67th SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Spring 1986)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
May 15-17, 1986
WITNESS EFFECTIVENESS TRAINING
Davis, Raymond J.; Quantum Analytical Laboratory, Seattle, WA
Many articles have been written on the subject of expert testimony, Most of these articles appear in the forensic journals and the contributors include other forensic scientists, lawyers, Judges, psychologists and even policemen. The subject matter ranges from how one should present certain types of evidence at trial - through, being a good expert witness and on to discussions about scientific vs. legal truth. These articles as well as the infamous 'mock' trial have been to date the basis for expert witness training. Most of the training forensic experts receive is on the job, that is, at trial. And usually without critique or support. Learning how to be an effective witness, that is, communicating scientific concepts and ones believability should not be left to 'practice'. The purpose of this paper is to present a unique approach to enhancing expert testimony by training people to be effective witnesses rather than training them how to testify.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE FBI FORENSIC SCIENCE RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTER
Munson, T.O., Research Unit, FSRTC, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135
This presentation will provide an overview of the FBI Forensic Science Research and Training Center (FSRTC) - who we are, where we are, and what we do. Many members of the forensic science community come to the FSRTC for training and become acquainted with specific individuals and functions, but few gain more than a vague notion of the people who comprise the total organization and the many functions they perform. In addition to the overall management structure, the names and specialties of each staff member will be presented. The goals and accomplishments for FSRTC for 1985 will be outlined including a summary of training given and research projects which have resulted in new forensic methods.
DNA FINGERPRINTING: AN OVERVIEW OF A NEW METHOD
Samples, Marie; CA Dept. of Justice, Salinas Laboratory, 745 Airport Blvd., Salinas, CA 93901
DNA fingerprinting is a method developed in Britain by A.J. Jeffreys, David Werrett, and Peter Bill. The method has been used in an immigration case and can be used to individualize blood and/or semen stains. The method utilizes techniques commonly employed in molecular biology such as cloning, restriction mapping, Southern blotting, and autoradiography to generate a "map" of DNA bands which are peculiar to a specific
individual. By comparing the pattern of bands from an evidence stain to that from the blood of the victim or suspect, identity of the donor could be determined.
IMPROVED RESOLUTION IN THE SUBTYPING OF GC BY ISOELECTIC FOCUSING
Kuo, S.E.; Los Angeles Police Dept., 150 . Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA.; and white, J.M.; Orange County Sheriff-Coroner's Dept.
The dissociation of the GC-actin complex by urea as proposed by Westwood (Electrophoresis. 5, 316-318) has resulted in increased success in the typing of GC in bloodstains. Further work reported by Westwood (Electrophoresis. 6, 498-503) reported that immobiline(R) gel provided the best resolution (Gc2 to fastest Gc:F separation; 35 mm) followed by ultrathin gel IEF using MOPS and HEPES as separators. The method presented here is a modification of the IEF method which provides a better resolution than the immobiline(R) gel (Gc2 'o fastest Gc:F separation:40mm). This resolution is achieved by removing sucrose from the gel composition to increase the cathodic drift.
EVIDENCE THAT "VAGINAL PEPTIDASE" IS A BACTERIAL GENE PRODUCT
Blake, E.T., and Cook, Charles E. Jr.; Forensic Science Assoc., P.O. Box 8313, Emeryville, CA 94608, and Bashinski, J.S.; Oakland Police Dept.
A peptidase has been described in vaginal samples, termed "vaginal peptidase" (G.B. Dival), For Sc i Intl .. 24 (4), 1984, 239). This enzyme has been proposed as a tissue specific marker for vaginal debris, we have explored the presence of this enzyme in vaginal swabs from alleged sexual assault victims and volunteer donors as well as bacterial cultures. These studies reveal that "vaginal peptidase" is composed of a family of peptidase isozymes that originate from several bacterial species. The characterization of "vaginal peptidase" as a tissue specific marker for vaginal debris is premature.
DETECTION OF ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES: A CASE REPORT
Blake, Edward T.; Forensic Science Assoc., P.O. Box 8313, Emeryville, CA 94608
Antisperm antibodies have been known to occur in some men for approximately 30 years. These antibodies are produced as the result of exposure of sperm to the immune system from which sperm are normally protected. Antisperm antibodies are frequently found in the serum and seminal plasma of vasectomized men. These antibodies persist and can increase as the result of vasovasectomy (vasectomy reversal). These factors suggest
that antisperm antibodies can be used as an individualizing factor in appropriate case situations. The detection of antisperm antibodies was first employed in a criminal investigation in an alleged rape/homicide case in which the suspect had a vasectomy reversal. This report addresses the experimental design and some of the legal Frye issues.
A GRAM MODIFIED CHRISTMAS TREE STAIN
Blake, Edward T.; Cook, Charles E.,Jr.; Forensic Science Assoc., P.O. Box 8313, Emeryville, CA 94608; and Bashinski, J.S.; Oakland Police Dept.
The nuclear fast red/picroindigocarmine stain developed by Oppitz has become popular for the detection of sperm in sexual assault specimens (Arkiv fur Krimin.. 144, 1969 145). The value of the stain can be increased by incorporating an initial Gram stain step in the procedure. The Gram stain assists in revealing bacteria and those samples where the bacteria levels are unusually high. The use of the Gram stain in this application does not adversely affect the typical appearance of sperm heads or epithelial cells.
DESIALIDATION OF GC VARIANTS
Blake, Edward T.; Forensic Science Assoc., P.O. Box 8313, Emeryvilie, CA 94608
Most serum proteins contain sialic acid. This charged carbohydrate contributes to the anodal electrophoretic mobility of many proteins, and its removal can alter phenotypic presentation. Some Gc proteins also contain sialic acid; however Gc is unusual in that the presence and degree of sialidation is genotype dependent. The desialidated forms of some of the common and rare Gc variants have been examined. These studies reveal that Gc proteins can contain at the most one sialic acid residue. Particular Gc allele products can contain a population of molecules where:
- all molecules contain one sialic acid residue,
- half the molecules contain one sialic acid residue and half contain no sialic acid, and
- all molecules contain no sialic acid.
The desialidation of Gc can assist in identifying the primary gene product.
HISTORY AND ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT FEDERAL CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT OF 1970
Shulgin, Alexander T.; 1483 Shulgin Road, Lafayette, CA 94549
The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) currently in force lists just over two hundred substances in five schedules, with certain variously defined extensions (all isomers) and undefined terms (all derivatives) the total number is much larger. An analysis of the classification and definition of these substances will be presented with cited authorization, when available, for all reclassifications and all definitions used in these descriptions. A brief history of the origin of the CSA, the additions to and modifications of it made over the last fifteen years, and related legislation that bears upon drug law enforcement, will also be reviewed.
TECHNIQUE OF VISUAL DEMONSTRATION OF A SHOOTING SCENE RECONSTRUCTION
Bradford, Lowell w.; Consultant in Physical Evidence, P.O. Box 1148, San Jose, CA 95108
This paper will present principles of laying a foundation for a visual demonstration, and principles of application of demonstration to cases in general. A detailed example of application to recent case involves reconstructing the position of a shooting victim in a police case in order to determine whether the shooting act was justifiable homicide or another form of homicide. The demonstration includes 26 color slide projections. Reconstruction involves police reports, postmortem examination, and radiology.
AMONIUM CHLORIDE SMOKE AS A COATING MATERIAL IN THE EXAMINATION OF STRIATED MARKS
Rios, Ferdinand; Thornton, John; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Magnesium oxide has been used successfully for the coating of striated marks, either on the substrate directly when specular reflectance from the surface detracts from the observed microscopic image or on replicas when the texture or color of the replica material provides little apparent contrast. Although MgO is suitable for this purpose, it is difficult to judge the amount of oxide deposited on a surface when one holds the surface over a burning strip of magnesium ribbon. An alternative is to produce ammonium chloride smoke from ammonium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid; the deposition is slower, but can be more critically controlled to achieve the optimum amount of coating.
DITHIZONE AS A MICROCRYSTALLINE TEST FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF PROJECTILE LEAD WIPES
McGinnis, Malcom; Thornton, John; and Espinoza, Edgar 5 Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
The dithizone test is frequently used as a color test for lead in the confirmation of projectile wipes. An adjustment of test conditions will also allow the dithizone reaction to be conducted as a microcrystalline test, thereby increasing the specificity of the reaction. A 1% solution of dithizone in pyridine is used as the test reagent. Only lead and mercury give crystals, and those obtained with mercury are easily distinguished
from those given by lead.
THE MEASUREMENT OF BULLET DEFLECTION AND BEHAVIOR AFTER STRIKING INTERVENING OBJECTS
Haag, Lucien C.; Forensic Science Services, Phoenix, AZ 85019
The flight paths of destabilized bullets has received little attention in the forensic literature although legitimate questions stand to be raised when the criminalist or firearms examiner attempts to reconstruct the trajectories of bullets that have struck intervening objects. This presentation will illustrate several inexpensive means of measuring the amount of deflection induced by impact with intervening objects and studying the post-impact behavior of these destabilized bullets.
HEADSPACE MEASUREMENT OF ETHANOL IN BLOOD BY GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY WITH A MODIFIED AUTOSAMPLER
Penton, Selda; Varian Instrument Group, walnut Creek Division, 2700 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94598
An Autosampler intended for liquid injection into a gas chromatograph was modified to serve as an automatic headspace sampler by replacing the syringe with a 100 μL gas-tight syringe and shortening the needle that normally enters the vials for sampling. Instead of the usual 1.0 to 1.5 mL of liquid sample, the vials contained 200μL of liquid, the vapor above the liquid was injected into the gas chromatograph. Blood samples from
California drivers were analyzed for ethanol by using the modified autosampier and the values were compared with those obtained by two other methods; the Smith modified version of the widmark diffusion desiccation oxidation method (J Lab ClinMed 38: 762, 1951) and direct injection of diluted blood into the gas chromatograph. The correlation coefficient between the headspace method described in this paper and the titration method was 0.984; with direct injection 0.997. Although constant temperature is normally required for headspace analysis, data will be presented to show that neither heating nor temperature control was required in this case.
TROBMETTA SAMPLES- A FIELD STUDY OF BLOOD-BREATH CORRELATION
Von Berodingen, Linton A. and Gima, Lance; CA. Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services, Santa Rosa Regional Lab, 7505 Sonoma Highway, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
A California Appellate Court decision, People v. Trombetta, created the opportunity for analysis of nearly simultaneously collected blood and breath blood-alcohol samples. Blood alcohol determination was done by GC headspace or Modified Smith-Widmark (dichromate oxidation). Breath testing was by the Intoxilyzer 4011 A or AM. This study addresses the results obtained from 714 such pairs of samples from Marin and Contra
Costa counties. Statistical analysis of the values obtained when the blood results are time-corrected for metabolic elimination of alcohol or when the time interval is less than 15 minutes between the two tests shows good correlation between the two techniques. In the case of times less than 15 minutes, no breath BA values exceed the blood test results by more than 0.02% w/V.
A COMPARATIVE FIELD STUDY OF BLOOD AND BREATH ANALYSIS WITH THE INTOXILYZER 5000
Parsons, Eric; Dallosta, Dolores; Sacramento Co. Laboratory of Forensic Services, 4400 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
Over six thousand completed breath tests were performed in Sacramento County between January 1, 1985 and November 2, 1985. Six hundred of these individuals decided to also give a blood sample. Only those samples in which the breath test was performed within fifteen minutes of the blood draw were subsequently kept for comparative analysis. Out of these tests over two hundred were retained in which the breath analysis was performed within fifteen minutes of the blood draw. In over ninety percent of the cases the breath alcohol analysis was equal or slightly less than the blood alcohol analysis. However in slightly more than nine percent of the cases the breath alcohol analysis was greater than the blood alcohol analysis. This data breaks down into the following categories: 6.1% of the samples exhibit a breath alcohol level (BAL) 0.01% greater than the blood alcohol level, 2.3% at 0.2V deviation, and 0.5% at 0.3% deviation.
ENSURING TRUE COLOR RENDITION IN PHOTOMICROGRAPHY WITH REVERSAL FILM
Espinoza, Edgar and Thornton, John; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
In macro photography, proper color rendition with reversal films can be achieved by photographing a standard test sheet, such as the Kodak Color Separation Guide. No such device exists for taking color photomicrographs. It was found, however, that true color rendition can be achieved by photographing 40% magenta, 40% cyan, and 40% yellow filters, individually and in combination. If the color printing laboratory matches these colors to the final prints, then the proper color rendition of the actual specimen on the same roll of film is virtually assured. The advantage of using these filters as reference material is their accessibility to the processing laboratory.
ESTIMATING THE DENSITY OF GLASS FROM THE REFRACTIVE INDEX OF BROMOFORM/BROMOBENZENE MIXTURES
Kahane, David; Thornton, John; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Following the sink/float procedure, it is possible to determine the absolute density of a bromoform/bromobenzene mixture (and by extension the absolute density of a sample of glass suspended in the mixture) by means of a pycnometer, the plummet method, or the Mettler density meter. These procedures are labor intensive or require equipment not necessarily available to forensic laboratories. An alternative is to determine the refractive index of the bromoform/bromobenzene mixture by means of the Abbe refractometer. Reference to the regression line of density vs. refractive index of bromoform/bromobenzene mixtures will thereby provide an approximation of the absolute density of the glass.
THE USE OF K VALUES IN THE INTERPRETATION OF GLASS DENSITY AND REFRACTIVE INDEX DATA
Thornton, John; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
A "K value" may be obtained by plotting glass density against the Gladstone-Dale specific refraction, and then determining the slope of the line through the data point and the 0,0 origin. Doing so facilitates the interpretation of commonality of source, since within item variations in density, n(C), n(D), and n(F) maintain the K value. Between-item variation profoundly influences the K value, even if the density and one of the refractive indices are exceedingly similar or even identical. The interpretation of the single K value is more easily achieved than a separate comparison of three refractive index values and one density value.
THE PERSISTENCE OF FINGERNAIL STRIAE WITH TIME AND THEIR USE AS A MEANS OF PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION
Haag, Lucien C.; Forensic Science Services, Phoenix, AZ 85019
The earliest published recognition of the possibility of employing the striae on the underside of the fingernails as a means of personal identification was by John Davis writing in the October 1943 issue of The Technician. In that article he illustrated the matching of his own nails collected between 1939 and 1940. Over the years since his report, the ability to match these "biological toolmarks" has occasionally been demonstrated and even utilized in casework. Several years ago another CAC member, Reed McLaughlin, provided the author with his personal collection of nail trimmings for all ten fingers covering a 13 year interval which included a detailed history of trauma and chemical exposure of each digit. Additionally, the nail striae of a pair of identical twins have been compared. This presentation will summarize the findings of these comparisons, the means available for carrying them out, and their value as associative evidence.
IDENTIFIABLE BULLET STRIAE FROM THE EJECTION PORT OF A MODEL 59 (AND 39-2) S & W PISTOL
Murdock, John E.; Criminalistics Lab., 1122 Escobar St., Martinez, CA 94553
As unfired 9mm cartridges are worked through the action of S &W semiautomatic pistols, the bullet ogive and cartridge case rim make forceful contact with the lower edge of the ejector port. The resulting combination compression/striated mark can be used to associate unfired and fired bullets with one gun to the exclusion of all others. In addition, in certain circumstances, fired bullets can be associated with the cartridge case they were fired from.
ENZYME IMMUNOASSAY OF M ANTIGEN IN BLOODSTAINS
Sensabaugh, G.F.; Kochenburger, R.J.; Calandro, L.; Forensic Science Group, School of Public Health, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
We have previously described an enzyme immunoassay for M antigen in bloodstains (CAC Seminar, May 19855. We report here the completion of blind trial studies on over 100 stains. No incorrect results were obtained. Statistical analysis of the data shows clear-cut differences in the ratio of M antigen to glycophorin detected in M, MN, and N stains. M+ stains can be distinguished from M- stains with no ambiguity; ratio differences allow a tentative distinction of M and MN stains.
GM AND KM TESTING OF BLOODSTAINS
Wraxall, Brian G. and Harmor, Gary C,; Serological Research Institute, 1400 53rd St., Emeryville, CA 94608
The Gamma (Gm) and Kappa (Km) markers occur on the immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules. The Gm allotypes are associated with IgG, and Km allotypes are found on all immunoglobulins that contain kappa light chains. Gm and Km occur in large quantities in human serum, are very resilient to degradation, and can have a high degree of polymorphism. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for use in bloodstain analysis. European laboratories have been using this genetic marker for some time. Until recently Gm antisera was not readily available in this country. Using the reagents, now available through SERI, we have developed a micro slide technique replacing the cumbersome tube technique. We have been using Gm and Km typing routinely in our case work. Results of blind trials together with our experience with case work are discussed.