PFLUG
J.M. White; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, P.O. Box 449, Santa Ana, CA
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) linked secondary antibody fixation has been suggested by W. Pflug [Electrophoresis 7, 273- 278 (1986)] as a more sensitive method for detection of group specific component (Gc) than conventional Coomassie Blue or silver staining. Cellulose acetate electrophoresis the ALP double antibody was found to be two double dilutions more sensitive than our present double antibody technique. Furthermore, the ALP detected bands did not fade on standing. Using cellulose acetate electrophoresis the ALP double antibody was found to be two double dilutions more sensitive than our present double antibody technique. Furthermore, the ALP detected bands did not fade on standing. Twenty-four blood stains of varying age were selected from the laboratory's QC program. Gc subtyping comparing the two staining methods was performed using split urea extracts of these stains. While only 8 stains gave typable activity by the double antibody technique, 22 of the stains were typable by the Pflug ALP procedure.
PGM SUBTYPING ON POLYACRYLAMIDE AND AGAROSE GELS: A COMPARISON USING BLOOD, SEMEN AND SEMEN/VAGINAL MIXTURES
M.M. Hong; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, 550 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana CA 92703
The polymorphic enzyme phosphoglucomutase (PGM1), present in blood, semen and vaginal fluid, is a valuable typing system in the analysis of sexual assault evidence. This study compares two of the support media used in the phenotyping of PGM1: agarose and polyacrylamide gels. The electrophoretic systems used in the comparison were polyacrylamide gel isoelectric focusing (IEF), agarose gel IEF, and conventional electrophoresis on agarose gel. Samples blood semen, vaginal fluid, and semen/vaginal mixtures were serially diluted and examined on each electrophoretic system. Equal sample sizes were applied to each gel. The semen and vaginal PGM1 phenotypes were identified in more dilute samples on agarose gels using both conventional electrophoresis and IEF. Additionally, as there was increased separation between the 2+ isozyme band and the c-isozyme band, the conventional subtyping bands were easier to interpret. No difficulties between the two support media were observed in the analysis of blood samples. The lower sensitivity on acrylamide appeared to be an inhibition of PGM activity in the gel. This inhibition was not seen in blood samples, and could be reversed in the semen samples by the addition of hemoglobin. This study suggests that polyacrylamide may not be the most sensitive support media for the analysis of sexual assault evidence.
PROCEDURES FOR DNA TYPING OF RAPE EVIDENCE
Howard C. Coleman; Applied Genetics, 4 Knickerson, Ste 100, Seattle WA 981209
DNA recovery from swabs impregnated with known amounts of sperm has been examined. Methods have been compared that do not interfere with currently used proteins marker systems. These methods were then applied to a series of discarded evidence swabs. Southern blots of the resultant DNA was probed with a sex typing probe and VNTR probes to determine what proportion of the swabs produced typable DNA.
LASER-BASED DNA SEQUENCING
Albert E. Campbell; Omnichrome, 13620 Fifth Street, Chino, CA 91710
The feasibility of using a low-power laser of less than 100 milliwatts radiant output to automate the sequencing of individual nucleotide bases within DNA fragments, has previously been demonstrated and is now reduced to commercial practice. The advantages of this technology approach are many fold: fluorescent probes are substituted for radioisotopic probes hence eliminating the problems of storage, handling, and disposal of nuclear materials; signal detection and recording apparatus replaces the time consuming autoradiography and the tedium of film interpretation; and most significantly the base sequence information is taken directly from the electrophoretic gel and stored in computer memory. A typical laser-based DNA sequencer is thoroughly described from both the perspective of the optical engineer and molecular biologist. Issues of this technology are explored from the viewpoint of the forensic laboratory with particular attention to reproducibility of data, laboratory procedures, instrument calibration, and quality control.
EFFECTS OF DNA DAMAGE ON PCR AMPLIFICATION
M.R. Buonocristiani, C.Von Beroldingen, G.F. Sensabaugh; U.C. Berkeley Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, Berkeley CA 94720
Gene amplification, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), permits the investigation of individual DNA variation to be carried out on samples too small to be analyzed otherwise. The potential value of this technique to forensic science is obvious and its application to the field is being studied. An assessment is in progress to evaluate the nature and extent of DNA damage in evidence materials, its environmental determinants, and how these affect PCR. The effect of damage induced in DNA as a result of exposure to short wave ultra-violet light (254nm) is under investigation. Preliminary results suggest that U.V. induced DNA damage (at XO J/m2), resulting primarily in pyrimidine dimer formation, does not adversely affect PCR or subsequent genetic typing. However, at higher levels of exposure (6000 J/m2), the amplification efficiency of PCR is impaired.
DNA IN HAIR
S. Walsh and G.F. Sensabaugh; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Estimation of the DNA content of single hair roots by simple inspection under the microscope would be helpful in determining the usefulness of a particular hair sample for subsequent DNA typing and analysis. The DNA content of several freshly plucked single hair roots has been determined. Purification and concentration of the DNA is achieved through ultrafiltration using Centricon centrifugal microconcentrators. The DNA content is measured using the fluorescence enhancement of 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylidole (DAPI) complexed with DNA. It is found that the quantity of DNA obtained from single plucked head hairs from various individuals follows a log-normal distribution.
WESTERN BLOT ANALYSIS OF MN BLOOD GROUP GLYCO-PROTEINS: UNUSUAL VARIANTS
L. Calandro and G.F. Sensabaugh; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
We have previously described a Western Blot assay for the detection of glycophorins which exhibit the MN blood group determinants and the determination of MN type in bloodstains (CAC Seminar, October 1986). This technique involves SDS-PAGE separation of blood group glycophorins and subsequent typing by staining with anti-M or anti-N monoclonal antibodies. We describe here the Western Blot results for some unusual variants of MN. The variants examined include U negative variants which lack glycophorin B and variants which exhibit unusual banding patterns for glycophorin A. The most interesting variant is one which is characterized serologically as MN Mia+.
EFFECTS OF PROTEASES ON BLOOD GROUP ACTIVE GLYCOPROTEINS IN SEMEN
M.D. McGinnis, G.F. Sensabaugh; Forensic Science Group and Group in Comparative Biochemistry, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
As part of a general biochemical characterization of the seminal glycoproteins that are ABO and Lewis blood group-active, experiments were performed in which samples were exposed to proteases such as Proteinase K and Trypsin. Exclusion chromatography and inhibition ELISA were used to measure approximate molecular weight and blood group activity, respectively. It was seen that decreases in molecular weight were minimal and that loss of blood group activity did not occur. These results give us information, which is currently lacking, as to the structural nature of the glycoproteins. Additionally, this may suggest a method for preparing contaminated evidence for analysis.
LABORATORY ACCREDITATION PROGRAMS: CLINICAL AND FORENSIC
Mary Reynolds; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Laboratory accreditation involves satisfaction of certain requirements concerning analytical performance, the equipment and physical layout of the laboratory, and the credentials and training of the staff. Voluntary accreditation programs have been available for clinical laboratories for six years. The accreditation programs from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, the College of American Pathologists and the American Association of Blood Banks will be compared with regard to performance standards, objectives and modes of implementation.
DEVELOPMENT OF A DRUG DATABASE: HYPERCARD IS VALUABLE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN INTUITIVELY USABLE AND QUICKLY DISTRIBUTED SOURCE OF REFERENCE MATERIAL
Alexander T. Shulgin; 1483 Shulgin Rd., Lafayette, CA 94549
Information on the identity, physical properties, pharmacological actions, analyses, legal definitions and literature citations, of drugs that are involved in criminal situations, can be time consuming to gather. A format will be demonstrated employing the Macintosh program HyperCard that allows quick searching of a drug database with neither formal instruction nor auxiliary reference material. The record is magnetic, and it can be distributed either physically by magnetic disk, or instantaneously by modem. It can be corrected or extended easily, if changes or additions are wished. A new form of scientific publication in intrinsic in this medium.
A REVIEW OF THE METHODS FOR NITRITE DETERMINATION IN
Susan Swarner; School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA
The Griess reaction is the primary method for nitrite detection of gunshot residue. However, 1-napthylamine, which is widely used for this reaction, should be of concern to the forensic analyst because it is a carcinogen. Numerous regents are cited in the literature and a large number should be more sensitive than the 1-napthylamine/sulfanilic acid combination. The Griess type reaction will be reviewed and the feasibility, safety and caveats of these other reagents will be presented.
A HYPERCARD APPROACH TO SYNTHETIC FIBER IDENTIFICATION
Ben Smith; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
A computerized data base program is presented which is designed to assist the criminalist in the analysis and interpretation of some types of fiber evidence. This program is delimited in data content at the present time, but is presented as a template upon which a more comprehensive data base can be built. The program is designed in the Apple HyperCard information environment, to be used with an Apple Macintosh personal computer. This data base program is intended to search any combination or number of the following characteristics for possible candidates in a fiber identification analysis: cross- sectional shape, diameter, sign of elongation birefringence, refractive index (parallel direction), and refractive index (perpendicular direction). This data base also incorporates the ability to search for any number or combination of solubility characteristics for some selected common solvent conditions. Additional information concerning the manufacture definitions, and use of synthetic fibers is also included and linked.
MUZZLE VELOCITY AS A FUNCTION OF THE FOURTH POWER OF BARREL LENGTH
Kris Hodge; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
The muzzle velocity of a projectile may be of considerable importance in certain situations, e.g., trajectory determinations, recoil calculations, kinetic energy at some distance downrange, etc.) The literature values are frequently not applicable to specific case situations because of a difference in barrel length between the evidence firearm and the test barrel used by the ammunition manufacturer. A more realistic approximation of the true muzzle velocity may be achieved by computations based on the 4th power of the barrel length. In the present work, the validity of this approach was evaluated and found to represent a reasonable estimate of true muzzle velocity when projected against the NBS Relative Incapacitation Index data.
ANOTHER LOOK AT MICROORGANISMS AND THE PRESUMPTIVE CHEMICAL TESTS FOR BLOOD
Liz Chason; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Fifteen years ago, Blake and Dillon reported on the ability of certain microorganisms to promote the chemical reactivity ordinarily associated with blood; the subject has not been elaborated upon in the forensic science literature, and certainly not in the microbiology literature. In the present work, this area is reviewed from the standpoint of a microbiologist, with particular reference to the nature of catalase bearing organisms and with particular reference to the numbers of organisms required to give a color with the common presumptive chemical tests for blood.
NITRATED DERIVATIVES OF DIPHENYLAMINE IN SMOKELESS GUNPOWDER
Edgard O'N. Espinoza; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Diphenylamine is the most commonly used gunpowder stabilizer in the US and UK, and is found in milligram quantities in unfired cartridges. The nitration of diphenylamine delivers a complex array of characteristic derivatives. Historically the complexion of nitrated derivatives has been used to estimate the age of propellants. This may be extended to provide information of forensic utility, since the nitration process yields a highly stylized profile of the propellant which may be used to determine the provenance of the gunpowder. In the present work, the nature of the nitration processes are described, together with data relevant to the interpretation of the occurrence of the various derivatives.
ANALYTICAL DATA RELATED TO ILLICIT DRUG PRECURSORS
Glenn Hardin and Kris Hodge; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Although analytical data exists in abundance for the end products of illicit drug syntheses, there is a paucity of information concerning precursors and necessary solvents. Analytical data concerning these materials have been compiled to enable the criminalist to more easily identify unknown compounds encountered in clandestine laboratories. The information compiled includes spectra, optical and physical properties, and references to literature data.
DENSITY CHARACTERIZATION OF ARMOR PIERCING PROJECTILES
Curtis Heye and Ferdinand Rios; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Public Law 99-48, which went into effect on August 28, 1986 amended Chapter 44, Title 18 of the United States Code. This act regulates the manufacture, importation, and sale of armor piercing ammunition, defined as "a projectile or projectile core which may be constructed entirely from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium". The present work reviews the physical and chemical methodologies for the characterization of these projectiles, with particular emphasis on the characterization by means of density determination.
A SEM MODEL TO EXPLAIN TOOLMARK VARIATION
Michelle Fox; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
One of the fundamental premises upon which toolmark individuality is based is that a tool can acquire a measure of individuality through alteration by use. This concept may be conveyed to a lay jury by means of a series of photographs of the surface of a tool as it "ages" by wear. In the present work a series of SEM photographs are presented of the edge of a razor blade, showing the alteration of the surface striae over time. A set of the photographs will be made available to interested parties upon request.
REFLECTIVITY AND ABSORBANCE IN THE CHARACTERIZATION OF PAPER EVIDENCE
Rhonda K. Rhoby, Edgard ON. Espinoza, John Thornton; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
The "brightness" of paper, as determined by its reflectivity, has classically been described as a test for the characterization of paper for forensic purposes. The present work has examined the validity of this approach by determining the reflectivity characteristics and absorbance of 185 samples of white writing and typing paper. The data from these experiments suggests that variation in reflectivity and absorbance among white paper is insufficient to justify reliance on these measurements as a means of paper characterization.
EFFECTS OF INTERMEDIATE TARGETS ON THE TRAJECTORY OF SMALL ARM PROJECTILES
Ferdinand Rios and John Thornton; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
30 Caliber projectiles of various shapes were fired thought 1/16" thick steel sheets which were placed at various angles to the line of fire. The mathematical relationships between the impact angle, loss of velocity, angle of deflection and other various angles, loss of velocity, angle of deflection and other variables are explored. Preliminary data indicates that a piecewise combination of linear and polynomial functions may be the best mathematical model for interactive trajectory analysis.
USE OF JEFFREYS' SINGLE AND MULTILOCUS DNA PROBES IN FORENSIC APPLICATIONS
George Herrin, Jr.; Cellmark Diagnostics, 20271 Goldenrod Lane, Germantown, MD 20874
The Jeffreys' multilocus DNA probes 33.6 and 33.15 were first discussed in 1985 and have been shown to be an extremely powerful tool in determining paternity and family relationships. The four single-locus probes which we commonly use are derived from the multilocus probes which give us the advantage of being able to directly compare DNA Fingerprints obtained using the two types of probes. Results obtained using the Jeffreys' probes on several types of forensic samples which have been stored under a variety of conditions will be presented. Examples of the types of samples to be discussed are: swabs from rape kits, blood stains, hair roots (a single root can yield a conclusive answer), and mixed stains. The sensitivity of the single-locus vs. multi- locus probes, the advantages of each type of probe and the method of analysis are also discussed.