52nd SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1978)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
San Mateo, California
CRIMINALISTICS LABORATORY INPUT TO CURRICULUM REVIEW DR. Talib Ul Haq
Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences California State University, Sacramento
California State University, Sacramento has had a degree program in Criminalistics since 1969. From 1975 the CSUS forensic science program has become the largest in the country employing four full time instructors who are trained and experienced criminalists. The program is under constant review to improve its quality and to make it more useful (or the operating forensic science laboratories. With this goal a two month, 9500 mile trip was undertaken to visit criminalistics and forensic science laboratories in the Midwest, the East Coast, South and California.
A total of nineteen laboratories were visited and in depth, conversation held with the directors and some personnel of these laboratories to gather information for our curriculum review.
This paper will discuss the CSUS forensic science curriculum in the light of the findings of this trip.
AN EVALUATION OF 30MB ARSON DISTILLATION TECHNIQUES
Steven Woycheshin and John DeHaan California Department of Justice, Sacramento
A side by side comparison of several commonly used volatile accelerant recovery techniques was carried out on three different petroleum based fuels. Direct distillation using water and ethylene glycol, alcohol extraction and vacuum distillation were tested to compare their recovery effectiveness for various fuels, their contaminant carry over and their relative time and cost effectiveness. The results of this comparison are presented here along with a discussion of the applications of these methods to certain types of argon exhibits. Each method was found to have certain advantages of efficiency, speed or convenience which could make their applications to particular problem cases quite useful.
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE A CASE REPORT
N. L. Port, Ventura County Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory
The case presented is demonstrative of what can be accomplished with physical evidence collected from a well preserved crime scene coupled with a coordinated investigative unit.
THE HITCHES IN HITCH
R. Gieszl, L. Haag and A. Raphael, Phoenix Crime Laboratory
While the usefulness of the Breathalyzer instrument in California was dealt a serious blow by the Hitch decision as evidenced by many agencies subsequently switching to other instruments, the State of Arizona is still largely committed to this device and now finds itself confronted with virtually the same claims voices in Hitch. The merits of the Hitch claims offered in this and later cases have been studied by the National Safety Council's Committee on Alcohol and Drugs since 1974 and have always been found wanting as evidenced by the Formal Statement a published in the Journal of Forensic sciences in 1975,1977 and 1978.
This presentation will not only illustrate the fallacies and shortcomings of the technical claims offered in Hitch and several recent Arizona cases but will also call attention to future potentially detrimental effects of Hitch-type decisions on the forensic science community.
THE APPLICATION OF FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPY IN DISTINGUISHING STERN HEADS FROM OTHER BIOLOGICAL ARTIFACTS
Gary V. Cortner, Calif. Dept. of Justice, Fresno regional Laboratory Ellen J. Boudreau Fresno County Sheriff's Office crime Laboratory
In an effort to evaluate any potential for differentiating sperm heads from other common biological artifacts, the specimens were observed by utilizing four fluorescent biological stains. This paper reports observations made of spermatozoa other biological tissues, and mixtures of spermatozoa and other biological tissues by means of fluorescence microscopy. Other areas to be discussed are the advantaged and disadvantages associated with fluorescence microscopy compared to other microscopic techniques.
DISPUTED AUTHORSHIP: QUANTITATIVE STYLISTICS AS EVIDENCE AND ITS APPLICATION TO FORENSIC SCIENCE
Marty Blake, Oakland Police Department
As an adjunct to the traditional type of document examination, it is possible to determine probable authorship of a disputed document by examining the linguistic and stylistic features of the text. Examples of texts which may occur in the legal arena include disputed confession statements, literacy hoaxes. And the evaluation of tape-recorded "communiqué a." quantitative stylistics involves measuring the frequency of certain variables which affect three aspects of composition: 1) choice of words and repetition of chaser. Words (vocabulary evidence), 2) arrangement of chosen words (syntactic evidence), and 3) word length: and syntactic unit length frequency distribution. Examples of criminal and civil cases which have been examined by these techniques will be discussed. Several parameters have been reviewed and evaluated for the purpose of looting those variables which may be effectively applied to disputed documents of forensic significance.
THE NEW GUNSHOT RESIDUE ANALYSIS PROGRAM AT THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMNER-CORNOER
R. Taylor, N. Wallis and T. Noguchi Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, LOB Angeles
The Los Angeles Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner had initiated a new gunshot residue analysis program utilizing the Scanning Electron Microscope/Energy Dispersive X-Ray analyzer. This paper will provide an overview or the scope or the program, the Field collection procedures, the laboratory analysis, and the reporting procedures. Gunshot Residue research currently in progress at the Coroner's office will also be discussed.
SEX AND RACE DIFFERENTIATION OF PUBIC HAIR USING All IMAGES ANALYZING SYSTEM: A PRELIMINARY REPORT
B. Carter and R. Taylor Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, Los Angeles
Hair is one of the most common items of evidence found at crime scenes. As a result, numerous techniques have been tested and/or developed over the years with the goal in mind of individualizing hair. Some of these techniques have involved various morphological parameters of hair and others have involved immunological and biochemical characteristics of hair.
The approach reported on here involves measurements on two of the hair's morphological parameters: scale count and scale perimeter. What is particularly unique about this study is that the measurements were made automatically and virtually instantaneously on an electronic image analyzing system.
This paper will present our preliminary results on the utility of this system in sex and race differentiation of pubic hair.
THE VISUALIZATION OF LATENT FINGERPRINTS ON HUMAN SKIN: THE STATE OF THE
R. Taylor and T. Noguchi Department of Chief medical Examiner-Coroner, Los Angeles
There has been a resurgence of interest in recent years in the visualization and demonstration of fingerprints on human skin, and the problem is being attacked from three principal directions: Electronography, the iodine-silver plate transfer method, and the Kromekote lift technique.
The advantages and disadvantages of each of these techniques, and the experience of the Los Angeles county Department of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner with each of these procedures will be discussed.
THE NANOPHOR A NEW AND COMPLETE SYSTEM FOR SEPARATION, IDENTIFICATION AND QUANTIFICATION OF PROTEINS.
B. W. Grunbaum Environmental Physiology Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
Electrophoretic methods have been used extensively in civil and criminal investigations in phenotyping fresh blood and bloodstains.
A new apparatus fop electrophoresis and associated technology was developed with the financial support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The new (patented) apparatus has been named "NANOPHOR" ("NANO" specifying quantity, as in "nanogram" "nanomole or "nanoliter" and "PHOR" from "electrophoresis"). The Nanophor electrophoresis system is comprised of a radio ally redesigned electrolyte tank and cover, an automatic ten-sample applicator and a novel sample holder. The system is versatile enough to permit electrophoresis on all known supporting media. When used with gel media, an efficient cooling plate is inserted for rapid heat removal generated during electrophoresis. With cellulose acetate membranes cooling is not required. The Nanophor can be employed for more complicated procedures requiring electrophoresis as a first step, such as crossover electrophoresis and electro-immunoprecipitation in one and two dimensions. For electrofocusing in either acrylamide gel or on cellulose acetate membranes, a unique electrode is available.
Accessory equipment (separately patented) consists of a specially designed disposable gel plate and a slot casting plate for gels: for electrophoresis and electrofocusing 10 slots and 60 slots for crossover electrophoresis. Except for starch gel, these precast gels can be prepared in advance and used as needed criminalists examining dried bloodstains will find the precast gel plate useful, as it permits the placing in the gel of either liquid or threads.
The total Nanophor system is easy to use and more economical, accuracy is increased and the analysis time is greatly decreased. (This research was supported by NASA Grant NSG-05-003-024.)
PHENOTYPING OF GPT AND GLO-1 IN FRESH BLOOD AND BLOODSTAINS BY ELECTROPHORESIS ON SARTORIUS CELLULOSE ACETATE MEMBRANES
B. W. Grunbaum, P. I. Kalish and P. A. Barnard, Environmental Physiology Laboratory, University of California Berkeley
The genetically controlled polymorphic enzymes glutanic pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and glyoxylase 1 (GLO-1) have excellent frequency distributions in the general population. For this reason they are good discriminators Sartorius cellulose acetate membranes (CAM) were adapted for phenotyping the OFT and GLO-1. Since GPT is present in the red blood cell at very low concentrations, the phenotyping is marginal but adequate for fresh blood. We had no success yet with dried blood. The GLU-1 isozymes are present at moderately high levels. Their typing on CAM is good with both fresh blood and bloodstains. For GPT typing a concentrated hemolysate is used. The bank buffer is Tris-Maleic acid at pH 7.6, to which EDTA and MGCL2 6H20 is added. The CAM buffer is 1:22 dilution of tank buffer. Electrophoresis is done at 270 volts for 45 min. Typing of GLO-1 is routinely started with a pre-treatment with 0.05M Cleland's reagent. Electrophoresis is done in a phosphate buffer at pH 6.7. The membrane buffer is diluted 1:7.5. Constant voltage is maintained for 30 min. at 250 volts. The staining procedure for GLO-1 used by Kempf et al. (Hunangenetik 27:141-143. 1975) is considerably simplified by eliminating the general biochemical dye dichlorophenol indophenol. The GLO-1 isoenzymes appear as colorless bands on a background stained with formazan. Data on the phonotype frequencies of GPT and GLO-1 in four racial groups of the population of California and Hawaii using the CAM technology is now being collected for statistical studies. Ongoing studies with laboratory prepared bloodstains on cotton cloth yield favorable phenotypings for GLO-1. (This research was supported by a federal grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the California Office of Criminal Justice Planning and under Title I of the Crime Control Act of 1973.)
PHENOTYPING UP TRANSFERRIN IN FRESH BLOOD AND BLOODSTAINS BY IMMUNOFIXATION ON SARTORIUS CELLULOSE ACETATE MEMBRANES
Kalish and B. W. Grunbaum Environmental Physiology, University of California, Berkeley
Transferrin C is the main variant in all populations. To date, more than 20 additional rare variants have been determined electrophoretically, often followed by radioautography, using starch and acrylamide gels. Identification of low frequency variants increases the discrimination capability and thus is useful in investigations of civil and criminal cases. Grunbaum and Zajac (J. Forens. Sci., 22:586-589, 1977) have recently described a method for phenotyping the Ground Specific Component (Gc) by immunofixation on Sartorius cellulose acetate membranes (CAM). Subsequently, Zajac and Grunbaum (J. Forens. Sci., 23:353-355, 1978) successfully phenotyped dried blood for Go by immunofixation on CAM. Similar technology has been developed for phenotyping other genetically controlled polymorphic proteins, namely: Transferrin, Ceruloplasmin and Alpha-1 entitrypain. All three proteins were clearly identified on CAM after lactrophoresis and followed by immunofixation with a specific antiserum. Because of lack of adequate standards for ceruloplasmin and alpha-1 antitrypsin, only the method for Tf phenotyping has been developed. Standards for Tf were obtained courtesy of Dr. Roberta Palmour (Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, Dept. of Genetics) and Criminalist Dr. Edward Blake (Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, School of Public Health).
Briefly, the method consists of the following steps:
- Fresh plasma samples are prepared by diluting plasma 1:6 with a 0.3% Ferris ammonium citrate solution. Bloodstains were extracted with this solution.
- Samples are incubated at 15 C for one hour. In this period the Transferrin becomes saturated with iron. Transferrin with and without bound iron differs in electrophoretic mobility and will interfere with typing.
- Electrophoresis is done starting with a cold tris-glycine buffer of pH 8.4 at 4.00 volts for 45 min.
At present 2500 fresh blood specimens were typed for Tf. A total of 7 different phenotypes were observed. Bloodstains prepared on cotton cloth 4 weeks old were readily phenotyped for their respective Tf variants. (This, research was supported by a federal grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the California. Office of Criminal Justice Planning and under Title I, of the crime control Act of 1973.)
PHENOTYPING OF PEPTIDASE A IN FRESH BLOOD, BLOODSTAINS AND SEMINAL FLUID STAINS BY ELECTROPHORESIS ON SARTORIUS CELLULUSE ACETATE MEMBRANES
B. W. Grunbaum, Environmental Physiology Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley; K. Noppinger R. Morrison, Department of Toxicology and Criminal Investigation, Huntsville Regional Laboratory, POB 128, Huntsville, Alabama
Typing for Peptidase A (Pap A) is useful in forensic investigations of both civil and criminal cases. While ate pH 7.4 most populations appear to have almost entirely the PEP ft phenotype 1-1, only 90% or the black population have PEP A 1-1. Of the remaining 10% blacks, about 9% has PEP A 1-2 and about 1% 2-2 phenotypes. The determination of PEP A -a conventionally done on starch gel, which requires a considerable setup time. We were able to adapt the method to use with cellulose acetate membranes (CAM) and thus reduce the "hands on" and total time for analysis this makes it an attractive method for use in the crime lab.
Electrophoresis was done on a tris-maleic acid buffer at pH 7.4 at 200 volts for 60 minutes. AI 20 dilution of the cell buffer was used for the CAM saturation. Following electrophoresis the CAM is incubated for 10 min at 37 o C with a specific substrate, according to a standardized procedure. The PEP isoenzymes appear as brown bands on a white background. Bloodstains prepared on cotton cloth were phenotyped up to two weeks old. Seminal stains ranging in age from 1 day to 52 months kept at ambient laboratory conditions, showed good enzymatic activity. However, all these stains were PEP A type 1-1. Seminal stains 16 days old prepared in the laboratory on cotton cloth and kept in the freezer at 0 OC showed a much increased enzymatic activity. The CAM electrophoretogram of PEP A remains as a permanent record, as is the case with all CAM technology. While PEP A typing is done almost entirely on fresh bloods from blacks at the University of California laboratory, at the Huntsville, Alabama lab it is being adapted to typing of seminal stains in casework investigations (This research was supported by a federal grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the California Office of Criminal Justice Planning end under Title I of the Crime Control Act of 1973.) We gratefully acknowledge the advice and expertise of Dr. Edward Blake, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.