85th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1995)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
Contra Costa, California
QUANTITATIVE DETERMINATION OF NON-SPERM DNA IN THE SEMEN OF ASPERMIC MALES AND ITS POTENTIAL USE AS A GENETIC MARKER IN SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION
Jennifer Mihalovich, Edward T. Blake, Forensic Science Associates, 3053 Research Drive, Richmond, CA, 94806; Annette L. Peer, Patrick O'Donnell, San Diego Police Department, 1401 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
The advent of DNA technology has revolutionized the genetic analysis of biological evidence and, in particular, semen evidence encountered in sexual assaults. This is so because the perpetrator in sex crimes frequently deposits semen in, on, or near his victim. The ability to extract genetic information from DNA in semen is currently dependent upon knowledge of the presence of DNA in sperm. Occasionally, in practice, semen is encountered from aspermic males. The potential use of DNA technology is undermined by the absence of sperm from such evidence. It is known that, in addition to sperm, human semen contains non-sperm cells, primarily leukocytes. It is unknown, however, how useful and what limitations might exist in exploiting DNA from these cells in the genetic characterization of semen evidence. This study was conducted to answer these questions. The efficacy and limitations of exploiting non-sperm cells as a genetic marker for aspermic semen evidence is primarily a quantitative question concerning the amount of DNA contributed by these cells and secondarily a chemical question concerning the limitations of non-sperm cells in mixed samples.
RAPID AUTOMATED DNA EXTRACTIONS FROM WHOLE BLOOD
Daniel H. Butler, Brian Burritt, Steven B. Lee, and Lance Gima, California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; John MacMurray, Hamilton Company, Reno, NV
Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States are establishing genetic profile databases of convicted Violent and sexual offenders. The data banks can be used to identify a suspect who has left biological evidence at the scene of a crime. The first step in obtaining a genetic profile is to extract the DNA from the offender's blood sample. Currently, an organic extraction method is commonly utilized, but this method is time and labor consuming. This is an important consideration when dealing with the large numbers of specimens which must be entered into a database. The California Department of Justice and the Hamilton Company have developed an automated procedure using the Qiagen QIAamp blood kit to rapidly extract DNA from whole blood. The Hamilton Microlab SPE is a single-probe liquid handling instrument capable of liquid-level sensing. Rather than centrifugation, the unit uses positive air pressure to push liquid through the QIAamp spin column. The Microlab SPE can extract genomic DNA from 96 blood samples in less than 4 hours. Two hundred μl of whole blood yields approximately 1 μg of DNA. The purified DNA can then be used for Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) genetic typing. This Hamilton-Qiagen automated DNA system can assist the criminal justice system by providing a fast, effective means of extracting DNA for genetic typing.
"LEGAL ISSUES IN COMPUTER FORENSICS" (ADAPTATION OF PAPER: "DRAFTING AND EXECUTING SEARCH WARRANTS FOR COMPUTER RECORDS AND EVIDENCE")
Jerry P. Coleman, Assistant District Attorney, City & County of San Francisco
You're just in the midst of a crime scene/crime lab investigation involving your career-making first prostitution ring/bookie operation/ investment fraud boiler-room/organized crime case/drug conspiracy, when the police investigator serving the search warrant tells you, "We found these computers, too. They're not listed on the warrant but I brought them in anyway-hope you can make them work since I don't have a clue". Right after you find the resident nerd to test the computers, he tells you something about crashed hard drives and no recoverable data. Then County Counsel calls to notice your deposition in the criminal target's civil rights and tortious interference with prospective business advantage suit. Time to kiss the children's college fund goodbye, as you have nightmares about defense cross examination for days on end? No ... just wake up and pay attention to this lecture and accompanying article, which should provide some legal and strategic perspective to draft, execute, and/or defend search warrants involving computer evidence.
STRESS: THE CRIMINALIST'S HAZMAT
Robert T. Flint, Ph. D., 1868 Clayton Road, Suite 126, Concord, CA 94520
This paper likens the psychological impact of the criminalist's work to the physical dangers of handling hazardous materials. Stress is distinguished from distress. Normal physical and psychological reactions to abnormal situations are identified. Techniques for managing and reducing stress are described.
THE OCCURRENCE OF PHENOL RESIN IN STREET SAMPLES AND ITS IDENTIFICATION
Paul E. Holes, Criminalist, Contra Costa County, Criminalistics Laboratory, 1122 Escobar St., Martinez, CA 94553
In the summer of 1991, the Contra Costa County, Criminalistics Laboratory started to receive an orange crystalline substance that was being sold as "ICE" on the street. Infrared analysis revealed the substance was a p-tertiary butyl phenol: formaldehyde resin that has many industrial uses including the manufacture of wood adhesives. The resin is available to almost anyone in bulk quantities so there is a potential this substance will be encountered anywhere. This presentation will briefly discuss the steps taken to make the identification. The analysis did not require any novel techniques but diligence and patience.
ASPECTS AND APPLICATIONS OF FORENSIC DNA TYPING TECHNOLOGIES
Jenifer Lindsey, Ph.D, FBI Laboratory, Washington, D.C.
The DNA Analysis Unit of the FBI Laboratory has been conducting DNA typing since December of 1988. The first DNA typing procedure implemented by the FBI Laboratory involved analyzing Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms and is known as RFLP typing. Additional DNA typing techniques which involved the method known as Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR have subsequently been implemented. Using these various technologies, the DNA Unit has generated results on approximately 10,000 cases. This presentation will cover the basic concepts of the RFLP and PCR DNA typing techniques. Examples from casework will be given to demonstrate how these two systems are applied to evidentiary samples. The advantages and disadvantages of the RFLP and PCR methods will be presented. Issues such as the collection of DMA evidence; DNA typing following processing for latent fingerprints; the meaning of a DNA match; admissibility into the courtroom and various aspects of the DNA data base system known as the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) will also be discussed.
THE POLLY KLAAS KIDNAPPING INVESTIGATION; FBI SAN FRANCISCO'S NEW "CHILD KIDNAPPING TASK FORCE"
Supervisory Special Agent Gordon G. Mc Neill, Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco, California
- The POLLY KLAAS case and its ongoing impact on law enforcement as to its response to future abductions.
- New State of California legislation as a direct result of the KLAAS case.
- Development and implementation of a new "Bay Area Child Abduction/Serial Killer Task Force".
- Ongoing development by FBI San Francisco and Bay Area police departments of an investigative guide and protocol entitled "Assessing the Child Abduction".
- New national initiatives by the FBI in child abduction and serial killer cases as well as technological initiatives by the FBI Laboratory on DNA computer aided forensics.
LABORATORY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CAF-LIMS)
Amy L. Mongan, M.P.H., Forensic Analytical, Hayward, CA
CAF-LIMS was developed specifically for forensic laboratories in order to aid in the documentation, collection and storage of information relating to casework. This LIMS system is capable of documenting case information, tracking the receipt, return and location of items of evidence, providing management statistics, recording analytical results and generating reports. CAF-LIMS is designed to be used by personnel of all levels of computer expertise. Novice users will find it easy to enter, edit and look up information with the customized icons while experienced users will find it possible to speed their operations by customizing aspects of the system to meet their own particular needs. The CAF-LIMS system utilizes a Microsoft Access database coupled with Visual Basic. This allows the sophisticated computer user to continually evolve the system as new needs arise in the laboratory. CAF-LIMS is designed to accommodate future developments of the laboratory such as customized case-related label printing and bar code readers. Additionally, CAF-LIMS has OLE (object linked embedded object) capabilities. This allows the user to associate any type of file with a particular field in the database. Example of this might include a scanned image of crime scene photographs or diagrams, a video captured image of an electrophoresis gel or reverse dot blot strips, an Excel spreadsheet of calculations or statistics, or a drawing program's sketch of the positioning of trace evidence.
AN UNUSUAL "DESIGNER DRUG" LABORATORY
William Moriwaki, B.S., Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, 390 Main Street, Room 700, San Francisco, CA 94105
In March of 1994 a fully operational designer drug laboratory was seized in a three-story apartment building right in the middle of San Francisco. Its location, the large variety of unusual chemicals found, and the obvious sophistication of the clandestine operation provided unique problems regarding the processing of the site. This presentation will review these problems and how they were overcome. In addition, analytical results of the samples collected will also be discussed. This clandestine laboratory had been used to manufacture methadone, 2C-B, STP, DOB, TMA, various other substituted amphetamine and phenethylamine analogs, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and D4T (an AIDS drug). Precursors for pemoline (a memory drug) and other exotic drugs were also found. The lab operators were extracting various types of plant materials (from Brazil) and utilized HPLC, TLC, and a polarizing microscope to test their products. A large quantity of literature was found for the syntheses of many types of drugs including RU486 (abortion pill). A computer was being used for on-line chemical data base searches. Processing this laboratory was a difficult task primarily because of the presence of an extraordinary variety of chemicals, plus many cryptically marked or unlabeled containers of reaction mixtures and intermediates. Experience played a vital role in interpreting some of the labels and recognizing precursors last seen twenty years ago. Analysis of the evidence in this case was quite complex and challenging. Reference standards of some of the suspected nitrostyrene intermediates were not readily available at our laboratory. Our approach involved reducing several of these nitrostyrene exhibits with LiAlH4 (found at the lab site) and then identifying the resulting amines.
THE CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN LION: A FATALITY AND A BITE MARK.
Duane E. Spencer, D.D.S., Diplomate American Board of Forensic Odontology, 1855 San Miguel Drive, Suite 9, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
There have been two attacks and killings of women by cougars in California in the past two years, one in the north and one in the south. This presentation will discuss the first attack (April 1994), the first reported case in California in which a death resulted from the direct traumatic consequences of a cougar attack. It is also the first time a bite mark on the victim was used to first profile and then later assist in confirming the identity of the responsible lion.
AN OVERVIEW OF COMPUTER RELATED CRIME INVESTIGATIONS
Sergeant Rob Vosper, San Ramon Police Department, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583
This presentation will provide a review of the types of Computer Crimes that are committed, the nature of physical evidence that may present itself at a crime scene and the equipment that will be necessary to collect the evidence. Additionally, an overview of how to examine a seized computer will be discussed, along with some techniques for recovering hidden files.
FORENSIC SCIENCE SITES ON THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY- WHERE TO GO AND HOW TO GET THERE ON THE INTERNET
Peter D. Barnett, FSA and Stephen A. Shaffer, Microdataware, Forensic Science Associates, 3053 Research Drive, Richmond, CA 94806
Many of the commercial computer services (e.g., CompuServe, Prodigy, America On-Line, etc.) have resources that are of interest to forensic scientists. There are many resources available on the Internet that are of interest to forensic science. Available resources include mailing lists, news groups, World Wide Web Home Pages. Typical mailing lists include the CACFORUM, FORENS-L, EXPERT-L. Examples of newsgroups that might be of interest include "alt.science.microscopy", "alt.fan.o-j-simpson." Some of the World Wide Web Home Pages are: http://nletc.aspensys.com:83/nletchome.html
These resources provide information ranging from formulas for laboratory reagents, discussions of interesting cases or problems, contact with scientists, lawyers, or laymen who can provide valuable information or interesting insight, and a diverse audience for idle musings and extemporaneous ramblings. To get access to these resources all you need is a personal computer, a modem, a telephone line, and the patience to explore a world that is sometimes confusing, occasionally impenetrable, but always interesting and often thought provoking.
SOME ASPECTS TO THE INFRARED IDENTIFICATION OF METHAMPHETAMINE AND OTHER AMINE SALTS
John Chappell, Ph. D., Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Laboratory, 390 Main Street, Room 700, San Francisco, CA 94105
A popular analytical method for the identification of a controlled drug substance is the infrared examination of the sample in solid form, whereby the powdered sample is typically dispersed in an alkali halide matrix and then pressed into a window for the infrared transmission measurement. In some instances, variations in the infrared spectrum can be observed, which may influence the spectral interpretation. These observations are often dismissed as polymorphism, in which the sample is assumed to have undergone some unidentified change in crystalline structure. This phenomenon may actually arise from effects with the matrix material, and particularly from an ion exchange between the alkali halide matrix and the amine salt form of the drug compound under investigation. This chemical reaction can produce a significant effect for methamphet-amine salts, as well as for other amine drug substances (phencyclidine, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, et al). Factors influencing this phenomenon are examined and recognition of the effects on the infrared properties of an amine salt is discussed. These spectral variations can complicate the identification of some controlled substances and the prudent analyst should be aware of effects possible for an infrared spectrum.
LONG RANGE CARRY OF SHOTSHELL PACKING, ITS IMPLICATIONS IN RANGE DETERMINATIONS
Paul M. Dougherty, P.O. Box 112, Ojai, CA 93024-0112
A recent case of shooting in a remote area of Ventura County brought out the fact that the interpretation of shotgun "pattern" can be misleading. The case involved the use of a 20 ga. shotgun with a slug load made by Remington. The resulting "pattern" made by the shell packing gave the impression that the shot was at close range, when in fact it was not at close range. Why this occurred and the part that the shell construction play in this phenomena will be the subject of this paper.
THE CAPABILITIES OF THE PERKIN-ELMER I- SERIES FTIR MICROSCOPE WITH THE IMAGE SOFTWARE PACKAGE
Dr. Steven Bouffard, The Perkin-Elmer Corporation
The latest venture by Perkin-Elmer in the field of infrared microspectroscopy has led to the development of the i-series FTIR microscope and the IMAGE software. This system offers a powerful infrared microscope combined with a truly interactive software package. Using the example of a polymer laminate, the capabilities of this system will be demonstrated. Emphasis will be placed on the tremendous post-data collection options available with the IMAGE software.
FORENSIC STYLISTICS: A NEW TOOL FOR AUTHORSHIP IDENTIFICATION
Dr. Gerald McMenamin, California State University, Fresno
The purpose of this session is to acquaint participants with the strengths and limitations of the practice of authorship identification through analysis of a writer's language (forensic Stylistics.) In this presentation I will first discuss the theory and practice of authorship identification through the use of the analysis of a writer's style. I will then work through an example case with the group. The preliminary presentation will include a brief discussion of the following aspects of forensic Stylistics.
A.INTRODUCTION: the nature of writing, the differences between written and spoken language, style, style in writing, Stylistics, forensic Stylistics, class vs. individual markers of style, admissibility of Stylistics evidence, Stylistics as evidence of authorship, Stylistics as a part of document examination, and the sequential steps of working through a case.
B. RECOGNIZING BASIC STYLE MARKERS: slides photos of signs will be used to sensitize participants to recognizing markers of style. The second part of this presentation will be conducted as a workshop. Participants will be given a partially completed case (i.e., with KNOWN characteristics identified and catalogued), and they will be asked to locate and present the style markers from two pages of QUESTIONED writing, with a goal of eliminating or identifying the KNOWN writer.
PCR BASED DNA DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSIS OF FAMILIAL DYSAUTONOMIA (FD) FROM HAIR
Jennifer S. Mihalovicb and Edward T. Blake, Forensic Science Associates, 3053 Research Drive, Richmond, CA 94806
Approximately six years ago a child from a New York family died with the symptoms of Familial Dysautonomia (FD), an inherited genetic disease. Uncertain knowledge that they carried lethal traits for an inherited disease prevented this couple from planning for additional children. That PCR based diagnostic tests now exist for genetic markers closely linked to the FD gene stimulated medical interest in obtaining a concrete DNA based diagnosis and characterization of the defective trait in this family. The only biological specimens available from the deceased child were hairs from the child's hair brushes. After medical researchers were unsuccessful with these specimens, standard forensic procedures were employed to (1) obtain DNA from the hair, (2) demonstrate that the hair did not originate from living family members, (3) demonstrate that the hair DNA could originate from the parents progeny, and (4) provide guidance on the quantitative consumption of the unique DNA from the child during medical aspects of the investigation. Ultimately this work demonstrated the presence of FD disease alleles in the deceased child. This knowledge allowed for the development of an inutero FD disease assay. Ultimately the affected family conceived twins, one of which was allowed to develop to full term and was born healthy. This case illustrates the proposition that forensic science, like all science, is a problem solving discipline that shares the common tools of the scientific community.
NUCLEAR AND MITOCHONDRIAL DNA ANALYSIS OF DECOMPOSED HUMAN REMAINS
Molly A. Morgan*, MFS, Demris A. Lee, MSFS, Rhonda K. Roby, MPH, Jacqueline S. Raskin, MS, Mitchell M. Holland, Ph.D., and LTC Victor Weedn, MC, USA DoD DNA Registry, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, American Registry of Pathology, Rockville, MD 20850-3125
Human remains exposed to extremely harsh environmental insults are often difficult to identify using conventional serological and DNA typing methods. Nuclear DNA testing has historically been used for identification of human remains. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) typing is an important emerging DNA testing method that has aided the scientific community in the identifications of remains from military conflicts, mass disasters, and criminal cases. Sequence analysis of mtDNA, which is maternally inherited, provides a method of identification when maternal reference sources are available. The case that will be presented utilized mtDNA sequence analysis in addition to nuclear testing on decomposed remains recovered from a shallow grave in Kansas City, Missouri. During an intensive FBI and Kansas City Police investigation, an informant told investigators of a double murder. The victims were handcuffed, suffocated, and buried at a depth of four feet in a wooded area. The decomposed bodies were recovered two years later. No ante-mortem dental records were available for either victim. No fingerprint patterns could be analyzed due to extensive decomposition. Nuclear DNA profiles obtained for both victims exhibited limited band sharing with reference sources. These results were not sufficient evidence for the identification of the remains. Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis allowed identification of one victim for whom maternal reference sources were available. The details of this case will be presented. The opinion and assertions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as the views of the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of the Army.
CCI LIBRARY: AN OVERVIEW
Ray Silvia, Supervising Librarian, CA DOJ, Div. of Law Enforcement, 4949 Broadway, Room Al07, Sacramento, CA 95820
This presentation will provide an introduction to the forensic library staff, collections, and services of the CCI (California Criminalistics Institute) Library. In addition, an update regarding the current status and future plans of the library will be given, concluding with a demonstration of its new Sydney Plus online catalog.
COMPUTERIZED IMAGE ANALYSIS FOR FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION; THE INTEGRATED BALLISTIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM (IBIS)
Robert M. Thompson, Firearms and Toolmark Examiner, William Dietz, Forensic Section Chief, Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, San Francisco Laboratory Center, 355 N. Wiget Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms laboratories are applying the new technology of computerized image analysis for the identification of bullets and cartridge casings to firearms. The Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) compares digital images of fired cartridge components in open cases, or to a database of test fired weapons. In contrast to conventional microscopic techniques where examiners require weeks to carefully sort through the firearms evidence, comparisons on the IBIS can routinely be accomplished in minutes. The networking of remote data acquisition stations (DAS) to build a regional ballistic database makes the IBIS a powerful resource for the investigation of violent handgun crimes from multiple jurisdictions. The ATF San Francisco Laboratory Center in Walnut Creek, California, currently has an IBIS network hub linked to a remote DAS in the Oakland Police Department Crime Laboratory. The system setup, operator training, and actual casework experience will be discussed. A brief technical overview of the IBIS image acquisition hardware, image storage, case data input, "ballistic signature" analysis, and correlation scoring to an image database will be presented.
SEM POLLEN EVIDENCE IMAGE LIBRARY - A RESEARCH STUDY
Linda A. Wraxall, DOJ-DNA Lab, Berkeley; Faye Springer, DOJ Sacramento, CA
Soil, leaf litter and even dust contains pollen grains which can provide clues to the type of habitat or geographical area where a crime has been committed. Therefore it might be possible to use them to reconstruct recent movements - for instance, of a body or a vehicle from one place to another. However, there is no coherent system of identification in place that can be used by the average criminalist. Palynology, the study of pollen and spores, is a very specialized science and an initial investigation showed a lack of available collections or easily obtained knowledge and expertise. The objective of this study was to start a computer database of common plant pollens from the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas to be used as a reference collection by criminalists. Using an SEM provides a relatively quick and painless method of identifying pollens as very little sample preparation is required. With the help of a visual database, tentative identification becomes achievable. Local pollen samples from both wild and cultivated plants and trees were collected and prepared on metal stubs using a vacuum carbon coating system. 1-3 digital images, between 500-2000x magnification, were then transferred to a laptop computer from a Zeiss 960 digital scanning microscope before being stored on a Bernoulli disk. Results indicate that it is possible to identify a pollen grain as to the family level of plant classification by its external shape and decoration.