119th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 2012)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
May 9-11, 2012
Bakersfield, California

AMANDA KNOX CASE PRESENTATION
Greg Hampikian, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Criminal Justice, Boise State University

Boise State professor, Dr. Greg Hampikian will speak about the work he did on the appeal for Amanda Knox.


BIAS IN MIXTURE INTERPRETATION
Greg Hampikian, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Criminal Justice,Boise State University

The objectivity of forensic science decision making has received increased attention and scrutiny. However, there are only a few published studies experimentally addressing the potential for contextual bias. Because of the esteem of DNA evidence, it is important to study and assess the impact of subjectivity and bias on DNA mixture interpretation.


APPLICATION OF THE RAMAN MICROSCOPE TO FORENSIC SCIENCE: FROM TRACE ELEMENTS ANALYSIS TO DRUG IDENTIFICATION
Sergey Mamedov, Fran Adar, David Tuschel, Horiba Instruments

Raman analysis has been recognized to have potential for solving an entire variety of problems of forensic science. However, one of the barriers to exploiting this potential has been the overhead of the technology - the cost of the equipment, its footprint, and the level of skill required for successful use. New Raman microscopes have been introduced at about one quarter the cost of larger research systems, and they take up no more lab table space than an ordinary optical microscope. During this talk, this new equipment will be described, as well as forensic applications including identification of illicit drugs in their containers, counterfeit currency, fibers, and glitters.


APPLICATION OF THE RAMAN MICROSCOPE TO FORENSIC SCIENCE: FROM TRACE ELEMENTS ANALYSIS TO DRUG IDENTIFICATION
Sergey Mamedov, Fran Adar, David Tuschel, Horiba Instruments

Raman analysis has been recognized to have potential for solving an entire variety of problems of forensic science. However, one of the barriers to exploiting this potential has been the overhead of the technology - the cost of the equipment, its footprint, and the level of skill required for successful use. New Raman microscopes have been introduced at about one quarter the cost of larger research systems, and they take up no more lab table space than an ordinary optical microscope. During this talk, this new equipment will be described, as well as forensic applications including identification of illicit drugs in their containers, counterfeit currency, fibers, and glitters.


CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, THE MAKING OF THE SHOW
David Berman and Jon Wellner

Researcher/actor David Berman and actor Jon Wellner discuss the making of the show. Topics will include how they do the research and the "CSI effect."


SOLVING FORENSICS MYSTERIES WITH THE XRF MICROSCOPE
Sergey Mamedov

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy is useful for identifying substances and confirming their identity with little or no sample preparation. With the new technology of micro XRF and integrated computer databases of known XRF spectra, nearly any substance can be identified. The goal of this study was to investigate the utility of XRF microscopes in determination of trace elements concentration and distribution in gun shot residue, glass, steel/alloy, antiques, museum objects, and counterfeit products.


POSTER: THE EFFECT OF DRY-CLEANING ON SEMEN STAINS
J. Gualco, C. Waddle, E. Lee, and R. Ballard, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Research on the effects of water immersion and aqueous-based cleaning methods (e.g. machine laundering, detergents, machine drying) indicates that a number of variables affect whether a stain can be detected post- exposure, including the body fluid examined, the fabric type, and the presence or absence of detergents and agitation. However, the effects of dry-cleaning on body fluid stains are not well understood, despite the fact that many fabrics are "dry-clean only." The effect of dry cleaning of three dry-clean-only fabrics stained with semen was examined.


POSTER: THE EFFECT OF DRY-CLEANING ON DRIED BLOOD STAINS
S. Middlebrook, S. Kaur, and R. Ballard, Ph.D., California State University, Sacramento

The effects of water immersion and machine washing on blood stains have been researched and indicate that blood stains are difficult to detect after the stains have been exposed to water, particularly in the presence of agitation and detergents, and that most of the DNA is removed by such treatment. We wanted to see if the same is true for dry-cleaned stains.


POSTER: RECOVERY OF SPERM FROM THE INSIDE OF A WASHING MACHINE
C. Corona, M. Sosiuk (Nemitz), and R. Ballard, Ph.D., California State University, Sacramento

Prior studies show that washing stained clothing does not necessarily remove sperm and one study demonstrated that sperm can be transferred from one item to another during machine washing. Thus stained clothing, or even clothing washed with the stained item, may be a source of sperm. We took this research a step further by examining whether sperm can be recovered from the inside surfaces of a washing machine.


POSTER: URINE SCREENING TESTS
D. Chong, California State University, Fresno

The Jaffe reaction, Marshall Reaction, DMAC reaction, and two novel, commercially available urine detection kits (Uritrace® and RSID™ Urine) were evaluated for the detection of urine in forensic laboratories.


CASE PRESENTATION
District Attorney Lisa Green; Detective Herman Caldas; Criminalist Tammi Noe; Donna Beeson SANE; victim Donna Bulford

In 2009, a woman was with her infant child in the parking lot of a popular shopping center when she was forced into her car at gunpoint in broad daylight, made to drive to an ATM machine where she was robbed and then to the parking lot where she was sexually assaulted. The attack left the community in fear of a brazen and dangerous predator walking loose in their city. Due to the continued threat to the community and the victim, SART team members coordinated efforts to expedite identifying the assailant through DNA and apprehending him.


MURDER IN THE MOJAVE: WHEN THE DA NEEDS TO TAKE OVER A HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION
Tam Hodgson, Assistant Chief District Attorney Investigator

In 2010, a man was found dead in his workshop on a property in Ridgecrest. The man had extensive injuries to his head and torso and the scene was littered with numerous bloodstains. A crime scene team discovered a bloody pipe in the back of the workspace behind a partition. Despite the contradictory evidence, the detectives with jurisdiction over the scene continued to believe the death to be accidental.


BULLET PATH RECONSTRUCTION: PROBE METHOD ACCURACY AND ERROR RATE
Chris Coleman, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab; Bruce Moran, Sacramento County District Attorney Crime Lab

One of the main components of Shooting Incident Reconstruction (SIR) is Bullet Path determination. Though there are several methods to do this, one of the most used is probing. Over the last 6 years of teaching SIR, we have implemented an empirical validation study into this training to collect data to determine how accurate the probing method is and the potential error rate. Now with over 2000 data points we will present the results of this ongoing study, as well as comparing it to other such studies.


LEGAL UPDATES: CRIMINALIZATION OF SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS AND STIMULANTS, ONGOING CHALLENGES TO FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE, AND CONFRONTATION CLAUSE DEVELOPMENTS
Michael Chamberlain, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice

Spice and other synthetic cannabinoid products are one of the latest growing trends in recreational drugs. Deputy Attorney General Michael Chamberlain will discuss the legal challenges under California law and federal regulations.


UNUSUAL TOOLMARK/FRACTURE MARK CASE
Greg Laskowski, Supervising Criminalist, Kern Regional Crime Laboratory

In the summer of 2011, the Bureau of Land Management submitted to the Kern Regional Crime Laboratory, sections of a 19th century smokestack that was once an integral part of a steam boiler that had been dismantled, cut up, and removed from a gold mine that had been declared as an archaeological site. This presentation will discuss the challenges of comparing remnants of scrap metal using toolmark and fracture matching techniques on rusted and crushed metal scraps. In addition, the history of gold mining in Kern County and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) will be discussed.


RETHINKING MAN'S PLACE: TOWARD THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW GUIDELINES FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF HUMAN HAIR
Garrett Sugimoto

When a hair is found during a forensic investigation, it is important to determine if the hair is from a human or a nonhuman animal. Differentiating between human and non-human hairs can usually be accomplished using light microscopy to observe various hair characteristics. A combination of generally accepted characteristics has been used to establish human hair uniqueness. However, many human hair characteristics are common in hairs from non-human primates, as well as species from non-primate orders.


QUALIFIED OPINIONS: WHAT IS ETHICAL AND WHAT IS NOT?
Peter Barnett

The CAC Board of Directors has asked the Ethics Committee to make a brief presentation at CAC Seminars on the subject of ethics. In this first presentation by the CAC Ethics Committee, we will consider the responsibility of the Criminalist for full disclosure of opinions and conclusions reached as a result of the examination of physical evidence, and necessity of data to support conclusions that are expressed.


THE DRUG WAR IN MEXICO AND HOW IT'S SPILLING OVER INTO THE UNITED STATES
HIDTA Detective Demacio Diaz, Bakersfield Police Department with ICE/Border Patrol Investigators, Bakersfield, CA

Detectives discuss how the drug war in Mexico has spilled over into the United States.


DUI, PERSONAL STORY
Carla Pearson, Program Coordinator, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Carla Pearson will discuss the personal impact DUI had on her life. Individualization of Leopards via Pattern Analysis DUI, Personal Story Carla Pearson, Program Coordinator, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Carla Pearson will discuss the personal impact DUI had on her life.


INDIVIDUALIZATION OF LEOPARDS VIA PATTERN ANALYSIS
Natasha Robinson, California State University, Fresno

Discussed is a method using photographs to identify individual leopards by employing a "clock-face" method to code the types of rosette pattern present. This method was used against a population of 38 leopards and resulted in no two leopards with the same rosette pattern.


QUANTITATIVE ALGORITHM FOR DIGITAL COMPARISON OF TORN DUCT TAPE
Jessica Malley, University of California, Davis

Research in the use of MATLAB® software to show that a quantitative algorithm can be used for the digital comparison of torn and cut duct tape ends to evaluate their end match.


PEBTS PROGRAM AND THE PRESENTATION OF THE DUI ALCOHOL WORKSHOP DATA
Dan Defraga, Supervising Criminalist, Kern Regional Crime Laboratory

The results of Monday's alcohol workshop study of drinkers using two driving simulators with toxicology sample data will be presented along with video clips. A OTS grant program for PEBTS will also be discussed. Presentation will include issues of the Alcotest 8610 units including calibration, linearity, specificity, mouth alcohol and ambient air pressure.