34th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1969)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
October 16-18, 1969
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
A SUMMARY OF RECENT COURT CASES INVOLVING NEUTRON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS RESULTS AND TESTIMONY
Vincent P. Guinn, Gulf General Atomic, San Diego
Recent U.S. court cases involving neutron activation analysis (NAA) results and testimony have introduced several new facets and problems. During 1968, NAA results were introduced for the defense for the first time (under court order; Los Angeles murder case involving hair samples; work done and presented in court by Howard L Schlesinger, of GGA), and also were introduced in a civil suit for the first time (Ohio suit involving alleged mercury poisoning of race horses; work done and presented by the prosecution (New Hampshire murder case involving NAA of hair and other evidence specimens by C. Michael Hoffman and Maynard J. Pro, of the IRS laboratory; expert witness for the defense was Professor Robert E. Jervis, of the University of Toronto). Since the New Hampshire case, there have been several cases in which the defense has called in forensic NAA expert witnesses. The author appeared in a case early in 1969 as an expert witness (New York federal court case involving questioned documents; NAA results presented for the prosecution by C. Michael Hoffman, of the IRS laboratory).
In general, the U.S. court cases to date illustrate the need for better NAA work, and particularly the need for more accurate interpretation of the results. As with other methods, poorly taken evidence samples pose a severe problem. The need for more alert and competent defense action, possibly involving the use of forensic NAA expert witnesses, is evident. Also, there is a marked need for more good background forensic NAA data, and a firm statistical method for their utilization. Large-scale statistical studies at GGA on gunshot residues, paint, and bullet lead, now nearing completion, are aimed in this direction. Both Canada and England now also employ NAA in case investigations quite regularly, and have introduced such results in court on numerous occasions.
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR CRIMINALISTICS RESEARCH
F.T. Galloway, California Council on Criminal Justice, Sacramento, Ca
The procedure for applying for funds for Criminalistics research was outlined, and the role and function of the California Council on Criminal Justice was presented briefly. In 1965, the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance was created to award grants in aid from the Federal Government. In 1968, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act was adopted which provided for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration for state and local planning for action projects, for academic assistance, and for research and development. While the OLEA received 20.6 million dollars in the years 1965 through 1968, the LEAA received 63 million dollars in 1969 and will receive 300 million dollars in 1970. Of the 63 million dollars appropriated for LEAA programs in 1969, 19 million dollars was allocated for planning money and the remainder for action money. California received 1.3 million dollars for planning with 40% going for local units and the remainder to the state for carrying out comprehensive planning. Grants may be made directly by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of the Department of Justice, termed discretionary grants, or may be made through the CCCJ-Crime Technological Assistance Foundation, representing funds disbursed to the State of California. A brief description was presented of the functions of the foundation as defined by the Penal Code sections providing for it. The function of the task force for planning and administration was described, as well as the structure of the staffing of the Council and the Foundation. For the money which is available, there are at the present 164 proposals asking for over 60 million dollars in action grant money.
The forms for grant applications may be obtained from the CCCJ in Sacramento. The application, when submitted, will be critically reviewed. The first step involves a determination by the Council staff of the probability of achieving the goal. The staff will rate the proposal on the basis of merit in light of the total administration of criminal justice. The second step involves a review by the task force on science and technology, or several task forces when cutting across the boundaries of various responsibilities. This procedure now takes several months, but it is hoped that this may be pared down to 45 days by next year.
In all planning grants awarded by the California Council on Criminal Justice under the LEAA programs, planning grants are awarded on a 90 percent basis and action grants are awarded on a 60 percent basis. The remainder must be met by local units although this may be achieved through the application of "in kind" services. The CCCJ will act as a project monitor in all grants awarded.
IDENTIFICATION OF ARSON ACCELERANTS BY THE GAS CHROMATOGRAPHIC PATTERNS PRODUCED BY A DIGITAL LOG ELECTROMETER
Theodore R. Elzerman and W.J. Chisum, California Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory, Sacramento
The identification and comparison of petroleum products is a problem which confronts the Criminalist during the examination of evidence from suspected arson cases. The identification of these materials is complicated by the fact that they are not specific chemical identities, but complex mixtures of hundreds of different hydrocarbons.
Over the years various techniques have been used in an attempt to identity petroleum products. Gas chromatography appears to have the greatest potential in this identity problem. With the recent advent of the Digital Log Electrometer a study has been undertaken to determine its capabilities in resolving the petroleum identification problem.
The presentation illustrated the advantage of the Digital Log Electrometer over the conventional linear electrometer employing a Programmed Temperature Gas Chromatograph with a Hydrogen Flame Detector.
The work thus far illustrates the ability to make batch analysis and comparisons, as well as the type of accelerant from fire residue. The use of the Digital Log Electrometer to other areas of Criminalistics and Toxicological examinations is also being investigated.
THE STATUS OF THE CRIMINALISTICS PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Brian Parker and Bernard L. Diamond, School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley, Ca.
There exists a distinct possibility that the Criminalistics program at the University of California at Berkeley may cease to exist in the near future. The major argument against the retention of the program is cost. At the present time, one-quarter of the faculty is devoted to Criminalistics, costing the university approximately $70,000 per year. Although one-quarter of the faculty is devoted to Criminalistics, the number of criminalistics students is miniscule compared to those enrolled in other programs within the School of Criminology. The University to date has graduated approximately 130 students in criminalistics following the inception of the School of Criminology and twelve before that time. Of these graduates, one in three is working in a crime laboratory at the present time, and another is working in some other aspect of criminal justice. The present cost to the University to graduate a Criminalistics student is approximately $12,000. Programs involving some aspect of training in laboratory techniques in the examination of physical evidence have started at the state colleges in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Sacramento.
Radical changes have taken place in the School of Criminology since its inception. The complexion of the school can be roughly divided into three distinct periods. The first period consists of the period during which O.W. Wilson was the dean of the school. At this time, the school was police oriented and received much criticism from the faculty at Berkeley because of the academic attitude expressed by the school. The second period began when Joseph Lohman assumed the position of dean of the school. Under the leadership of Dean Lohman, the school underwent a radical expansion in which a greatly enhanced number of students and faculty were recruited. This period of time also resulted in an enhanced position in terms of academic standing within the Berkeley academic community. Dean Lohman was conspicuously successful in attracting substantial sums of money for all programs, a position that has not been maintained to this time. The principles by which Dean Lohman operated are no longer applicable, primarily resulting from the severe budgetary limitations imposed on the university as a whole and the School of Criminology in particular. The third distinct period in the history of the school is that of the present in which no dean has been selected. Leslie Wilkins was appointed Acting Dean for a period of one year and Diamond has been appointed for a period of one year as a "holding measure." It is unlikely that the school will progress in the absence of clearly defined objectives and a permanent dean. For the year to which Diamond has been appointed dean, the Chancellor's office has indicated that the School of Criminology can do essentially anything it wants providing that the faculty is in accord and, secondly, that it doesn't cost any money. The financing of the university is on a minimal basis at the present time in which every dollar is competed for vigorously. Despite the increase in the number of students, there has been no increase in the funds appropriated to the School of Criminology. The significance of FTE's (or full time equivalents) was discussed briefly. The optimum weighted ratio of FTE's is considered to be 1:28 for the university. In the School of Criminology, it is 1:50 but in the criminalistics program it approaches 1:1. This indicates that there is essentially one full-time faculty member in the School of Criminology for each criminalistics student. Under the new budgeting system with assigned priority, the School of Criminology will probably fare quite poorly, and criminalistics will fare even worse.
Funding for criminalistics was previously provided in major part by Dr. Kirk's research grants. The present funding is partly through the Department of Justice and partly by the National Institute of Mental Health. Some conversations have taken place with the Ford Foundation, but the Ford Foundation expects spectacular and immediate results and, in addition, will not contribute funds which could be provided by state or local funds. The School of Criminology expects that the needs for continuing the criminalistics program are of the order of $150,000 over the next five years. Brian Parker and John Holstrom are presently conducting a survey of the crininalistics programs at the state colleges and are investigating ancillary courses of fiscal support for the criminalistics program. Diamond expresses no optimism regarding the fate of the criminalistics program at the university. Diamond states that the atmosphere could not be worse for competing for funds and retaining the program.
TOOLS USED IN TELEPHONE BURGLARIES
D.W. Lister, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, San Francisco
A description was presented of various means used to burglarize pay telephones. The methods described included the use of lock picks, the basket tool, a wheel puller, a washer crusher, explosives, stud gun and rifles. In San Francisco alone last year there was an approximate $250,000 coin loss due to telephone burglaries. So far this year, in northern California, there has been a $400,000 loss in equipment alone. Pay telephones are normally collected when the coin box contains not over $50. On some premises, an alarm may be installed in those pay telephones which have experienced problems with respect to burglary. The newer type telephone is much less susceptible to breakage than the older type with three coin slots. The replacement cost for the older model phone is approximately $45 and the replacement cost for the newer type is $150. The various devices for gaining entry were described and demonstrated.
A TECHNIQUE FOR DETERMINING AND ILLUSTRATING THE TRAJECTORY OF BULLETS
Gerald T. Mitosinka, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department, Martinez.
A report was presented on the technique employed in the development and interpretation of paint fracture patterns which are generated when projectiles come into violent contact with painted malleable materials such as automobile bodies.
The importance of this phenomenon was realized when the author was called upon to determine the trajectories of bullets which had struck and ricocheted off the metal body of an automobile. An examination of the dented areas of the automobile's body revealed the presence of fracture patterns in the paint immediately adjacent to the dented areas. It was discovered that the characteristics of fracture patterns were directly related to the trajectory of the projectiles which through their violent interaction with the malleable metal had generated the patterns.
The use of this valuable parameter in conjunction with the shape and orientation of the indentation enabled the author to form a more definite opinion as to the trajectories of the projectiles in question.
A NEW INSTRUMENT FOR NARCOTICS AND DRUG SURVEILLANCE
Donald E. Green, Varian Associations, Palo Alto, Ca.
The application of the mass spectrograph to the detection and identification of narcotic and drug materials was described. A brief description was presented of the theory and operation of the mass spectrograph. A concentra-tion of material in room air on the order of 0.1 parts per billion may be detected using enrichment techniques and subsequent mass spectrometry. A permeable barrier separator is utilized to enrich the organic material of interest for the mass spectrometer. On the one side of the barrier separator are carrier gases and organic vapor. On the vacuum side of the membrane, organic vapor is greatly enriched. An enrichment factor of one thousand may be obtained with one barrier membrane and using two membranes, one may obtain an enrichment factor of one million. Water vapor will pass through the barrier membrane well enough, however, to constitute a nuisance in the subsequent mass spec analysis. This is removed by a Llewellyn-Arnold separator with a water scrubber. Mass spec curves were presented of alcohol in perfused vapors from a forearm, room air, chloral hydrate, placidyl, methamphetamine, propadrine, thorazine, secobarbital, cocaine, LSD, hashish, marijuana, opium, residue odor of shotgun shells and dynamite.
AN ILLEGAL CONVERSION OF A COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE.
David Coffin, U.S. Treasury Department, San Francisco, Ca.
A case was described involving the illegal conversion of a Colt AR-15 rifle to full automatic fire. This was accomplished by taking a commercially available Colt rifle and drilling two small holes through the frame with two machined pieces of metal added to convert the weapon to full automatic fire. A pawl was inserted through the hole drilled in the frame in such a manner as to defeat the normal operation of the sear. Information received from Colt Firearms indicates that new modifications will prevent this from being possible but that approximately 4,000 rifles were produced and sold commercially in which this illegal conversion could be effected. Colt does not have the serial numbers of these weapons.
A SHOTGUN DIVERTER
Glenn R. Vaniman, Sacramento County District Attorney's Laboratory; W.J. Chisum, CII Laboratory, Sacramento
The A & W Engineering Corporation, Houston, Texas, markets shot diverters which change the normal circular random pattern of shot to a controlled predictable rectangular pattern. The diverter is a device machined from an investment casting. The rectangular pattern is formed with diverting ribs integral with the bore of the device, coupled with compound angles. The skeet model of the diverter gives a rectangular pattern in which the horizontal dimension is approximately twice that of the vertical. In the law enforcement model, the horizontal dimension is approximately four times that of the vertical dimension. The shot pattern varies somewhat according to how individual rounds are packed, wind direction and velocity. The representative averages for the shot dispersion is indicated by the advertising literature to be 5" in height and 18" in width at ten yards, 15" in height and 4' in width at 20 yards, 20" in height and 8' in width at 30 yards, and 30" in height and 9' in width at 40 yards. Slides were presented to illustrate the distribution of shot at 15 yards using No. 8 shot and 00 buckshot and the dispersion at 25 yards of No. 6 and No. 8 shot. Contrary to the assertions made by the manufacturer of the device, rifled slugs are deformed by the diverter. The accuracy of the rifled slugs was observed to be excellent with the diverter in place. The manufacturer's claim is that the muzzle velocity is increased 5% while the recoil is reduced approximately 22%. Caution is urged that the diverted pattern resulting from a front-on shot with the diverter might be misinterpreted by the criminalist as a normal shotgun pattern fired at a shallow angle.
UTILIZING THE LASER FOR STRIATION IDENTIFICATIONS
Joseph L. Peterson, University of California, Berkeley, Ca.
A report was presented outlining experiments conducted on a new form of contour analysis. Keeping in mind the general requirements of tool marks and bullet comparisons, an attempt was made to record the micro-contours of surfaces with a small helium-neon gas laser. The general characteristics of the apparatus were discussed and an account given of the results thus far achieved. The magnified cross-section of a tool mark looks like a ragged contour of peaks and valleys. Low level, incident lighting reveals most of these qualities but not all of them. It was suggested that if a beam of focused light was scanned over such a contour, the reflected rays would vary, due to the irregularities of the surface. Certain of the rays would have a small angular reflection, while others would have a large angular reflection. A photo detector positioned to receive the reflected light should be able to record differences in intensity, if the beam is not reflected at a uniform angle. The light from any conventional source is composed of divergent waves, all at varying frequencies, with no cor-relation between the phases of light from different parts of the source. Laser light sources have three outstanding qualities: the wavelength of the beam is constant, there is a high degree of coherence, and the collimation qualities are such that there is virtually no divergence. Striated tool marks on sheets of copper foil were passed at a uniform rate across the focused laser beam. The beam was positioned at an angle of 30° from the normal of the test surface and the photo detector was located at a similar angle on the other side of the normal. The laser and photo detector were in the same horizontal plane, perpendicular to the plane of the test surface. The reflected beam was focused on the face of the photo detector and a graphical representation of the divergent waves was obtained on a strip chart recorder. A number of slides were presented illustrating the scan of various marks.
THE CHEMISTRY OF DOING THINGS CHEAPLY
James W. Brackett, Jr., San Mateo County Coroner's Office, Redwood City, Ca.
A discussion was presented of the dichotomy between the penurial and the efficient operation of a laboratory. In a penurial operation, if a new instrument is acquired there may well be no place to set it up and/or no manpower to operate It. Three Innovative techniques of doing things cheaply were described: the first involved the utilization of glass vials with plastic stoppers which are unaffected by common solvents. These may be used as separatory funnels, sample containers, weighing dishes, filter funnels and for operations involving evaporation and acetylation. These vials are marketed by McKesson & Robins with the designation of Opticlear K-3. The second technique described consists of a variable density, all glass filter fabricated from a Pasteur pipette and glass wool. This item is useful in phase separation and filtration when used with the glass vial described above. This is often observed to eliminate the necessity of centrifugation and is more rapid. Pasteur pipettes may also be used as replacement for centrifuge tubes. An end of the pipette is sealed in a flame, the material is concentrated by evaporation, and access to the material is then achieved by breaking off the chip of the sealed pipette.
A technique was described for screening urine for acid, base and neutral fractions. This technique involved adjusting the urine to pH 7.5 with carbonate, shaking with chloroform, and filtering to separate the aqueous phase. Acetylation is formed to prevent the loss of volatile amines. Using 1 mL of urine, therapeutic amounts of amphetamine and homologues, barbiturates, or many neutral drugs may be detected. The entire GC scan can be completed in just a few minutes. The technique is so sensitive that contamination may be a problem. This technique is simply a screening technique. When something is found, further steps are necessary, particularly if quantitative results are expected.
RESOURCES FOR CRIMINALISTICS LABORATORIES
Paul L. Kirk, Kirk and Associates, Berkeley, Ca.
Elaboration of a number of the factors contained in the Kirk letter of July 29 to the CAC was presented. The principle question which remained unanswered is "What kind of a future is the CAC planning?" Crime labora-tory operations may change drastically in the next four or five years, perhaps along the line of regional laboratories. The push which can be exerted by the State Government is sufficient to overcome resistance at the local level. The Federal Government through the California Council on Criminal Justice will be in a position to finance proposals related to the examination of physical evidence. No such proposals have been submitted to date by any member or group of the CAC however. There must exist many ideas and concepts in the minds of the members that would be of great interest. Grants are being made with the Omnibus Safe Streets Act money, but are not being made to crime laboratories and are not being applied for by criminalists.
The problem simply stated is that criminalists have not applied for the grant money available and are somewhat impoverished in the political influence necessary to land these grants. Criminalists with concrete proposals are urged to submit them to Kirk in order that he might work with the Board of Director of the Crime Technological Foundation and the California Council on Criminal Justice.
A SIMPLE METHOD FOR ABO TYPING OF DRIED BLOODSTAINS OH FIBERS BY THE ABSORPTION-ELUTION TECHNIQUE
Jan S. Bashinski and John E. Davis, Oakland Police Department
The method routinely utilized In the Oakland Police Department laboratory for the ABO typing of dried blood stains is based on the absorption-elution technique of Nickolls and Pereira. The principal modification of the method is the introduction of a vacuum filtration step which is believed to be a more efficient procedure for washing the fiber samples than has been previously described. Some difficulties which have been encountered in the detection of weak subgroups of A (A2) by the absorption-elution techniques was described. A few preliminary experiments attempting to increase the sensitivity of the technique toward A2 cells were unsuccessful. These attempts include the use of Group 0 (anti-A,B) serum, methanol fixation, Increased absorption time, and the use of A2 indicator cells. The use of papain treated indicator cells was not investigated.
In one stain, the A- factor detected by the absorption-elution technique after two months time was undetectable by the same method after storage by an additional two months. In another case, an A2 factor detected in fresh liquid blood was undetectable by absorption-elution after drying for only five days.
THE PBECIPITIN TEST - A PROCEDURE FOR CLARIFYING SAMPLES
John E. Davis, Oakland Police Department
Anti-Human Precipitin Serum will generally give a satisfactory precipitation ring or disc with fresh human blood diluted to 1/1000 within a few minutes time. With older, dried blood samples, extracts which may be considerably stronger than 1/1000 as judged by various means may fail to give a suitable reaction within a reasonable time, and concentration of the specimen is likely to result in such a dark colored extract as may tend to obscure a positive reaction. Precipitin sera are sometimes cloudy, as are samples of commercially available "normal rabbit serum," the opalescence of which may be excessive.
A procedure has been developed for clarifying concentrated solutions of old dried blood. In limited applications of this procedure no shortcomings of the process have been noted, and test-results have been considerably improved. This procedure involves making a concentrated extract of the blood stain in normal saline solution followed by centrifugation and separation of the supernatent fluid. This supernatent is shaken with equal volume of chloroform and returned to a tube. After allowing it to settle, the upper saline layer is pipetted off and again centrifuged at high speed in a micro-centrifuge. Centrifugation is continued until the upper layer is perfectly clear and essentially colorless. A mat of precipitated proteins will separate the upper saline layer from the chloroform. The upper layer is pipetted off and will be found to contain in a crystal clear and colorless solution the serum factors of interest. The precipitin test is then run in the usual fashion by layering this extract over the appropriate test serums. The clarity of precipitin sera and of normal rabbit sera can be improved greatly by this same procedure with no apparent loss of sensitivity.
DETERMINATION OF AMPHETAMINE, METHAMPHETAMINE, AND RELATED AMINES IN BLOOD AND URINE BY GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY USING THE HYDROGEN FLAME IONIZATION DETECTOR
Paul Lebish and James W. Brackett, Jr., San Mateo County Coroner's Office; and Bryan Finkle, Santa Clara County Laboratory of Criminalistics, San Jose.
A sensitive gas chromatographic method suitable for forensic and clinical purposes was developed for detection, quantitation, and confirmation of methamphetamine, amphetamine and other phenethylamines in small quantities of blood and urine. Concentrations of amphetamine and methamphetamine resulting from controlled therapeutic dosage, and in cases when symptoms of drug abuse are apparent can be determined on as little as 2.5 mL and 0.5 mL blood samples respectively. When testing blood, a known quantity of a homologous standard, n-propylamphetamine hydrochloride is included in the tungstic acid solution used to precipitate blood proteins; the acid filtrate is washed, alkalized, and extracted with ether. Extracted phenethylamines are converted to the corresponding acetamides which are then concentrated and gas chromatographed using a hydrogen flame ionization detector. The method for urine is similar except the known quantity of standard is added to the sample, the protein precipitation is omitted, and chloroform is used as the extracting solvent. Data are presented on the levels of amphetamine and methamphetamine obtained following analysis of the blood and urine samples from subjects ingesting controlled therapeutic dosage, and on subjects exhibiting symptoms consistent with drug abuse. Data is presented on 56 phenethylamines, related compounds and their corresponding acetamides for two different column materials (2.5% SE 30 and 5% KOH - Carbowax 6000) and three different column tem-peratures (130°, 160° and 190°).
NOTES ON A SHOTGUN WADDING IDENTIFICATION
John F. Williams, San Francisco Police Department
A case involving the identification of a plastic shotgun wadding (powder piston) was described. The shotgun barrel was sawed off and the muzzle was rough and ragged. This apparently resulted in stria being imparted to the plastic shotgun wad. These stria were matched with plastic wads from test firings in the conventional manner. A slide was presented to illustrate the identification which was effected. It was stressed that such identification would be confined to those instances in which the barrel was sawed off and with metal extending into the bore of the shotgun.