74th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1989)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
October 19-21, 1989
2100 TO 1 REVISITED
Paul Kayne and Ken Wesell; Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Criminalistics Laboratory, Los Angeles, California 90057
All breath testing instruments in use today convert breath alcohol measurements to an equivalent blood alcohol concentration by a calculation based on the relationship: the amount of alcohol in 2,100 milliliters of alveolar breath is equivalent to the amount of alcohol in 1 milliliter of blood. This discussion will address where this relationship came from, what it is based upon and what is its validity in criminal cases.
ANALYSIS OF DNA PATTERNS FROM FORENSIC EVIDENCE: BAND SHIFT AND HARDY-WEINBERG EQUILIBRIUM.
Kevin McElfresh, Lorah Mc Nally and Mike Baird; Lifecodes Corp., Valhalla, NY 10595
Once a DNA pattern is visualized as a result of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) testing on forensic evidence it is then necessary to quantitatively assess the meaning of the pattern with respect to the unknown sample, i.e., do the patterns match and if they do, how often would the match occur at random in the appropriate population. Two pieces of information are necessary to make these determinations: The amount, if any, of spurious migrational differences between the lances of DNA, and whether or not the populations are in the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
Experiments on forensic samples have shown the use of a monomorphic probe for human DNA most accurately identifies band shift. The North American Caucasian and black populations have been examined for different aspects of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium with respect to hypervariable loci.
RAPID AND EFFICIENT ROBOTIC EXTRACTION OF COCAINE AND BENZOLYECGONINE FROM BLOOD AND URINE BY SOLID PHASE CHEMISTRY
Bruce Houlihan, Senior Criminalist, and Dwight Reed, Senior Criminalist; Forensic Science Services, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Recent increases in case load for drug abuse testing has called for the use of robotic toxicological extractions for cocaine and its primary metabolite, benzoylecgonine. Solid phase extraction has lent itself to be the most adaptable method to robotics, where consistency in repetitive tasks is a necessity. Where previous liquid-liquid extractions have failed, solid phase has succeeded in providing a workable robotic procedure that is now in use for sample preparation prior to analysis by GO/MS. With the addition of a simple derivitization step, the robotic/solid-phase method allows for a complete process from whole blood (or urine) to the GC/MS injection sample to be automated completely by robotics, thus freeing up the criminalist's time. Future expansions possible through robotics will allow automation to be extended to include injection and analysis by GC/MS.
PASSIVE INHALATION OF COCAINE BY CRIMINALISTS IN A DRUG ANALYSIS LABORATORY
Bruce Houlihan, Senior Criminalist; Forensic Science Services, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Frequent analysis of certain powdered drugs of abuse can lead to positive urine tests for those analyzing the drugs. While the levels of drugs and their metabolites in urine may not be high, the concentrations can be significant enough to give a positive result with routine screening and confirmation methods. Large sample amounts coupled with frequent analysis of powdered drugs increases the air-borne concentration and hence increases the amount available for inhalation. The levels found to be present are typically far below normal levels present in those arrested for abuse of the drugs, however. Regardless, proper use of laboratory safety precautions (i.e. hoods) does not eliminate the ingestion of cocaine by drug criminalists.
ICE - A NEW FORM OF METHAMPHETAMINE?
J. Thomas Abercrombie; California Department of Justice, Riverside Laboratory, Riverside, CA 92501
Recent, Large-scale news releases have made much mention of a "new" drug called "Ice". This drug, allegedly a very potent and addictive form of methamphetamine, is being touted as one which has the ability to surpass even "crack" in terms of its' abuse potential. This presentation will deal with "Ice" and attempt to answer the following questions:
- What is Ice?
- Is this material more potent/addictive than regular methamphetamine?
- How is "Ice" made?
- Is this drug as potentially as big a problem as the media has made it?
ANALYSIS OF STEROIDS: A SIMPLE APPROACH
J. Thomas Abercrombie; California Department of Justice, Riverside Laboratory, Riverside, CA 92501
Due to relatively recent legislation, crime laboratories throughout the State of California are now asked to perform analyses on exhibits purporting to contain various steroidal materials. Initially it was thought that this type of analysis was beyond the ability of most crime laboratories. Work done in this laboratory on both case samples as well as standard materials indicates strongly that a simple extraction followed by appropriate instrumental analysis can be done in both accurate and timely manner. This presentation will illustrate the proceeding via utilization of that extraction technique for further analysis using FT-IR and GC-MS. Recovery of the suspected anabolic steroid appears to be on the order of 80%+.
AN EVALUATION OF COCAINE AND BENZOLYECGONINE CONCENTRATIONS IN THE BLOOD OF ADDICTS, DRIVERS AND FATAL CASES
Robert H. Cravey, B.S., D-ABFT, Bonnie Driver, B.S., and John L. Ragle, B.S.; Forensic Science Services, Sheriff-Coroner, Department, Santa Ana, CA 92702
This study deals with blood cocaine concentrations in a variety of forensic cases including driving under the influence, addiction, bizarre reactions to the drug, and finally fatal cases. Non-fatal cases were examined by expert narcotic officers and/or paramedics or physicians. Fatal cases were investigated by coroner's investigators and other members of the forensic team. Interpretation based on team investigative effort is discussed.
AUTOMATED CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ANALYSIS USING A MASS SELECTIVE DETECTOR
John F. Davis; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner, Forensic Science Services, 601 North Ross Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
A Hewlett-Packard 3970 Mass Selective Detector, a HP 3890 Gas Chromatograph, a HP 7637A Automatic Liquid Sampler, and a HP 59970C MS Chem Station (Pascal Series Revision 3.2), are used by this laboratory for the routine identification of solid dose controlled substances. Programs have been written for this instrument which allow the automatic injection of samples, and then, the automatic processing of the resulting chromatographic and mass spectral data. Sample and standard mass spectra are automatically printed, allowing convenient comparison and identification. The analysis of many substances has been simplified, and the amount of time required for the analysis of many substances has been reduced using this instrument. The substances analyzed using this instrument and the programs written for these substances will be described. These substances include heroin, cocaine, PCP, and methamphetamine.
LIGHT AND ELECTRON MICROSCOPY OF GLASS FIBERS
Thomas Hopen, Richard Brown and Beth Wortman; The McCrone Group, 1412 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 100, Norcorss, Georgia 30093
An analysis scheme is presented to differentiate between and compare glass fiber types using complementary techniques in light and electron (SEM-EDS) microscopy. Manufacturing techniques, products, optical properties and the elemental compositions of fiberglass, glass wools, rock wools, slag wools and ceramic fibers will be discussed.
PROFESSIONALISM IN CRIMINALISTICS
Edward F. Rhodes, John Hartman, Frank Fitzpatrick, John Thornton, Forrest Story; OCSD Lab, Orange County
Last fall the Professionalism Panel raised discussion over a wide spectrum of issues which surrounded the aspect of Professionalism in Criminalistics. Topics covered included the desirability of professional workers, motivation of the professional, managerial structures which support and hinder professionalism, training professionals, and more. Some of the first elements examined were the qualities that define and characterize a profession, and their presence or absence in the field as currently practiced. Those elements are generally agreed to include an advanced education requirement. Collegial standards and controls (rather than bureaucratic), high ethical standards, service to society and a high degree of individual autonomy. This year the professionalism panel will narrow it's focus to two of these elements: education and autonomy - and offer some more specific suggestions on how these ideas might be best developed and used to promote professionalism.
THE ROLE OF POWER IN THE PURSUIT OF PROFESSIONALISM
John Hartman; Orange County Sheriff, Criminalistics Laboratory
Power dominates relations between individuals, organizations, and the State. Authority is legitimized power. Professions can be viewed as a means to command economic, political, and social power. A critical analysis of criminalistics clearly demonstrates that criminalistics lack power in their work place and that our occupation is subordinate to other professions and the State. Professionalizing means empowering. In order to move from occupation to profession, we first must empower the individual criminalist by substituting professional authority (power) for managerial. After professionalizing our laboratories, we must escape from our subordinate position by gaining power (authority) over our education, admission, and practice standards. State sanctioned licensure creates the monopoly which is the real basis for the power of the traditional professions. Criminalistics needs to construct the political mechanism to acquire licensure and authority over it. Power hates a vacuum. Failure to professionalize will not yield the status quo, but will ensure a decline into impotence. There is no shortage of individuals, organizations, and social forces that acting in their self-interest will turn criminalistics into technicians and our associations into debating societies or union halls. Criminalistics, then, is at a critical juncture. If we empower ourselves today, we can be a profession tomorrow; if we do nothing, however, we can expect nothing.
ENCOURAGING CAREER DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE LABORATORY
Edward F. Rhodes; Orange County Sheriff, Criminalistics Laboratory
Frequently, laboratory managers expect the bench level criminalists to have a "professional" dedication to their own career development. That is, they are expected to pursue the enhancement of their skills and knowledge without the guidance, prodding or resources of their employer and/or supervisor. Or, often, the bench worker is given prodding but no resources. This situation is self limiting. For even the most dedicated employee, there needs to be some reasonable assurance that his enhanced skills and knowledge will be put to constructive use. Additionally, there needs to be some balance between the career desires of the worker, the technical needs of the laboratory, and the resources of both. There are several proactive steps managers can take to pursue this balance and maximize the efficient use of workers' skills and laboratory resources.
Managers should start by making an inventory of bench workers' skills, knowledge and career goals, current and foreseeable laboratory technical needs, and current laboratory resources for skill development. Next, short comings in the technical needs of the laboratory should be evaluated against current skills, career goals and available resources. This approach combined with a dialogue between managers and bench workers may provide guidance and perhaps incentive to workers and make the most efficient use of limited resources.
MIDDLE MANAGEMENT'S ROLE IN BALANCING THE "NEEDS" OF THE PROFESSIONAL WORKER WITH THE DEMAND OF EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT
Frank Fitzpatrick; Orange County Sheriff , Forensic Science Services
What are the potential barriers to professionalization in the working crime labs? Do they include management, the bench level worker, the bureaucratic structure, all three? How?
Management often expects forensic scientists to "professional" and immerse themselves in their field. They are expected to embrace their work, pursue enhancement of their knowledge and abilities through professional organizations, literature review, etc., striving to be more effective, more efficient workers as a routine part of their job and a condition of employment. What are the management's obligations beyond monetary compensation? Are there any? What are the constraints that middle management has to face in dealing with "professional" employees and executive management? What are the dynamics involved in a person considering themselves "professional"? What are the dynamics of executive management's view of "professionals"?
Bart Epstein; Forensic Science Laboratory, 1246 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104
The Workshop/Tutorial will give an overview of his week-lone workshop o Spatter Interpretations. He has given the 40-hour workshop not only annually in the Midwest, but all over the country as an informative alternative to other bloodspatter classes presented in the United States. This one day exposure will be an extremely educational overview of the evidentiary value of bloodspatters, preservation methods, documentation techniques, and basic knowledge toward beginning interpretive information.
- "In the beginning"
- What is behind it all?
- Basic Pattern Recognition
- Complex Strain Patterns
- Examination of Bloodspatters on Clothing
- Confirmatory Testing
- Processing the Scene
- "To Tell the Truth ..."
- The Future
FORENSIC HAIR EXAMINATION: A TUTORIAL REVIEW
James Bailey and Steve Shaffer
James Bailey will focus his presentation on the examination of human head hairs. It will include initial screening procedures, mounting methods, examinations and comparisons. His presentation will also deal with methods of determining cosmetic treatments, alterations, and the controversial use of statistics.
- Anatomy and Growth of Hair
- Numerical Measurements
- Hair Texture
- Racial Identification
- Hair Color
- Cortical Structures
- Medulla Characteristics
- Cuticle Characteristics
- Cosmetic Treatment
- Sex Identification
- Traumatic Changes
- Hair Diseases
- Developing a Method
- Statistical Interpretation
THE COMPARISON OF ASSOCIATIVE EVIDENCE WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO HAIR EVIDENCE;
Stephen A. Shaffer, Forensic Analytical Specialties, Inc.
The basic principles upon which associative evidence is examined and compared in the criminalistics laboratory are straight-forward and will be summarized here. The paper begins with a definition of terms and concepts applicable generally to the characterization and comparison of materials. I will then proceed to a description of the examination and comparison process, and conclude with specific illustrations of the use of the process in the examination and comparison of hair evidence.
THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS IN THE FURTHERANCE OF CRIMINALISTICS PROFESSIONALISM
John I. Thornton; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA
All professions, with the possible exception of the oldest one, are characterized by academic training, competency standards, ethical standards, and individual autonomy. To this end, the Criminalistics profession is crippled in that educational programs in Criminalistics are few in number, severely undercapitalized, and with curricula which are sometimes seen as unresponsive to the needs of the profession. What is it that an academic program can provide, and what is it that it cannot? It is not always understood that the acquisition of skills and knowledge as an end unto itself is not the underlying goal of an academic enterprise; the goal is rather the development of the individual with the ultimate goal of ensuring a strong quality ethic in the work of that person following matriculation. This unfortunately sometimes results in the program being perceived as "too theoretical."