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The History of Forensic Science What is Forensic Science? The application of science to criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system. In this class we will focus on services that have popularly known as the crime laboratory. Sherlock Holmes Sir Author Conan Doyle’s Books made many crime detection methods popular. Sherlock Holmes used fingerprinting, firearm identification, and he questioned document examination in his investigations. Alphonse Bertillion (1853-1914) Anthropometry- taking body measurements to distinguish between people Francis Galton (1822-1911) Distinctiveness of Fingerprints He developed a method of classifying them for filing. Leone Lattes (1887-1954) Categorizes ABO blood groups The four Blood Groups are A, B, AB,& O. He developed a procedure for determining the blood group of a dried bloodstain. He soon began to apply this to criminal investigations. Calvin Goddard (1891-1955) Determined if a bullet was fired from a particular gun. A former U.S. army colonel Used a comparison microscope,which is still the indispensable tool in the crime lab today. J Edgar Hoover And the FBI In 1932 a national lab that aimed to offer Forensic service to all law enforcement agencies in the country was organized. This is now the world’s largest Forensic Laboratory, performing over 1 million examinations a year. The J. Edgar Hoover Building currently houses the national headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was completed in 1974 at a cost of 126 million dollars. 935 Pennsylvania Ave. FBI Forensic Research and Training Center Opened in 1981, and gave U.S. a facility dedicated to research in forensic science. Where is the oldest Forensic Lab in the U.S.? Los Angeles, California Created in 1923 The Crime Lab Services offered at crime labs vary depending on the community. Why? There are many reasons Variations in local laws The different capabilities and functions of the organization to which a laboratory is attached Budgetary and staffing limitations. A full service Crime Lab consists of several units A Physical Science Unit A Biological Unit A Firearms Unit A Photography Unit A Toxicology Unit Physical Science Unit Uses Chemistry,physics,and geology Identifies Drugs Analyzes soil and minerals Examines trace physical evidence Biological Unit Analyzes DNA Identification off Blood and Body Fluids Comparisons of hair and other fibers Botanical Comparisons Firearms Unit Examines guns, previously- fired bullets, cartridge cases, shells and ammunition Examines clothes and objects to determine the type of gun used and the position of the shooter Photography Unit This unit examines and records physical evidence. May use highly specialized photographic techniques such as Digital imaging, infrared, Ultra violet and X-ray photography. These techniques make invisible information visible to the naked eye. Toxicology Unit Examines Body Fluids and Organs to determine the presence or absence of drugs and poisons Frequently these functions are shared with other units. Optional Services These may be performed by other units in a crime lab. The services offered depend on the necessity of the to that region. Latent Fingerprint Unit Processes and examines evidence for latent fingerprints. A latent fingerprint is a fingerprint made by the deposit of oils and/or perspiration. It is invisible to the naked eye. Polygraph Unit A lie detector is an essential tool of criminal investigations more so than forensic science Document Examination Unit Studies the handwriting and typing on questioned documents. Analyzes paper and ink Examines indented writings ( the partially visible depressions appearing on a sheet of paper underneath the one on which the visible writing appears. Voiceprint Analysis Unit Unit involved with telephone threats or tape recorded messages. Used in tying the voice to a particular suspect. Evidence Collection Unit This unit dispatches specially trained personnel to the crime scene to collect and preserve evidence that will later be processed at the crime laboratory.
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