47th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1976)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA
MAY 13-15, 1976
TRACER BULLETS FROM A WILDLANDS FIRE
Louis A. Maucieri, Criminalistics Laboratory, Department of Justice
In 1974, a wildlands fire was started on a hunting reserve in Northern California. A borate bomber called to suppress the fire crashed, killing the pilot. The Division of Forestry recovered two unusual projectiles from the point of origin. Both were .30 caliber, containing a white ash of MgO and Sr residue. Unfired recovered ammunition included orange-tipped .7.62mm NATO tracer type. Photos and movies of the test firing of these round reveals their pyrotechnic nature. The value of trace particulate debris in a weapon will also be highlighted.
COMPUTERIZED STRIATED MARK MODEL EXPERIMENTS
James W. Brackett, JR., Criminalistics Laboratory, Santa Clara County
A computer program which enables rapid computation of "outcome" random number simulated striated mark comparisons (Bracker, J.W., "A Study of Idealized Striated Marks and Their Comparisons Using Models, J. Foren. SCI. SOC. 10, p.27 )) of constant, preselected or continuously variable probability of match, and preselected size, has been written in extended basic. The results are read out with or without
matrix, to any preselected probability to six significant figures, and include a table display of runs and a tabulation of numbers of digits used. The table includes Chi Square values to estimate "goodness of set" of both run and results and each digit group selected. The results are in agreement with manual computation but are several thousand times as rapid and provides more information. The program or tape is available for those interested.
THERMOMECHANICAL EXAMINATION OF FABRIC FIBERS COMPOSED OF SYNTHETIC POLYMERS
M.R. Martinelli, S.W. Mayer and P.F. Jones, The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles
A systematic series of studies has been made to demonstrate that thermomechanical examination can be used to identify very small clues consisting of single filaments of fibers from fabrics. A wide assortment of synthetic polymer fibers used. In fabrics was examined systematically and the thermomechanical curves were recorded to show the characteristic changes in fiber extension or contraction as the temperature was raised. Curves were obtained with the same fiber for at least two values of the applied tension since analytically valuable differences in the curves were obtained at the two tensions for most of the fibers.
A FORENSIC TOXICOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF SKELETAL REMAINS
T.T. Noguchi, G.R. Nakamura and E.C, Griesemer, Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, Los Angeles County
A case study is presented in which toxicological analyses were performed to determine the presence of poisons in skeletal remains v/hen investigation and autopsy revealed no trauma. Toxicological procedures were successfully applied to bone marrows in the vertebrae. Amitriptyline was determined in the amount of 0.31 mg% when calculated to a corresponding blood concentration. GC-mass spectrometry confirmed amitriptyline which was also found in lung and muscle remains. No other common drug was present.
SUICIDE DUE TO INTRAVENOUS NARCOTISM: A REPORT OF TWO CASES
Dwight Reed, Vina R. Spiehler and R.H. Cravey, Laboratory of Criminalistics, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner
Two documented heroin suicides are reviewed with regard to case histories, pathology and toxicology. Tissue morphine concentrations are reported.
MEDICAL ASPECTS OF THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST
Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D. Beverley Hills, CA
The author has conducted research in the area of the medical aspects of the Crucifixion of Christ.
Basically, the source for information concerning the death of Christ is the Shroud of Turin which is considered by experts to be the burial cloth in which the body of Christ was placed after his death on the cross. On the Shroud are many imprints which reflect the outlines of a human body, front and back. In addition, there are numerous stains which have the characteristics of bloodstains. From an analysis of these stains one is able to interpret the various injuries which Christ suffered during the period of his crucifixion. One can also draw certain conclusions as to the mechanics of death as well as the actual physical process of a person being suspended on a cross.
A SYSTEM FOR CONCURRENT PHENOTYPING OF MULTIPLE GENETIC MARKERS
B.W. Grunbaum, White Mountain Research Station, University of California, Berkeley
In this laboratory, cellulose acetate is routinely used as an electrophoretic supporting medium. It appears to be a useful all-purpose average-resolution supporting medium. We now use cellulose acetate in the determination of the polymorphic enzymes of phosphoglucomutase, glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase, erythrocyte acid phosphatase, adenosine deaminase, adenylate kinase, alkaline phosphatase, creatine phosphokinase, lactic acid dehydrogenase, and the polymorphic proteins of hemoglobin and group specific component.
Recently designed equipment permits the simultaneous application of multiple samples to a supporting medium and the concurrent determination of the enzyme and protein variant systems mentioned above. This technique offers advantages in terms of reliability, accuracy, speed, ease of performance and economy.
To accomplish the analysis, the multiple sample applicator is used in combination with as many separate electrophoretic cells as the number of variants to be determined. Each of the cells is prefilled with a buffer appropriate for the analysis of a separate enzyme system. When the run is completed the cellulose acetate membrane is removed and placed on a previously prepared substrate appropriate for that enzyme system.
This technique is designed to fill a real need in the forensic science laboratory. Other methods are very complex by comparison and it is difficult for criminalists to learn the procedures and obtain consistently reliable results. While the proposed procedures can be complete in 2 to 4 hours by one person, other commonly used procedures require 20-30 hours. Because of their complexity, these other methods are usually done in succession, producing potential artifacts. In addition, the traditional methods require a much larger sample, often a critical factor in a forensic laboratory.
Grunbaum, B.W., An automatic one- to eight-sample applicator for fast qualitative and quantitative microelectrophoresis of plasma proteins, hemoglobins, isoenzymes, and cross-over electrophoresis. Microchem. J., 20: 495-510, 1975.
THE ELEMENTAL COMPOSITION OF AUTOMOBILE CHASSIS GREASES BY ENERGY DISPERSIVE X-RAY
Carl R. Phillips, Ph.D., James M. Mathiesen, Finnigan Corporation, Sunnyvale
A study has been made of the elemental composition of automotive chassis lubricants by energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry, to determine its value as an identification tool. The variation in elemental composition of unused greases will be discussed along with the effects of road soil mixed in the greases found on the undercarriage. The lead-bromine ratio and content can be related to the relative amounts of urban-rural driving attributed to the vehicle. Different soil types in the principal driving area can cause quite different elemental ratios in under¬carriage greases. A comparison is made of the elemental uniformity in the grease recovered from different locations on the same vehicle with the greases obtained from different vehicles operating within the same driving area.
An elemental comparison of grease from the victim's clothing with grease from the undercarriage of the suspect vehicle may prove to be a valuable evidentiary aid in hit and run cases, especially in cases where the vehicle is not from the immediate area. The chain of evidence in many such cases may be strengthened considerable by combining the usual paint comparison with a lubricant comparison.
GC-MS OF SIMULATED GASOLINE RESIDUES FROM SUSPECTED ARSON CASES
Martin H. Mach, The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles
Computerized gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) using methane chemical ionization has been used to characterize samples of simulated arson residue derived from gasoline by distillation, evaporation, and combustion. The more concentrated samples show the presence of higher polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) not seen in the original gasoline or the early distillation residues. If these materials can be distinguished from compounds derived from wood, plastics, and other fire debris, routine analytical techniques can be developed, based on the presence of these characteristic PAH, to determine whether or not gasoline was used as a fire accelerant in a suspected arson case.
DEVELOPMENT OF A "DISCRIMINATION INDEX" FOR USE IN FORENSIC ANALYSES
Keith E. Inman and John I. Thornton, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Forensically, it is many times of interest to determine how useful a character will be in discriminating between two or more individuals (items, things, etc.). A statistical technique is presented that computes the rank order and relative importance of a set of characters by calculating each character’s independent share of the total dispersion of a sample subset of individuals. Some forensically useful situations will serve to illustrate the relevance of the technique.
LOW TEMPERATURE LUMINESCENCE: A MORE DISCRIMINATING METHOD OF ANALYSIS FOR GLASS FRAGMENTS
A.R. Calloway and P.F. Jones, The Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles
The low temperature luminescence of glass has proven to be useful in distinguishing between samples from different sources that have identical refractive indices. Analysis of the luminescence properties of 20 different window glass samples found at crime scenes that were indistinguishable by their refractive indices, revealed differences in 18 out of the 20. Based upon the results of additional preliminary experiments the luminescence method also holds promise for quickly distinguishing container glass from window glass.
DIFFERENTIATION OF BLOODSTAINS BY ISOTACHOPHORESIS
B.W. Grunbaum, White Mountain Research Station, University of California, Berkeley
Analytical isotachophoresis is a novel idea of eicctrophoresis The method is specifically designed for microscale separations, with minimum preparation time and theoretically highest resolution. Analytical isotachophoresis has the following major characteristics.
- An effective and active sharpening of zone boundaries results in very high resolution.
- A concentrating effect makes it possible to use small amounts of sample in dilute form.
- Direct detection of the separated zones and estimation of concentration is possible by use of both ultraviolet and thermal detectors.
- The separation takes place in a 0.5 mm ID Teflon capillary; no stabilizing medium is required.
- Counter-flow can be applied to increase the effective separation capacity.
- Analysis time is most often complete between 15 and 50 minutes
- Sample volume is in the order of 0.1 to 50 microliters. This permits estimation of fractions in the nanomole range.
- Pretreatment of the test specimen is normally not required.
- Non-aqueous solvents can be used, which may be advantageous in some circumstances.
Analytical isotachophoresis was used to separate soluble proteins from water extracts of dried bloodstains. Multipeak profiles based on absorption in the ultraviolet were obtained from submilligram samples. Differentiation of specimens was readily made by measuring a number of parameters in the profiles. Analytical isotachophoresis appears to be potentially a valuable method to the forensic scientist in helping to solve the perplexing problems of bloodstain analysis.
TOOLMARK EXAMINATION VIA SEM/EDX
R.L. Taylor and M.S. Taylor, Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, Los Angeles County
The high resolution and large depth of focus of the scanning electron microscope make possible the comparison of highly irregular surface details. Two cases are described in which scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM/EDX) has been successfully used for toolmark comparisons.
The first case is a burglary involving toolmarks in a doorknob and a pair of pliers from a suspect's car. The preparation of high quality replicas and impressions facilitated the comparisons of specimens that were not otherwise possible.
The second case involved the comparison of a weapon and toolmarks in tracheal cartilage resulting from a throat slashing. Exemplar toolmarks produced by the suspect weapon in control cartilage were used to accomplish this end.
THE USE OF EVIDENCE LOCATION TAGS IN CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
Kenneth w. Goddard, Huntington Beach Police Department
The recognition, visualization, protection, processing and collection of physical evidence are basic to routine crime scene investigation. When performed by one investigator - - such as an evidence technician or CSI officer--the coordination of these functions normally involves little confusion. When separate groups of investigators -- such as detectives, ID personnel and criminalists -- attempt to work a scene in a unified manner, however, confusion as to the status (or identity) of a particular piece of physical evidence often results.
The use of evidence location tags is suggested as a means of avoiding the above mentioned confusion.
CHARACTERIZATION OF A PROTEIN SPECIFIC TO SEMEN
George Sensabaugh, Forensic Science Group, University of California, Berkeley
Human semen contains a protein of about 32,000 molecular weight, previously described in the literature by Li as possibly a semen-specific protein. We have purified this protein and prepared antisera against it. The semen-specific expression of the Protein-32 has been confirmed; it is not immunologically detectable in blood, tears, sweat, saliva, or vaginal secretions. Protein-32 can be detected in vaginal washings post-coitus. Although further studies are needed, an immunological test for Protein-32 would appear to be a valuable adjunct to the acid phosphatase test.
ORIGIN OF A FLUORESCENT FACTOR IN HUMAN SEMEN
Robert Garbutt and George Sensabaugh, Forensic Science Group, University of California, Berkeley
Human semen, if allowed to stand, will develop an intense yellow fluorescence (lex = 400, lem = 460-480). In the hopes of developing a test for semen, we have sought to determine the origin of this fluorescence. The fluorescence results from the conversion of a low molecular weight precursor. The conversion is mediated by a bacterium. The bacterium is not yet completely characterized; it can be grown in culture. The precursor is not present in blood, sweat, tears, saliva, or vaginal secretions. Thus a bacterial plate test for semen is feasible.
IMMUNOLOGICAL CROSS-REACTIVITY OF PROSTATIC ACID PHOSPHATASE
Keith E. Inman and George Sensabaugh, Forensic Science Group, University of California, Berkeley
Previous studies have shown that prostatic acid phosphatase is similar to vaginal acid phosphatase in molecular weight and catalytic properties but differs in electrophoretic mobility. In this report we described the immunological relationships of prostatic, vaginal and tissue acid phosphatases. Prostatic, vaginal and some tissue acid phosphatases are immunologically cross-reactive. This suggests that these enzymes are determined at the same genetic locus and differ only in non-genetic properties. The significance of these findings for the acid phosphatase test will be discussed.
ETHICS AND THE EXPERT WITNESS
Robert T. Ekhaml, Sheriff's Laboratory, San Diego County
The testimony of the expert witness is readily acceptable by juries because of the influence of TV, etc. This places a great responsibility on the expert -- one that is all too often abused. Most of our problems would be solved if we all adopted highly ethical behavior.
X-RAY FLUORESCENCE ANALYSIS OF HEROIN
Peter Barnett and John Young, Physical Evidence Consultation, Berkeley
X-ray fluorescence analysis of trace elements in illicit drug samples may result in data to determine the possibility of common origin of different samples. Analysis of several samples of essentially pure (C99%-100%) illicit heroin samples was conducted. Various methods of analyzing the data will be presented, together with a discussion of possible approaches to the question of common origin.
DRUG ANALYSIS: AN OVERVIEW
Duane L. Mauzey and John P. Pasinski, California Department of Justice, Santa Ana
Screening and identification of drugs and drug mixtures in contraband material are recurring problems in forensic science. An 18 month study of these problems has resulted in the development of a number of drug screening flow charts and some analytical data concerning the specificity of some commonly used tests. The charts are based on color spot tests and UV absorption curves. The spot test and UV data is not new, but is organized in a unique manner such that presumptive tests can be given for nearly all the drugs listed in the I Controlled Substances Act. The time required for this pro¬cedure is minimal. The inquiry into the specificity of some of the tests currently used for drug identification has been primarily directed to marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, phencyclidine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and the barbiturates. The data substantiates the specificity of some tests, and calls into question the specificity and usefulness of some others. This information has proved useful in court.
AN APPLICATION OF AGGLOMERATIVE NUMERICAL TECHNIQUES TO THE FORENSIC COMPARISON OF ILLICIT HEROIN PREPARATIONS
Leroy Berens and Michael Miller, Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego
An agglomerative numerical technique has been adapted from the field of numerical taxonomy to the forensic comparison of illicit brown heroin preparations. The use of a numerical "magnitude" similarity coefficient enables weighting to be given to the evidential value of suspect and control samples in forensic drug comparisons. Procedures are described for the analytical determination of the principal organic and elemental constituents of Mexican brown heroin. The consider¬ation of both organic and elemental attributes affords a greater power of discrimination in the comparative process. As an added feature, a method of atomic absorption analysis is pre¬sented that utilizes as organic-aqueous matrix which eliminates the need for time consuming ashing procedures.
POTENTIAL ABUSE DRUGS
Alexander T. Shulgin, Berkeley
The various areas of drugs that are presently known or theoretically available, but which have not yet become abuse problems will be discussed.
INTERFERENCE BY ETHCHLORVYNOL IN THE OXIDEMETRIC DETERMINATION OF ETHANOL IN URINE
James M. White, Laboratory of Criminalistics, County of Orange
A case is described in which a high (200 mg%) ethchlorvynol concentration in the urine of an alcohol free 23102 CVC arrestee gave an appreciable (0.06-0.07%} apparent ethanol result by the method of Kozelka and Hine. A simultaneous blood sample from the subject had an ethchlorvynol level (1 mg%) within the "normal therapeutic" range.
DRUGS (OTHER THAN ALCOHOL) AND DRIVING BEHAVIOR
George D. Lundberg, M.D., California Association of Toxicologists, University of California, Los Angeles
The nearly world-wide use of ethyl alcohol is well known to be a major factor in vehicle driving behavior aberrations. Since many other psychoactive drugs also are in common use, it is reasonable to believe that there also may be some impact of these upon driving performance. Despite this likelihood, very few comprehensive clinical or experimental studies have been directed at this issue. In May 1973, the California Association of Toxicologists established a Liaison Committee to study the issue of drugs (other than, or in addition to, alcohol) and driving. A comprehensive data form was developed. Up to September 1, 1975, 729 cases had been collected by 12 individuals representing 7 counties. These cases include barbiturates - 207, ethyl alcohol and other drugs in combination - 222, combinations (not ethanol) - 120, diazepam - 43, methaqualone - 32, chloridazcpoxide - 12, meprobamate - 9, ethchlorvynol - 6, other single drugs - 14, and no drug found - 64.
Data will be presented correlating drugs(s) and level(s) found with specimen type, method of analysis, driving status of subject, observed state of subject, category of observer, field sobriety test, driving behavior problem, accident type and effect of accident.