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Journal of Forensic Identification

JFI Article Abstracts from 1998-2021 are available to view here at this time

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JFI Abstracts from 2021

Issue 1: January - March 2021 

A Further Evaluation of the Electrodeposition of Gun Blue (eGB): Part 1– Fingermarks

Author(s): Dove, Aaron
Type: Correction
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 001
Abstract: On page 491 of the October–December 2020 issue of the Journal of Forensic Identification (volume 70, issue 4), Ohm's Law was mistakenly presented as when the formula should have been presented as V= IR The author and editor apologize to the readers and thank the astute JFI reader who brought this error to our attention.

Recovery Rates of Latent Prints on Firearm, Magazine, and Cartridge Evidence: An FBI Case Study

Author(s): Swank, Monte; Davis; Christine E.
Type: Case Report
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 003
Abstract: The 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, resulted in the collection and submission of a substantial amount of firearm, ammunition, and magazine evidence for friction ridge examination. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Latent Print Operations Unit processed and examined the evidence for latent prints. Because of the amount of evidence, the results of examinations in this case were compared to published studies, which calculated approximate recovery rates of usable latent prints on similar firearm-type items. The results showed that, although there have been only a handful of published studies regarding this topic, the studies seem to provide an accurate approximation when compared to the results from a single case.

Recovering Fingerprints from a Salt-Mummified Body

Author(s): Poux, Thierry; Ey, Angélique; Ledroit, Pierre; Malo, Marianne; Tamisier, Laurent
Type: Case Report
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 11
Abstract: In 2017, a corpse was retrieved close to a salt marsh in southern France. It was totally mummified by salt. To identify it, one hand was subjected to a complete process of dermis restructuration to obtain workable postmortem fingerprints and palmar prints. This case report describes this process.

Blood DNA Preservation on Various Forensic Swab Devices

Author(s): C. Y. Ip, Stephen; Yu, Eric Y.; Li, Christina
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 021
Abstract: Biological materials found at crime scenes are subjected to degradation because of external environmental factors including biological contaminants, heat, and humidity. Degraded samples may yield partial or even no DNA profiles, which could challenge forensic investigations. Hence, both the appropriate sampling and the preservation of biological materials are essential for downstream DNA analysis and identification of the DNA source. In this study, the performance of various forensic swab devices with different characteristics on DNA preservation was investigated. Human blood was deposited on swabs that had been artificially contaminated with excessive moisture. They were then stored in their respective plastic sleeves in a controlled environment of 37 C for 2 weeks. The results demonstrated that relatively costly swab devices with drying features or antimicrobial properties yielded complete DNA profiles for the course of the experiment, whereas more basic or economical swab devices with only DNA-free properties yielded no DNA profiles. Thus, the choice of swab devices with different DNA preservation abilities can significantly affect the quality of DNA for subsequent analysis and the successfulness of DNA identification.

An Efficient Extraction Method for Post-blast Traces of Organic Explosives

Author(s): Avissar, Yaniv Y.; Zelkowicz, Avraham; Rossin, Anna; Kasherman Kirshenbaum, Yonit; Tenne, Dana; Grafit, Arnon
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 035
Abstract: In post-blast explosions, only trace amounts of residual explosives are present and their analysis is based on the identification of unreacted explosives. Exhibits from post-blast explosion scenes may be contaminated with interfering materials, thus cleanup procedures have to be used prior to the analysis stage. The type of explosive material involved can greatly assist the intelligence and investigation units in connecting different incidents, in connecting a specific suspect with a crime scene, and in tracking terrorists or other criminal activity. The detection of post-blast high explosives in the Israel Police laboratory is usually performed by extracting the exhibits with organic solvents (mainly acetone) and after evaporation of most of the solvent, injecting the concentrated liquid into a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) instrument for analysis. A main challenge is that acetone dissolves many other materials such as fatty acids, plastic, oils, and so forth. These materials may be present in large amounts, which may cause a decrease in the resolution or sensitivity in the GC/MS, and, as a result, might screen the target explosive materials. In this paper, we present an effective, simple, and environmentally friendly procedure of extraction of post-blast high explosives using hot water followed by liquid-liquid extraction with a very small amount of organic solvent: dichloromethane. This method has already been successfully tested on dozens of cases received for examination.

Potential Characteristics to Aid Latent Print Examiners in Analyzing Possible Laterally Reversed Images on Porous Surfaces

Author(s): Flanders, Jack; Moyer, Ava; Parish Fisher, Casie
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 049
Abstract: This study reviews latent print residue transfers from one porous surface to another. It also determined indicators in a latent print that could serve as red flags during analysis. The study was conducted using the following substrates: 20lb copy paper, A4 paper, and college-ruled lined paper. A transfer sheet was placed on top of each print. A 20lb weight was placed on top of the transfer sheet and was left for 14 days. After this time, the weight was removed, and the substrates were processed with a 1,2-indanedione formulation. Test samples (with original print deposit) and transfer sheets were placed in a humidity chamber, viewed with a laser, and then photographed. Overall, the conclusions reflect (1) latent prints can transfer from one porous surface to another and (2) there are characteristics that may alert the examiner to the possibility of a laterally reversed image: a corona (also known as halo) effect, fuzzy appearance, or faint appearance.

The Effect of Dry-Cleaning and Laundering on the Visualization and Enhancement of Blood Spatter and Transfer Stains on Clothing

Author(s): Tanner, Kyla; Lowe, Amanda; Polacco, Sumiko, Cahn, Joel
Type: Article
Published: 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1, Page 061
Abstract: This research investigates the effects of dry-cleaning on common techniques that are used to locate and enhance bloodstains on various fabric types. The success of these techniques after dry-cleaning and the comparative effects of laundering and dry-cleaning on these processes are discussed. Spatter and transfer stains that were created on various fabrics were individually laundered or dry-cleaned and subsequently photographed with visible and infrared photography, observed under six light wavelengths using a Polilight laser, and dyed with Hungarian red or amido black. A qualitative assessment found that overall, dry-cleaned items retained more visible bloodstains before and after enhancement than did laundered items, and stains on cotton and cotton-polyester blend fabrics retained bloodstain evidence better than did wool fabrics. This study also suggests that chemical techniques outperformed lighting techniques for observing bloodstain detail after cleaning. The findings from this study are valuable in aiding future investigations because they provide the necessary information for determining the most suitable enhancement technique required for laundered and dry-cleaned fabrics found at crime scenes.

Back to Basics

Author(s): Siegel, Sandy, CLPE
Type: Article
Published: 2020, Volume 71, Issue , Page 088
Abstract: Funny finds from all over in their own words.