82nd SEMI-ANNUAL SEMINAR (Fall 1993)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINALISTS
San Diego, California
TESTING THE TEST: THE FIRST STEP TOWARD ACCELERANT DETECTION CANINE (ADC) CERTIFICATION IN CALIFORNIA
Carol L. Hunter, Dean M. Gialamas, Stepban A. Schliebe, California Laboratory of Forensic Science, 17842 Irvine Blvd. Suite 224, Tustin, CA 92680
Several states across the US currently have certification programs for accelerant detection canines. Unfortunately, the existing programs are only available to (1) dogs trained under the certifying state's training program, or (2) law enforcement canines regardless of where they were trained. The California State Fire Marshal, together with State Farm Insurance, is in die process of developing a certification program in California which will be available to all canines, regardless of where diey were trained or their agency of employment. The videotape portion of this presentation will demonstrate several different types of tests that are being considered for the certification process. To date, the final certification procedure has not been finalized. A live demonstration of a canine's ability to detect accelerants is also planned for today's presentation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF BULLETS FIRED THROUGH TEMPERED AUTOMOBILE WINDOW GLASS
V. Parker Bell, 225 East Third Ave., Escondido, CA 92025
In testing a hypothesis in a homicide case, .380 caliber full metal case bullets were fired through unbroken tempered automobile window glass into ordnance gelatin. These fired bullets showed distinctive characteristics on dieir noses. Bullets which were fired under the same conditions through glass which was already shattered but still in place, showed different, even more distinct, markings on the noses (apparently the pattern of the fractures in the glass), as well as having small particles of glass imbedded in the bullet jackets. Careful examination of damaged areas of fired bullets can therefore give important information about an event, such as which of multiple shots was fired first.
DETECTION OF GUNSHOT RESIDUE ON FABRIC THAT HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY SOAKED IN BLOOD
Bryan R. Bumett, Forensic Science Consulting Group and Meixa Tech,, 135 Liverpool Drive, Suite B, Cardiff, CA 92007
A limiting factor for most of the tests used for the detection of gunshot residue (GSR) on clothing is the soaking of that fabric with blood. A procedure will be described in which a small fabric disk (7 mm to 12 mm D) is cut from the area of interest, soaked in 6% sodium hypochlorite (bleach), and rinsed in distilled water. The fabric disk is the mounted on a carbon disk, carbon coated and viewed in the scanning electron microscope. GSR abundance was compared between blood soaked, bleach treated fabric and non-treated fabric. Results show that significant numbers of GSR particles remain associated with fabric after blood soaking and the bleach-distilled water treatment. This technique can also be used to detect bullet-rub GSR.
CHARLES C. FULTON (1900-1992) MICROCRYSTAL TEST PIONEER
Hiram K. Evans, San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department, Scientific Investigations Division, P.0. Box 569, San Bernardino, CA 92402
Charles C. Fulton was a pioneer in the development of non-aqueous media for microcrystal tests for drugs. His career commenced in the "Untouchable" era of Prohibition and his record of publications began when forensic science literature as such was non-existent. His efforts in drug identification lead him to develop many new reagent media, keep pace with the rapidly expanding number of drugs in the post-war era, and contribute his science to combating international drug trade by identifying opium sources for the newly created United Nations Secretariat. He authored Modem Microcrystal Tests for Drugs, a text still used in many forensic science laboratories, in 1969, before retiring to pursue eclectic interests including publishing on archeoastronomy, particularly regarding the Maya.
IS IT GASOLINE OR INSECTICIDE?
Dean M. Gialameis, California Laboratory of Forensic Science, 17842 Irvine Boulevard, Suite 224, Tustin, California 92680
Recently, I had opportunity to work on a case involving water bowl contamination/poisoning of some four month old puppies using an insecticide. During part of the examination process, a CS2 extract of the liquid material was prepared to compare its GC chromatogram pattern to those of other common "over-the-counter" insecticides. Most outdoor, ready-to-use insecticides on the market today contain a petroleum distillate carrier solvent to dissolve the active ingredients. Almost all use a mineral spirit - or kerosene - type petroleum product. During the examination of one particular insecticide, an interesting pattern was obtained from the CS2 extract: a pattern remarkably similar to weathered gasoline. Chromatograms and data will be presented about this product along with its implications on interpretations of fire debris analysis.
POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC AND THE LIMITS OF LUMINOL-CROSS-EXAMINING THE "BLOODSTAIN PATTERN EXPERT"
V. Parker Bell, 225 East Third Ave , Escondido, CA 92025
A case will be presented in which a "bloodstain pattern expert"--not a criminalist-interpreted a luminol reaction on clothing and presented a theory as to how the homicide was committed, based upon interpretation of the luminol pattern. Such interpretation was based upon a premise that washing a garment does not change the bloodstain pattern. Experimentation shows that a bloodstain pattern is, in fact, affected by washing. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is the name of a common fallacy. In simple terms: If event A causes result B, and if result B is present, then event A must have occurred. "Bloodstain pattern experts" frequently rely upon this fallacy in their interpretations of stains. In the case discussed, the "expert" was given an in-court test in the form of various bloodstain patterns and asked to interpret them. His inability to do so points out the use of this fallacy and the dangers associated with it.
A COMPREHENSIVE CRIME LABORATORY COMPUTER CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Benjamin Smith, Criminalist, and Robert A. Jarzen, Director Sacramento County Laboratory of Forensic Services, 4400 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
The Sacramento County Laboratory of Forensic Services has developed a comprehensive computerized case management system. This multi-user system, which was designed in the Windows* environment and runs on a personal computer-based local and wide-area network, has been custom designed to meet the current and future information management needs of the laboratory. The system currently performs the following functions:
- Records all evidence and requests for analysis received.
- Automatically issues unique laboratory identification numbers to new cases and evidence submissions.
- Uses bar code technology to track evidence and facilitate data entry.
- Tracks all analytical requests awaiting assignment to particular criminalists, all currently uncompleted analytical assignments, and all cases awaiting supervisory review.
- Prints assignment notification sheets for criminalists.
- Automatically downloads analytical data from PC-controlled instruments such as the blood-alcohol gas chromatograph and the radioimmunoassay gamma counter.
- Allows searching of case data by laboratory identification number, arresting agency report number, or subject or victim name.
- Integrates all information relating to a specific case, including general case information (type and date of offense, name of investigating officer, etc.), all evidence received, all analyses requested and performed, all due dates, analytical results (for some types of analyses), names of individuals who performed the analyses and the time spent, chain of custody data, and all subpoenas received for the case.
- Automatically compiles caseload statistics for the entire laboratory as well as for individual criminalists.
- Provides automated report generation and on-line access to the District Attorney's office for some types of laboratory results.
- Integrates ancillary information such as a searchable database of the laboratory's library collection and a database of training courses requested and completed for all criminalists.
QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ASSAY OF ALPHA SATELLITE DNA
RM Thompson, TH Aulinskas, LJ Mendoza and HC Coleman, GeneLex, 2203 Airport Way, Seattle, WA
Alpha satellite DNA is a family of tandemly repeated monomers localized to human centromeric chromatin. D17Z1 loci are the chromosome 17 specific alpha-satellite repeat sequences. Hybridization to D17Z1 has been used to estimate human DNA quantities by "slot-blot" in forensic samples. We have extended this method to include qualitative assessment of DNA. Pre- and post-restriction "mini-gels" are Southern blotted and hybridized to 32P-labeled probe to D17Z1. Intact DNA appears as a single D17Z1 hybridizing band, while Hae III digested DNA produces multiple bands. This procedure allow for a more rational choice of DNA analysis method than previously available. Casework data using this method demonstrates that the RFLP method can be used on some partially degraded DNA samples formerly considered as solely adequate for PCR. We have examined Hae III restriction site periodicities of the alpha satellites on chromosomes 17 and 7. The bands differ by multiples of -171 bp, the fundamental alphoid repeat unit. Size polymorphism, mainly in the region above 2.7 kb, was observed at both loci. Locus D7Z2 appeared to be a useful monomorphic marker.
THE OFFICER, HIS WEAPON AND HIS HANDS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF GSR ON THE HANDS OF NON-SHOOTING POLICE OFFICERS
Dean M. Gialamas (1), Edward F. Rhodes (2), and Loren A. Sugarman (3)
(1) California Laboratory of Forensic Science, 17842 Irvine Boulevard, Suite 224,
Tustin, California 92680; (2) San Diego Police Department, Forensic Science Section, 1401 Broadway, M.S. 725, San Diego, California 92101; (3) Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department, Forensic Science Services, 320 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana, California 92705
To help determine the potential of secondary gunshot residue (GSR) transfer from officers handling subjects to be tested for GSR, the levels of GSR found at random on non-shooting patrol officers' hands were evaluated. Forty-three (43) officers were sampled with glue-lift discs which were subsequently concentrated and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray (SEM-EDX) micro-analysis. GSR levels on the officers' hands were relatively low considering that a firearm is carried and handled. Only three (3) of the 43 officers had unique GSR particles. No officer had more than one unique GSR particle. Twenty-five (25) of the 43 officers had no particles of GSR found on their hands. Although the theoretical secondary GSR transfer contamination of subjects from the hands of officers is possible, the results indicate that the potential for the occurrence is relatively low. Key Points to Note:
- 3 of the 43 officers sampled had unique GSR (7%)
- 25 of the 43 had no GSR (58%)
- OCSD3: Went on a night shoot -"> No GSR had a dirty gun p.s.i. 12.75 hrs washed hands 3 hrs prior to sampling
- OCSD4: Washed hands 10 min prior to sampling = => sph Pb/Sb clean gun handled gun 3 hrs prior to sampling
- OCSD13: Cleaned gun during shift = => sph Pb and 9 irr. Pb/Sb
- OCSD32: Had unique GSR = => 30-40 urn flake >8 hrs since handling washed hands 3 hrs prior to sampling had a dirty gun
- OCSD35: Handled gun 5 min prior to sampling = => No GSR dirty gun washed hands 1 hr prior to sampling
(Trace elements allowed as reported in Aerospace Report)
||Pb, Ba, Sb
||sph or non-spherical
||sph or non-sph
||non-sph or irregular
||non-sph or irreg
||non-sph or irreg
||non-sph or irreg
TWO SIMPLE METHODS TO FORGE LATENT FINGERPRINTS AND PALM PRINTS
V. Parker Bell, 225 East Third Ave., Escondido, CA 92025
The generally accepted theory is that there may be a question as to the true location from which a latent fingerprint or palm print was lifted (often called a fabricated print, if the origin is falsely reported), but it is not reasonably possible to place a print on a surface not touched by the finger (a fraudulent print). This belief is incorrect. In a case in which the defendant denied that he touched an item on which his latent print was identified, the hypothesis that it would be possible to leave a fraudulent latent print was tested. The conditions of the hypothesis required that the person committing fraud not be the technician lifting the print, and that such fraud not require a conspiracy. Two simple methods for doing so were developed and will be presented. Both methods require only readily available materials. Since these methods of creating fraudulent prints are not now generally known among latent print examiners, it would be unlikely that such a fraud would be detected. Further development of these methods to determine their characteristics should take place, so that detection of such fraudulent prints may take place in the future.
FORENSIC ALCOHOL SYSTEM INTEGRATION IN THE MICROSOFT WINDOWS ENVIRONMENT
James H. Crabtree, Stephen R. Scott, Hewlett-Packard Company, Fullerton, CA and
California Department of Justice, Sacramento, CA
The objective of the project was to use the Microsoft Windows environment to integrate the diverse parts of a forensic alcohol system (headspace autosampler, personal computer, user interface, auto-mated QC, etc.) into a useful blood alcohol reporting system, which not only meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in Title 17, but also automates the reporting, plotting and archiving duties of the forensic alcohol analyst. The Microsoft Windows environment supports dynamic data exchange, dynamic link libraries, and object linking and embedding such that powerful spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel can:
- Communicate with and control other programs running in the Windows or DOS environment.
- Read and write system parameters to and from Windows INI files and maintain forensic alcohol sequence databases.
- Generate high quality reports incorporating both text and chro-matograms on official letterhead.
- Generate SQC and linearity plots.
- Create archival tapes and databases of forensic quality data.
To achieve the stated objective, off-the-shelf software written for the Microsoft Windows environment were acquired for the following tasks:
- Data acquisition, data analysis, and report generation for a gas chromatograph.
- Control of a headspace autosampler.
- Control of a medium capacity tape drive.
- Creation of spreadsheets, charts, and control macros.
Analysis and design criteria leading to the successful implementation of a working forensic alcohol analysis system are discussed herein.
FORENSIC COMPUTER ANIMATION
Bernard Bergman, MediaMation, LP, 11498 Laurelcrest Dr., Studio City, CA 91604
Forensic animation, the latest innovation in demonstrative evidence. MediaMation, LP., animates the testimony to be given by expert witnesses in the courtroom.
THE IDENTIFICATION OF CONDOM LUBRICANT TRACES ON EVIDENCE ITEMS FROM SEXUAL ASSAULTS
Robert D. Blackledge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Regional Forensic Laboratory, Box 368220, San Diego, CA 92136-5054
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service Regional Forensic Laboratory in San Diego has recently been involved in the investigation of two separate rape cases in which the accused allegedly wore a.lubricated condom. In both cases, the result of a search for lubricant traces on evidentiary items was vital in verifying or refuting the victim and suspect statements. Because of the fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and because DNA profiling of semen residues has the potential of positively identifying the assailant, the use of condoms in cases of rape, forcible sodomy and child sexual abuse is likely to increase. Many condom manufacturers use a lubricant that is a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) liquid. A simple method of extracting and identifying PDMS traces from vaginal swabs and other evidence items will be presented.
CALIFORNIA DNA OFFENDER DATA BANK
Lance Gima, Jan Bashinski, California DOJ, 626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94710
In 1989, the Calif. State Legislature passed SB1408 that formally established the DNA Offender Data Bank. Due largely to the state's economic condition the Offender Data Bank was not funded until June of this year. This paper will report on the current status of the program, including the organization of this program within our laboratory, our priority system for analysis, and how we believe DNA laboratories and law enforcement agencies will interact with this program. Additionally, we will discuss several avenues we are pursuing in an attempt to make this Offender Data Bank responsive to the needs of law enforcement agencies in the shortest time period possible-especially in light of AB201, which may make samples from the sex offenders and other violent felons available to non-DOJ laboratories.
THE PERSISTENCE OF FINGERNAIL STRIAE WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND INJURY
Lucien C. Haag, Forensic Science Services , Carefree, AZ
This presentation will give a brief background of the nature, the value and the use of fingernail striae as a means of personal identification in cases where a broken or severed fingernail is recovered as evidence. This will be followed by a demonstration of the remarkable persistence of these unusual toolmarks over long periods of time (years) and after substantial injury to the fingernail and finger.
THE IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF FLUTED CHAMBER MARKINGS ON CARTRIDGES FIRED IN ROLLER LOCKED BREECH SYSTEMS
Eugene J. Wolberg, Bill W. Loznycky, Firearms Unit, San Diego Police Dept., Forensic Science Section
While there are many manufacturers of firearms that use a hesitation blowback, roller locking breech system, the fluting that is cut into the chamber is unique to the manufacturer and model of the firearm and chambered caliber. These markings can be identified by the number, length and spatial relationship of the impressions on the fired cartridge casing. Examples will be shown in pistol and rifle calibers.
STIMULANTS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY 1990-92
Raymond K. Cole, Forensic Toxicology, San Diego Sheriffs Crime Laboratory, 3520 Kurtz St., San Diego, CA 92110
Other than alcohol, DUI stimulants account for greater than 80% of our DUI arrests. Since January 1990 through Dec. 1992, 204 of the DUI Stimulants arrest reports have been studied for indications of behavioral impairment. All tests were performed on urine samples by radioimmunoassay and thin-layer chromatography. Methamphetamine positive is greater than 500ng/ml. Cocaine positive is greater than 300ng/ml. Our laboratory contracts with Oceanside PD and the local offices of the Calif. Highway Patrol to conduct chemical tests on drivers suspected of DUI drugs and/or alcohol. When the arresting officer suspects drugs other than alcohol, a specially trained Drug Recognition Officer will evaluate the arrestee. The officer's observations are recorded on a DUID form and attached to the arrest packet. The demographic data, driving errors and twelve of the most commonly reported physical signs/symptoms have been compiled and classified in a graphic format for the DUID reports. Since direct testing data is impractical, this type of epidemiological study will be helpful for court interpretation of DUI Stimulants, as well as future DUID officer training.
LSD ANALYSIS BY FTIR AND DIAMOND ANVIL CELL
Karen Fleury, Kathy Wagner, El Cajon Police Department, 100 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon, CA 92110
A simple technique is needed for analyzing LSD. Infrared spectra can be obtained using an PTIR in conjunction with a low pressure diamond anvil cell. We have been successful in extracting LSD from as little as one dosage unit of blotter paper and transferring it onto a diamond cell, producing good infrared spectra with the FTIR. Included with this display is the analytical procedure, photographs of casework LSD samples, information about the diamond anvil cell, and samples of the IR spectra obtained by this method. Computer library searches and peak comparisons show this to be a successful method. References include R. Morales, Microgram, 1993 Vol 26.