97th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 2001)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
May 10 - 12, 2001
Lake Tahoe, California
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S TASK FORCE ON FORENSIC SERVICES: AN UPDATE
*Jan Bashinski, Chief, Bureau of Forensic Services, CA State Department of Justice
This presentation will provide an update on the work of the Attorney General's Task Force on Forensic Services. The Task Force goal is "to develop a disciplined vision leading to the best forensic service system in the country." The Task Force is assessing the current status and needs of California's crime laboratories so that a prioritized master plan for improvement can be drafted. Crime laboratory directors have been surveyed regarding their needs for facilities, equipment and personnel. Surveys have been conducted of crime laboratory clients - prosecutors, public defenders, and law enforcement - in an effort to determine their unmet needs. Information is also being gathered on crime lab funding in other large states. This presentation will summarize the results obtained thus far. Several crime lab funding proposals are currently under consideration at both the State and Federal level. The Task Force's work is expected to provide important insight to policy makers as to how these new resources may best be allocated to benefit the criminal justice system.
OVERVIEW OF DIGITAL EVIDENCE
*Carrie M. Whitcomb, Executive Secretary; Scientific Working Group for Digital Evidence; *Robert P. Bianchi, Retired Director DEA Special Testing Laboratory;
*Michael Weil, Defense Computing Forensic Laboratory; *Erin Kenneally, San Diego Supercomputing Center
Discussion on an overview of Digital Evidence and related issues. This will include how traditional crime scenes may have digital components. This will also include an extensive question and answer period. National Center for Forensic Science *Carrie Whitcomb, Director, National Center for Forensic Science To provide an overview of the National Center for Forensic Science, a program of the National Institute of Justice hosted by the University of Central Florida. This will include current programs in DNA, Fire, Explosives, and Digital Evidence.
THE CALIFORNIA COLD HIT PROGRAM: "SOLVING SEX CRIMES WITH DNA"
*Jan Bashinski, Chief, Bureau of Forensic Services, CA State Dept. of Justice
This presentation will describe the status of the California "Cold Hit" program, a $50,000,000 three year Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OJCP) grant program aimed at solving suspectless sexual assault cases through maximum use of the CAL-DNA Offender Identification databank. The program is designed to eliminate the backlog of biological evidence in suspectless rape cases and unsolved sexual homicides in California. In the process, grant funds will also help public crime laboratories enhance their capacity for DNA profiling. The COLD HIT program funds inventory of cases by local law enforcement, evidence screening by public crime labs, and DNA profiling (STR) by both public and private vendor laboratories. The status of cases will be monitored statewide via a web based tracking system, which will assign a unique OCJP number to each case. OCJP, CA DOJ and the CA DNA Consortium have worked closely together to develop technical guidelines for screening and profiling the evidence and to review grant applications from public crime laboratories. CA DOJ will provide quality assurance oversight of private vendor laboratories, will expand its training courses for forensic DNA analysts, and will be responsible for reviewing and searching unsolved case profiles submitted to its CAL-DNA databank. It is anticipated that California's crime labs will examine evidence in as many as 23,000 unsolved cases over the course of this program and will send 14,000 DNA evidence profiles to CAL-DNA for searching. A very conservative "hit rate" of 5% would predict that cold hits will be obtained on 700 of these cases. This presentation will describe a few of the cases which have already been solved due to the COLD HIT program
CONCEPTUAL TOOLS FOR MAKING CASEWORK DECISIONS
*Kerstin M. Gleim, Forensic Scientist, Pacific Coast Forensic Science Institute, Inc., Seattle, WA
How do we make decisions about casework: what evidence to examine and in what order, what tests to use, and how to evaluate the results? All of us make these decisions daily. Doing a thorough job on a case does not mean examining everything or doing all possible analyses. But how do we make defensible decisions to choose among the possibilities? If asked how these decisions are made, for example if you were asked to write a protocol or asked to defend your decision by your supervisor or in court, would you be able to articulate the tools that you use? This paper is a summary of several formal conceptual tools that are covered in a class taught at CCI, and that can be used to make effective case decisions, with references to related literature articles.
CCI FORENSIC LIBRARY AND SHERLOCK DATABASE ACCESS: A CLOSER LOOK
*Waheed Jawadi, Supervising Librarian II, LE Library Services, CA State Dept. of Justice, California Justice Department, DLE
Library Services: The goal of the Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) Library Services is to serve as an information resource to meet the informational needs of California Department of Justice personnel and forensic communities. The DLE General Library and the CCI Forensic Library are part of the DLE Library Services that provides the following services: CCI Forensic Library: The California Criminalistics Institute (CCI) Forensic Library, formerly known as the CCI Library, has been meeting the informational needs of forensic communities and crime laboratories operated by the Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies in the State of California and neighboring states since November 1987. Collection: The CCI Forensic Library collection consists of approximately three thousand (3,000) circulating books, reports, videos in such diverse areas as: serology, toxicology, latent prints, trace evidence, questioned documents, quality assurance, microscopy, arson/explosives, controlled substances, crime scene investigation, law, courtroom testimony, forensic medicine, and health and safety. Approximately, twenty-five thousand (25,000) bibliographic citations representing books, videos and journal articles of forensic sciences are electronically cataloged. Online Public Access Catalog: The CCI Forensic Library collection has been cataloged into a database called SHERLOCK, and clients can access this database over the Internet - FREE - 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to search library holdings. Detailed search instructions, the access policy, and web based forms for requesting desired library materials are available online. A user I.D. and password is required to search the SHELOCK database. Current Awareness Services: The CCI Forensic Library subscribes to sixty forensic science journals. The library staff sends out selected journals' table of contents, once a month, to all BFS clients. Requested Articles are photocopied and sent to clients upon request as a part of current awareness services. This service will be extended to non-BFS clients soon. Document Delivery and Inter Library Loan Services: Interlibrary loan services are available for obtaining journal articles and borrowing books from special, academic, and public libraries for items not available in the CCI Forensic Library. Clients: The following forensic communities are eligible to access the CCI Forensic Library collection and the SHERLOCK database:
- Bureau of Forensic Services employees
- State of Calif. city and county crime laboratory employees
- Former students and visiting instructors of the CCI
- Professionals closely affiliated with the CCI
- Current CAC members
- Federal crime laboratories located in California
- Forensic communities outside the State of California
Contact: If you have any further questions on the CCI Forensic Library services or the SHERLOCK database access, please contact Waheed Jawadi, Supervising Librarian II, DLE Library Services, via phone (916) 227-5994, fax (916) 454-5433, email firstname.lastname@example.org or by U.S. mail at: California Dept. of Justice, DLE Library Services, 4949 Broadway, Room A-107, Sacramento, CA, 95820
EFFECTS OF DRY CLEANING ON SEMEN DEPOSITS
*Kerstin M. Gleim, Forensic Scientist, Pacific Coast Forensic Science Institute, Inc., Seattle, WA
Do dried semen deposits on clothing survive the dry cleaning process so that a forensic scientist can 1) detect it, and 2) confirm its presence? It has been documented in the literature that acid phosphatase, the protein used to detect semen, gets washed away in water. Therefore once a garment gets laundered, a forensic scientist may not be able to detect the presence of a semen deposit if deposited before the garment was washed. Dry cleaning is another cleaning process that is used exclusively on a number of fabric types and is optionally used on fabric types that can also be washed with water. It would be useful to know the effect of dry cleaning on semen deposits. To answer the question, two rayon fabric pieces were spiked with semen from a normal spermatozoa producer, the areas marked with a waterproof marking pen, one piece sent to the dry cleaners and the other kept as a control. In Washington State, dry cleaners almost exclusively use tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene or "perc") due to state regulations. After the dry cleaning, both fabric pieces were tested in the usual way that semen examinations are done. The results were: 1) the pen marks on the dry cleaned fabric piece were partly obliterated indicating that the fabric had indeed been through the dry cleaning process, and 2) there were no differences in the testing results for the non-dry cleaned fabric and the dry cleaned fabric. Semen deposits on both fabrics yielded strong positive results with the reagent for acid phosphatase, both had positive results with the p30 membrane test at the same dilutions, and both had 4+ spermatozoa. The dry cleaning process used in Washington State does not remove semen deposits from this type of rayon fabric; that is, it does not remove any of the target components that we in the forensic community use to find and confirm the presence of semen. Therefore, a semen deposit on a garment that has only been cleaned by the dry cleaning process may not be "dated" by its cleaning schedule without further testing the particulars of the case. Several other fabrics were tested requesting the dry cleaner to use three different levels of effort to remove the deposits: dry cleaning without any extra attention to the deposits, dry cleaning after treating identified deposits with a pretreatment soap, and dry cleaning after making an effort to remove the identified deposits. Fabrics with saliva and blood deposits were also dry cleaned. This paper will report the results.
38 VS. 357: EXAMINATION OF THE BASES OF LEAD BULLETS
*Nancy McCombs, Sr. Criminalist; CA State Dept. of Justice, Fresno Laboratory; John Hamman, Asst. Laboratory Director; CA State Dept. of Justice, Fresno Laboratory; Robert Shem, AK Dept of Public Safety; Anchorage, AK
The question of whether a bullet was fired from a 38 Special or 357 Magnum firearm is one that frequently cannot be answered by the firearms examiner. Often the class characteristics that assist us in producing a list of possible firearms will contain both types of pistols. Although it has been proposed that impressions from gunpowder will be observed on the bases of lead bullets fired from a 357 Magnum firearm versus a 38 Special, this theory has not been explored to any magnitude. Both 38 Special and 357 Magnum cartridges were hand loaded with LSWC cast bullets and three common pistol powders of different particle shapes. The cartridges were fired from three 357 Colt Python revolvers of various barrel lengths. The bases of the fired bullets were examined to evaluate any notable differences in particle impressions between the two cartridge types and whether the morphology of gunpowder could be determined. Although no significant differences were observed between the two cartridge types, the impressions produced by the three powders could be differentiated. Unexpectedly, the quantity of particle impressions on the bases of the bullets dropped as the barrel length increased which suggests the impressions are occurring as a result of an external and not internal ballistic phenomenon.
AN IMPROVED METHOD FOR IMAGING AND COMPARING DEEP BALLISTICS MARKS USING THE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
*Erik Randich, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Fred A. Tulleners, CA State Dept. of Justice, Sacramento; Michael F. Giusto, CA Criminalistics Institute, Sacramento
The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is presented as a useful alternative to the light microscope for comparison of firearms ballistic marks when the marks are deep or the surface convoluted, or when, because of illumination difficulties the marks are not observable by traditional light microscopy. In the normal operating mode of secondary electron imaging (SEI), the SEM is not particularly useful for examining the ballistic marks: however, to enhance the depth of focus (~3mm at 100X) and to increase the topographical detail, the SEM is operated at a large working distance and using the low angle backscattered electron signal for imaging. A comparison of firing pin impressions in 9mm cartridge cases imaged with the SEM and the conventional light microscope is presented. This method can be used on even the most inexpensive of SEMs.
A METALLURGICAL REVIEW OF BULLET LEAD COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS
Erik Randich, FMI Consultants, Manteca, CA
A comparison of minor and trace element analyses of bullet lead fragments found at the crime scene with bullets found in a suspect's possession has been used to associate the suspect with the crime scene. Ongoing research in this area has shown that the validity of this method depends on two metallurgical assumptions that may not be valid. A critical review of the interpretation of the method in light of several years of lead alloy data for .22 caliber ammunition for two of the largest ammunition manufacturers is presented. Previous interpretation of data in criminal cases by law enforcement agencies is discussed to demonstrate the possible misinterpretation of results.
TYPING OF DNA RECOVERED FROM STEERING WHEELS: DETECTING EVIDENCE OF THE NON-HABITUAL DRIVER
Michelle Y. Hassler, MS; VA Commonwealth University; *Jennifer S. Mihalovich, MPH; Oakland Police Dept; Mary M. Gibbons, M. Crim., Oakland Police Dept
Learning Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore whether typable DNA can be recovered from steering wheels after the vehicle has been driven by a driver who is not the habitual operator of the vehicle. Recovering valuable probative evidence from the steering wheels of vehicles involved in crimes can be a challenge. Fingerprints are desirable. However, the recovery of fingerprints is often difficult due to the textures of steering wheels. DNA evidence may be applicable to the investigations of car-jackings, auto thefts, or any major crime involving the operation of a vehicle. The sensitivity of PCR based DNA analysis provides a unique opportunity to use minute amounts of DNA to obtain an individual's genetic profile. The primary transfer of DNA onto various objects has been shown to produce DNA profiles. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the transfer of DNA to a steering wheel can produce the genetic profile. Phase I of this experiment was the recovery of DNA from the steering wheels of single driver vehicles. Phase II of this experiment was the recovery of DNA from steering wheels that were driven by a person other than the habitual driver of the vehicle for a period of 15 to 30 minutes. The steering wheels were not cleaned prior to testing in order to simulate real crime conditions. The steering wheels were swabbed with sterile swabs moistened with deionized water. The entire steering wheel was tested with two swabs that were later combined into a single sample. An area on the horn was tested with a single swab. A microscopic examination of the cellular material harvested from the swabs revealed dermal cells along with a few epithelial cells. The majority of the epithelial cells observed contained a nucleus that was partially diffused within the cytoplasm and/or appeared broken. The cellular material was then digested with SDS and Proteinase K. DNA was extracted using phenol/chloroform method and concentrated with spin dialysis. The DNA was quantified by the Slot Blot (Quantiblot®) procedure with TMB color development. The samples were amplified using the STR amplification kits, AmpFlSTR® Profiler Plus® and/or COfiler® PCR. The template DNA target range for the amplification was one to two nanograms. Where less than two nanograms of total DNA was recovered, 0 to 1.2 ng were amplified. The PCR products were electrophoresed on the ABI Prism® 310 Genetic Analyzer. GeneScan® and GenoTyper® software was used to analyze the data. The peak height detection parameter was set at 50 relative fluorescence units (RFU). In Phase I, the range of the DNA yield from the steering wheel samples (n=10) was 0.6 ng to 24 ng with an average of 4.7 ng. Three of the ten horn samples yielded a quantifiable amount of DNA ranging from 0.9 ng to 8.3 ng with an average of 4.4 ng. A previous study was able to recover an average of 12 ng per steering wheel (n=6) [Ladd, C., et. al., Journal of Forensic Science 1999; 44(6): 1270-1272]. The recovery of DNA may be affected by the individual driver, the type of steering wheel (smooth vs. textured and leather vs. vinyl) sampled and/or the exposure of the steering wheel to other elements (heat and light). Complete STR genetic profiles were produced in nine of ten samples from single source driver steering wheels. In all cases, the known profiles of the drivers were concordant with the profiles produced from their steering wheels. Four samples produced peak heights for all alleles above 150 RFU. Four samples showed peak heights above 150 RFU for most of the alleles. One sample produced peaks between 50 and 150 RFU. The remaining sample produced a profile with peak heights between 50 and 150 RFU with the exception of one allele at D7S820 (42RFU). An unexpected second profile was obtained in three samples. In two of these cases, recent trips to the mechanic could be the source of the second profile. There is a clear delineation between major and minor peaks in two of the three mixtures. The habitual driver was the source of the major peaks in these two samples. Complete genetic profiles were produced in four of the ten horn samples. Four horn samples with no detectable template DNA produced PCR product with partial profiles limited to the smaller loci. In all cases, the known profiles of the drivers were concordant with the profiles produced from their horn. The larger loci may not have been detected due to limited template DNA concentration and/or degradation. The remaining two horn samples produced no typing data. In Phase II, the range of the DNA yield from the steering wheel samples (n=4) was 0.8 ng to 16.5 ng with an average of 5.3 ng. Two of the four horn samples yielded a quantifiable amount of DNA of 0.6 ng and 7.6 ng. Complete STR genetic profiles (RFU>50) were produced in two of the four steering wheels driven by a person other than the habitual driver. A complete genetic profile of the habitual driver was produced in these two samples. One of the four steering wheel samples produced a partial profile (seven of the ten loci) of the habitual driver and a few loci (D8S1179, D21S11, and amelogenin) from the foreign driver. The foreign driver was the minor source in this mixture. There is significant degradation in this sample as seen by the absence of the larger loci. The remaining steering wheel sample produced the genetic profile of the habitual driver with no contribution from the foreign driver. In some of the samples, alleles were only detected after the injection time was increase from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. Complete genetic profiles of the habitual driver were produced in two of the four horn samples with no contribution from the foreign driver. The other two horn samples produced a partial profile (smaller loci only) of the driver with no contribution from the foreign driver. Due to the foreign driver's limited contact with the steering wheel, it is not expected that the foreign driver would use the horn enough to leave a significant amount of cellular material on it. In conclusion, STR profiles of the habitual and limited time non-habitual driver can be recovered from steering wheels. These results reinforce the need to evaluate data of all peaks that fall near the peak height detection threshold in samples containing a limited amount of DNA.
THE GUERILLA WITNESS
*Raymond Davis, Forensic Scientist, Quantum Communications, Founder and President, Consultant Instructor to California Criminalistics Inst.
Observing students in my courtroom communication classes over the past 14 years has given me the opportunity to witness two distinct courtroom styles. One of these styles I have called the guerrilla witness. This is the type of witness who regardless of education and experience is uncomfortable on the witness stand. If given the option of mailing in their testimony or delivering it live then this type of witness would opt for the former. Whether it's the result of a lack of confidence, a fear of public speaking or just not enough practice, this type of witness is not effective in the courtroom. The second style, is the gorilla witness. This is the type of person regardless of their education and experience feels comfortable on the witness stand. These people testify from a position of confidence and seem fearless in the courtroom. They don't mind going to court and they see it as an opportunity to show their work to an attentive audience. My presentation will discuss the traits and styles of these two types of witnesses. After hearing my presentation, I want my colleagues to determine whether they're a guerrilla or gorilla on the witness stand.
THE WORLD OF QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS
*Nicholas Leonard, *Joseph Merydith, Kimberly, Kreuz, Sean Espley; Questioned Document Examiners, CA State Dept. of Justice, Sacramento and Riverside
This is a capabilities presentation of the Questioned Documents Section of the CA DOJ Crime Laboratory System. Hopefully, what can be done and what cannot be done with document evidence will be made clear to criminalists and be of use to them at crime scenes so that together a team effort will be helpful to the investigator.
THE CALMS SIGNATURE PROJECT
*Mark Kalchik, Sr. Criminalist, CA State Dept. of Justice, Fresno Laboratory
Over the past two years there has been work on the California Methamphetamine Signature (CALMS) Project. As part of this investigation a procedure had to be developed for the analysis of submitted methamphetamine samples for trace impurities. After working on the samples a protocol was developed. Eighteen samples from a single clandestine laboratory operation was tested. It was found that these divided into several distinct groups, which will be discussed. These results are being compared to other samples that have been previously analyzed to determine significance. Eventually these will be entered into a database for easier searching.
CALMS: METHAMPHETAMINE QUANTITATION AND SIGNATURE PROFILING
*Marla Richardson, Criminalist, Lynn Melgoza, Criminalist, CA State Dept. of Justice, Riverside Laboratory
The precision and reproducibility data from a quantitation method for methamphetamine using Selected Ion Monitoring (SIM) by a 6890 Hewlett Packard Gas Chromatograph coupled to a 5973 Mass Selective Detector is described below. In addition, the strategy for establishing a methamphetamine signature profile for samples seized from clandestine laboratories is presented with the possible extension of this strategy to arson analysis. Quantitative Precision: Using a Hewlett Packard 7683 autosampler we have established there is a 6% to 7% coefficient of variation in three repetitive injections of n =10 sample vials containing the same internal standard solution. In n = 30 injections of two different methamphetamine standard solutions the coefficient of variation was 0.8 % for one sample and 1.1% for the other. Quantitative Reproducibility: We have independently reproduced the calculated methamphetamine percent in 10 of 11 clandestine laboratory samples in all three CALMS pilot laboratories. We have also been able to reproducibly determine the percent of methamphetamine in QC samples and internal unknowns to within +/- 5 % of their actual value. In addition, a sampling procedure for large seizures has been established and has demonstrated reproducible results.
THE CALMS PROJECT AND NEURAL NETWORKS
*Matt Vona, Criminalist, CA State Dept. of Justice, Sacramento Laboratory
The California methamphetamine Signature (CALMS) database program must be able to compare a single methamphetamine 'signature' chromatogram (or profile) against a constantly increasing database of other methamphetamine signature chromatograms. Methamphetamine signature profiles will likely never be exactly the same. Because of variations in retention times, cuts, breakdown products, and sample instabilities any software that attempts to match two samples with similar profiles must not be significantly affected by additional or nonexisting peaks (noise). A neural network has been specifically designed to handle this situation. A brief discussion on the CALMS database and how neural networks will be implemented to solve this problem will be presented. Additionally, a multimedia/film presentation of what a neural network is and how it works, along with exemplars of their deciphering capabilities, shall be shown. Additional forensic applications of this technology will also be suggested.
MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN BREATH ALCOHOL TESTING TECHNOLOGY
*Robert Reckers, Acting Senior Forensic Scientist and Program Coordinator for Roadside Evidential Breath Testing, Orange County Sheriff's Department - Forensic Science Service
Orange County Sheriff's/Coroner's Dept.-Forensic Science Services, a pioneer in adopting new technology, is joining the California Department of Justice as the first two agencies in the nation to deploy devices based on fuel cell technology for evidential breath testing purposes. In July, 2000, Forensic Science Services was awarded a grant of approximately $400,000 by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to implement a portable evidential breath test (PEBT) program for DUI enforcement throughout Orange County. This 1-year grant provides for 1 position, 85 instruments, a host computer system and peripheral equipment (i.e. dry gas cylinders, an IR instrument for dry gas verification, gas flow valves for the cylinders, etc). Bob Reckers was temporarily promoted to Senior Forensic Scientist to spearhead the program. He coordinated extensive effort to evaluate two candidate devices, both using fuel cell technology. The principle is based on the platinum black in the fuel cell, acting as a catalyst, allowing the acidic aqueous mixture of potassium dichromate, within the fuel cell, to break down the ethanol, thus generating a voltage which is measured by the device. One model, Intoximeter's Alcosensor IV-XL @ Point of Arrest, was found to demonstrate superior accuracy and precision. Furthermore, it is compact, light and user friendly. There are numerous advantages in using PEBT's placed in patrol units over conventional stationary breath testing instruments housed in police stations/jails. Notably, PEBT is administered in the field, thus eliminating the need for the officer/ deputy to transport a suspect to and from police station/jail solely for testing purpose. § PEBT provides evidentiary results much closer to the time of driving, and should therefore, greatly reduce the number of "rising alcohol" challenges. (i.e. Defendants arguing that their alcohol level was rising during the time lapse between driving and breath testing). § PEBT devices will be quality control checked by the officers using dry gas, hence eliminating FSS staff's current monthly field calls to the 25 locations to change simulator solutions. FSS will then receive the accuracy check information as well as that week's breath testing information, transmitted by the officers from the internal modem found within the AS IV XL @ point of arrest case. This accuracy check information will be analyzed by FSS staff, to ensure compliance with Title 17 of the Calif. Code of Regulations and the crime lab's specifications, which may be above and beyond the minimum requirements of Title 17. The method and operator training protocol was completed in February and submitted to the Calif. Department of Health for approval, a process that usually takes 1-3 months. Upon approval, we will proceed with the purchase of the PEBT devices and supporting equipment as well as start operator/officer training. If all goes as planned, the deployment of the PEBT program should commence in spring, 2001. Judging from the flurry of inquiries from across the country, we believe that the use of fuel cell based PEBT's will spread like wild fire and eventually become the standard equipment throughout the Unites States. Especially if agencies reap all the potential benefits that this type of technology offers.
COMPARISON OF GASEOUS ETHANOL "DRY GAS" STANDARDS WITH WET GAS SIMULATORS FOR CALIBRATION OF BREATH ANALYZERS AND THEIR USE WITH EPAS PROGRAMS
*Lance D. Silverman, Ph.D., Technical Manager, Scott Specialty Gases, Inc., Plumsteadville, PA
This presentation compares compressed gas ethanol breath standards (EBS®) with wet simulators for calibration or calibration checks of breath alcohol analyzers. "Dry gas" standards are being used to verify calibration in California's Evidential Portable Alcohol System (EPAS) program. After reviewing the underlying technology and manufacturing methods used to produce the standards, analytical data verifying the ethanol content of EBS gas is presented. Based on trapping ethanol in an impinger and titration using a modified California Department of Health method, the data establishes the alcohol content of EBS compressed gas by two independently NIST traceable methods. In addition, data comparing wet simulators and EBS compressed gas with commercially available ethanol breath testers is reviewed and discussed.
TAKING THAT FIRST BREATH: REFLECTIONS ON IMPLEMENTING A NEW FORENSIC BREATH ALCOHOL PROGRAM
*Katina Repp, Criminalist, CA State Dept. of Justice, Central Valley Laboratory, Ripon
Recently, the Department of Justice has implemented a new forensic breath alcohol program, EPAS - Evidential Portable Alcohol System. This program uses a fuel cell based portable breath analyzer, the Drager 7410 Plus, that can operate in a screening or evidential mode. The EPAS utilizes an ethanol/nitrogen gas reference for accuracy checks. The EPAS program will eventually be used in all the DOJ service areas as a roadside evidential breath test, a first in the United States. This presentation will share the experiences of the DOJ Central Valley Laboratory, the first of the DOJ Labs to implement the program. The presentation will cover the experiences with Department of Health Services; the training of law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and judges; the criteria used to decide if the program was ready; make recommendations to laboratories facing a similar situation; and finally, if available, the challenges faced in court on the first DUI cases using the new instrument.
THE INCIDENCE AND PERSISTENCE OF CARRY-OVER IN THE ALCOSENSOR IV
*Joshua Mateo, Forensic Scientist II, Ventura County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory
The Alcosensor IV is an unheated hand-held breath alcohol tester. Without heating, condensation from a breath sample can form on the instrument surfaces, possibly remaining present to contaminate the subsequent subject's breath test. This two-part study was designed to determine how often and how much condensation forms under specific testing conditions, and to determine how long it would last. In study 1, duplicate alcohol positive simulated breath samples were tested on instruments at 20°C and 10°C. After a 5-minute wait period, duplicate alcohol negative breath samples were tested to confirm the presence and to determine the level of carry-over. No carry-over was detected at 20°C. 80% of the time, an average carry-over of 0.007 g/210 L was detected in alcohol negative breath samples when a 0.29 g/210 L simulated breath test had been performed prior on an instrument at 10°C. In study 2, alcohol positive condensation was applied to instruments at 20°C and 10°C before a variable wait time of 5, 20, 40, or 60 minutes was observed after which alcohol negative breath samples were tested to examine the presence of carry-over. After 60 minutes, carry-over was essentially undetectable in instruments stored at 20°C and at 10°C. The condensation formed in a cold instrument from a very high alcohol positive breath test can carryover into the alcohol negative breath test of the subsequent subject if the two tests are performed within 60 minutes of each other. False positive results such as this could negatively impact a defendant in a zero tolerance case, and therefore, a method, like an air blank, should be developed to prevent this problem from occurring
EVIDENTIAL PORTABLE ALCOHOL SYSTEM (EPAS) OVERVIEW
*Steve Scott, Project Lead, *Michelle Salata, Criminalist, CA State Dept. of Justice, Sacramento
The California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services is committed to providing a statewide evidential portable alcohol system (EPAS) program for DUI enforcement. We will deploy 1,000 EPAS instruments for use in patrol vehicles used by the Bureau's client agencies. In addition to the instruments, the program will include technical support, training, and expert testimony to ensure the requirements of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations for forensic alcohol testing are met. The automated design of the EPAS insures accuracy and quick distribution of results to DMV and District Attorneys through the Bureau's Statewide Alcohol Information Network (SAIN). The inherent value of this equipment over stationary instruments is the ability to provide evidential results at the time of the DUI stop. With the subject's alcohol level determined in the field, alternate transportation to the jail can be arranged keeping the officer on the street. Additionally, many of the frivolous court arguments based on doubt about the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the stop versus time of the test will be reduced. The California Department of Justice is taking a leadership role in being one of the first agencies in the U.S. to provide this new technology for enforcing drinking and driving laws.
"GSR MAPPING": THE STUDY OF GUNSHOT RESIDUE DISTRIBUTION OF KNOWN FIREARMS IN A CLOSED ENVIRONMENT
*Glen Davis, Leslie L. Poole, Faye Springer, Sacramento County District Attorney's Laboratory of Forensic Services, Sacramento
A study of the distribution pattern of gunshot residue in a controlled environment with known firearms by using a grid pattern mapping technique will be discussed. The results of this research will shed light on the possibility of a non-shooter having residue on his hands by being present in the same room at the time a firearm is discharged. The firearms used include a .38 Special caliber revolver, a 9mm Luger caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a 12-guage top break shotgun.
DISCRIMINATION VALUE OF WEAR PATTERNS IN TWO-DIMENSIONAL FOOTWEAR IMPRESSIONS
*Tara L. Fruchtenicht, William P. Herzig, and Robert D. Blackledge, Naval Criminalistics Investigative Service (NCIS), Regional Forensic Laboratory, San Diego
(The A. Reed and Virginia McLaughlin Fund enabled this study.)
Several areas of forensic science (including footwear impression, fingerprint, and handwriting comparisons) have increasingly come under attack in both the media and the courts as "lacking any scientific basis." Other studies involving footwear identification have used image analysis to compare wear patterns and make identifications including one study using similar equipment. However, these identifications were based largely on subjective visual observations. This study aimed to develop objective criteria based on measurements, and additionally to exclude from consideration any individual characteristics (nicks, cuts, gouges, nail holes, embedded pebbles, etc.). A total of one hundred twenty-seven male, right, mostly size ten, military boot outer-sole impressions were obtained from United States Marine Corps recruits who were at the end of their fifth week of training. Impressions were also obtained from new, unworn boots. Using video imaging and video image marker-measurement equipment, a measurement system was developed to show individualized wear patterns and the measurements were entered into a database. All the original impressions were taken away from the operator. In a blind test, twenty-six impressions were presented for measurement and comparison against the database. Some of these twenty-six impressions were from the original group (with original identification markings removed), and some were separate impressions that had been obtained from USMC recruits also at the end of their fifth week of training. A search of the database against measurements from the twenty-six unknown impressions produced impressive results. Of those blind impressions whose measurements were already in the database, sixteen fit the match criteria confirming that the correct measurements were taken and entered previously. A retrospective analysis of the six failures showed that two were due to measurement errors, two were due to original measurements being entered incorrectly into the database form, and two actually met the minimum match criteria but in the manual search of the database had been overlooked by the operator. Significantly, the data produced no false identifications. That is, none of the added impressions (not previously measured and entered into the database) fit the minimum match identified. However, six impressions were designated by the operator as "no match" despite their criteria, nor did any other series of measurements for a boot in the database fit closer or as close to the measurements of the original boot.
FACIAL IDENTIFICATION AND FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION
*Gloria Louise Nusse, Clay and Bones Sculpture Studio, Mill Valley, CA
There are times when it is not possible to identify a person from dental records or DNA. There may be no name to associate, the person has not been in this country long enough to establish records, or the case is just old. In these instances a facial approximation or reconstruction is one way to gather leads. Using specific points or landmarks on the skull it is possible to determine the facial features in clay. This talk will show the process from beginning to end. An incredible likeness will be established, as well as aging processes, the results for children and cases with missing mandibles. This technique is a unique blend of science and art.