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ILS. Department of Justice 

Federal Bureau ol Investigation 

Handbook of 

Forensic Science 





Office of the Director 

Since its 1932 inception, the FBI Laboratory has consistently strived to enhance its 
service to the law enforcement and criminal justice communities. The Handbook of 
E oiensic Science includes information to clarify the capabilities of the FBI laboratory, as 
well as current techniques used to examine physical evidence. 

Ihrough exhaustive analysis, our technicians develop appropriate methodology 
to apply the most recent scientific and technological innovations to the examination of 
forensic evidence in criminal investigations. The reliability of these techniques is crucial, 
not only to the law enforcement profession, but also to the public we serve. The men and 
women who collect physical evidence at crime scenes must exercise prudent care in its 
handling and packaging in order to preserve its integrity. By doing so, they help to ensure 
that the results of laboratory examinations are accurate. Suggested guidelines and proce- 
dures are included in this manual. 

The FBI distributes the Handbook of Forensic Science in its continuing efforts to 
assist crime investigators and laboratories throughout the world. 1 hope that this publica- 
tion will promote optimum use of forensic evidence and crime laboratories. These are 
essential components in facilitating the successful resolution of the high number of inves- 
tigations and prosecutions which overwhelm the criminal justice system and tax our 
resources at all levels of government. 

Handbook of Forensic Science 






The FBI Laboratory is located in the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, 
10th and Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C 20535 

Vision Statement of 
the FBI Laboratory 

he FBI Laboratory will be foremost in the delivery of forensic 
examinations ana other services to LAW ENFORCEMENT through: 

^ A total commitment to quality 

► Technical leadership 

^ Prompt, accurate, and thorough response 
to all requests 

► Innovative uses of technology to facilitate 

Sharing information and technology 

w A work environment which fosters open 
communication, creativity, individual 
initiative, and personal achievement 

Table of Contents 

Introductory Remarks 

Vision Statement of the FBI Laboratory 
General Information 

.. in 


Safety and The Crime Scene 2 

Basic Safety Guidelines 3 

The Crime Scene 14 

FBI Forensic and Technical Support Services 20 

Document Services 21 

Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) 22 

Linguistics Examinations 22 

Questioned Documents .. _ 23 

Shoe Print and Tire Tread Examinations 29 

Racketeering Records Analyses 33 

Latent Fingerprint Services 35 

Forensic Science Research and Training Center (FSRTC) 41 

Scientific Analysis Services 43 

Chemical - Toxicological Examinations 44 

DNA Analysis/Serology Examinations 48 

Explosives (Examinations, Guidelines, etc.) 53 

Firearms-Toolmarks Examinations 57 

Hairs and Fibers Examinations 65 

Materials Analyses 57 

Special Projects Services 76 

Graphic, Photographic, Structural, and Video Services 77 

Technical Services 79 

Audio/ Video and Electronic Devices 80 

The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime 82 

Bomb DataCenter 84 

Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) 85 

Packing and Shipping Evidence 

Collection, Shipment, Identification, and Packaging Charts 


Publication Rights 

General Information 

Physical Evidence Proves an Element or 
Theory of an Offense, for example: 

Definitions of Evidence 

That which is legally submitted to a com- 
petent tribunal as a means of ascertaining 
the truth of any alleged matter of fact 
under investigation. 

Anything a suspect has taken from, left at, 
or that may be otherwise connected with 
the crime scene or the crime itself. 


Laboratory, latent, physical, and tangible, 
are all adjectives that describe the types of 
evidence received at the FBI to be exam- 
ined by our experts. 

Laboratory evidence is subjected to scien- 
tific testing. 

Latent evidence, usually hidden (undevel- 
oped), is evidence that becomes visible by 
means of the forensic technology. 

Physical evidence (normally inanimate) 
may be measured to determine its quantity 
or quality. 

Tangible evidence can be touched and/or 

Purpose of Physical Evidence 

• Bullets, residue at the scene of a fire, 
toolmarks, blood, semen, or stomach contents 
may all prove elements of certain offenses; 

• Footprints may show that many were at the 
scene, and/ or auto paint on clothing may show 
that a person was hit by a car instead of other- 
wise injured; 

• Safe insulation, glass, or building materials 
on a suspect's clothing may prove entry; 

• Safe insulation on tools may be sufficient to 
prove violation of statutes for possession of 
burglary tools. 

Nature of Physical Evidence 

Physical evidence falls into two classifications: 

• Evidence with Individual Identifying Charac- 
teristics arxi 

• Evidence with Class Characteristics only. 

Evidence with individual identifying character- 
istics can be positively identified as coming 
from a specific source or person if sufficient 
identifying characteristics are present. For ex- 
ample: bullets, finger /shoe prints, handwrit- 
ing, toolmarks, and pieces of glass where the 
broken edges can be matched, and wood 
where broken/cut surfaces can be matched. 

Physical evidence aids in the solution of 
the case by: 

• Connecting or eliminating suspects 

• Developing or identifying suspects 

• Developing or showing a similar 

method of operation 

• Identifying loot or contraband 

• Proving or disproving an alibi 

• Providing leads 

Evidence with class characteristics only, no 
matter how thoroughly examined, cannot be 
placed into another class. A definite identifi- 
cation becomes impossible when more than 
one source is found in samples, or when micro- 
scopic /accidental markings are insufficient for 
positive identification on soil, blood, hairs, 
fibers, single-layered paint from a safe or car, 
glass fragments too small to match broken 
edges, and toolmarks, finger /shoe prints, or 

The value of evidence with Class Character- 
istics only should not be minimized. In 
cases involving evidence with Class Char- 
acteristics, be alert for the following: 

• Preponderance of such evidence; 

• Evidence such as paint with several 
matching layers, or soil with foreign matter 
such as paint chips, odd seeds, and safe in- 

• Elimination evidence, such as soil speci- 
mens from where a suspect claims he/she 
was; where he/ she claims a car was; or 
paint or other materials from a source 
mentioned in an alibi. 

Standard Reference Files and Collec- 

The FBI Laboratory maintains these collec- 
tions so that evidence may be compared to 
the following standard files: 

Checkwriter Standards 
Duct Tape/ Electrical Tape 
Explosives and Related Items 
General Rifling Characteristics 
Hairs and Fibers 
National Automotive Image File 
National Automotive Paint File (Foreign 
and Domestic) 

National Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title 
National Motor Vehicle Altered Numbers 

National Vehide Identification Numbers 

Office Equipment Standards (typewriters, 
copiers, printers, etc.) 

Reference Firearms Collection 
Safe Insulation 
Safety Paper Standards 
Shoe Sole Design Standards 
Tire Tread Design Standards 
Watermark Standards 

Files of Questioned Material include: 

Anonymous Letters 

Bank Robbery Notes 

Fraudulent Checks 

All forensic services, induding the services 
of laboratory examiners if needed as expert 
witnesses, are rendered free of cost to 
contributing agendes. 

As a general rule, the FBI will not conduct 
forensic examinations if the evidence is 
subjected elsewhere to the same examination 
for the Prosecution. However, if the circum- 
stances in a given instance are such that this 
restriction poses a significant obstade to an 
orderly prosecution, these facts should be set 
forth in a request for waiver. Such requests 
will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

To utilize more effidently its resources, the 
Laboratory Division will not accept cases 
from other crime laboratories which have 
the capability of conducting the requested 
examination^). If submitted, the evidence 
will be returned unopened and unexamined. 
However, mitigating circumstances may 
warrant an exception to this policy, such as 
fingerprint examinations. 

In certain situations, fingerprint evidence will 
be examined even if it is subjected to exami- 
nation by other fingerprint experts. FBI 
experts will furnish testimony regarding 
evidence they have examined. But, in the 
interest of economy, their testimony should 
not be requested if another Prosecution 
expert is already testifying to the same re- 

Facilities are available to all federal agendes, 
U.S. Attorneys, and military tribunals in both 
dvil and criminal matters, and all duly 
constituted state, county, and munidpal law 
enforcement agendes in the United States in 
connection with their offidal criminal investi- 
gative matters only. 



MRG = 1200X 
20.73 MICRONS 

RADIOLARIA (Magnified 20.79 microns) Marine planktonic proto- 
zoan recovered from evidence to determine environmental history 


and the 

Crime Scene 

Basic Safety Guidelines for 
Crime Scene Investigation 
and Evidence Collection 

Laboratory examiners, photographers, 
evidence response team members, evi- 
dence technicians, fingerprint specialists, 
and others are often called upon to con- 
duct crime scene searches and to identify 
bodies in mass disasters. Because of the 
inherent risk of exposure to human blood 
and other potentially infectious materials, 
as well as the various physical hazards 
present at the crime scene, the health and 
safety of these individuals may be com- 
promised. For protection, it is essential 
that they develop and maintain an acute 
awareness of the hazards present in their 
work environment and take the necessary 
precautions and measures to protect 
themselves and their coworkers. 

The purpose of this section is to identify 
general safety guidelines and personal 
protective measures that should be fol- 
lowed when handling potentially hazard- 
ous evidentiary materials or when ex- 
posed to hazardous environmental 
conditions. These recommendations are 
not all inclusive and should serve only as 
a guide and/or supplement for personal 
training and growth in safety awareness. 

The basic safety guidelines for crime 
scene investigation and evidence collec- 
tion are intended to serve only as a start- 
ing point for good safety practices. Per- 
sonnel involved in crime scene investiga- 
tions and evidence collection and han- 
dling should consult pertinent local, state, 
and federal laws concerning specific 
safety requirements and standards. 

Routes of Exposure 1 


Inhalation is the most likely route of entry for 
chemicals as well as some infectious agents 
(e.g., tuberculosis). Chemical or biological 
contaminants present in inhaled air can easily 
enter the lungs and bloodstream where they 
can circulate throughout the system causing 
damage to target organs, such as the liver and 
kidney. Inhaled substances can be in the form 
of dusts, mists (aerosols), smoke, vapors, gases, 
or fumes. Proper work practices, engineering 
controls (e.g., ventilation) and, when necessary, 
the use of respirators minimize inhalation of 
air contaminants. 


Ingestion is a less common route of exposure 
for both chemical and biological contaminants. 
Ingestion of a corrosive material can cause 
damage to the mouth, throat, and digestive 
tract. When swallowed, toxic chemicals may be 
absorbed by the body through the stomach 
and intestines. To prevent entry of toxic chemi- 
cals or biological hazards into the mouth, 
always wash your hands before eating, smok- 
ing, or applying cosmetics. Also, avoid bring- 
ing food, drink, and cigarettes into areas where 
contamination can occur. 

Skin, Eye, and Mucous Membrane Contact 

Contact of chemicals or infectious materials 
with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes is a 
frequent route of entry. Chemical contact with 
those surfaces could result in local damage and 
subsequent absorption into the bloodstream, 
thereby causing other effects throughout the 
body. The effect of eye contact with a chemical 
can range from irritation to permanent blind- 
ness. Chemical exposure can be avoided by 
use of appropriate protective equipment such 
as gloves, safety glasses, goggles, and/or face 

<T 3 


Injection of foreign materials (chemical or 
biological) can cause a serious health hazard 
because the material can be delivered directly 
to the bloodstream or become embedded in 
the tissue. Exposure to toxic chemicals, hu- 
man blood or other potentially infectious 
materials can inadvertently occur through 
mechanical injury from contaminated glass, 
metal, needles/ syringes, or other objects. 
Therefore, extreme caution should be exer- 
cised when handling these or similar objects. 

Crime Scene/Mass Disaster 3 
General Precautions 

No one should enter the crime scene/ mass 
disaster without the proper safety and per- 
sonal protective equipment. (See Personal 
Protective Equipment, page 11.) 

Individuals should not be permitted to eat, 
drink, smoke, or apply makeup at the crime 
scene/mass disaster. 

The crime scene/ mass disaster may be a 
source of contamination from a variety of 
sources including human blood and body 
fluids (both liquid and dried), human tissues 
and other remains. 

Treat all human body fluids as potentially 
infectious and use Universal Precautions 
under Bloodborre Pathogen Safety, page 7. 

In addition to the biological hazards, consid- 
eration must be given to the variety of chem- 
ical, environmental, and/or mechanical haz- 
ards that may be present at the crime scene/ 
mass disaster. 

Always be on the alert for sharp objects such 
as hypodermic needles, knives, razors, broken 
, nails, and exposed or cut metals. 

4 > 

Broken glass which may be contaminated 
should never be picked up directly with the 
hands. It should be collected using me- 
chanical means, such as a brush and dust 
pan, tongs, or forceps. 

Ensure that the crime scene/mass disaster 
is properly ventilated. 

Mirrors and flashlights should be used 
when looking in confined spaces such as 
under car seats, beds, etc., prior to reaching 
into those areas with the hands. 

Use a wooden paint stirrer, or other similar 
item, to search narrow and confined spaces, 
such as those found between car seats and 
chairs, before the hands are used. 

Never recap hypodermic needles or place 
covers, such as pencil erasers, on the end 
of the needles. 

Place all syringes, needles, and other sharp 
objects in puncture-resistant containers. 

Refer to Bloodbome Pathogen-Chemical 
Safety, page 9, for specific safety proce- 

Access Control 

Provide a means of controlled entry and 
exit for personnel and equipment entering 
or leaving the crime scene /mass disaster. 

Provide a system for centralized decon- 
tamination of personnel and equipment 
and the collection of infectious waste 
(gloves, coveralls, etc.) to prevent transfer of 
potentially infectious material to nonconta- 
minated areas such as the worker's office, 
car, or residence. 

Procedures should be established for the 
proper disposal of all contaminated waste. 

Violent Crimes 

Violent crimes pose a greater potential for 
contact with infectious material. 

• Initial entry personnel should carry at 
least one radiation extremity monitoring 
alarming dosimeter/ratemeter in order to 
identify any potential radiation hazard. 

All human blood, body fluids, and tissues, 
from both living and deceased individuals, 
must be handled as being potentially infec- 
tious for hepatitis and HIV (human immu- 
nodeficiency virus). 

Avoid direct contact with all human blood, 
body fluids, and tissues. Personal protective 
equipment must be readily available and 
used. (See Universal Precautions under 
Bloodbome Pathogen Safety, page 7.) 

Surgical caps, fluid-resistant protective 
clothing, face masks/shields, eye protection, 
shoe covers and boots should be worn in 
instances when gross contamination can be 
reasonably anticipated (e.g., autopsies, 
crime scenes, mass disasters). 


If a bombing incident occurs, investigative 
personnel should ensure that the following 
precautions are taken before entering the 

• Ensure that all utilities (electric, gas, and 
water) are turned off. Contact local utilities 
or power company for assistance. 

• A bomb technician should first check the 
damaged area for unexploded bomb(s). 

• The structure should then be checked by 
engineers for hazardous structural condi- 

• Do not touch or move any suspected ex- 
plosive device at the crime scene until it has 
been rendered safe by a public safety bomb 
squad or military Explosive Ordnance 
Disposal Unit 

• Use proper personal protective equip- 
ment such as hard hats, safety goggles, 
gloves, foul weather clothing, waterproof/ 
puncture-resistant coveralls, steel-toe/steel- 
shank workboot, respirator, reflective tape 
for clothing, and any other protective item. 
(See Personal Protective Equipment, 
page 11.) 

All bombing or explosive-related evidence 
which consists of substances of unknown 
composition, such as powders or liquids, 
must be assumed to be extremely sensitive 
and capable of initiation or detonation. 

Unknown substances in these matters 
should be examined by a bomb technician 
or a forensic chemist before collection. 

Prior to packaging for shipment, call the 
FBI Laboratory, Explosives Unit at 
(202) 324-2696 to ascertain the quantity 
needed for analysis, the packaging method 
to be used, and the proper shipping 
method. Also, call for questions regarding 
handling of these types of substances. 

All unknown substances should be labeled: 

Use caution when handling. Sut 
is possibly flammable or explosive. 

All evidence collected at the crime scene 
which has been examined by a forensic 
specialist (bomb technician or chemist) and 
found to be safe and nonhazardous should 

be clearly labeled as such. The label should 
be clearly visible and include the name, 
agency, and phone number of the forensic 
expert who examined the material and 
made the determination that it was safe.. - 

Clandestine Drug Laboratories 

Clandestine drug laboratories may present 
I extremely dangerous situations to un- 
trained personnel. These laboratories often 
contain extremely dangerous chemicals, 
which may be intentionally mislabeled, as 
well as "'booby trapped," to prevent entry. 
They should only be searched, cleared, and 
decontaminated by the Drug Enforcement 
Administration (DEA) personnel who are 
trained and certified for this type of work. 

When dealing with clandestine drug labo- 
ratories, evacuate the scene, secure the area, 
and contact the nearest office of the DEA. 

Removal of Hazardous Materials from 
the Crime Scene/Mass Disaster 

All hazardous materials should be properly 
labeled, stating the type of hazard and any 
special handling procedures before being 
removed from the crime scene/mass 

All hazardous material labels should be 
clearly visible and include the agency, 
name, and phone number of the forensic 
expert who examined the material. 

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
lists specific requirements that must be 
observed in preparing hazardous materials 
for shipment by air, highway, rail, water, or 
any combination thereof. 

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 
part 172.101, provides a Hazardous Materi- 
als Table which identifies those items con- 
sidered hazardous for the purpose of trans- 
portation, special provisions, hazardous 
materials communications, emergency res- 
ponse information, and training require- 

Exposure to Critical (Traumatic) 

Incidents ^ 

Shootings, drownings, accidents, sexual as- 
sault, and child abuse are only a few examples 
of critical (traumatic) incidents that law en- 
forcement personnel are exposed to which 
may produce significant emotional responses. 
These responses may include any of the 

Alcohol/substance abuse 





Flashbacks and intrusive thoughts 

Heightened sense of danger 


Marital problems 



Perceptions of going insane 
Startle reactions (e.g., difficulty 
sleeping, headaches, muscle 
aches, stomachaches, high blood 
pressure, etc.) 

Trouble remembering/ con- 

For additional information or assistance con- 
cerning critical (traumatic) incidents, contact: 

The International Critical Incident Stress 
Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland, (410) 730- 
4311. If emergency assistance is needed, con- 
tact the 24-hour: Critical Incident Stress 
Debriefing (CISD) Hotline, (410) 313-2473. 


Bloodbome Pathogen Safety ® 

On December 6, 1991, the Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
issued the regulation called "Occupational 


Exposure to Bloodbome Pathogens (BBP)," 
found in Title 29, Section 1910.1030 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations. The standard 
covers those occupations having a high 
potential for exposure to bloodbome patho- 
gens, including law enforcement, emer- 
gency response, and crime laboratory 

Individuals covered by this standard 
should observe Universal Precautions to 
prevent contact with human blood, body 
fluids, tissues and other potentially infec- 
tious materials. 

Universal Precautions require that employ- 
ees treat all human blood, body fluids, or 
other potentially infectious materials to be 
infectious for hepatitis B virus (HBV), 
human immunodeficiency virus (HTV), and 
other bloodbome pathogens. Appropriate 
protective measures to be taken to avoid 
direct contact with these materials include: 

• Use barrier protection at all times. 

♦ Prohibit eating, drinking, smoking, or 
applying makeup at the crime scene/mass 

which will not result in the contamination of 
unprotected skin or clothing. 

• Wear safety goggles, protective face masks 
or shields, or glasses with side shields to pro- 
tect from splashes, sprays, spatters, or droplets 
of blood or other potentially infectious materi- 
als. These same precautions must be taken 
when collecting dried stains for laboratory 

• Use disposable items, such as gloves, cover- 
alls, shoe covers, etc., when potentially infec- 
tious materials are present. 

• Place contaminated sharps (e.g., broken 
glass, needles, knives, etc,) in appropriate 
leakproof, dosable, puncture-resistant con- 
tainers when these sharps are to be discarded, 
transported, or shipped. If transported or 
shipped, containers should be appropriately 

• Do not bend, recap, remove, or otherwise 
handle contaminated needles or other sharps. 

• Use a protective device, such as a CPR 
mask, when performing mouth-to-mouth 

• Use gloves when there may be hand con- 
tact with blood or other potentially infec- 
tious materials. Gloves should always be 
worn as if there are cuts, scratches, or other 
breaks in the skin. In some instances where 
there is heavily contaminated material, the 
use of double gloves is advisable for addi- 
tional protection. 

• Change gloves when contaminated or as 
soon as feasible if tom, punctured, or when 
their ability to function as a barrier is com- 

• Always wash hands after removal of 
gloves or other personal protective equip- 
ment (PPE). The removal of gloves and 
other PPE should be performed in a manner 

• Decontaminate all equipment after use with 
a solution of household bleach (diluted 1:10), 
70% isopropyl alcohol, or other appropriate 

• After all evidence has been collected and the 
crime scene has been released, the owner or 
occupants of the affected property should be 
made aware of the potential risks from blood- 
bome pathogens. 

• Evidence containing blood or other body 

fluids should be completely dried before it is 
packaged and shipped to the laboratory for 
analysis. Appropriate biohazard warning 
labels must be affixed to the evidence con- 
tainer indicating that a potentially infectious 
material may be present. 7 

• To avoid direct contact and exposure to 
potentially infectious evidentiary materials 
in the courtroom, all evidence contaminated 
with human blood or other potentially infec- 
tious materials should be placed in a sealed, 
transparent package and labeled with the 
appropriate biohazard warning label. 

Additional Precautions 

In addition to Universal Precautions, there 
are certain requirements in the OS1 IA BBP 
standard that pertain to collection, handling, 
storage, transport, and shipping of blood 
and other potentially infectious material. 

Engineering controls (e.g., puncture-resistant 
containers for contaminated sharps, paint 
stirrers, and adjustable mirrors for locating 
evidence in confined/ hidden spaces) isolate 
or remove the hazard, whether bloodborne 
or chemical, from the workplace. Workplace 
controls (e.g., handwashing facilities, wear- 
ing personal protective equipment) reduce 
the likelihood of exposure by altering the 
manner in which a task is performed. 

For additional information on proper pro- 
tection against blood and other potentially 
infectious materials, refer to "Personal Pro- 
tective Equipment," page 11. 

Evidence specimens contaminated with wet 
blood or other potentially infectious materials 
must be placed in a closable, leakproof con- 
tainer (i.e., heavy-duty plastic bag) when 
transported from the crime scene to the dry- 
ing location. After drying, the evidence must 
be placed in a suitable and properly labeled 
container before being transported to the 
crime laboratory. (Note: Plastic bags used to 
transport evidence contaminated with wet 
blood or other fluids should be retained as 

OSI lA's 


that evi- 
such as liquid blood (vacutainer tubes) or 
other potentially infectious materials, must be 
placed in a closable, leakproof container and 
labeled (see above) or color-coded prior to 
being stored or transported. 


Decontamination of 
Nondisposable Clothing 

These recommendations apply only to non- 
disposable clothing and not to clothing that 
is part of the personal protective equipment 
according to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1030. 

• Protect hands with disposable gloves. 

• Remove contaminated garment carefully; 
protect skin and mucosal surfaces during 
removal, e.g., cover face and eyes with mask 
and goggles or face shield when removing 
garment over head. 

• Fill a sink, bucket, or deep tray with cold 
water and soak contaminated part of gar- 
ment to remove blood or other material. 
Using gloves, squeeze out water from gar- 
ment; dispose of water into sewer, toilet, or 
dirty sink; rinse sink and container with plen- 
ty of water; disinfect container if needed. 

• Store garment in plastic bag prior to being 



Engineering and work practice controls are 
used to eliminate or minimize employee ex- 
posure to hazardous materials. 

• Place garment into tray and cover conta- 
minated area with one of the following 

• 1:20 dilution of fresh chlorine bleach a minor degree (irritation) or actual physical 

for fabrics that tolerate bleaching destruction of body tissues. Corrosive chemi- 

such as white coats or uniforms; cals act on tissues through direct contact 

with the skin or eyes, inhalation, or ingestioa 

• 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) 

for delicate fabrics. Tb 0 key to working safely with chemicals is 

knowledge of their hazardous properties, 

• Let soak for 10 minutes, remove, rinse with P^per training in handling and disposal 
water, and dry. The disinfected garment can techniques, and emergency preparedness, 
be laundered or dry cleaned. 

For proper protection against Chemical Haz- 

Chemical Safety */ 6 ards, see "Personal Protective Equipment/' 

page 11. 

Depending on the type of material encoun- 
tered, a variety of health or safety hazards Latent Fingerprint Safety ** 

may exist Some of those hazards are identi- 
fied by the following categories: to Bloodbome Pathogen Safety, page 6, 

when dealing with any human tissue or body 
Flammable or combustible materials (e.g., fluid bo™ a bving or deceased individual, 
gasoline, acetone, ether) ignite easily when 

exposed to both air and an ignition source When latent print evidence is contaminated by 
such as a spark or flame. human biological material, appropriate per- 

sonal protective equipment and engineering 

Explosive materials (e.g., dynamite, C-4, 

TNT, etc.) are chemically unstable. Instability 
determines the sensitivity (i.e., the amount of 
energy required to initiate a reaction). Explo- 
sives containing nitroglycerine require a mini- 
mal amount of shock to be initiated. Heat, 
friction, and fire are also means for initiation. 

Pyrophoric material is any liquid or solid 
igniting spontaneously in air at or below 
130° F (5$C). Examples include phosphorus, 
sodium, and barium. 

Oxidizers are a class of chemical compounds 
that can react violently with flammable and 
combustible materials. Some common types 
of oxidizers include chlorates, nitrates, hydro- 
gen peroxide, perchloric acid, and sulfuric 
add. Avoid storage with incompatible materi- 
als that could react with the oxidizer or cata- 
lyze its decomposition. 

Corrosive materials are those substances 
which can cause injury to body tissue or be 
corrosive to metal. Corrosive injury may be to 

controls must be used during the examination. 

Light Source Safety 2 ' ^ ® 

The use of ultraviolet (UV) lights, lasers, and 
other alternative light sources are increasing in 
use not only in the latent fingerprint field, but 
in forensic science in general. While these tools 
are of great value to the forensic sdentist, they 
also create some potentially hazardous condi- 
tions, espedally when the user is untrained or 
unaware of the hazards assodated with their 
use. The operator of any light source must be 
properly trained in tte use and safety of these 
instruments. Regardless of the light source 
being used, it is absolutely essential that ap- 
propriate eyewear be worn by the user and 
by all personnel in the vicinity of the device. 

When using UV light sources, it is essential that 
an individual's eyes be protected from direct 
exposure and that prolonged exposure to the 
skin be avoided. 

Because some lasers create an 



point source of light which may not be 
visible to the viewer, there exists an enor- 
mous radiant energy which has the potential 
to cause irreversible damage to the retinal 
tissues of the eye from both direct and/or 
reflected beams. 

Personal protection for the eyes requires 
goggles which have sufficient protective 
material and which are fitted so that stray 
light cannot enter from any angle. All laser 
protective eyewear should be clearly labeled 
with the optical density and wavelength for 
which protection is afforded. 

Avoid both direct and indirect (reflected from 
a polished surface) eye and skin contact with 
a collimated laser beam. 

Eyewear, worn while conducting examina- 
tions using high-powered lasers, should be 
approved by the American National Stan- 
dards Institute (ANSI), and have an optical 
density of five or greater at the maximum 
operating wavelength. 

Adequate ventilation should be provided 
with all lasers. 

Lasers can present a shock hazard both in- 
doors and outdoors in a wet environment. 

Keep the exit port of the light source at a 
sufficient distance from surfaces to prevent 
overheating and combustion. 

Firearms Safety 

Weapons should never be shipped or stored 
in a loaded condition. 

Remove all ammunition from firearms and 
follow DOT regulations for transportation. 

For submission of live ammunition, bullets, 
and/or guns, see page 58. 

Confined Space Safety 

A confined space is an enclosed space large 
enough for an individual to bodily enter and 
perform assigned work. It has limited or 
constricted means of entry or exit and is not 
designed for continuous occupancy. 

Entry into confined spaces may expose the 
individual to a variety of hazards, including 
toxic gases, explosive atmospheres, oxygen 
deficiency, and electrical hazards. 

Conditions in a confined space must be 
considered immediately dangerous to life 
and health unless shown otherwise. 

Some safety tips for working in confined 
spaces include: 

• Never enter a confined space before all 
hazards (atmospheric, engulftnent, and 
mechanical) have been identified and proce- 
dures have been developed to deal with 

• Always isolate the confined space from all 
unwanted energy sources or hazardous 

• Always maintain proper mechanical venti- 
lation in a confined space and make sure 
ventilation equipment does not interfere with 
entry, exit, and rescue procedures. 

• Never introduce hazards such as welding, 
cleaning solvents, etc., in a confined space 
without first making provisions for these 

• Always monitor for atmospheric hazards 
(oxygen, combustibles, toxins) prior to and 
during entry. 

• Always provide barriers, as necessary, to 
warn unauthorized personnel and to keep 
entrants safe from external hazards. 

• Always provide constant communications 
between entrants and outside attendants, 
and remember to have backup communica- 
tions if using two-way radios. 

• Always wear appropriate personal protec- 
tive equipment; be familiar with the use and 
limitations of that equipment; and be sure it 
is properly maintained. 

• Never attempt rescue in a confined space 
unless you are part of a designated rescue 
team and have the proper knowledge, skills, 
and equipment to effect a safe rescue. 

•Use of safety belts and harnesses is man- 

For additional information, refer to the 
OSHA standard for permit-required con- 
fined spaces, 29 CFR 1910.146. 

Personal Protective Equipment 

Hand Protection 10, 11 

Hand protection should be selected on the 
basis of the material being handled and the 
particular hazard (biological or chemical) in- 
volved. For chemical resistance, select the 
glove material that offers the best level of 
protection for the chemicals handled. The 
following are some glove material types and 
their functions: 

Nitrile (NBR) provides protection from 
adds, alkaline solutions, hydraulic fluid, 
photo solutions, fuels, lubricants, aromatic, 
petroleum, and chlorinated solvents. It also 
offers excellent resistance to punctures, cuts, 
and snags. 

Neoprene offers resistance to oil, grease, 
adds, solvents, alkalies, bases, and most 

Polyvinyl chloride (PVQ is chemically re- 
sistant to alkalies, oils, limited concentra- 

tions of nitric and chromic adds. This mate- 
rial can be worn by most workers who are 
allergic to natural rubber. 

Natural Rubber (Latex) resists mild adds, 
caustics, detergents, germiddes and ketonic 
solutions, but it will swell and degrade if 
exposed to gasoline and kerosene. Because 
gloves made from natural rubber (latex) are 
adversely affected by exposure to high tem- 
peratures and direct sunlight, they should 
not be stored for an extended period of time 
in the passenger area or trunk of a car . 

Have readily accessible hypoallergenic 
gloves, glove liners, powderless gloves, and 
other similar alternatives for those allergic to 
the normally provided gloves. 

Check the gloves to be used for holes, punc- 
tures, and tears and remove rings or other 
sharp objects which may cause punctures. 

Wear heavy (8-10 mil thick) latex gloves or a 
double layer of gloves when working with 
items heavily contaminated with blood or 
other human biological material. 

Remove gloves carefully by grasping the 
cuffs and pulling them off inside out, start- 
ing at the wrist and working toward the 

Discard disposable gloves in designated 
containers. Do not reuse. 

Eye Protection 12 

Eye protection is an important considera- 
tion when working at a crime scene or 
when handling potentially hazardous ma- 
terials. Appropriate eye protection (face 
shields, goggles and safety glasses) should 
be worn when handling any of the following 


caustics, corrosives, or irritants^-^_\_ 

protective lenses. 

flammable materials 

radioactive materials 
UV light 

Types of Eye Protection 

Refer to American National Standard Prac- 
tice for Occupational and Educational Eye 
and Face Protection, American National 
Standards Institute, ANSI Z87.1-1989 (or 
latest revision) for additional information. 

Safety Glasses 

At the crime scene, you are likely to en- 
counter both biological and chemical haz- 
ards. There always exists the potential for 
splashing biological fluids or chemicals. In 
addition, flying objects may enter the eyes if 
not properly protected. Safety glasses 
should be worn at all times in the presence 
of these hazards. In most instances, safety 
glasses with side shields are adequate. 
Where there is danger of splashing of 
biological fluids, chemicals, or flying par- 
tides, goggles and/ or full face shields will 
give more protection. 

Contact Lenses 

♦ Safety eyewear that can be worn over pre- 
scription glasses without disturbing the ad- 
justment of the glasses. 

Safety Goggles 

Goggles are not intended for general use. 
They are intended for wear when there is 
danger of splashing chemicals or flying 
parti des. 

Face Masks/Shields 

Full-face masks/shields that protect the face 
and throat should always be worn when 
maximum protection from flying partides 
and harmful liquids (biological or chemical) 
is needed. 

Foot Protection ^ 

Shoes that completely cover and protect the 
foot are recommended. Shoes that expose 
the foot in any way should not be worn. In 
addition, fabric shoes, such as tennis shoes, 
should not be worn as they may readily ab- 
sorb liquid. Certain hazardous situations 
may require footwear that has conductive 
soles, insulated soles, steel toe and shank, 
and is chemical resistant. 

Contact lenses are not to be used as eye pro- 
tection. In the event of a chemical splash 
into the eye, it is often extremely difficult to 
remove the contact lens to irrigate the eye. 
Gases and vapors can be concentrated un- 
der such lenses and cause injury or perma- 
nent eye damage. 

Prescription Safety Glasses 

Crime scene personnel whose vision re- 
quires the use of corrective lenses should 
wear safety eye protection of one of the 
following types: 

• Prescription safety glasses with 

Respiratory Protection 

1, 10, 13 

Certain crime scenes, such as bombings and 
clandestine laboratories, may produce nox- 
ious fumes and other airborne contaminants 
which require respiratory protection. 

Safety supply companies carry many types 
of respirators ranging from a disposable 
dust mask to a self-contained breathing 
apparatus. Selection should be made ac- 
cording to the guidelines in the American 
National Standard Practices for Respira- 
tory Protection Z88.2-1992, after consulta- 
tion with health and safety professionals. 

The critical elements for the successful use 
of a respirator include training, motivation, 
medical evaluation, fit testing, and a respi- 
rator maintenance program. Without a 
complete respiratory protection program, 
personnel will not receive the degree of 
protection anticipated from a respirator, 
even if it is a correct choice for the situation. 
As a minimum, compliance with Title 29 
CFR 1910.134 is mandatory whenever 
respirators are used by personnel, whether 
on a required or voluntary basis. 

Head Protection ** 

Elimination or control of hazards leading to 
an accident should be given first consider- 
ation, but many accidents causing head 
injuries are difficult to anticipate and 
control. Where these conditions exist, 
appropriate head protection must be pro- 
vided to eliminate injury. 

Head protection, in the form of protective 
hats, must resist penetration and absorb the 
impact. In certain situations, such as bomb- 
ings which can cause structural damage to 
a scene, additional head protection may be 
necessary. Heavy-duty fireman-type hats 
provide added protection to the ears and 
posterior neck. Protective helmets also pro- 
tect against electrical shock. 

The standard recognized by 05HA for 
protective hats is contained in ANSI Re- 
quirements for Industrial Head Protec- 
tion, Z89.1-1986. This standard should be 
consulted for further details. 


Council, Committee on Hazardous Substances in 
the Laboratory, National Academy Press, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 1981. 

3 "Report of Special Committee for Safety," 
International Association for Identification, 2516 
Otis Drive, Alameda, CA. 

4 James M. Horn, M T5. and Roger M. 
Solomon, ' Peer Support: A Key Element for Coping 
with Trauma," Police Stress, Winter 1989, Vol. 9, 
No.l.pp. 25-27. 

5 US. Department of Labor. Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration, Title 29 CFR Sec- 
tion 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Blood- 
borne Pathogens; Final Rule.” December 6, 1991. 

6 Mark J. Upfal, MD, MPH, Pocket Guid e 

Stuart, Genium Publishing Corporation, 
Schenectady, NY. 1991. 

7 Betty Carrel I, BS, RN, and R. James 
Rockwell, Jr., MSc, Lasers: Identification and 
Recommendations for the Occupational Health 
Nurse," AAOHN Update Series 3/14. 

liSfiQf Lasers, (ANSI Z136.1-1986), American 
National Standards Institute, Inc., New York, NY. 

Guide. Edited by Christine Gorman, Genium 
Publishing Corporation. 1992. 

10 Laboratory Survival Manual Environ- 
mental Health and Safety Office, University of 
Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 

11 Choose the Proper Gloves for Chemical 
Handling" Best's Safety Directory 199ft. 30th Edi- 
tion, Pioneer Industrial Products, Willard, OH. 

lion, American National Standards Institute, ANSI 
Z87.1-1979, New York, NY. 

Guide. Editor Christine Gorman, Genium Publishing 
Corporation. Schenectady, NY. 1991. 

14 U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational 
Safety and Health Ad mini s tra tion, " Personal Pro- 
tective Equipment," OSHA 3077. Revised 1992. 

2 Bigbee, P.D., Laboratory Safety. 2nd . 
Edition, Federal Bureau of Investigation, June 1, 

Evidence cannot be presumed to be eviiU'itt..Al must be proven... 
and, it must be documented and demonstrated... 

FBI Document Section 

The Crime Scene 

The physical evidence recovered during investigations of crime 
scenes is one of the critical areas in contemporary law enforcement. 
Often, the facts and tangible items of evidence derived from these 
investigations make the difference between success and failure 
when a case is brought to trial. With the evolution of the scientific 
aspects of forensic science, more attention must be awarded at 
crime scenes to recovering and maintaining the integrity of evi- 
dence which will be eventually examined by specialists in the 
crime laboratory. 

One important consideration, bearing on the modern view of fo- 
rensic science is that this field is sometimes associated only with 
work accomplished in the crime laboratory. This consideration, 
however, is in actuality a very limited perspective on the overall 
area of forensic science. It is obvious that the ability of the labora- 
tory to provide scientific interpretations is dependent to a great 
extent on the recognition, recovery and documentation of evidence 
at the crime scene. In essence, then, the field investigator or crime 
scene technician is as much a part of forensic science as the highly 
skilled laboratory examiner. If the evidence from a scene is not 
properly handled, the work of the crime laboratory can be 
Jiindercd to a great extent. 

Therefore, it is suggested 
the discipline of forensic 
science be regarded as a 
multifaceted one. Each 
level of evidence in- 
volvement must be 
planned, organized, and 
performed with a central 
issue in mind— effective 
use of the physical evi- 
dence to its greatest 

It should be ensured that 
the crime scene searches 
are conducted in a sys- 
tematic and methodical 
fashion Numerous sug- 
gestions are presented in 
terms of practical aspects 
of day-to-day search 

Due to the myriad situa- 
tions which can occur, it 
would be virtually im- 
possible to cover all con- 
ceivable possibilities. 
Nonetheless, the mate- 
rial contained herein 
brings out significant 
concerns common to al- 
most all agencies. Addi- 
tionally, these points 
should serve as catalysts 
for the reader to gener- 
ate other important 
items based on specific 
agency needs. 

If more information on 
this topic is needed, con- 
tact the Forensic Science 
Training Unit, Quantico, 
Virginia, telephone 
( 703 ) 640 - 1239 . 

Practical Suggestions Regarding 
Crime Scene 

Administration and Management 


Accumulate packaging 
and collection of materials 
necessary for typical 
search circumstances. 

Prepare the preliminary 
format for the paperwork 
needed to document the 
conducting of the search. 

Ensure that all specialists 
are aware of the overall 
forms of evidence usually 
encountered as well as the 
proper handling of these 

Evaluate the current legal 
ramifications of crime 
scene searches (e.g., ob- 
taining of search war- 

Discuss the search with 
involved personnel before 
arrival at scene, if pos- 

Identify, when feasible, a 
person-in-charge prior to 
arrival at scene. 

Make preliminary person- 
nel assignments before 
arrival at scene, if practi- 

Consider the safety and 
comfort of search person- 
nel. When encountering a 
potentially dangerous 

scene or inclement 
weather, be prepared with: 

• clothing 

• communication 

• lighting assistance 

• shelter 

• transportation 

• food 

• medical assistance 

• scene security 

• equipment 

Assess the personnel 
assignments normally 
required to successfully 
process a crime scene. 

The following information 
is provided as an example 
of the personnel responsi- 
bilities. (Depending on 
circumstances and person- 
nel availability, it may not 
be feasible to have one 
person assigned to each 
duty. It is relatively com- 
mon for one individual to 
accomplish two or more 


• administrative log 

• narrative description 

• preliminary survey 

• scene security 

• final decision making 


• photographs 

• photographic log 

Sketch Preparer 

• sketch 

• documentation of items 
on sketch 

Evidence Recorder 

• evidence log 

• evidence custodian 

In instances of prolonged 
search efforts, consider the 
use of shifts using two or 
more teams. Transfer 
paperwork and responsibil- 
ity in a preplanned manner 
from one team to the next. 

Organize communication 
with services of any ancil- 
lary nature (e.g., medical 
examiner, prosecutive attor- 
ney) in order that questions 
which surface during crime 
scene search may be re- 
solved. Take steps to orga- 
nize a command post head- 
quarters for communica- 
tion, decision making, etc., 
in major/complicated crime 
scene investigations. 

The possibility of coordinat- 
ing multijurisdiction scene 
investigations should be ex- 
plored. It is advantageous 
to have working agree- 
ments that are mutually 
acceptable to potentially 
involved agencies. These 
agreements should be made 
before confusion occurs in 
an actual multijurisdiction 
case, rather than as a later 
crisis response. \ c 

I Basic Stages in a 
( Crime Scene Search 

I L 

Approach Scene 

Be alert for discarded 

Make pertinent notes. 

Establish frame of mind to 
take control of scene re- 
gardless of circumstances 
observed on arrival. 

Consider personal safety. 

Secure and Protect 

Take control on arrival. 

Determine extent to which 
scene has thus far been 

Check for adequate scene 
security even if advised 
that it has been protected 
prior to arrival. 

Obtain information from 
logical personnel who have 
entered scene and have 
knowledge relative to its 
original conditions. 

Identify one individual 
who is designated as the 
person-in-charge for final 
decision making and 
problem resolution. 

Take notes — do not rely on 

Keep out unautho- 

rized personnel — begin re- 
cording who enters and leaves. 

Initiate Preliminary 

The survey is an organiza- 
tional stage to plan for the 
entire search. 

Cautiously, walk through the 

Maintain definite administra- 
tive and emotional control 
(usually the person-in-charge). 

Select appropriate narrative 
description technique. 

Acquire preliminary photo- 

Delineate extent of the search 
area — usually expand initial 

Organize methods and proce- 
dures needed— recognize 
special problem areas. 

Determine manpower and 
equipment needs— make 
specific assignments. 

Identify and protect transient 
physical evidence, e.g., evi- 
dence that can be lost such as 
hairs, fibers, dust, etc. 

Develop a general theory of 
the crime. 

Make extensive notes to docu- 
ment the scene’s physical and 
environmental conditions, 
assignments, movement of 
personnel, etc. 

Evaluate Physical 
Evidence Possibilities 

This evaluation begins 
upon arrival at scene and 
becomes detailed in the 
preliminary survey stage. 

Based on the preliminary 
survey, establish evidence 
types most likely to be 

Ensure collection and 
packaging equipment is 
sufficient for task at hand — 
a given scene may require 
special techniques not 
normally used. 

Focus first on evidence that 
could be lost (e.g., detached 
from garment) and leave 
the least transient forms of 
evidence to be last 

Ensure all personnel con- 
sider the great variety of 
possible evidence, not only 
evidence within the scope 
of their respective special- 

Focus first on the easily 
accessible areas in open 
view and progress eventu- 
ally to possible out-of-view 
locations — look for pur- 
posely hidden items. 

Consider whether the evi- 
dence appears to have been 
moved inadvertently. 

Evaluate whether or not 
the scene and evidence 
appear intentionally con- 

Prepare Narrative 

The narrative is a run- 
ning, written description 
of the condition of the 
crime scene in general 

Represent the scene in a 
general to specific refer- 
ence scheme. 

Use photographs to sup- 
plement narrative de- 

Use a systematic ap- 
proach in recording the 
narrative — no item is too 
insignificant to record if it 
catches one's attention 

Do not permit the narra- 
tive effort to degenerate 
into a sporadic and unor- 
ganized attempt to reco- 
ver physical evidence — it 
is recommended that evi- 
dence not be collected at 
this point, under most 

Methods of narrative in- 
clude: written, audio, and 
video (sight/sound or 
sight only). 

Depict Scene 

Begin photography as 
soon as possible — plan 
before photographing. 

Document the photogra- 
phic effort with a photo- 
graphic log. 

Ensure that a progression 
of overall, medium, and 
close-up views of the scene 
is established. 

Use a recognized scale 
device for size determi- 
nation when applicable. 

When a scale device is 
used, first take a photo- 
graph without the inclu- 
sion of this device. 

Photograph the evidence 
in place before collecting 
and packaging it. 

Be observant of and photo- 
graph areas adjacent to the 
crime scene — points of 
entry, exits, windows, 
attics, etc. 

cance. Film is relatively 
cheap compared to the im- 
portance of providing 
evidence to the investiga- 

The diagram establishes a 
permanent record of items, 
conditions and distance/ 
size relationships — dia- 
grams supplement photo- 

Draw a rough sketch at the 
scene — normally not 
drawn to scale. 

Typical material on the 
rough sketch: 

Prepare Diagram/ 
Sketch of Scene 

Consider the feasibility of 
aerial photography. 

Photograph items, places, 
etc., to corroborate the 
statements of witnesses, 
victims, and suspects. 

Take photographs from 
eye level, when feasible, to 
represent the scene as 

would be observed by 

normal view. 

Points to Consider 

Use two-dimensional 
photographs sup- 
plemented by diagrams/ 

Do not hesitate to photo- 
graph something which 
has no apparent signifi- 

. specific location 
. date 
. time 

. case identifier 
. preparer/assistants 
. weather conditions 
. lighting conditions 
. scale or scale disclaimer 
. compass orientation 
. evidence 
. measurements 
. key or legend 

Number designations on 
the sketch may be coordi- 
nated with same number 
designations on the evi- 
dence log in many in- 

This sketch should contain 
sufficient measurements 
and details to be used as a 
model for a drawn-to-scale 
diagram, if neces- <T 17 

I sary. 


| Be sure to select the sketch 
technique before beginning 
the sketch — ensure that 
enough room is allowed to 
include all pertinent infor- 
mation and measurements. 

General progression of 

• lay out the basic perim- 

• set forth fixed objects, 
furniture, etc. 

• insert evidence as it is 

• record appropriate 

• set forth the key/ legend, 
compass orientation, etc. 

Conduct Detailed 
Search/Record and 
Collect Physical 

Accomplish the search 
based on a previous evalua- 
tion of evidence possibili- 

Conduct search from 
general to specific, regard- 
ing evidence items. 

Mark evidence locations on 
the diagram /sketch. 

Complete the evidence log 
with appropriate notations 
for each item of evidence. 

Have at least two persons: 

• see evidence in place 
before collection. 

• observe it being 

• mark evidence (mark 
item itself whenever 

• place identifying marks 

on evidence containers. | 

If feasible, have one person 
as an evidence custodian — 
especially in relatively com- 
plicated crime scenes in- 
volving large amounts of 

Do not excessively handle 
the evidence after recovery. 

Seal all evidence containers 
at the crime scene. 

Do not guess on packaging 
requirements — different 
types of evidence may 
necessitate different contain- 

Use specialized search Do not forget entrance and 

patterns when possible. Photograph all items before exit areas at the scene for 

(e.g., strip, grid, spiral, collection and enter notations potential evidence, 

quadrant or zone). in the photographic log (re- 
member to use a scale Be sure to obtain appro- 

device when necessary). priate known standards 

e.g., fiber samples from a 
mown carpet). 

Uways make a complete 
valuation of the crime 
cene. Do not rely on the 
esults of Laboratory tests 

Constantly check paper- 
work, packaging notations, 
nd other pertinent record- 
igs of information for 
ossible errors which 
lay cause confusion or 
roblems at a later time. 

Four Basic Premises to 

he best search options 
re often the most diffi- 
ilt and time consuming. 

ou cannot over-docu- 
tent the physical evi- 

here is only one chance 
i perform the job prop- 

iere are two basic search 
>proaches, in this order: 

. A cautious search 
of visible areas, 
taking steps to avoid 
evidence loss or 

. After the cautious 
search, a vigorous 
search for hidden/ 
concealed areas. 

Conduct Final Survey 

This survey is a critical 
review of all aspects of the 

Discuss the search jointly 
with all personnel for com- 

Double-check documenta- 
tion to detect inadvertent 

Ensure that photographs are 
taken of scene showing the 
final condition after comple- 
tion of the search. 

Check to ensure all evidence 
is accounted for before de- 
parting the scene. 

Ensure all equipment used 
in the search is gathered. 

Make sure possible hiding 
places or difficult access 
areas have not been over- 
looked in a detailed search. 

Critical issues: 

Have you gone far enough 
in the search for evidence, 
documented all essential 
things, and made no as- 
sumptions which may 
prove to be incorrect in the 

Crime Scene 

Release the crime scene only 
after completion of the final 

At minimum, documen- 
tation should be made 

• time/date of release. 

• to whom released. 

• by whom released. 

Ensure that the evidence 
found at the crime scene 
is gathered according to 
legal requirements, is 
documented, and is 
appropriately marked 
for future reference. 

Once the scene has been 
formally released, 
reentry may require a 

Only the person-in- 
charge should have the 
authority to release the 
scene. Ensure that all 
personnel follow this 

Release the scene with 
the notion that there 
is only one chance to 
perform the job cor- 
rectly and completely. 
Release then occurs 
once personnel are 
satisfied this is the 

Consider the need for 
experts (e.g., blood 
pattern analyst, medical 
examiner) to observe 
the scene before it is 

FBI Criminal Justice Information Services 


t.1 t»f without parole 


An Act of Congress 
established the FBI’s 
Identification Divi- 
sion on July 1,1924, 
to provide identifica- 
tion services. The 
fingerprint records of 
both the National 
Bureau of Criminal 
Identification and the 
Leavenworth Peni- 
tentiary, totalling 
810,188, were con- 
solidated to form the 
nucleus of the FBI 
fingerprint files. 

hi 1924, the FBI began processing fingerprint cards on a manual basis. The prints were inked 
impressions on a standard 8 "x 8" fingerprint card, as shown in the picture above. Trained 
fingerprint examiners made identifications by comparing the prints submitted with those 
in the FBI's master file. 

Current Operation 

The FBI serves as the Nation's civil and criminal fingerprint repository and for the criminal 
justice information to federal, state, local, and international members of the criminal justice 
community. As of November 1992, over 200,500,000 criminal and civil prints, representing over 
67,000,000 persons, are in file. During Fiscal Year 1992, the FBI processed more than 9.2 million 
fingerprint cards and received over 3.6 million pieces of correspondence from more than 67,000 
users of this service. The FBI receives over 34,000 fingerprint cards each day. 

During 1989-1990, the FBI and other criminal justice representatives coordinated an effort to 
revitalize the FBI's criminal justice information services. In February 1992, the FBI established 
Criminal Justice Information Services (C J IS) Division to serve as the focal point and central 
repository for criminal justice information services in the FBI. As a result, the current finger- 
print operations of the Identification Division were merged into the CJIS Division on 
May 1, 1993. 

Standard Forms for 
Submitting Identification Data; 

• Advantages: 

1. Saves time of investigative personnel as 
forms and information are uniform. 

2. Saves time of contributor in writing letters 
or requests. 

3. Ensures inclusion of essential data. 

• Forms available: 

2. Fingerprint cards submitted on non- 
serious offenses will be searched 
through FBI files and returned to the 
contributor with results of the search. 

3. Every identification record furnished will 
bear an FBI number. 

4. Criminal fingerprint cards submitted to 
the FBI for which there will not be a 
court adjudication (final disposition) 
will be searched and returned to the 
contributor along with the results of 
the search. 

FD-249 - Required form for preaddressed 
criminal fingerprint cards. 

FD-258 - Applicant fingerprint cards. 

FD-353 - Personal identification fingerprint 

1-12 — Form used to place a flash notice in 
an individual's record. 

1-178 — Requisition form to order supply of 
above-mentioned forms. 

R-84 — Disposition sheets to subsequently 
furnish final disposition to an arrest 
for which a fingerprint card was 
previously submitted. 
-Preaddressed postage and fees prepaid 
envelopes for criminal justice use. 

Search of Fingerprint Cards 

Submit the charge in narrative form rather 
than by state code citations. 

• In order to achieve uniformity in arrest 
data stored at the national level and to im- 
prove efficiency, the following policies and 
procedures were approved by the Attorney 
General of the United States: 

5. Nonfederal applicant fingerprint cards 
are searched through FBI files, and 
records are disseminated only after the 
following requirements have been met: 

a. A state statute must provide for fin- 
gerprinting as a requisite for the 
type of applicant position involved 
or for the type of license to be 

b. All applicant and licensee finger- 
prints must first be checked 
through the appropriate state 
identification bureau or, if no such 
bureau exists, through a central 
agency designated for such pur- 
poses within the state. 

c. The state bureau or agency han- 
dling the fingerprint card should 
forward only those prints on which 
no disqualifying record or substan- 
tive information is found locally. 

Value of records. 

1. Fingerprints should not be submitted to the 1. Provides identification and record of 
FBI in connection with nonserious offenses prior offenders, 
unless there is a question of identity or a 

check of FBI files is considered necessary 2. Identifies fugitives from justice. 

^for current investigative purposes. 

8 6 3. Uncovers criminal information regard- 

ing persons seeking employment in 
law enforcement, government, and 
banking and securities institutions. 

4. Uncovers "habitual criminal law" of- 
fenders (three or more prior felony 

• Locates fingerprint records or possible 
records of fugitives. 

• Adequate data must be furnished on 
which to make a search: 

1. Name 

5. Provides prosecuting attorneys, judges, 
and parole officers with background of 

6. Identifies dead (homicides, accidental 
deaths, or deaths from natural causes). 

a. Identification of victim essential to 
investigation of crime. 

b. Generally essential to prosecution of 

c. Family can be notified. 

d. Military burial rights established. 

7. Identifies victims of amnesia or accidents. 

8. Identifies missing persons. 

• Footprint File 

1. If arrested person has no fingers, 
footprints may be taken for records 

2. Area behind "great toes" is used for 

3. About 400 sets of footprints are contained 
in FBI files. 

Name Checks to Locate Identification 
Records (checks include aliases and nick- 

• Provides investigative leads and back- 
ground of suspects where fingerprints are 
not available for search. 

Z FBI number, or 

3. Law enforcement agency arrest number. 

State Identification Division (SID) 
number, or 

4. Armed Forces service number, or 

5. Social Security number. 

6. Any and ail of the above should be 

furnished when known in order to 
expedite the service and assist in 
making it as accurate as possible. 

Fugitive Program 

• Wanted notices are placed on fingerprint 
records for law enforcement agencies. 

1. The law enforcement agency is notified 
immediately if a fugitive is arrested. 

2. Over 152,752 (as of 11/92) fugitive 

notices are processed, with an average 
additional of 2,000 per month. 

3. Approximately 2,000 fugitives are 
identified per month. 

• Records and personal descriptions of 
fugitives are furnished to the law enforce- 
ment agency. 


All reported statistics are based on 
receipts and file holdings as of 
November 1992. 

NCIC Netwoik 




Automated Improvements 

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program was conceived and implemented in 1930. At its 
inception, the UCR program provided an accounting of the extent and nature of criminal activity 
and served as an administrative tool for criminal justice leaders to better manage their depart- 
ments. Today, more than one million items of data are collected from over 16,000 law enforce- 
ment agencies on a voluntary basis. These agencies represent jurisdictions covering over 96 per- 
cent of the U.S. population. Reliance on UCR data has expanded and now includes legislators and 
scholars. The benefits from this program are indeed significant and have resulted in an increased 
understanding of the crime problems which confront the country. 

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is a nationwide computer-based inquiry/re- 
sponse information system established in January 1967 to service the criminal justice community. 
NCIC's purpose is to maintain a computerized filing system of accurate and timely documented 
criminal justice information readily available through a telecommunications network. Inquiry 
response activity averages 1.3 million transactions per day through over 100,000 terminals. 

Virgin Island* 

In 1990, the Machine Readable Data (MRD) project was established. Through the MRD, states 
were contacted and encouraged to submit disposition information by tape for entry into the FBI's 
automated data base. The MRD enhances the FBI's ability to post dispositions and, thereby, 
provide a more complete and accurate criminal history record to the criminal justice community. 

Another automated improvement is the Identification Division Automated Services (IDAS) 
system. The IDAS system maintains a name index and fingerprint index to arrest records of 
twenty-five million subjects arrested throughout the United States. An average of 35,000 finger- 
print cards and 100,000 Interstate Identification Index (11T) on-line transactions are processed 

For additional information on the above services, contact the User Services 
88 Section, CJIS Division, FBI Headquarters, telephone number (202) 324-5456. 




Research and Development 

In 1989, the FBI and other criminal justice representatives coordinated efforts to develop 
a conceptual road-map to revitalize the FBI's criminal justice information services to 
meet the needs of its users into the next century. Major initiatives, resulting from these 
efforts, include the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) pro- 
gram, the enhancement of the NCIC to NCIC 2000, and the enhancement of the UCR 
program through implementation of the National Incident-Based Reporting System 













The IAFIS program is the development and implementation of a technologically 
advanced, automated criminal justice information services system based upon image 
capture, storage, and retrieval. The key concept is the electronic submission of finger- 
print images, rapid search, identification, and response while an offender is still in 
custody. This involves the total elimination of fingerprint cards at every stage of the 

NCIC 2000 is the enhancement of the current operational NCIC system. NCIC 2000 will 
incorporate advanced technologies such as the capture, transmission, retrieval, and 
printout of fugitives' photographs and fingerprint images; remote (patrol car) searching 
of a fingerprint image against a fugitive and missing person fingerprint data base; en- 
hanced data retrieval techniques (improved phonetic name search); the development of 
prototype work stations and mobile imaging units; and on-line access to other systems 
(Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Canadian Police Information Centre). 

NIBRS is the enhancement of the current UCR program and is an incident-based report- 
ing system, meaning data is collected on each single crime occurrence and its compo- 
nents. Reporting guidelines have been developed and distributed to the criminal justice 
community. Implementation is complete in six states, and in testing, development or 
planning stages in 40 other states. 

IAFIS Components 

The IAFIS will consist of three integrated major systems: 

•Identification Tasking and Networking (ITN): the submission of electronic finger- 
print images via NCIC or mailed fingerprint cards for identification purposes by 
fingerprint examiners. 

•Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS): an automated approach for 
performing fingerprint comparisons for the identification of criminals. 

•Interstate Identification Index (III): the national system for the exchange of criminal 
history records, supporting the implementation of the National Fingerprint File 
(NFF) concept. 

Enhanced Services 

For more than the past half century, the-partnership between the FBI and the 
criminal justice community has significantly contributed to the ongoing battle 
against crime. Current trends and developments indicate that fingerprint 
identification will play an even wider and more significant role in criminal 
and noncriminal processes in the years to come. 

Through our revitalization initiatives, the FBI will improve upon that partner- 
ship by: 

Eliminating fingerprint card submissions and providing rapid search, identifi- 
cation, and response to electronic fingerprint images; 

Having the capability to process an average of 73,000 electronic fingerprint 
submissions per day; 

Developing and implementing an on-line Interstate Photo System to provide 

Updating the current operational NCIC system through the NCIC 2000 
project, to provide more complete and timely information to the criminal 
justice community; 

Implementing new guidelines for the comprehensive collection of data 
through a new program known as NIBRS, which is an upgrade of the current 
UCR program; 

Establishing the NFF, which will reduce the duplication of effort and cost for 
criminal history record keeping at the state and national levels; 

Developing and implementing the Felon Identification in Firearms Sales 
program, which will permit criminal justice agencies to screen applicants for 
firearms and related permits; 

Producing better management and statistical reports for the criminal justice 
community to better manage its resources, for legislators to devise the neces- 
sary legislation to combat crime, and for scholars to have a better understand- 
ing of the seriousness of crime and its impact on society. 

For further information, please contact the Requirements Management Sec- 
tion, CJIS Division, FBI Headquarters, telephone number (202) 324-5084. 

FBI Forensic and Technical Support Services 

The FBI laboratory is 
the only federal full- 
service forensic science 
laboratory, serving the 
law enforcement com- 
munity. Its services are 
supported by the Docu- 
ment, Forensic Science 
Research and Training 
Center, Latent Finger- 
print, Scientific Analy- 
sis, Special Projects, 
Technical, and Train- 
ing-all detailed in the 
next pages. 

Gamma ray 


analyzing a 




The Document, Latent 
Fingerprint, Scientific 
Analysis and Special 
Projects support services 
are located in the 
J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. 
Building and may be 
reached through the 
telephone operator at 
(202) 324-3000. The 
Forensic Science Research 
and Training Center, 
with offices in Quantico, 
Virginia, may be reached 
through telephone num- 
bers (703) 640-1 181 or 

Scanning electron microscope 

Examination of bullets for rifling impressions 

Document Services 

The FBI laboratory's Document Section provides a great diversity of forensic services to the FBI 
and other law enforcement agencies. These services are of critical importance combating white- 
collar crime, organized crime, drug trafficking, and general criminal activity which include scien- 
tific examinations of physical evidence involving ink, paper, forgeries, alterations, obliterations, 
erasures, handwriting, typewriting, office printers, photocopies, encrypted information, and 
shoeprint and tire tread impressions. A number of important document reference collections are 
maintained for use in identifying materials and linking seemingly unrelated criminal activities. 

The most productive reference files are The Bank Robbery Note File, The Anonymous /Extor- 
tionate Letter File, and The Office Equipment File. The latter Ls used to facilitate determinations 
concerning the types of office equipment and machines used to process documents, such as 
photocopiers, typewriters, facsimile machines, laser and dot matrix computer printers, etc. 

Also provided are magnetic media examinations and data recovery extractions from seized com- 
puter equipment/ software systems used in furtherance of criminal activities. Clandestine rack- 
eteering enterprise records are analyzed, decrypted, and interpreted in drug-trafficking, money- 
laundering, extortionate credit (known as "loan sharking") traasactions, and organized gambling 
investigation s. Coercive and other documentary and recorded aural communications of ques- 
tioned origin are subjected to forensic linguistic analyses to determine demographic profile infor- 
mation which may be of value in determining their source. Address your request to: FBI Labo- 
ratory, Attention: Document Section, Washington, D.C. 20535, or call (202) 324-4452. • 21 

CART Computer Analysis 
and Response Team 

The CART program is staffed with ex- 
perienced computer professionals who 
are equipped with the hardware and 
software that enable them to recover 
information stored in computer systems. 
CART provides printouts or records 
extracted from computers and floppy 
disks. If additional analysis of these 
records is needed, such as drug-traffick- 
ing or money-laundering records, ac- 
counting analysis, cryptanalysis, and so 
forth, printouts are forwarded to the 
appropriate experts) for analysis. Ad- 
dress your request to: Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, Laboratory Division, 
CART, Room 3216, Washington, D.C. 
20535, or call 202-324-3283/4476 for 

Today's Crimes 

FBI's data indicates that white-collar 
crimes are the 1990's most significant 
national crime problem since today's 
society depends on and is made vulner- 
able by advanced technology. There are 
already over 33 million personal com- 
puters in the United States, and it is esti- 
mated that 60 percent of those comput- 
ers are networked in some fashion. It 
was also estimated that in 1991, $164 
million was lost due to computer break- 
ings, double the figure from 1989. The 
Federal Guidelines for Searching and 
Seizing Computers, issued by the U.S. 
Department of Justice, Inter-Agency 
Working Group states that, "computer 
searches have added a formidable new 
barrier because searching and seizing are 
no longer as simple...." They also recog- 
nize that, "while some investigators will 
be computer literate, only a few will be 
experts, none could be an expert on 

every system," and that "in most 

situations, you will need an expert to retrieve, 
analyze and preserve data." As a result of 
today's mission for the FBI Laboratory, 
CART is to: 

1. Conduct forensic examinations of com- 
puter-related evidence, 

2. Provide technical investigative assistance, 

3. Provide prosecutive and trial assistance, 

4 . Provide specialized training in the pre- 
servation and submission of computer 
evidence, and 

5. Provide international leadership in the area 
of forensic computer examinations. 

Linguistics Examinations 

Forensic Linguistic Analysis (Authorship/ 
Speaker Identification) 

These examinations involve the application 
of analytic linguistic methods to written and/ 
or aural evidence, normally done for investi- 
gative purposes, not for testimony. 

1. Demographic Profiling for determination 
of age, sex, educational level, geographic, 
ethnic background, and occupation from 
vocabulary, syntax, accent, etc. 

2. Common Authorship/Speaker Deter- 

• Through comparison of evidence of 
similar nature (for example, two or 
more handwritten documents, or two 
or more tape recordings). 

• Through comparison of evidence of 
dissimilar nature (for example, com- 
parison of a typed with a handwritten 
document, or a printed document 
with a tape). 

Psychol inguistic Analysis 

These examinations involve the application 
of analytical psycholinguists methods to 
written and/or aural evidence. They are done 
to provide information of lead value and to 
assist field commanders in their evaluation 
of threats posed by kidnapers, extortionists, 
terrorists, and others who communicate 
their intent to commit violent acts. Results 
of psycholinguists examinations are not 
intended for use in court. The FBI Laboratory 
provides the following analyses: 

• Psychological and demographic 
profiling of author/ speaker. 

• Threat validity assessment. 

When requesting linguistic examinations, 
please furnish the original or good copies of 
written and/or aural evidence and, if possible, 
material related to threats, such as information 
on threatening phone call(s) from unknown 
caller(s) and threatening letter(s) of known 
authorship. Also provide the background on 
the case, including information and descrip- 
tion of victims as well as subjects. If more in- 
formation is needed, please call Linguistics 
services at ( 202) 324-4406. 

Questioned Documents 

Document Examinations 

rhe Questioned Document field includes ex- 
iminations of handwriting, hand printing, 
ypewriting, mechanical impressions, such as, 
heck writer imprints, embossed seals, rubber 
itamps, printed matter, photocopies, paper, 
iltered documents, obliterated writing, in- 
iented writing, charred documents, plastic 
)ags and others. You may want to consider 
laving documentary evidence processed for 
a tent fingerprints. Document examinations 
hould be done before fingerprint processing 
ecause chemicals may preclude some docu- 
ment examinations. Document evidence is 

normally photographed by the Laboratory 
prior to forwarding for fingerprint process- 

Evidence Handling 

Documentary evidence should be preserved 
in the same condition it was found. It should 
not be folded, torn, marked, soiled, stamped, 
written on or handled unnecessarily. Docu- 
ments should be marked unobtrusively for 
later identification by placing initials and 
date, or other appropriate markings on them 
with a pendL Make notes or log with suffi- 
cient information to reconstruct where, when, 
and by whom each item of evidence was ob- 
tained. Place the evidence in appropriate en- 
velopes to protect it from contamination and 
to preserve fingerprints. Note that prolonged 
storage of photocopies in plastic envelopes 
can result in the toner leaching onto the plas- 
tic. Chain of custody forms should accom- 
pany the evidence, which must be stored in a 
secure location until submission to the Labo- 

Original Evidence or Copy? 

It is always best to send the original evidence 
to the lab. Many kinds of examinations, me- 
chanical impressions and indented writing 
for example, can only be done with the ori- 
ginal evidence. The lack of detail in copies 
makes other examinations such as handwrit- 
ing and typewriting difficult, although photo- 
graphs are better than photocopies. Some- 
times, however, a copy is the best available 
evidence. In these cases, copies should be 
submitted for examination. Also, copies are 
normally sufficient for reference file searches. 

Requesting Examinations 

When requesting examinations, include the 
following information: 

• Indicate any previous correspondence 

submitted for the same case. 

<1 23 

• Indude the nature of the violation, the 
name(s) and suffident descriptive data of 
any subjects), suspect(s), or victim(s). 

• Identify which of the submitted items are 
questioned and which are known sped- 


• Indicate which specimens should be pro- 
cessed for latent fingerprints. (See Latent 
Fingerprint Services, page 35.) 

• When known handwriting samples are 
submitted, advise of personal characteristics 
of the writer which may affect writing such 
as nervous behavior, handicap, illness, in- 
jury, intoxication, or an apparent effort to 
disguise writing. 

Shipment of Evidence 

• Do not place evidence from more than one 
case in the same box. 

• Seal the box with gummed tape and 
dearly print "EVIDENCE" on the package. 

• If any of the evidence in the box (or enve- 
lope) is to be subjected to a latent fingerprint 
examination, also dearly print ''LATENT," 
on the package. 

• For more information on collection, ship- 
ment, identification, and packaging, see 
pages 91 through 115. 

♦ If you have any questions, call the Docu- 
ment Section at (202) 324-4452. 

Types of Document Examinations 

Conclusions on Handwriting and Hand 

Writers can be positively and reliably identi- 
fied with their writings. Other characteristics 
such as age, sex, and personality cannot be 
24 determined with certainty from 

handwriting. A handwriting identification 
is based upon the characteristics present in 
normal handwriting. It is not always pos- 
sible, therefore, to reach a definite con- 
dusion in the examination of handwriting. 

Some of the reasons for incondusive re- 
sults are: 

1- Limited questioned writing. 

2. Inadequate known samples. 

3. Lack of contemporaneous writing, 
such as when a long period of time 
has elapsed between preparation of 
the questioned writing and the 
known samples. 

4. Distortion or disguise in eitter the ques- 
tioned writing or the known writing. 

In this situation, the normal handwrit- 
ing characteristics are not present. 

5. Lack of suffident identifying characteris- 
tics in spite of ample quantities of both 
questioned and known writing. 

• Use the following guidelines in obtaining 
known writing samples: 

1. Reproduce the original conditions as 
dosely as possible. Obtain writing in 
the same wording, names, signatures, 
and writing style (cursive or printed) 
as the questioned writing. Approximate 
writing speed, slant, size of writing, 
size of paper, and writing instrument 

2. Obtain samples from dictation until 
you believe normal writing has been 

3. Do not allow writer to see the 
questioned writing. 

4. Remove each page from sight as it is 


5. Do not give instructions in spelling, 
punctuation, or arrangement of writing. 

6. Use similar writing media, that is similar 
size paper, similar forms such as check 
forms, and similar writing instrument. 
Always get at least some of the samples 
with a ball point pen. 

7. If the questioned writing is extended writ- 
ing, such as a threatening letter, obtain 
the full text word for word at least three 
times. Signatures and less extensive writ- 
ings, such as checks, should be repeated 
ten to twenty times. The known samples 
should correspond to the questioned 
writing as to style: cursive (written long- 
hand), upper-case printing or lower-case 

8. It is recommended that you also submit 
genuine signatures of the victim of a 

:: Produced by attempting 
to copy a genuine signature. This forgery 
may or may not be identifiable with the 
writer depending on the extent to which 
normal characteristics remain in the signa- 
ture. Also submit samples of the victim’s 
genuine signature. 

freehand forgery: Produced in the forger's 
normal handwriting with no attempt to copy 
another 7 s writing style. This forgery can be 
identified with the writer. 

Typewriter Examinations 

Questioned typewriting can be identified 
with the typewriter that produced it. This 
identification is based upon individual 
characteristics which develop during the 
manufacturing process and through use. 
Comparison of questioned typewriting with 
reference standards can determine possible 
brands or manufacturers. 

9. Advise the writer to speed up, slow 
down, or alter slant, as appropriate, if 
writing does not appear to be normal. 
Consider having the writer provide 
some writing with the awkward hand. 

10. Writer and witness should initial and 
date each page. 

11. It is advisable to submit samples of un- 
dictated writing from sources such 

as employment records, correspon- 
dence, canceled checks, and court 
documents in addition to the dictated 

• There are three types of forgery: 

Traced forgery: Produced by tracing over a 
genuine signature. This forgery cannot be 
identified with the writer. A traced forgery 
can, however, be associated with the original 
or master signature from which the forgeries 
were traced if it is located. 

Caibon film typewriter ribbons can be read 
for content or specific wording of questioned 
material. Carbon film ribbons can also be 
identified with questioned typewritten im- 
pressions. Cloth ribbons cannot normally be 

• for known typewriter samples from a sus- 
pect typewriter, use the following guidelines: 

1. If a caibon film ribbon is in the type- 
writer, remove and forward it to the lab. 
The text of the questioned typewriting 
may be read from the ribbon. Also send 
in the correction tape. 

2. Insert a new ribbon in the typewriter. 
Obtain the complete text of the ques- 
tioned typewriting, including typo- 
graphical errors, two or three times, 
unless it is excessively long. 

3. Remove the ribbon, place the typewriter 
in the stencil position, insert <T^2 B 


paper with a sheet of carbon paper over 
it into the typewriter and obtain the en- 
tire keyboard two or three times by typ- 
ing through the carbon paper. 

4. Record the make, model, and serial num- 
ber of the typewriter on the sample, 
date and initial it for later identification. 

5. It is not normally necessary to ship the 
typewriter itself to the lab. In some cases, 
after examination of the samples, the 
examiner will request the typewriter. It 
should be packed securely to prevent 
damage during shipment. Typewriter 
elements {ball or printwheel) should be 
sent to the Laboratory. 

Photocopier Examinations 

Photocopies can be identified with the ma- 
chine producing them, provided that the 
samples and questioned copies are relatively 

pect machine: Make nine copies of a piece of 
paper with some writing or typewriting on it. 
Make nine copies of a blank sheet of paper. 
Make nine copies with no paper on the glass 
and the cover down. 

Two sets of questioned photocopies can be 
identified as having been produced on the 
same machine. Possible brands or manufac- 
turers can be determined by comparison with 
the reference file. 

Mechanical Impression Examinations 
• Printing 

1. Questioned printed documents can be 
compared with genuine printed docu- 
ments to determine if counterfeit. 

\2/Two or more printed documents can be 
26 associated with the same printing 

3. A printed document can be identified 
with the source printing paraphernalia 
such as art work, negatives, and plates. 

• Checkwriters 

1. A check writer impression can be iden- 
tified with the checkwriter which pro- 
duced it. 

2. Examination of questioned impression 
can determine brand of checkwriter 
producing it. 

• Rubber Stamps 

A rubber stamp impression can be identified 
with the rubber stamp producing it. The rubber 
stamp should be forwarded to the Laboratory 
in the same condition it was found. It should 
not be cleaned. 

• Embossers and Seals 

An embosser or seal impression can be identi- 
fied with the instrument which produced it 
The embosser or seal should be sent to the 

Paper Examinations 

Tom edges can be positively matched. The 
manufacturer can be determined if a water- 
mark is present. 

Paper can be examined for indented writing 
impressions. Indentations rot visible to the eye 
can be brought up using appropriate instru- 
ments. Care should be exercised in preserving 
the document. 

Do rot fold or handle. Under no circumstances 
should you attempt to raise the indentations 
by rubbing with a pencil. Take care not to add 
indentations during evidence collection by 
writing on paper on top of the evidence. 

borne watermarks have the date the paper 
was manufactured. 

Altered or Obliterated Writing 

Altered or obliterated writing may be deci- 
phered through nondestructive examina- 
tions using various techniques. 

Carbon Paper 

Examination of used carbon paper may 
disclose context of material written. 

Writing Instruments 

Chemical analysis can determine if the ink of 
two or more different writings is the same or 
different formulation The same analysis can 
be conducted with an ink writing and a sus- 
pect pen These examinations do not identify 
a specific pen, only that the inks are the 
same formulation 

Ink dating examinations can show the ear- 
liest date a particular ink was produced. 

Burned or Charred Paper 

Questioned entries on charred or burned 
paper may be revealed with appropriate 

Charred paper should be subject to minimal 
handling to avoid crumbling. 

Ideally, charred paper should be protected 
by a polyester film encapsulation method 
or shipped to the Laboratory in the original 
container in which it was burned at the 
crime scene, i.e., glass bowl or trash can 
Contact the Laboratory for more specific 

If above options are not feasible, ship the 
charred paper between layers of cotton in a 
rigid container. 

True Age of a Document 

The earliest date a document could have 
been prepared may sometimes be deter- 
mined by examination of watermarks, in- 
dented writing, printing, and typewriting. 

Chemical analysis of writing ink may de- 
termine earliest date the formulation was 

Reference Files of Known Standards 
and Questioned Material Office 
Equipment File 

Typewriter Section 

Consists of type font samples and informa- 
tion from manufacturers of typewriters and 
hard type. 

Permits determination of possible brands 
or manufacturers of typewriters from 
examination of questioned typewriting. 

Photocopier Section 

Consists of a collection of samples from and 
information about many brands of photo- 

Assists in determining possible brands and 
manufacturers of a questioned photocopy. 

Printer Section 

Consists of information collected and sam- 
ples from printout devices employing the 
thermal, impact dot matrix, and ink jet 

Facsimile Section 

Consists of information and samples col- 
lected from manufacturers of facsimile ma- 

Assists in determining possible brands of 
a facsimile. 

Watermark Standards 

An index of watermarks found in paper. 

Enable determination of paper manufac- 

Safety Paper Standards 

Consist of samples of a variety of safety 

Enable determination of paper manufac- 
turer when used in production of fraudu- 
lent documents such as checks and birth 

Checkwriter Standards 

Consist of sample impressions from 
many checkwriters. 

Enable determination of checkwriter 
brand or manufacturer from examination 
of questioned impression. 

Shoe Print and Tire Tread Standards 

Consist of collection of sole and heel 
designs and tire tread designs. 

Enable determination of manufacturer of 
shoes and tire from prints or impressions 
left at the crime scene. 

National Motor Vehicle 
Certificate of Title File 

Consists of samples of genuine state 
motor vehicle certificates of title, 
manufacturer's statement of origin, and 
vehicle emissions stickers. 

Assists in determination of authenticity 
of questioned certificates. 

Contains photographs of fraudulent 
documents to assist in association of 
questioned material from different 
cases with a common source. 

National Fraudulent Check File 

Computerized database contains 
signature and company names used in 
negotiating fraudulent checks. 

Visual file contains photographs of 
fraudulent checks to assist in associa- 
tion of questioned material from 

different cases with a common source. 

Anonymous Letter File 

The computerized file: 

Contains images of kidnaping, extor- 
tion, threatening, and other anony- 
mous communications. 

Assists in association of questioned 
documents from different cases with a 
common source. Assists in identifica- 
tion of the source of questioned letters. 

Bank Robbery Note File 

It consists of a computerized file that 

Contains images of holdup notes. 

Assists in association of notes used in 
various robberies with a common 


Assists in identification of the indi- 
vidual preparing bank robbery notes. 

Notes found in wastebaskets or on 
counters not used in a robbery and 
obviously a prank should not be 
submitted, unless mitigating circum- 
stances warrant their submission. 

Shoe Print and Tire Tread 

The Physical Evidence 

Footwear or tire impressions are routinely left 
at the scene of crimes. In many instances, the 
examination of shoe print and tire tread im- 
pression evidence can result in the positive 
identification of a suspect or the suspect's 
vehicle. Impressions of this type are retained 
by various surfaces in both two-dimensional 
and three-dimensional forms. 

Most athletic shoes have designs of varying 
depths. Whether the shoes are new or worn, 
they will leave a two-dimensional impression 
on a hard surface that represents only portions 
of their design. Three-dimensional impressions 
contain characteristics of both the raised and 
depressed surfaces of the outsole. If the im- 
pression is sufficiently deep, it can also contain 
impressions of the side of the outsole, the side 
of the midsole, and sometimes, even the upper 
of the shoe. These types of impressions can be 
left on almost any surface that a shoe or tire 
comes into contact with, either transferring 
materials from the shoe or tire to the surface 
or to the depressions they can cause in soft 
ground surfaces like sand, soil, and snow. 

Almost every impression that is left by a shoe 
or tire has value for a forensic comparison. 
Although most impressions are partial — they 
do not represent the entire shoe's or tire's sur- 
face — a meaningful comparison can be made. 

How to Collect Footwear and Tire Tread 
Impression Evidence 

Footwear and tire tread impression evidence 
should be collected as follows: 

Photograph the impressions. 

Retrieve, whenever possible, the original item 
containing the impression from the crime 
scene. For example, items such as flooring 

containing bloody impressions, pieces of 
glass or paper containing impressions, etc., 
should always be saved and submitted to the 

Photographs of impression evidence should 
always be taken first. 

Take examination quality photographs of 
impression evidence prior to casting, lifting, 
or retrieving the original impressioned item. 
Examination-quality photographs are those 
which will be used by an examiner to com- 
pare against the characteristics of the 
suspect's shoes. 

3. Use a fine-grained black and white film 
(T-Max 100) or a fine-grained color film 
(ISO 125 or less). Although black and 
white film is typically used, fine- 

Lift or cast an impression when it is a three- 
dimensional impression in soil, sand, or 
snow, or when the impression cannot be 
sent to the Laboratory. 

Photographing the Evidence 

Photograph the general crime scene areas 
which contain the impression evidence, 
showing how the impression evidence re- 
lates to the overall crime scene. 

Photographs should be taken as follows: 

1. Select a camera. A large negative format 
camera such as one having a 4x5 inch or 
2-1/4 in negative size is preferred but not 
mandatory. If a 35 mm camera is used, it 
should be equipped with a normal Macro 
lens and have manual focusing capability. 
Instant film cameras should not be used. 

2. Place the camera on a tripod with the 
camera directly over the impression. 
Adjust the height of the camera so that 
the impression and ruler will fill the 
frame, maximizing the use of the film. 

grained color film should be used 
when color is required such as in the 
case of impressions in blood. 

4. Place a 6- to 12-inch flat and rigid ruler 
next to the impression and on the same 
plane as the impression. If the impression 
is a three-dimensional impression, place 
the ruler on the same plane at the bottom 
of the impression's surface. Avoid sculp- 
tured or beveled rulers. Do not use paper 
scales, metal or cloth tapes, or makeshift 
scales such as pens, business cards, etc. 
Use the flat rigid ruler in every photo- 

5. All three-dimensional and most two-di- 
mensional impressions should be photo- 
graphed with an oblique light source. 

The flash should have a six-foot extension 
cord so that the flash can be positioned 
4-5 feet from the impression and near the 
ground. For two-dimensional impres- 
sions, the flash should be positioned 
very close to the ground. For three- 
dimensional impressions, the height 

of the flash should be adjusted depend- 
ing on the depth of the impression. 

6. Photographs should be taken with the 
oblique light positioned from three dif- 
ferent sides and at least 100 degrees 

7. Bracket the exposures and take several 
photographs of each impression from 
each of the three sides. 

8. Focus the camera carefully before each 
exposure. Focus the camera on the im- 
pression, not the scale. 

Casting Three-Dimensional Impressions in 

Sand and Soil 


Casts should always be made of three-dimen- 
sional impressions to supplement the photo- 

Dental Stone or Die Stone should be used to 
cast footwear and tire tread impressions in 
soil and sand. Plaster of Paris is no longer 
recommended as an acceptable casting 
material for impression evidence. Do not use 
dental plaster or other plasters. Dental Stone 
and Die Stone, having some coloration on 
them, are preferred for photographic reasons 
and are obtainable from local dental supply 

The advantage of using Dental Stone or Die 
Stone is that they only require approximately 
six ounces of water per pound of casting ma- 
terial as opposed to the 18 ounces of water 
required for plasters. Also, the greater hard- 
ness of both dental stone and die stone 
makes it unnecessary to reinforce or add a 
form to build up the thickness of a cast and, 
lastly, only 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of Dental Stone 
or Die Stone casting material are needed to 
make a shoe impression cast. 

To have the casting material ready for use 
when needed at a crime scene, have two 
pounds of Dental Stone or Die Stone divided 
into about 8x12 inch zip-lock bags, flatten the 
bags to eliminate the air, and store. This 
procedure not only makes the material avail- 
able when needed at a crime scene, but 
provides the advantage of the zip-lock bag 
where the material can also be mixed, pro- 
viding a neat, efficient, and easy method of 
quickly mixing and pouring a cast 

When a cast is needed, follow this proce- 

1. Retrieve a bag from storage, add about 
ten ounces of water, and massage the 
mixture through the dosed bag. After 
mixing thoroughly, the resulting mixture 
should not be watery nor should it be too 
thick. If the mixture is thick, add one or 
two ounces of water, but if it is too wa- 
tery, add more mixture. The ideal mix- 
ture should have the consistency of a 
thin pancake batter. 

2. When mixture is thoroughly mixed and is 
at the proper viscosity, it is ready to be 
poured into the impression. 

3. Open the bag and with the bag at ground 
level, carefully pour the mixture into or 
next to the impression, allowing it to flow 
over the impression. Fill the impression 
completely so that the mixture actually 
overflows out of the impression. 

4. When the cast is firm but still soft, scratch 
your initials, the date, and any other 
information on the back of the cast. 

5. Allow the cast to set for at least twenty 
minutes in warm weather (longer in 
colder weather) before attempting to 
lift it. 

6. Carefully lift the cast. Do not attempt to 
clean the cast. Allow the cast to air dry 
for at least 48 hours. The examiner will 
clean the cast in the Laboratory. 

7. Do not store, wrap, or ship the cast in 
plastic materials. After air drying for at 
least 48 hours, wrap in paper or other 
similar wrapping materials. Package 
carefully, with suitable packing 
materials to avoid breakage during 
storage and shipment. 

Photographing and Casting Impressions in 


1. First take examination-quality photo- 
graphs of the impressions in snow as 
you would do with any three-dimen- 
sional impression. 

2. Use either a product called Snow Print 
Wax, which is a red-colored wax aerosol, 
or a can of gray aerosol body primer, and 
lightly spray the impression from an angle 
just enough to "highlight" the ridges 

of the impression. Be very careful not 
to hold the spray too close to the im- 

pression, since the compressed 
aerosol spray can damage the im- 
pression. Snow Print Wax is only 
available through the Kinderprint 
Company, P.O. Box 16, Martinez, CA 
94553. Gray aerosol body primer is 
available at hardware or auto supply 

CAUTION: If you use the gray 
body primer, it will be necessary to 
shield the "highlighted" impression 
from the direct sunlight to prevent 
it from absorbing heat and quickly 

3. After "highlighting" the impression, 
take additional examination quality 
photographs using a fine-grained 
color film* 

4. If Snow Print Wax is used, the im- 
pression can be cast following the 
instructions on the can. If gray 
primer is used, cast the impression 
with two pounds of Dental Stone. 
Mix mixture in a zip-lock bag 
until the viscosity of the mixture 
is slightly thicker than normally 
mixed. A cooling process should 
follow by resting the bag in the 
snow for a minute or two. Then, 
pour the mixture into the impres- 
sion. The cast should be covered 
with a box or newspaper and 
allowed to set for at least an 

Two-Dimensional Impressions 

Floors, broken glass, desk tops, bank 
counter-tops, chair seats, paper items, 
etc., are often stepped upon during the 
commission of a crime, retaining dust 
or residue impression s of shoes. 

Some of these impressions are dearly 
visible while others may be partially or 
totally latent When searching the < ^'' ^ 

crime scene, the following should be 

Aggressively search all areas of the crime 
scene, particularly the points of entry, 
exit, and occurrence of the crime itself. 
Residue, dirt, and dust on the surface of 
the perpetrator’s shoes will be deposited 
by those shoes on cleaner surfaces. 
Because these impressions may be latent 
or partially visible, have available a 
strong oblique light source, and hold the 
light parallel to the ground. Dim or turn 
off the light to detect otherwise latent 
footwear impressions, particularly those 
on nonporous surfaces. 

Electrostatic lifting devices are also 
invaluable in locating and retrieving dry 
dust and residue impressions. These 
kinds of devices are available through 
the Kinderprint Company and through 
Foster and Freeman, 25 Swan Lane, 
Evesham, Worcs.,WRll 4PE, United 

Take examination-quality photographs 
of impressions), using an oblique light 
source that should be positioned parallel 
to and next to the ground, four to five 
feet away from the impression, aimed so 
that the light grazes the surface of the 

Retain, whenever possible, the original 
impressioned items and submit them to 
the Laboratory. Protect the impressions 
so that they will not rub off or otherwise 
be damaged in handling. Do not wrap in 
plastic, do not cover with tape, and do 
not store in plastic bags. 

Attempt to enhance or lift the impression 
only if the original impressioned item 
cannot be retrieved from the scene and 
_ be submitted to the Laboratory. 

32 ^> 

Impressions made by a wet or damp 
shoe on a waxed surface, such as a bank 
counter-top, can sometimes be enhanced 
by carefully dusting with fingerprint 
powder. A small portion of the impres- 
sion should be powdered first to test the 
success of the powdering technique. If 
succesful, dust the entire print, rephoto- 
graph the impression, and lift the dusted 
impression(s) with a contrasting gelatin 
or adhesive-lifting material. 

If the impression cannot be removed 
from the scene and cannot be success- 
fully enhanced with powder, attempt to 
lift the impression with a contrasting 
gelatin-lifting material. 

Gelatin-lifting materials are available 
from the Lightning Powder Company, 
1230 Hoyt Street, S.E., Salem, Oregon 

Laboratory Examination 

Shoe and tire reference materials are 
maintained to assist in the determination 
of the make or manufacturer of a shoe or 
tire that made a particular crime scene 
impression. This may be useful in some 
cases to help locate suspects) or 
suspects)' vehide(s). 

When known shoes or tires are obtained, 
comparisons are made between those 
items and the questioned shoe or tire 
impression regarding physical size, 
design, wear characteristics, and random 
accidental cuts and marks. 

If sufficient random identifying charac- 
teristics are present, a positive identifica- 
tion can be made. 

Racketeering Records Analysis 

The Racketeering Records Analysis Unit (RRAU) conducts forensic examinations of sus- 
pected drug, money-laundering, gambling, loansharking, and prostitution records for the 
purpose of determining whether they are the records of an illegal business. Unlike legiti- 
mate business records, records documenting illegal activity are often coded or clandestine 
in nature. Further, RRAU attempts to determine the scope and organization of the business 
as revealed in the records. Additionally, Examiners provide expert testimony in criminal 
and civil trials and hearings concerning their analysis of the records. Due to the unique 
nature and wide scope of these examinations, it may be appropriate to contact RRAU at 
(202) 324-2500 prior to submitting records (particularly voluminous records) in order to 
resolve any questions that may arise. 

Gambling examinations include the 
interpretation of records such as these 

Types of Specialized 
Assistance and Examina- 
tions Available 

Drug Records 

are examined to deter- 
mine the overall scope of 
the business, to include 
the hierarchy, type of 
drugs being distributed, 
gross sales, gross and/or 
net weights or quantities, 
price structure, and other 
pertinent information. An 
analysis of legally ob- 
tained telephone conver- 
sations or electronic 
intercepts can also be 
performed in selected 


records are examined to 
determine the scope of 
the money-laundering 
operation, including the 
amount laundered, the 
process utilized to laun- 
der the funds, and the 
illegal activity involved in 
the money-laundering 

Racketeering Records are examined to 
determine the roles of the suspects, 
their salaries, commissions, or share of 
the operation's profit, the dates and 
amounts of wagers placed, loans made, 
and their corresponding annual per- 
centage rates, and income from video 
gambling operations. 

Gambling examinations include the 
interpretation of records obtained from 
sports and horse bookmaking busi- 
nesses, numbers or lottery operations, 
and other gambling businesses. Analy- 
sis of legally obtained telephone con- 
versations or electronic intercepts can 
also be performed. 

Loansharking Records are examined 
to determine the amount of the loan, 
amounts paid in accrued interest and 
principal, number of loans, and true 
annual rate of interest computed by the 
actuarial method. 

Prostitution Records are examined to 
determine the scope of the business, 
including the number of employees, 
their roles, gross and net revenues, and 
other financial and organizational 

Expert testimony regarding these 
examinations as well as modus 
operandi testimony is available for 
drug and racketeering cases. 

Cryptanalysis examinations involve 
the analysis of clandestine drug and 
racketeering documents suspected of 
containing encrypted information, 
such as telephone numbers, names and 
addresses, and records of financial 
transactions. Potentially encrypted 
materials suitable for submission 

• Communications containing 
symbols or having unusual literal 
or numerical orientation. 

• Correspondence, notebooks 
containing cryptic notations. 

• Documents containing marked 
letters or numbers. 

Material to be furnished to 
the Laboratory 

Cryptic handwritten records are obtained 
during the investigation of drug and rack- 
eteering cases. Occasionally, a particular 
kind of paper (such as water-soluble and 
flash paper) is encountered in racketeering 
businesses. Flash paper is considered to be 
a "hazardous materiaL" 

If flash paper must be stored, exercise 
extreme caution, avoid storage near any 
other combustible material, and as soon as 
possible, seal in polyethylene envelopes 
and place in a refrigerator. 

Before forwarding any flash paper for 
examination, call the Laboratory for ship- 
ping instructions. 

• Tapes and related transcripts 
of legally obtained telephone 
conversations or electronic 

• Partially destroyed material 
such as charred, shredded, or 
tom records. 

• Computer data, floppy disk, or an 
entire computer system suspected 
of containing records of a drug or 
racketeering business. 























The FBI laboratory Division, Scientific Analysis Section (SAS) is divided into units which 
provide a variety of services and/or examinatioas. Each unit concentrates on a specialized area 
of forensic expertise to ensure that the most comprehensive examinations are performed on the 
evidence submitted. The SAS also provides highly specialized support. To facilitate this sup- 
port, many files are maintained and used for cross-reference. Because of the highly technical 
nature of the examinations and services provided, you may contact the Scientific Analysis 
Section, calling 202-324-4416, or direct your inquiry to any of the seven units: Chemistry-Toxi- 
cology, DNA Analysis/Serology, Elemental and Metals Analysis, Explosives, Firearms- 
Toolmarks, Hairs and Fibers, and Materials Analysis, which services are described next. 


Chemical - Toxicological 

• Heavy metals, e.g., arsenic, mercury, 
thallium, lead, etc. 

The Chemistry-Toxicology Unit provides 
expert forensic assistance concerning a wide 
variety of evidence types such as pharma- 
ceutical and controlled substances from nar- 
cotics cases and other sources, accelerants 
from arson scenes, explosives used by a ter- 
rorist or safecracker, miscellaneous stains, 
inks used in fraudulent documentary trans- 
actions, dyes from bank security devices 
and other sources, and a variety of petrole- 
um products from homicides, sexual as- 
saults, chemical frauds, and general crime 
scenes. These services are available in all 
criminal matters and in civil matters in 
which the Department of Justice has an in- 
terest. If you need further information call 
( 202 ) 324 * 4318 . 


This kind of examination discloses the pres- 
ence of drugs and/or poisons in biological 
tissues and fluids. The toxicological findings 
show whether the victim of a crime died or 
became ill as the result of drug or poison 
ingestion, or whether the defendant(s) or 
victim(s) in a criminal matter were under 
the influence of drugs at the time of the 
commission of a crime. 

Types of Poisons 

Because of the large number of potentially 
toxic substances, it is necessary (unless a 
specific toxic agent is implicated prior to 
examination) to screen biological samples 
for classes of poisons. 

Examples of these classes and the drugs 
and chemicals within these classes are as 

• Inorganic ions, e.g., cyanide, azide, chlo- 
ride, bromide, etc. 

• Nonvolatile organic compounds, e.g., 
most drugs of abuse and other pharmaceuti- 
cals as well as pesticides and herbicides. 

Background Information Useful to the 
Laboratory Examiner 

• Copy of autopsy or incident report. 

• Symptoms exhibited by the subjects) 
and/or victim(s) at the time of a crime or 
by the victim prior to his death. 

• List of any drugs known or thought to 
have been consumed by or prescribed for 
the subjects) and/or victim(s) of a crime. 

• Any known or suspected environmental 
(home or office) exposure to toxic sub- 
stances by the subjects) and/or victim(s) of 
a crime. 

Biological Specimens to be Submitted 
for Toxicological Exams 

The specifics of a given case will determine 
what and how much of given biological 
specimen should be submitted to the labora- 
tory. These variables include whether or not 
the identity of a toxic agent is known, the 
route of administration, the time after expo- 
sure that biological samples are collected, 
whether victims and/or subjects are living 
or deceased, etc. Call the Chemistry-Toxicol- 
ogy Unit for specific instructions that may 
be essential for the submission of specimens. 

Storage, Packaging, and Shipment of 
Biological Samples to the FBI Laboratory 

...^Volatile compounds, e.g., ethanol, caibon biological specimen must be placed 

44 monoxide, chloroform, etc. individually in labeled glass tubes, plastic 

cups, or heat-sealed plastic bags which must 
be adequately sealed. 

Specimens must be kept refrigerated or fro- 
zen during storage or shipment, and packag- 
ing should ensure that no breakage, leakage, 
or contamination would occur when trans- 
mitting the evidence to the Laboratory via 
the fastest available and practical means. 

Prior to packaging and shipping evidence, 
call the Laboratory for specific instructions. 

Pharmaceutical Examinations 

Examinations should establish the identity of 
constituents in stolen pharmaceutical cases, 
and/or switching of pharmaceuticals in hos- 
pital's drug-of-abuse theft cases, etc. 

Information Helpful to the Laboratory 

• Name of stolen pharmaceutical. 

• Data on use of pharmaceutical. 

• Identity of replacement drugs, if appli- 

Collection and Preservation 

• If possible, submit in original container. 

• Package each item separately. 

• Initial all containers and packaging. 
Information Determined by the Laboratory 

• Quantity of tablets or capsules, if in that 

• Weight of pharmaceutical, if applicable. 

• Confirmation of active ingredients. 

• Quantity of active ingredients, if necessary. 

Drug Examinations 

Drug examinations establish drug presence, 
trace quantities in nondrug crimes; establish 
the trace presence of drugs of abuse on cloth- 
ing, luggage, money, or in automobile, boat, or 
aircraft interiors; or establish the trace presence 
of drugs of abuse for probable cause hearings 
in the seizure of assets or contraband, etc. 

Collection and Preservation 

• Wrap each item separately and securely. 

• If small enough, heat-seal each item in po- 
lyester plastic bags. 

• If clothing, carefully fold each item upon it- 
self before packaging to keep trace contents 

Information Determined by the Laboratory 

• Qualitative analysis of drugs of abuse and 
other components of interest. 

• Total weight and quantitative analysis of 
drugs of abuse, when possible. 

Arson Examinations 

Arson examinations help to determine the pre- 
sence of accelerants or other substances intro- 
duced to a fire scene to facilitate destruction 
The reasons for arsons may be: 

Civil disobedience 
Crime coverage 
Insurance fraud 


Multiple fires in unrelated areas are indicators 
to look for in fire scenes, being the arson de- 

< 45 

Candle plants 
Ggarettes in matchbooks 
Molotov cocktails 
Fused chemical masses 
Electronic devices 
Accelerant plants 

Fire trails 

Cloth or paper trails 
Burn trails on carpeting 
Deep charring trails in hardwood 
Removal of property (No typical 
remains of household goods in 

Examples of Types of Evidence 

Specimens should be absorbent in nature or 
of a type that will retain a flammable liquid, 
such as: 





Molotov cocktails 
Padded furniture 

Preservation of Evidence 

Because most readily flammable liquids are 
volatile and are easily lost through evapora- 
tion, preserve evidence as follows: 

Use airtight containers. 

Clean metal cans (preferable). 

Clean glass jars (well packed to prevent 

Heat-sealable polyester bags. 

.Properly identify specimen and ensure that 
46 ;: > initials are on the specimen or 


Interpretation of Laboratory Results 

Gas chromatography examination of distil- 
lates recovered from suspected arson debris 
usually aids in classifying the product with 
regard to distillation range such as gasoline, 
fuel oil, or paint solvents. 


Tests do not generally identify the specific 
brand of gasoline or fuel oil due to weather- 
ing, common intermixing of commercial 
brands, and lack of distinguishing charac- 
teristics between brands. 

General Chemical Analyses 

Definition : Qualitative and quantitative a- 
nalysis of miscellaneous chemical evidence. 

Sources of Materials 

Malicious Destruction Cases : Destruction of 
structural surfaces, paint surfaces, lawns, and 
other valuables by the use of chemicals. 

Assault Cases : Use of caustic or debilitating 
chemicals on assault victims, lubricants used in 
sexual assault cases, miscellaneous unknown 
chemicals found at assault scene, etc. 

Sabotage : Corrosive chemicals or sugars in fuel 
tanks and oil pans, gears, etc., of drive trains; 
sea water contamination aboard ships. 

the formulation of questioned and/or known 
ink specimens including typewriter ribbon 
inks and stamp pad inks. 

Limitations on Comparisons: When ink for- 
mulations are the same, it is not possible to 
determine whether or not they originated from 
the same source to the exclusion of other inks 
having similar formulations. 

extortion notes, etc. Tampered products 
(see picture left) may be food stuffs, 
pharmaceuticals, topical ointments, and 
ophthalmic preparations, etc. 

Contact the Laboratory directly re- 
garding shipment of adulterated prod- 

Miscellaneous chemical examinations 
such as: 

• Tear gas and dyes in bank robbery 
packets (see picture below). 

• Flash and water-soluble paper 
in gambling and espionage cases. 

Standard ink refer- 
ence files necessary for possible 
association of a questioned ink 
with a manufacturer are not 
maintained in the FBI laboratory. 
I lowever, the Secret Service in 
Washington, D.C., does maintain 
a standard ink library. 

• Verification of stolen chemicals in 
Interstate Transportation of Stolen Prop- 
erty (ITSP) and Theft from Interstate 
Shipment (TFIS) cases. 

• Comparison of food products. 

FBI.requests should be sent 
directly to the FBI Laboratory. 
Other agencies should contact 
the Secret Service Laboratory 

Limitations on Dating 

A limited number of cases have 
been successfully matched to a 
standard ink not in existence on 
the date the document was 
allegedly prepared. The Labora- 
tory cannot determine how long 
writing ink has been on a docu- 

Products : To determine nature of 
adulterant, alterations to contain- 
ers, adhesives, and inks used in 

DNA Analysis/Serology 

The DNA Analysis Units I and 13 conduct 
forensic DNA and serology examinations 
for the identification and characterization 
of blood, semen, and saliva on items of 
evidence. For information, you may call 
either DNA Analysis Unit I at (202) 324- 
4360 or DNA Analysis Unit II at (202) 324- 
5436. Correspondence and evidence 
should be sent to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 

10th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 

Attention: FBI Laboratory, 

DNA Analysis Unit 
Washington, D.C. 20535 

Forensic serology involves the identifica- 
tion and characterization of blood and 
other body fluids on items associated with 
a crime or crime scene. Evidence from 
violent crimes such as murder, rape, 
robbery, assault, and hit-and-run usually 
bear body fluid stains that should be 
submitted for examination. 

Blood Examinations Aid Investigations 

In locating the possible crime scene, the 
identification of human blood, similar in 
type to that of the victim, can assist investi- 
gators in identifying the crime scene. 

In discovering a crime, the identification of 
human blood on a highway, sidewalk, 
porch, or in a car may be the first indica- 
tion that a crime has occurred. 

In identifying the weapon used, the identi- 
fication and grouping of human blood 
found on a club, knife, or hammer can be 
of considerable probative value. 

In proving or disproving a suspect's alibi, 
the identification of human blood on an 
item belonging to a suspect who claims 
that the blood is of animal origin refutes 
suspect's alibi. 

In eliminating suspects), the determination 
that the type of human blood on item(s) is 
different from that of the victim's type may 
exculpate the suspect. Blood similar to that 
of the suspect's can help corroborate a 
suspect's claim of having a nosebleed or 
other injury. 

Information Available from Blood Tests 

Blood tests can determine whether visible 
stains do or do not contain blood: 

1. The appearance of blood can vary 
depending on the age of the stain 
and the environmental insults such 
as temperature, light, and humidity 
to which the blood was subjected. 

2. Chemical and microscopic analyses are 
necessary to positively identify blood. 

Blood tests can determine whether blood is 
of human or nonhuman origin and, if non- 
human, the specific animal family from 
which it originated. 

The characterization of blood grouping 
systems includes red blood cell enzyme 
and serum protein systems (which are 
analyzed by electrophoresis, e.g., PGM, 

Hp, and Gc). 

Limitations of Blood Examinations 

Blood examinations do not reveal the age 
or the race of the person from whom the 
blood was obtained. It is also impossible to 
identify human blood as having come from 
a particular person by using conventional 
serological techniques. (DNA cannot iden- 
tify a particular person, either.) 

Collection, Identification, and Wrapping 
of Bloodstained Evidence 

Garments and fabrics: 

4. Securely pack large objects to prevent 
the frictional removal of stains which 
could occur during shipment. 

1. The investigator's identifying marks 
should be placed directly on the fabric 
in ink, as far away from stained areas 
as possible. 

2 Garments or stains which are moist 
must be completely dried before they 
are wrapped, or putrefaction of the 
blood will occur. 

3. The garment or item should be air- 
dried at room temperature in a secure, 
well-ventilated room. The items 
should not be exposed to direct 
sunlight or heat. 

4. Once dried, wrap each item separately 
in a closed paper container, such as a 
paper bag. 

5. Place the bag containing the item in the 
coldest, driest facility possible (e.g., 
freezer, refrigerator) until it is sent to 
the Laboratory. 

Blood on large solid surfaces such as walls, 
floors, or automotive surfaces: 

1. Scrape off any bloodstain of sufficient 
size. Place scrapings into a folded 
piece of druggist's paper. Thoroughly 
seal with cellophane tape. Initial, date, 
label, and place in a larger container. 

2. Do not collect scrapings in envelopes. 

3. Remove stains of limited size {i.e., too 
small for scraping) by either cutting 
away that section of the surface bearing 
the stain or dismantling the stained 
object and submitting that portion of 
the object bearing the stain 

5. Do not use moist swabs to collect dried 
stains unless all other means of collec- 
tion have been exhausted. 

Blood on pieces of glass: 

1 Submit pieces if stains are too small for 
removal by scraping. 

2. Insulate the specimens in the package to 
avoid breakage in transit 

3. Mark the item itself or the container 
holding the scrapings. 

Blood in dirt or sand: 

1 . If blood is encrusted on the surface, re- 
move the crusts and enclose in separate 
pillboxes to avoid additional con- 
tamination during shipment. Submit 
the remainder of the specimen in a 
separate circular, ice-cream-type 

2 . Mark containers appropriately. 

Liquid blood samples: 

1. Submit samples from the victim and 

2. Collect at least five cubic centimeters of 
blood in a sterile container bearing the 
donor's name, contributor's case num- 
ber, and investigator's identifying 

3. Do not use preservatives or anticoagu- 
lants except when DNA analysis is 
requested (see DNA section). 

4. Package the sample to protect it from - 

breakage. <49 

5. Do not add refrigerants and/or dry 
ice to the sample or package. 

6. Seal the stopper with tape to prevent 
leakage resulting from altitude 
when shipped by air. 

7. Refrigerate the sample prior to 
submitting to the Laboratory, 
but do not freeze. 

Blood Evidence Transmittal Letter 

The letter of request should contain the 
following information; 

A brief but complete statement of facts 
concerning the case. 

Any claims made by the suspect as to the 
source of the blood present on evidence 

Whether or not animal blood might be 

Whether or not stains have been washed 
out (laundered) or diluted with other 
body fluids (urine, vaginal fluids, sweat, 

Any available information concerning the 
victim s and/or suspect's disease (e.g., 
aids, tuberculosis, venereal disease, etc.). 

Semen, the Other Body Fluid 

The identification of semen by chemical 
and microscopic means on vaginal smears, 
swabs or on a victim's clothing may be of 
value in corroborating the victim's claims. 

Collection, Identification, and Packaging 
of Body Fluid-Stained Evidence 

Semen Samples: 

1. Any item or material bearing suspected 
semen stains should be air-dried, 
marked with dates and initials, and 
packaged separately in breathable 
containers (e.g., paper bags). 

2. It is not necessary to submit known 
semen samples from suspects in rape 
cases because the information neces- 
sary to make comparative analyses can 
be obtained from the suspect’s known 
blood samples. 

3. All specimens, except the liquid blood 
samples, should be frozen during 
the period between packaging and 
submission to the Laboratory. 

The Rape Case - Special Evidence 

In light of recent developments in forensic 
DNA technology (see DNA Examinations in 
the opposite column), the collection and 
preservation of serological evidence in a rape 
case warrants special consideration The 
forensic sexologist can often provide the 
investigator with information beyond the 
fact that "semen is present" on an item. 

The proper samples should be preserved 
and submitted to the Laboratory in a timely 

Collect body cavity swabs (as described 
below) from the victim as expeditiously as 
possible following the assault Once dried 
and packaged, freeze these swabs until they 
are submitted to the Laboratory. 

The following serological evidence should be 
obtained from the victim in a rape case: 

1. Swabs and slides to be used for 
semen identification and analysis. 

a. Two to four vaginal swabs repre- 
senting both vaginal and cervical 

samples plus any smear 
slides prepared from these 

b. Two oral swabs and associ- 
ated smear slides, if any. 

c. Two anal swabs and associ- 
ated smear slides, if any. 

d. Two unstained control 

2. Known blood samples as de- 
scribed previously. 

3. Items which might logically be 
expected to bear probative semen 
stains (i.e., panties, pants, dress, 

4. Hair and fiber evidence as dis- 
cussed elsewhere in this 

Serological evidence to be 
collected from the suspect 
should include: 

1. Known blood samples. 

A Laboratory examiner studies the final DNA result 

2. Two penile swabs if the 
suspect is apprehended 
prior to his being able to 

3. Suspect's clothing. 

DNA Examinations 

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) 
is analyzed in body fluids and 
body fluid stains recovered 
from physical evidence in 
violent crimes. 

DNA analysis is conducted utilizing the restriction 
fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method or 
other appropriate DNA methods. Evidence examined 
consists of known liquid and dried blood samples, 
portions of rape kit swabs and extracts, and body fluid 
stained clothes from victim/suspect of homicide, 
sexual assault, and serious aggravated assault cases. 

The results of DNA analysis of questioned body fluid 
stains are compared visually and by computer image 
analysis with the results of DNA analysis of known 
blood samples as a means of excluding or including 
an individual as the source of a questioned stain. As 
such, this technique is capable of directly associating 
the victim of a violent crime with the subject or the 
subject with the crime scene. 


The implementation of this technique in 
the FBI Laboratory represents a significant 
advance in forensic serology. (Note: DNA 
analysis does not positively identify a 
single individual as a source and is, there- 
fore, not like a fingerprint.) 

Follow the instructions set forth under 
serology examinations for the collection, 
handling, and submission of body fluid- 
stained evidence, with the following 
exceptions. Body fluid-stained evidence 
submitted to the FBI Laboratory for sero- 
logical and/or DNA analysis should be 
completely air-dried before packaging and 

Blood samples from the victim should be 
collected by medical personnel in two 
vacutairver tubes, one containing EDTA for 
DNA analysis and tha other containing no 
preservative for serological analysis. These 
blood samples should be submitted to the 
laboratory without delay. Keep die dried- 
stain evidence frozen in the event of a 
delay in submission. 

Non-FBI Cases 

DNA analysis on state and local cases will be 
limited to homicide, sexual assault, and 
serious aggravated assault cases in which a 
suspect has been identified. It requires a 
known blood sample from the victim and 
suspect for comparison purposes. In certain 
cases,the FBI Laboratory will accept evidence 
for DNA analysis even though a suspect has 
not been identified. These exceptions include 
serial homicide/ rape cases and sexual 
assaults on young children. 

Requests for DNA analysis on previously 
adjudicated cases should not be submitted to 
the FBI Laboratory, but should be referred by 
the investigating agency to one of the private 
DNA testing laboratories. 

Law enforcement agencies requesting DNA 
analysis are encouraged to submit evidence 
to their local crime laboratory for traditional 
serological testing prior to submitting 
samples to the FBI Laboratory for DNA 

The FBI Laboratory has implemented a 
selective case acceptance policy for DNA 
examinations. In general, this policy states 
that the FBI Laboratory will accept evi- 
dence for DNA analysis from current, 
violent personal crimes where appropriate 
standards for comparison are available. 
The policy is specified as follows: 

FBI Cases 

Physical evidence submitted for DNA 
analysis in connection with FBI investiga- 
tions will be examined as requested. It 
requires a known blood sample from the 
victim and suspect for comparison pur- 

Reexamination Policy 

It is the policy of the FBI Laboratory that no 
examination be conducted on evidence 
which has been previously examined by 
another expert. However, the FBI Laboratory 
will accept evidence samples for DNA 
analysis even though another crime labora- 
tory may have conducted traditional sero- 
logical tests on the evidence. 

This exception will only be made if that 
crime laboratory does not have the capability 
to perform the DNA tests and if the submit- 
ted samples are determined to be of a quan- 
tity and condition conducive to DNA analy- 
sis. The local forensic laboratory should 
contact either DNA Analysis Unit I or n prior 
to submission of this kind of evidence. 


Examinations of Explosives 

The Explosives Unit conducts examinations 
of Improvised Explosive Device (I ED) 
remains, commercial explosives, blasting 
accessories, military explosives, ordnance 
items, including toolmark and bomb com- 
ponents. The Explosives Unit may assist in 
processing bombing crime scenes and 
handling of explosives. To request assis- 
tance or information, call the FBI Labora- 
tory, Explosives Unit at (202) 324-2696. Send 
correspondence, evidence, or samples to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attn.: FBI Laboratory, Explosives Unit 
10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20535 

Examinations of Bomb Remains 

Bomb remains are examined to identify 
bomb components such as switches, bat- 
teries, detonators, tape, wire and timing 
mechanisms. Also identified are fabrication 
techniques, unconsumed explosives, and 
overall construction of the bomb. Instru- 
mental examination of explosives and 
explosive residues are carried out by the 
Materials Analysis Unit in conjunction with 
bomb component examinations. 

Toolmark Examinations 

All bomb components are examined for 
toolmarks, where possible. Tools utilized in 
the construction of the bomb are identified 
for investigative purposes. 

Reference Files 

The Explosives Unit also maintains exten- 
sive reference files on commercial explo- 
sives, blasting accessories, and bomb com- 
ponents. These files contain technical data 
that include known standards of military 

and commercial explosives, time fuses, 
detonators, batteries, tape, switches, and 
radio control systems. 

Handling Explosives 

Explosive devices or bombs should be 
handled only by qualified police or military 
bomb disposal personnel. 

Shipping Explosives 

Explosives are classified as hazardous ma- 
terials. Special packaging is required, and 
the amount to be shipped is regulated. Call 
the Explosives Unit each and every time an 
explosive is to be shipped for examination. 
The shipping instructions furnished must be 
strictly adhered to for meaningful forensic 
examination as well as safety. 

Examinations of Explosives by the 
Materials Analysis Unit 

Examinations in cases involving IEDs are 
performed by the Materials Analysis Unit 
(see page 71) to assist the Explosives Unit in 
the determination of: 

• Whether unknown substances are high 
explosive, low explosive, or incendiary 
in nature. 

• Whether recovered explosives are consis- 
tent with known explosive products by 
compositional analysis. 

Sometimes, the type of explosive can be de- 
termined by examination of residues from 
the scene of a bombing. It should be noted 
that most residues remaining after the deto- 
nation of an explosive charge are water solu- 
ble. For this reason, these residues must be 
protected against exposure to excessive 
moisture. Also, other residues evaporate 
quickly, necessitating the immediate sealing 
of collected debris in new, airtight 


Control Center 

paint cans. 

Postblast Investigation Guidelines 

The processing of bombing crime scenes, in 
spite of often massive destruction, must be 
conducted on the theory that everything at 
the scene, prior to the explosion, is still pre- 
sent unless vaporized by the explosion. 

While complex, it is possible to determine the 
cause of an explosion from the components 
found at the scene. 

Purpose of Postblast Investigation 

The purpose of the postblast investigation 
process is to determine what happened, how 
it happened, and to gather evidence. 

Special Considerations 

The following steps are to assist in the prepa- 
ration, supervision, and evaluation of activ- 
ity connected with a bombing crime scene. 
The topics covered are not meant to be all 
inclusive, and no attempt has been made to 
comment on the many aspects of a bombing 
investigation. A comprehensive course of in- 
struction in postblast crime scene processing 
is available through the Explosives Unit in 
the Post-Blast Investigator's School. For fur- 
ther information, contact the Explosives Unit. 

Formulate a Plan of Action 

Formulate a plan adapted to the particulars 
of the bombing crime scene. This plan 
should include consideration of the creation 
of an on-scene control center; establishment 

of a chain of command; assignment of vari- 
ous tasks such as evidence collection, pho- 
tography, fingerprint processing, and crowd 
control; protection of the crime scene; acqui- 
sition of necessary equipment; periodically 
evaluating progress; providing pertinent 
information to the public; and public safety. 

Consider establishing an on-scene control 
center, particularly after a large bombing 
which may require days or even weeks to 
complete the investigation of the crime 
scene. The control center should coordinate 
efforts among investigative personnel, re- 
presentatives of other agencies, and utilities, 
as well as handle inquiries from sightseers, 
persons associated with the scene, relatives 
of victims, and the press. One person should 
be in overall command of the bombing in- 
vestigation, another person over the man- 
agement of the crime scene search efforts, 
and yet another controlling the collection 
and handling of evidence. These three in- 
dividuals must maintain close coordination 
and continually exchange information on an 
expeditious basis. The crime scene manager 
should report directly to the person in 
charge of the entire investigation. 



Evaluate safety conditions at the outset of 
the crime scene search and on a continuing 
basis throughout the search. Consider the 
possibility of additional devices, a device 
that has failed to function, the presence of 
live explosives in the debris, the presence of 
utilities {gas, electrical, etc.) in the vicinity of 
the blast, structural damage to buildings 
and, most importantly, the safety of crime 
scene personnel, residents, and the public. 

Only public safety or military explosive 
ordnance disposal personnel should 
handle suspected IEDs. 

Protection of the Crime Scene 

Take adequate safeguards to protect the 
crime scene from fire, law enforcement, 
utility, and rescue personnel as well as 
others, such as sightseers, victims, and indi- 
viduals with a personal interest in the prop- 
erty. Also, since most residues remaining 
after the detonation of an explosive are 

water soluble, the crime scene should be pro- 
tected as much as possible from exposure to 
excessive moisture such as rain, snow, bro- 
ken water/sewer pipes, etc. 

Crime Scene Photography 

Take appropriate photographs to give an 
accurate photographic representation of the 
crime scene. These photographs should be 
made immediately before, periodically 
during, and at the completion of the crime 
scene processing. Properly identify each 
photograph as to location and orientation; 
coordinate the photographs with diagrams, 
maps and/or blueprints; and consider the 
necessity of aerial photographs. (For more 
details, see Miscellaneous Photographic 
Examinations atop page 78.) 

Crime Scene Specialists 

If there are no available trained specialists to 
handle and process bombing crime scenes, 
make arrangements to obtain such special- 
ists. Although the basic principles of con- 
ducting a crime scene search apply in a bomb 
scene search, individuals with specialized 
knowledge of explosives, improvised explo- 
sive devices, damage produced by explosive 
charges, and other facets associated with 
bomb scene searches, such as the search and 
collection of physical bombing evidence are 
extremely valuable to the effective and ef- 
ficient processing of a bombing crime scene. 
These specialists need not be qualified bomb 
disposal specialists. They should be the first 
persons to be selected for the evidence and 
crime scene search coordinator positions. 


Promptly make arrangements to obtain the 
necessary equipment to move debris and 
material at the scene. Although the equip- 
ment needed at a crime scene varies from 
incident to incident, the following is a typical 
representation of the necessary basic equip- 


Hand Tools : Shovels, rakes, brooms, bolt 
cutters, wire cutters, sledge hammers, ham- 
mers, screwdrivers, wrenches, chisels, hack- 
saws, magnets, flashlights, knives, 50' mea- 
suring tapes, and traffic wheel-measuring 

Personal Equipment : Hard hats, safety 
goggles, face masks or respirators, work and 
rubber gloves, foul weather clothing, cover- 
alls, and work shoes. 

loader, bulldozer, crane, and shoring 

wheelbarrows, metal trash cans, power saws, 
cutting torch equipment, ladders, portable 
lighting equipment, metal detectors, plastic 
sheeting, photographic equipment, and 
rappelling equipment. 

Crime Scene Kit: Usual equipment used for 
the collection, preservation, and identification 
of physical evidence. 

Yehide : If the suspected target or container 
was a vehide, if possible, bring to the scene 
an identical vehide to assist in identifying 
fragmented or distorted items. 

Search for Evidence 

Bear in mind that the search for evidence at a 
bombing crime scene is critical; it may con- 
tain important evidence for identifying the 
bomber(s) and/or assisting in the successful 
prosecution of the matter. The following 
guidelines are general in nature, as the exact 
method of searching depends on various 
uncontrollable factors. 

It is extremely important that the area be 
photographed before a search begins, and 
when evidence is 'ocated. 55 


Place one person in overall charge of the 
collection of the evidence from the various 
collectors, as valuable evidence may not be 
admissible in court if a proper "chain of 
custody" cannot be established. Include 
the location where evidence was recov- 
ered. A diagram of the crime scene is 
always useful. 

Do not stop the search after a few items 
have been found. Valuable evidence may 
be overlooked. 

Avoid the tendency to concentrate only on 
obvious explosive-related physical evi- 
dence such as: safety fuse, blasting caps 
and leg wires, explosive residues, or 
unconsumed explosives as this may result 
in overlooking other valuable evidence. 
Look for evidence such as: fingerprints, 
hair and fibers, soil, blood, paint, plastic, 
tape, tools and/or toolmarks, metals 
writing paper, printing, cardboard, wood, 
leather and tire tread-shoe print impres- 
sions which may produce a lead in the 

Conduct a well-organized, thorough, and 
careful search to prevent the necessity of a 
second search. However, have a secure 
disposal site for debris, should a second 
search be necessary. 

Normally, initiation of the search should 
start at the site of the explosion and work 
outward. If the bomb crater is in earth, 
obtain soil samples from the perimeter, 
sides, and bottom of the crater, making 
sure to dig into the substrata. Soil samples 
should also be taken away from the scene 
for comparison purposes. If the crater is in 
another type of material, take samples 
from similar areas. 

Sift small debris through a 1/4" wire 
screen onto an insect-type screen. Usually, 

' these screens are placed on 2-foot square 
56 ^> 

wooden frames constructed from 2x4 
inches lumber. 

X-ray the bodies of victims who were in 
close proximity of the explosion site, for 
possible physical evidence and, if pos- 
sible, have the evidence removed. Vic- 
tims' clothing should be retained as 
residues may be present on the dothing. 

Search a sufficient distance from the seat 
of the explosion. Evidence has been found 
up to several blocks away from large 
explosions. A basic rule of thumb is to 
extend your perimeter half the distance 
past the site where the most remote piece 
of evidence was located. 

Determine the probable flight path of 
bomb components to prevent needless 

Search trees, shrubbery, telephone poles, 
and the roofs, ledges and gutters of 
buildings. Instances have occurred where 
physical evidence was carried away on 
the tires of vehides responding to the 
crime scene. 

Establish a search pattern for large areas. 
A line of searchers moving forward has 
been found to be a satisfactory method. A 
bomb scene specialist should follow the 
line of searchers to evaluate the items 
found, control the searchers, and furnish 
guidance. If a second search is desired, 
the positions of the searchers on the line 
should be rotated. Charting the areas to 
be searched will ensure a thorough search 

Retain all items foreign to the scene and 
items which the searchers cannot identify 
after seeking the assistance of those 
familiar with the bombed target. 

Firearms-Toolmarks Services 

The Firearms-Toolmarks Unit conducts 
forensic firearms examinations, m uzzle - 
to-garment distance determinations, and 
examinations of silencers as well as exami- 
nations related to toolmarks, lock mecha- 
nisms, and number restorations. If you need 
information, please call (202) 324-4378. 

Send evidence or samples to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attn.: FBI Laboratory, 

Firearms-Toolmarks Unit 
10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20535 

Firearms Identification 

Firearms identification is the forensic science 
discipline that identifies a bullet, cartridge 
case or other ammunition component as 
having been fired by a particular firearm to 
the exclusion of all other firearms. 


Examinations may positively conclude that 
the bullet or cartridge case was or was not 
fired by a particular firearm. Exams may 
also conclude that there are not sufficient 
individual microscopic marks of value on 
the bullet or cartridge case for identification 
purposes or that the condition of the firearm 
precludes the possibility of making an iden- 

Types of Examinations 

Examinations of bullets: Include the micro- 
scopic marks that are produced by the 
rifling in the barrel of the firearm. The dia- 
meter of the bullet and the marks left may 
aid in determining the caliber, manufacturer 
and model of the firearm and if the bullet 
had not been fired in a particular firearm. 

If there are sufficient individual microscopic 

marks of value on the bullet, it may be identi- 
fied as having been fired from a particular 

casings: Include the microscopic marks pro- 
duced by the breech face, firing pin, chamber, 
extractor and ejector. These individual micro- 
scopic marks may identify the cartridge case 
or shots hell casing as having been fired in or 
loaded and ejected from a particular firearm. 
Aside from microscopic marks, cartridge 
cases found at the scene can determine 
caliber-type of firearm used and possibly the 
model of firearm. Shotshell casings at the 
scene can tell the gauge of shotgun and possi- 
bly the original factory load of the shotshell. 

Slugs: Recovered from a victim or from a 
crime scene may identify the size of shot 
used. Examinations of slugs may identify the 
manufacturer and gauge of shotgun used. 

victim or from a crime s cere may identify the 
manufacturer, the wadding and gauge of 
shotgun used. In some cases, such as with 
plastic wadding, a positive identification can 
be made to a particular firearm. 

shells : Can determine the specific type of 
firearm for which the ammunition was in- 
tended. Examination may also identify 
whether the ammunition was loaded into 
and/ or extracted from a particular firearm. 

Lead Analyses: Bullet lead composition 
analyses of ammunition may be valuable 
when the bullet or bullet fragment does not 
bear any microscopic marks of value for 
identification purposes. Lead samples from 
the bullet and/ or fragment are compared 
with ammunition recovered from the sus- 
pect's possession. Analysis may determine 
that the composition of the bullet and/or .... 
fragment is identical to the com- 57 

position of the recovered ammunition. Al- 
though circumstantial, lead composition 
information is often useful to link a suspect 
to a shooting, and similar information may 
be determined from an analysis of shot- 
pellets and slugs. 

Examinations for gunshot residues: On evi- 
dence, such as clothing, can be conducted for 
muzzle-to-garment distance determination- 
Microscopic exams and chemical processing 
of the area surrounding the hole to produce 
patterns of gunshot residues are compared to 
test patterns that are shot using the suspect 
firearm and ammunition like that used in the 
crime. These tests can only be conducted if a 
suspect firearm is recovered, and the type of 
ammunition used is identified. 

Can be conducted 
for muzzle-to-garment distance determination 
if a suspect shotgun is recovered and type of 
ammunition (shotshells) used is identified. 

Can be 

conducted to determine if their sound sup- 
pressing abilities fall within the federal 
definition of a "firearm silencer" or "firearm 

Tri gger pull examinations : Can be conducted 
to determine the amount of pressure neces- 
sary to fire a firearm 

i: Can be conducted to 

determine, if a firearm has been altered to fire 
in the automatic mode and if the firearm 
actually can fire in the automatic mode. 

Function examinations : Can be conducted to 
determine if a firearm is capable of firing as it 
was designed and if all safeties are properly 

Examinations can be conducted to determine 
if a firearm can be made to fire accidentally, 
that is, without pulling the trigger. 

Gun parts can be examined to determine what 
type of firearm they belong to and whether or 
not they may belong to a particular firearm. 

Submission of Evidence 

Firearms, bullets, cartridge cases and shotshell 
casings can be sent Registered mail through 
the United States Postal Service. Items should 
be wrapped or packaged separately and 
properly identified as to item number within 
the shipping container. All firearms must be 
unloaded, and ammunition that is removed 
from the firearm should be packaged and 
identified as such. 

Transmittal letter should indicate where the 
victim was shot Articles of clothing submitted 
for gunshot residue examination should be: 

• Carefully handled upon removal from 

• Air-dried before submission, 

• Wrapped or bagged individually in paper, 

• Properly identified (each package should 
have item number and subject name). 

the U. S. mail but can be shipped via other 
carriers such as United Parcel Service (UPS) 
or Federal Express. The following guidelines 
must be strictly followed in order to comply 
with Department of Transportation regula- 

• Surface Shipments - UPS 
Items should be placed in a cardboard 
box with appropriate label and invoices 
marked "United Parcel Service" along 
with a UPS "Hazardous Materials" label. 

• Air Shipments - Federal Express 
Cardboard box with appropriate label and 
invoices marked "Federal Express,” 




shipper's certification for restricted articles 
and "Small Arms Ammunition" stamped 
on outside of box. 

Marking Specimens for Identification 

Firearms should be identified with a string 
tag containing contributor information. If 
necessary (although discouraged) markings 
on the firearm should be inconspicuous, such 
as within the trigger guard. 

In general, caliber denotes the nominal bore 
diameter of a barrel, that is, the approximate 
diameter of the bore of the barrel. The diam- 
eter is measured in hundredths of an inch 
(.557), or in millimeters (5.56), which, in re- 
gards to caliber, would correspond to .38 cali- 
ber family and .22 caliber family respectively. 

Markings on bullets, cartridge cases and shot- 
shell casings should be avoided. If needed, 
bullets are to be marked on the nose or base 
with care given to possible trace evidence or 
impressions on the nose. Cartridge cases and 
shotshell casings are to be marked inside the 
mouth or on the side near the mouth. 

Caliber designations are then expanded one 
step further to name each different cartridge 
size or shape within the caliber family. While 
some cartridges will interchange, the majority 
of cartridges are specific for a firearm that is 
chambered for that specific cartridge. Some 
examples are: 

Reference Files 

The Standard Ammunition File (SAF), con- 
taining over 15,000 specimens and maintained 
in the FBI Laboratory, is used to compare sub- 
mitted evidence against domestic and foreign 
standards to determine the manufacturer, as 
well as the cartridge and bullet type, of the 
questioned specimens. 

Descriptive words: Cartridges in the .38 cali- 
ber family would include the 38 Smith & 
Wesson, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and the 
9mm Luger. 

»: The 30-40 Kragisa 
30 caliber cartridge that was originally loaded 
with 40 grains of powder. 

The Reference Firearms Collection contains 
over 5,000 firearms (3,000+ handguns and 
2,000+shoulder firearms). This collection is 
maintained for such uses as: 

• Locating serial numbers, 

• Replacing inoperable firearms parts, and 

• Identifying firearms and firearms parts. 

The Reference Fired Specimen File contains 
test bullets and cartridge cases obtained from 
firearms that have been submitted to the FBI 
Laboratory. This file is maintained as a refer- 
ence for the types of marks that are produced 
by known makes and models of firearms. 

Manufacture or Design er's name : Some self- 
explanatory cartridges would include the 
6mm Remington, the .270 Winchester and the 
.257 Roberts. 


* The .250-3000 is a .25 

caliber cartridge that develops a muzzle 
velocity of 3000 feet per second. 

Year Qf adoption: The 30-06 Springfield is a 
30 caliber cartridge that was developed for 
use by Springfield Armory in 1906. 

Caliber and length of case in Millimeters : Most 
foreign and some American commercial 
manufacturers identify their cartridges by cali- 
ber and cartridge case length, both listed in 
millimeters, such as the 6.5x55mm Swedish 
This cartridge is of the 6.5mm caliber 

family with a cartridge case length of 55mm. 

General Rifling Characteristics 

When a firearm barrel is manufactured, the 
manufacturer cuts or impresses grooves in- 
side the barrel. When a bullet is fired down 
the barrel, the high area or land areas of the 
bore grip the bullet and impart a spin on the 
bullet, much in the manner of a football 
spiraling through the air. These land and 
groove impressions are impressed into the 
bullet. A bullet can be microscopically exam- 
ined to determine these General Rifling Char- 
acteristics (GRCs) of the firearm that it was 
fired from. The GRCs consist of the number 
of lands and grooves present, the width of 
the lands and grooves, their direction of twist 
(right or left) and the caliber. From these 
measurements, a list of possible firearms that 
could have fired the bullet can be developed. 

Disposition of Weapons 

The Court Order should read as follows: 
"It is hereby ordered that a firearm, to wit, 
(described firearm being submitted), seized 
in connection with the above-mentioned 
case be turned over to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation for its use, destruction, or any 
other disposition at its discretion pursuant 
to the authority of Title 18, United States 
Code, Section 3611." 

The following is an example of an ap- 
proved waiver of ownership: '1, the under- 
signed, do hereby release all rights and title 
to the firearm described as. .. to the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory for 
use in its Reference Firearms Collection. 

This release is made unconditionally with 
the understanding that if the FBI Labora- 
tory has a similar firearm in its collection, or 
for any other reason does not desire to 
retain this firearm, it may be destroyed." 

Toolmark Identification 

Non-FBI Cases : To ensure proper disposal of 
a firearm at the conclusion of your investiga- 
tion, refer to your agency's regulations. 

FBI Cases : In accordance with the FBI Manual 
of Administrative Operations and Procedures, 
Part D, Section 2-4 .4.4, firearms may be ac- 
cepted for disposal by the FBI Laboratory, 
ONLY if one of the following four procedures 
is followed: 

• A Court Order signed by the presiding 
judge making disposition in the Bureau 

• A written waiver of ownership signed by 
the individual who had custody and con- 
trol of the firearm at the time of seizure. 

• Abandoned /forfeited /seized property 
(ensure forfeiture guidelines are followed), 

• Bureau-owned property, such as bought 

with case funds, etc. 

Toolmark identification is a microscopic 
side-by-side comparison that attempts to 
link a particular tool with a particular mark 
to the exclusion of any other tool produced. 
Such a singular identification can be accom- 
plished by comparing both class character- 
istics (those marks left by a particular group 
of tools, such as a screwdriver blade that is 
one fourth of an inch wide) and the unique 
microscopic marks that could only have 
been left by one individual tool and no 

The term "tool” is used in a very broad 
sense. It could mean a screwdriver blade, 
vice grips, a knife or a pry tool. It could also 
be the comparison of a piece of paint on a 
tool with the surface upon which that tool 
was used. Further, it could be the compari- 
son of two pieces of rubber that have been 
pulled apart from each other, as can hap- 
pen in a car stripping operation. The tools 
that can be compared in these types of 
examinations are only limited by the 

imagination of the police officer or labora- 
tory examiner. 


• Examinations may positively conclude 
that a tool did or did not produce a 
toolmark. Exams may also conclude 
that there are not sufficient individual 
characteristics remaining within the 
toolmark to determine if the tool did 
or did not produce the questioned 

• Class characteristics could not elimi- 
nate a particular tool and subse- 
quently, the tool could have been used 
to produce a certain mark. 

Toolmark Examinations 

Examination of the toolmark can deter- 

• Type of tool used (class characteristics). 

• Size of tool used (class characteristics). 

• Unusual features of tool (class or indi- 
vidual characteristics). 

• Action employed by the tool in its nor- 
mal operation, and/or in its present 

• Most importantly, if the toolmark is of 
value for identification. 

Types of Toolmark Examinations 

Fracture Matches 

Fracture examinations are conducted to 
ascertain if a piece of material from an item 
such as a metal bolt, plastic automobile 
trim, knife, screwdriver, wood gunstock, 
rubber hose, etc., was or was not broken 
from a like damaged item available for 

comparison. This type of examination may 
be requested along with a metallurgy 
examination if questioned items are metal- 
lic in composition (see Types of Examina- 
tions on page 57). 

This examination is conducted to ascertain 
whether or not the marks left in a wood 
specimen can be associated with the tool 
used to cut it, such as pruning shears, 
auger bits, etc. This examination may be 
requested along with a wood examination. 

Pressure or contact examinations are con- 
ducted to ascertain whether or not any two 
objects were or were not in contact with 
each other either momentarily or for a 
more extended time. 

Plastic Replica Casts of Stamped 

Plastic replica casts of stamped numbers in 
metal, such as altered vehicle identification 
numbers, can be examined and compared 
with each other as well as with suspected 

Locks and keys examinations can be con- 
ducted to associate locks and keys with 
each other. Such associations are useful in 
establishing a conspiracy or link of com- 
monality between or among individuals. It 
is often possible to illustrate this through 
their possession of keys which will operate 
a single, lockable instrumentality (e.g., 
vehicle, safe house, padlock, etc.). Labora- 
tory examination of a lock can determine 
whether an attempt has been made to 
open a lock without the operating key. 

Marks in Wood 


Locks and Keys 

Key without Lock 

unless necessary to prevent destruction 
in lock removal. 

1 . A key can be decoded to determine 
the manufacturer from a lock and 

2. A determination can be made as to 
whether or not any number of keys 
were cut to operate a common lock. 

3. A determination can be made as to 
wtether a key is an original or a 

•Lock without Key 

1. Locks can be decoded to determine 
manufacturer and code. 

2. Operating keys can be cut which 
will operate the lock. 

3. A determination can be made as to 
whether an attempt has been made 
to compromise the lock (open it with- 
out the use of the operating key). 

• Lock with Key 

1. A determination as to wether a key 
will operate a particular lock. 

2. In obtaining and submitting lock and 
key evidence, identify type of lock 
and key and their function. Consid- 
eration should be given to the fol- 

• If possible, submit operating key with lock. 

• In cases where the lock has been partially 

destroyed, look for and collect internal 
lock parts, e.g., lock pins, wafers, etc., that 
could be found at the scene. 

Restoration of Obliterated Markings 

Obliterated identification markings are often 
restorable, including markings obliterated by 
melting of the metal (welding, "puddling"). 
Obliterated markings can also be restored on 
materials other than metal, such as wood, 
plastics, and fiberglass. Because different me- 
tals and alloys often require specific methods 
for restoration of obliterated markings, the 
Laboratory should be contacted for number 
restoration procedures for field processing of 
items too large or heavy for submission to 
the laboratory. 

Obtaining Evidence In Toolmark Cases 

If possible, submit the actual toolmarked area 
for direct comparison. (Note: In toolmark 
cases, the Laboratory will routinely make a 
plastic replica cast of the toolmark for a pos- 
sible future comparison with marking 

If it is not possible to submit the original item 
of evidence, prepare and submit a cast of the 
toolmark, preferably in plastic. The instruc- 
tions on how to prepare a plastic replica 
cast/ impression are furnished below. 

In cylinder locks, remove the entire lock 
assembly, including the strike plate into 
which the locking bolt is thrown. While 
strike plates are usually in door frames, 
locks are usually in doors. 

In automobile locks, remove lock cylinders 
from doors, trunk and ignition. 


Do not insert keys to operate locks 

Photographs, although helpful in presenting 
the overall location of the mark, are of no 
value for identification purposes. 

Do not forget to obtain samples of paint, safe 
insulation, and any other material likely to 
appear as foreign deposits on tools. 

Do not place the tool against the toolmark for 
size evaluation to avoid contamination. 

Plastic Replica Cast/impression 

Stamped numbers in metal ready fora plastic cast/impression 

Instructions for making a plastic cast/impression of stamped numbers in metal: 

Take all casts/ impressions before attempting any number restoration ( see Restoration of 
Obliterated Markings. Dane 62. for further information^ 

Use a suitable plastic replica kit to take a 
cast/impression. For best results, different 
formulas may be used in different tempera- 
ture conditions. If possible, move the item to 
a heated area or garage. 

Since the plastic replica will duplicate any 
foreign material left in the stamped charac- 
ters, the number one priority is cleaning the 
number area of foreign matter. Remove 
paint and dirt with a suitable solvent (ac- 
etone, gasoline or a commercial paint re- 

You may use a soft brush, such as a tooth- 
brush, to help clean down to the bottom of 
the stamped impression area, but never use 
a wire brush as this will produce extraneous 
marks which scratch the numbers and make 
identification of the stamps impossible. 

It is permissible to use "Naval Jelly" to 
remove rust from the stamped numbers. 

Build a dam around the stamped characters 
to retain the plastic while it hardens. 

The dam material should be soft and pliable, 
such as caulking cord, "Play Dough," or 
modeling clay. Ensure there are no voids 
around the dam to prevent leaking. 

Following instructions in the kit, mix the 
liquid and powder from the kit for one 
minute in the plastic jar which contains the 
powder and pour into the prepared dam. 

The plastic liquid should take no longer than 
1 /2 hour to harden. Wait until the cast is 
cool to the touch before removing it. If the 
cast has a lot of paint and rust, take addi- 
tional casts and submit the best one to the 

Submitting Toolmark Evidence 

‘ P^ck to preserve the evidence and prevent 
64 > contamination. Pay particular 

attention to the part of the tool which could 
have made the mark. 

Identify each item to facilitate court presenta- 
tion. Consider the possibility that the object 
from which the specimen was cut may be 
needed in court. 

Submit the tool rather than making test cuts or 
impressions in field. 

Mark ends of evidence which are or are not to 
be examined. 

Reference Files 

National Automobile Altered Numbers File 
(NAANF) : The FBI Laboratory maintains in 
the NAANF selected specimens, including 
surface replica plastic impressions of altered 
vehicle identification numbers found on stolen 
cars, trucks and heavy equipment. The pur- 
pose of this file is to have a central repository 
for such specimens of altered numbers so that 
comparisons can readily be made at any time 
in an attempt to identify recovered stolen cars 
and possibly link such vehides with commer- 
cialized theft rings nationwide, or other cases 
investigated by the FBL 

National Ve hicle Identification Number 
Standard File (NVSF) : The FBI Laboratory 
maintains in the NVSF standards of VIN plates 
from each factory of the major manufacturers 
of American automobiles. The purpose of this 
file is to enable the Laboratory to determine 
whether or not a submitted VIN plate is au- 

Additionally, it gives the Laboratory the 
capability, in the event that bogus VIN plates 
are being prepared in an automobile factory, to 
identify not only which factory is involved, but j 
also which machine is being used to produce 
the bogus VIN plates. Any suspect VIN plate 
encountered in investigations should 
be forwarded to the Laboratory for 

I lairs and Fibers Examinations 

Hairs and fibers examinations aid 
the investigation by placing the 
suspect at the scene of the crime, 
identifying the scene of the crime, 
identifying the weapon or the 
instrument of the crime, identify- 
ing hit-and-run vehicles, and cor- 
roborating witness’ testimony. 
Questions concerning the collec- 
tion, packaging and submission of 
this type of evidence should be 
directed to the Hairs and Fibers 
Unit, telephone (202) 324-1344. 
Evidence or samples should 
be sent to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Attn.: FBI Laboratory, Hairs and Fibers Unit 

10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20535 

Examinations are valuable in that they assist in placing the suspect at the scene of the crime: 

• Hairs or fibers found on victim's and suspect's clothing in crimes of violence such as rape, 
assault, and murder. 

• I lairs or fibers from suspect found at the scene of crimes such as burglaries armed robber- 
ies and car thefts. 

Identifying the scene of the crime: 

• 1 lairs or fibers left at the scene of crimes such as murder, rape, and kidnapping. 
Identifying the weapon or the instrument of a crime: 

• I lairs or fibers on knives or clubs. 

Identifying hit-and-run vehicles: 

• Hairs or fibers adhering to suspect automobile. 

Examinations are also valuable in that they corroborate the witness’ testimony. 


Hair Examinations 

the crime may be compared with similar sus- 
pect rope. 

Examinations provide information whether 
1 animal or human; 

• If animal, the species from which it origi- 
nated (dog, cat, deer, cattle, etc.). 

• If human, the race, body area, how removed 
1 from the body, damage, and alteration 

(bleaching or dyeing) may be determined. 

Examinations can determine whether or not a 
hair could have originated from a particular 
person based on microscopic characteristics 
present in the hair. 

• Does not provide absolute personal iden- 

Fiber Examinations 

• Animal (wool) 

• Mineral (glass) 

• Synthetic (man-made) 

• Vegetable (cotton) 

• Determination as to whether or not ques- 
tioned fibers are the same type and/or color 
and match in microscopic characteristics with 
those fibers of a suspect's or victim's gar- 

Examinations identify the type of fiber: 

• Not positive evidence, but good circumstan- 
tial evidence. 

Fabric Examinations 

A positive identification can be made if a 
questioned piece of fabric can be fitted to the 
known material. Composition, construction, 
and color fabrics are compared. 

Cordage/Rope Examinations 

A piece of rope left at the scene of 

• Composition, construction, color and diam- 
eter can be determined. 

• Manufacturer can sometimes be determined, 
if a tracer is present. 


Botanical examinations are conducted where 
plant material from a known source is com- 
pared with plant material from a questioned 


Identifications are made through compari- 
sons of teeth with dental records and X-rays 
with corresponding bone structures. 

Examinations may be made to determine if 
skeletal remains are animal or human. If hu- 
man, the race, sex, approximate height and 
stature and approximate age at death may 
be determined. 

Wood - Types Examinations 

The presence of a suspect at the crime scene can 
often be established from a comparison of wood 
from clothing, vehicle, or possessions with 
wood from the crime scene. Specific source: 

• Side or end matching 

• Fracture matching. 

• Species identification. 

Miscellaneous Examinations 

These examinations include the following: 

• Fabric impressions. 

• Glove prints. 

• Feathers. 

• Clothing manufacture's source informa- 
tion through label searches. 

Materials Analysis Examinations 

These examinations entail the use of instru- 
mentation such as infrared spectroscopy. 
X-ray diffractometry, capillary electro- 
phoresis, high performance liquid chroma- 
tography, gas chromatograph/mass spec- 
trograph, etc., to identify or compare the 
chemical compositions of paints, plastics, 
explosives, cosmetics, tapes, soil, glass and 
related materials. Other services include 
metal analyses, metallurgy, and bullet lead 
comparisons by elemental analysis (see 
page 57). Also available are methods to 
mark materials, but they are not presented 
in this handbook. Questions can be directed 
to the Materials Analysis Unit at (202) 324- 
4341. Send evidence to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attn.: FBI Laboratory, 

Materials Analysis Unit 
10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N. W. 
Washington, D.C. 20535 

Cosmetics, Paints, Plastics, Polymers, and 


Unknown or suspected cosmetics and/or 
makeup can be compared with a potential 
source in assault cases such as rape, etc. 

The investigator should be alert to the 
possible transfer of such materials between 
victim and suspect. 

Automobile Paints 

It is possible to establish the color, year, and 
make of an automobile from a paint chip by 
use of the National Automotive Paint File 
which contains original paint systems repre- 
senting paints used on all makes of Ameri- 
can cars, light, medium, and heavy trucks, 
vans, and many popular imported cars such 

as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Porsche, 
Audi, BMW, Honda, Subaru, Nissan and 

A very careful search of the accident or 
crime scene and the victim's personal 
effects should be made to locate small 
chips because: 

• Paint fragments are often found in the 
clothing of a hit-and-run victim. Therefore, 
the victim's clothing should be obtained 
and submitted to the Laboratory when- 
ever possible. 

• Paints may be transferred from one car 
to another, from car to object, or from ob- 
ject to car during an accident or the com- 
mission of a crime. Occasionally it is better 
to submit an entire component such as 
fender or bumper if the paint transfer is 
very minimal. 

Nonautomobile Paints 

Paint on safes, vaults, windowsills, door 
frames, etc., may be transferred to the tools 
used to open them. Therefore, a compari- 
son can be made between the paint on an 
object and the paint on a tool. 

Plastics, Polymers, and Tapes 

It is usually not possible to specifically 
identify the source, use, or manufacturer 
of plastic items from composition alone, 
but the Laboratory can make comparisons 
such as: 

• Trim from automobiles, depending 
upon the uniqueness of the composition, 
are compared with plastic remaining on 
the property struck in a hit-and-run type 
case. In some instances where the manu- 
facturer's part number is present on the 
trim, the specific year and make can be 
determined . 


c virement could prevent a meaningful 

• Plastics comprising insulation on wire 
used in bombings or other crimes are com- 
pared with known or suspected sources of 
insulated wire. 

• Plastic/rubber tapes from crime scenes are 
compared with suspected possible sources. 

• Polymers used in surgical cloth-backed 
tape are compared with known sources. 

• Miscellaneous plastic material from crime 
scenes is compared with possible sources. 

• A positive identification may be made with 
the end of a piece of tape left at the scene of 
the crime and a roll of suspect tape. If no end 
match is possible, composition, construction, 
and color can be compared as in other types 
of examinations to associate the question 
tape with the known. 

General Notes to Investigators 

If paint samples are to be obtained from any 
painted surface, if possible, chip the paint 
from the surface down to the foundation/ 
substrate rather than scrape it off. When 
paint is chipped off a surface, its layer struc- 
ture is intact. Each layer is a point of identifi- 
cation. It is better to have multiple layers of 
paint on a questioned and known specimen 
rather than only the top top layer in the 
known specimen for comparison/identifica- 
tion purposes. 

Be extremely careful in obtaining, packing 
and marking small paint chips and other 
small particles of evidence. Be sure they are 
placed in a leakproof container such as a 
pillbox or screw-top vial. 

1. Do not stick small paint particles on 
adhesive tape. Small particles have to 
be removed from the adhesive, la- 
boriously cleaned, and prepared for 
sophisticated instrumental analyses. 
^--Contamination at the time of pro- 

2. Do not put small particles in cotton. It is 
difficult to remove the particles from the 

3. Do not send small particles in an enve- 
lope, unless protected in a "druggist" 
fold to prevent small particles from 
leaking and contaminating other 

Mineralogy Examinations 

Mineralogy includes many materials, mostly 
inorganic, crystalline or mineral in nature. 
Comparisons will, by inference, connect a 
suspect or object with a crime scene, prove or 
disprove an alibi, provide investigative leads 
or substantiate a theorized chain of events. 
Materials include glass, building materials, 
soil, industrial dusts, safe insulations, miner- 
als, abrasives, other debris and precious 
stones /gems. 

Soil, Glass and Building Materials 

A mineral can generally be thought of as a 
naturally occurring, inorganic compound 
having a definite chemical composition and a 
well-defined crystal structure. Materials such 
as soil, glass, and a variety of building prod- 
ucts either consist of or directly derive from 
rocks and minerals. Quartz and feldspars are 
common components in most soils, but 
quartz sand is the principal ingredient in 
common window glass and Portland ite is the 
man-made mineral found in hardened con- 
crete. Additionally, wallboard, safe insula- 
tion, industrial abrasives, gemstones and 
other related products are fundamentally 

Forensic Utility of Soil 

Soil is generally considered to be the natural 
accumulation of weathering rocks, min- 

erals and decomposing plants. The formation 
of soil is a dynamic process influenced by 
geologic parent material, relief, climate, 
biological activity, and time. 

Soil may be developed in place or after being 
deposited by wind, water or/and man. Ad- 
ditionally, and of forensic significance, soil 
may contain man-made materials such as 
fragments of brick, roof shingle stones, paint 
chips, glass, et cetera. These man-made ma- 
terials improve characterization and, conse- 
quently, may strengthen the association 
between specimens. 

Collecting Soil Samples 

Soil varies laterally, across the land surface 
from place to place. Changes may be abrupt, 
occurring within a few meters, or gradual, 
over tens of meters. Soil also varies vertically, 
as a function of depth. 

Changes in soil regarding either of these di- 
mensions are sensitive to influences by na- 
ture and man. For this reason, it is necessary 
to properly sample and document the exact 
location where each sample is collected. 

If the questioned soil is suspected as having 
come from the surface, that is, soil recovered 
from the tread pattern of a shoe, known 
specimens should be collected from like 
places. Because the factors that affect soil 
formation are governed by time, the timeli- 
ness of collection is critical Use a hand 
drawn or detailed commercial map to 
illustrate where specimens are collected 
and their spatial relationships. 

Collect a sufficient number of known soil 
specimens at the crime scene and from the 
general area. This is to ensure that the exam- 
iner has an adequate representation of soil 
variability. Establishing the uniqueness of a 
soil at a particular location to the exclusion 
of another also strengthens the association 
between specimens. 

Do not overlook alibi soil specimens. Obtain 
alibi soil samples for comparison. This might 
include soil from a location that the suspect 
could assert was the source of the questioned 
soil discovered on the evidence. 

For example, the suspect might contend that 
the soil recovered from a shovel, used to dig a 
grave, came from his garden. If the soil from 
the suspect's garden is examined and found 
to be dissimilar, it can be eliminated as a 
possible source. 

The amount of soil suitable for comparison 
can limit the significance of the comparison. 
Understandably, the investigator has no 
control over the amount of questioned soil 
available for comparison in most cases, but 
has substantial control over the amount and 
number of known specimens that are col- 
lected. Generally, thirty-five milliliters of soil 
is sufficient, the approximate volume, coinci- 
dentally, contained by a thirty-five millimeter 
film canister. 

The number of samples is dictated by the na- 
ture of the crime and investigation. Before 
packaging a sample of soil, air dry it over- 
night at room temperature (because pack- 
aged moist soil can induce the growing of 
plants, and plant nutritional demands can 
alter soil characteristics; consequently, under- 
mining the effort and value of collection and 
comparison). Then, package, seal, and prop- 
erly label it. 

A forensic soil examination is a comparison 
between two or more soils to determine if 
they share a common origin. The examina- 
tion is conducted by comparing color, tex- 
ture and composition. These characteristics 
are locality dependent and sensitive to a 
variety of influences. Differences in any of 
these characteristics tend to disassociate two 
soils; therefore, properly sampling and docu- 
menting an adequate number of specimens 
greatly increases the likelitood of associating 
soils that share a common origin. . ^ 


accompanied by concentric fractures sur- 
rounding the point of impact. 

The American Society for Testing and Mate- 
rials (ASTM) defines glass as "the inorganic 
product of fusion which has cooled to a rigid 
condition without crystallizing." However, 
conceptually, and for practical purposes, 
glass can be regarded as a hard, rigid, brittle 
solid that is usually translucent to transpar- 

The examination of glass can be divided into 
several categories based on its optical, physi- 
cal and chemical properties. 

Fracture Analysis 

Given that glass behaves like a brittle solid 
when broken, the resulting fracture or perfo- 
ration may yield valuable information re- 
garding the type and general speed of the 
responsible object, and sometimes, the gen- 
eral direction of impact, also referred to as 
the angle of incidence. 

With regard to the type and general speed of 
the object, there are two general categories: 
fractures and perforation that are characteris- 
tic of objects travelling at what can be de- 
scribed as a "high velocity," and ttose be- 
lieved to have been travelling at a relatively 
'low velocity." 

High velocity impact fractures and perfora- 
tions are usually characteristic of the projec- 
tile being propelled by a means other than 
"arm thrown," namely, a bullet from a fire- 
arm, a rock from a slingshot, a BB from an 
airgun and the like. These fractures and/or 
perforations typically produce an individual 
hole with small and limited radial fractures. 
They morphologically resemble a "cone," 
with a greater amount of glass absent on the 
opposite side of the impact. 

Low velocity impacts, conversely, are charac- 
' tenzed by an increased number of well de- 
70 > veloped radial fractures, usually 

There are a number of variables that contrib- 
ute to the resulting characteristics of the frac- 
ture: the size and hardness of the projectile, 
its shape and density and the distance be- 
tween the "shooter" and the window, which 
relates to the projectile's initial and terminal 
velocities. Also, the thickness and type of 
glass affect the type of fracture or perfora- 
tion to be sustained by the window. Accord- 
ingly, the interpretation of the fracture can 
depend upon reasonable assumptions that 
are likely developed through other aspects 
of the investigation. 

When large pieces of glass are recovered 
from two different locations, there exists 
the possibility that pieces from each source 
may be physically fitted together. This type 
of association is considered "individual" or 
single source, to the exclusion of another 
source. It is possibly the strongest associa- 
tion between glass specimens. 

Submitting Glass Specimens 

Glass specimens, depending on their size, 
should be properly preserved. Large sheets 
or containers should be packaged in hard, 
sturdy, shock absorbing containers. 

Smaller particles travel well in 35 mm film 
canisters. All specimens should be sealed, 
and known and questioned specimens 
should be isolated from each other to pre- 
vent cross-contamination in the case of 
damage and leak age during shipment. 
When the size of recovered glass is too 
small for fracture fitting, optical and com- 
positional analytical techniques will be 
employed to compare the specimens. 

The omnidirectional nature of breaking glass 
serves law enforcement by typically transfer- 
ing glass particles from the window to the 
suspect’s hair and/or clothing and. 

subsequently, to the soles of his/her shoes. 
Particles may also become embedded in the 
object used to break the glass. Accordingly, 
the proper preservation and examination of 
these specimens may associate a suspect 
with the crime scene long after they have 

Typical window glass can be composition- 
ally considered a soda - lime- silicate; soda, 
referring to the sodium component, derived 
(in part) from salt lime contributes calcium 
and comes from limestone, silicate refers to 
the element silicon which quartz sand pro- 
vides- this is a simplified/ idealized formula. 

The complete elemental composition is res- 
ponsible for a variety of glass properties. So- 
me are desirable ones to facilitate the man- 
ufacturing process, others tailored to end use 
properties like transparency. There are nu- 
merous elements that, although minor in 
proportion, significantly contribute to the 

Historically, refractive index (RI) determina- 
tions have been used to compare small parti- 
cles of glass (particles as small as specks of 
finely ground black table pepper). 

The RI of glass is dependent upon its compo- 
sition and temperature. The temperature of 
the specimen is controlled by the laboratory, 
its composition established by the manufac- 
turer as per the recipe given desired proper- 
ties. By determining the RI of glass particles, 
the examiner can indirectly infer something 
about the composition 

If two particles share the same RI, they likely 
have similar compositions and, hence, could 
have been produced by the same manufac- 
turer at the same time. 

If particles are of sufficient size, similar to 
that of very coarse sand (1-2 mm) they can be 
analyzed compositionally. Specific elements 
can be identified in concentrations measured 

in parts per million(PPM). When specimens 
are compositionally indistinguishable there is 
increased scientific certainty that they share the 
same origin 

Building Materials 

Building materials encompass a variety of 
construction-related products, and selected 
building materials are generally natural or 
man-made mineral and/or rock products. 

Hardened concrete can be differentiated from 
other seemingly similar samples by compar- 
ing its color, texture and composition, to in- 
clude its aggregate. A wide variety of mi- 
neral aggregates are used that may help res- 
trict the number of possible sources from 
which a piece of concrete block or similar 
building material could have originated. 

Wallboard is principally gypsum. When dis- 
covered on tools or clothing it can support the 
modus operand i as observed from the crime 
scene. Additionally, the composition of wall- 
board can vary from type to type and manu- 
facturer to manufacturer, hence, it too can 
sometimes be somewhat specific regarding 
its origin. 

Similar reasoning applies to other mineral- 
based building materials. Refer to pages 91 
through 115 for protocols regarding collec- 
tion, preservation, and handling to ensure 
that all of the forensic benefits can be 
obtained once the evidence is received 
by the Laboratory. 


Instrumental analyses of explosives and ex- 
plosive residues are conducted to determine: 

• From unknown substances, if they are high 
explosive, low explosive, mixtures of explo- 
sives, or incendiary mixtures. 

• From confiscated or unknown < 7 71 

explosives, if they are (by compositional 
analysis) consistent with known explosive 
products or homemade mixtures like those 
used in previous bombings. 

• From explosive residues, the type of ex- 
plosive^) used to cause the explosioa 

While some explosive residues are water 
soluble and they must be protected against 
rain or excess of moisture, other residues 
evaporate quickly. They should be collected 
as soon as possible in airtight containers and 
submitted to the Laboratory in a timely 
fashion. Explosive residues can be deposited 
on metal, plastic, wood, paper, glass, etc. 

The presence of a trained explosives chemist 
at crime scenes is very important, but if not 
possible, evidence collected for residue 
analysis must never be touched by "unpro- 
tected" hands and must be packaged in dean 

This policy should be followed by bomb 
technidans conducting bombing crime scene 
investigations. They are usually contami- 
nated with explosives because they are not 
only in contact with explosives during their 
training exercises but also within their work- 
ing environment. If you have any questions, 
call us at 202-324-4341. 

Metallurgy Examinations 

Metals or metallic objects may be metal- 
lurgically examined for comparison pur- 
poses and/or informational purposes. 

Examinations for Comparison Purposes 

To determine if two metals or two metallic 
objects came from the same source or from 
each other, the Laboratory must evaluate 
surface characteristics, microstructural 
characteristics, mechanical properties, and 

Surface Characteristics: Are evaluated from 
macroscopic and microscopic features exhib- 
ited by the metal surface on fractured areas, 
acddental marks or acddentally damaged 
areas, manufacturing defects, material defects, 
fabrication marks, and fabrication finish. The 
fabrication finish reveals part of the mechani- 
cal and thermal histories of how the metal 
was formed, e.g., if it was cast, forged, hot- 
rolled, cold-rolled, extruded, drawn, swaged, 
milled, spun, pressed, etc. 

Miaostmctuial Characteristics: Are revealed 
by optical and electron microscopy of the in- 
ternal structural features of a metal. Structural 
features indude the size and shape of grains; 
the size, shape and distribution of secondary 
phases; nonmetallic indusions, and other 
heterogeneous conditions. The microstructure 
is related to the composition of the metal and 
to the thermal and mechanical treatments 
which the metal had undergone; it therefore 
contains information concerning the history 
of the metal. 

Mechanical Properties : Describe the response 
of a metal to an applied force or load, e.g., 
strength, ductility, and hardness. 

Composition : Determines the chemical ele- 
ment make-up of the metal, inducting major 
alloying elements and trace element constitu- 
ents. Because most commerdal metals and al- 
loys are nonhomogeneous materials with 
substantial elemental variations, small metal 
samples or partides may not be representa- 
tive of the composition of the bulk metal. 

Examinations for Informational Purposes 

Some of the types of information which can 
result from metallurgical examinations of 
metals or metallic objects in various physical 

• Broken and/ or mechanically damaged 
(deformed) metal pieces or parts. 

1. Cause of the failure or damage, i.e., 
stress exceeding the strength or yield 
limit of the metal, material defect, ma- 
nufacturing defect, corrosion crack- 
ing, excessive service usage (fatigue), 

2. The magnitude of the force or load 
which caused the failure. 

3. The possible means by which the force 
or load was transmitted to the metal 
and the direction in which it was 

• Burned, heated, or melted metal. 

1. Temperature to which the metal was 

2. Nature of the heat source which dam- 
aged the metal. 

3. Whether the metal was involved in an 

electrical short-circuit situation 

• Rusted or corroded metal. 

To determine the length of time a metal 
has been exposed to the environment, it 
is necessary to submit information con- 
cerning the environmental conditions 
surrounding the item when it was recov- 

• Cut or severed metal. 

1. Method by which the fragments were 

2. If fragments had been formed by high- 
velocity forces, may possibly determine 
if an explosive has been detonated and 
the magnitude of the detonation velocity. 

3. Possible identification of the item which 
was the source of the fragments. 

• Nonfunctioning watches, clocks, times and 
other mechanisms. 

1. Condition responsible for causing the 
mechanism to stop or malfunction. 

2. Whether the time displayed by a 
timing mechanism represents a.m. 
or p.m. (usually calendar-type timing 
mechanisms only). 

• Items unidentified as to use or source. 

1. Possible identification of use for which 
the item was designed, formed, or ma- 
nufactured, based on the construction 
of and the type of metal in the item. 

2. Possible identification of the manu- 
facturer and of specific fabricating 
equipment utilized to form the item. 

3. Identification of possible sources of 
the item if an unusual metal or alloy 
is involved. 

1. Methods by which a metal could be sev- • Lamp bulbs which were subjected to an im- 
ered are by sawing, shearing, milling, pact force{s) or from vehicles involved in an 
turning, arc cutting, flame cutting (oxy- accident. 

acetylene torch or ''burning bare"), etc. 

Whether the lights of a vehicle were in- 

2. Relative skill of the individual who candescent at the time of the accident; 

made the cut. both broken and unbroken lamp bulbs 

may exhibit the characteristics which 

• Metal fragments. are necessary for the determination. 


• Objects with questioned internal compo- 

X-ray radiography can nondestruc- 
tively reveal the interior construction, 
and the presence or absence of 
defects, cavities, or foreign material. 

• Items with obliterated identification mark- 

Obliterated identification markings are 
often restorable, including markings 
obliterated by melting of the metal 
(welding, "puddling"). Obliterated 
markings can also be restored on 
materials other than metal. Because 
different metals and alloys often 
require specific methods for restora- 
tion of obliterated markings, call for 
restoration procedures when proces- 
sing items too large or heavy for sub- 
mission to the Laboratory. 

The FBI does not provide gunshot primer 
residue examinations, but some state labora- 
tories do. The instructions on collection of 
residues, provided next, are for information 
only. If you have any questions about this 
subject, call us at 202-324-4391. 

Gunshot Primer Residues on the Hands of 

When a person discharges a firearm, primer 
residues are deposited on that person's hands 
in varying amounts. These amounts are de- 
pendent upon the type, caliber, and condition 
of the firearm and the environmental condi- 
tions at the time of the shooting. Residue sam- 
ples may be collected from a suspect's hands 
and analyzed for the presence of the chemical 
elements antimony, barium and lead, which 
are components of most primer mixtures. The 

74 > 

technique used to analyze these hand samples 
is dependent upon the type of samples col- 
lected from the suspect's hands. 

Washing of the hands and various other ac- 
tivities on the part of the suspect may remove 
the residue; therefore, it is imperative to ob- 
tain samples as soon after the shooting as 
possible. Samples obtained more than five 
hours after a shooting are generally of little 
value and normally will not be analyzed. 

Samples obtained from the hands of victims 
of dose-range shootings (within approxima- 
tely 10 feet) are generally of no value. It is not 
possible to differentiate between residues de- 
posited on the hands of a suspect and victim 
of a close-range shooting; therefore, samples 
from the hands of victims are not normally 
accepted for analysis. 

Sampling Procedures 

There are two types of analyses for gunshot 
primer residues, ’bulk" and "par tide.” 

Use commerdally prepared kits. 

Do not attempt to fabricate sampling kits 
without specific knowledge of the potential 
hazards that such kits can introduce into the 

Avoid touching the hands of the person from 
whom the samples are being taken. 

• Bulk Analysis Sampling Procedure 

1. Remove the pair of swabs from the 
package labeled "Right Back," being 
careful not to touch the cotton tips. 
Using the dispensing bottle provided, 
moisten each swab with two or three 
drops of five percent nitric add solu- 

2. Thoroughly swab the portion of the 
back of the thumb, forefinger and 
connecting web area of the right hand 
and return the swabs to their package. 

Note: Thorough swabbing is accomplished 
by swabbing for approximately 15 seconds 
with each swab and rotating the swab so as 
to utilize all surfaces of the cotton tip. 

Do not swab any portion of the fingerprint 
pattern area during this step. 

3. Repeat step one using the swabs from 
the package labeled "Right Palm." 

4. Thoroughly swab the palm area of the 
right hand and return swabs to their 

5. Perform the same procedure on the 
left hand. 

6. Prepare the swabs from the package 
labeled "Control" as in step one. 
Return swabs to their package without 
touching them to any surface. 

7. If an expended cartridge case is avail- 
able, prepare the swab labeled "Car- 
tridge Case" as in step one, then swab 
the base of the inside of the expended 
cartridge case. 

8. Mark all samples for identification and 
seal the kit. 

• Particle Analysis Sampling Procedure: 

Particle collection kits consist of sticky disks 
which are dabbed on the same general areas 
of the hands as described above. There are 
variations among kits and instructions for 
sample collection will be included in each kit. 

The kit selected must be compatible with 
requirements of the instrumentation used in 

the analysis. Sample kits submitted to the 
laboratories may need to be compatible with 
the CamScam Electron Microscope System 
or any other system. 

Commercially prepared kit from: 
Tri-Tech Inc. 

5108 Revere Road 
Durham, North Carolina 27713 
telephone 1-800-438-7884 


Latent Fingerprint Services 

The Latent Fingerprint Section (LFPS) examines evidence for latent 
fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints, both in the Laboratory 
and, in special circumstances, at the crime scene. The LFPS also 
conducts lip print examinations and responds, when requested, to 
the scenes of disasters to aid in identifying the deceased victims. In 
addition, this Section provides training to local, state, and federal 
law enforcement personnel in all aspects of latent fingerprint work 
and conducts research to evaluate new technologies, procedures, 
and equipment. If you have any questions, please call the Latent 
Fingerprint Section at (202) 324-2163. 

Latent Print Examinations of Evidence 

The LFPS examines lifts, negatives, photographs, or original objects 
for latent prints of value for comparison purposes and also com- 

pares latent prints with 
any submitted known 
prints or named individ- 
uals whose prints are 
contained in the FBI's 
criminal and civil files. In 
unknown subject cases, 
the IPPS conducts com- 
puterized searches of 
latent prints in FBI crimi- 
nal files. 

• At the time of the 
original examination. 
Specialists prepare photo- 
graphs and negatives of 
latent prints of value 
which are retained for 
any future comparisons. 

• There is no need to re- 
submit the original evi- 
dence when making sub- 
sequent requests for com- 

• Ail original evidence is 
returned to the contribut- 
ing agency unless di- 
rected by the contributing 
agency to make some 
other dispositioa 

hi certain situations, the 
LFPS conducts examina- 
tions even though the 
evidence has been sub- 
jected to the same techni- 
cal examination by other 

Expeditious examination 
of the specimens is avail- 
able; however, priority 
treatment should be re- 
quested only w-hen ab- 
solutely necessary, 


Developing Latent Prints 

powders. Blood prints should also be dry 
before application of any blood reagent, 
such as amido black, DAB, etc. 

When preparing or utilizing latent print 
development processes, take all appropriate 
safety precautions. Refer to the container 
labels and the manufacturer's safety data 
sheets (MSD5) for all chemicals before 
coming into contact with these materials. 

Use appropriate protective equipment when 
processing for latent prints, including the 
use of fingerprint powders. 

LFPS maintains based and portable lasers, as 
well as alternative light sources, for the 
detection of latent prints. If possible, ex- 
amine all evidence with a laser or alternative 
light source for the presence of inherent 
latent print fluorescence, before utilizing any 
other method of latent print development. 

After examination of nonporous or nonab- 
sorbent surfaces, such as glass, metal, 
painted or varnished wood, ceramic tile, etc., 
with a laser, the LFPS uses fumes from 
cyanoacrylate glue, and then the application 
of fingerprint powders. 

The FBI recommends the use of gray and 
black powders since other colors can be 
more difficult to photograph. 

When powdering for latent prints, choose a 
color of powder to contrast with the color of 
the surface being examined, with the excep- 
tion of highly reflective surfaces, such as 
mirrors and polished chrome. For photo- 
graphic purposes, the FBI recommends 
using only gray powder on reflective sur- 

Do not apply powder to obviously greasy, 
wet, or bloody surfaces, or to prints left in 
dust or putty. Photograph these types of 
prints. Allow any wet surfaces to fully dry 
before attempting to apply fingerprint 


Chemical dye staining of nonabsorbent 
surfaces with a fluorescent product, such 
as rhodamine 6G, RAM, etc., followed by 
a laser or alternative light source examina- 
tion, may enhance the quality of latent 
prints already developed or make ad- 
ditional latent prints visible. 

Use a solution of gentian violet to develop 
latent prints on the adhesive side of tape 
after the nonadtesive side has been ap- 
propriately examined. 

Use chemical processes for most porous or 
absorbent surfaces such as paper, cardboard, 
or unfinished wood. Iodine fuming, DFO 
(followed by laser or alternative light source 
examination), ninhydrin, physical developer, 
and silver nitrate are some of the processes 
utilized to develop latent prints. 

A zinc chloride solution may enhance weak 
or poor quality ninhydrin-developed prints. 
In order for this enhancement process to be 
productive, the specimen must be exposed 
to laser light or an alternative light source 
after treatment. 

Preservation of Latent Prints 

Preservation of latent prints dictates that a 
permanent record, such as photographic 
negatives and photographs, be ready for 
comparison and prosecutive purposes. 

j: It is recommended that all 
latent prints of value be photographed. If 
possible, photograph latent prints developed 
with fingerprint powders before lifting. 

Lifting: Transparent tape, black or white 
rubber lifting tape, or a suitable substitute 
are generally used to lift latent prints. 

When transparent tape is used, the color of 
the backing card should be in contrast to 
the color of the powder used. 

Fingerprint Cameras and Photography of 
Latent Prints 

• Many cameras can be used to photo- 
graph latent prints. A primary consider- 
ation in selecting a camera would be its 
adaptability to one-to-one photography. If 
a small format camera (35mm) is used, 
necessitating less than one-to-one photog- 
raphy, a scale must appear in each expo- 

• Include within each photograph an 
identifying tag indicating the object on 
which the latent print was developed, the 
method of development, and the case or 
file number. 

• Take at least two photographs of each 
latent print with variations in exposure 

• At a crime scene, maintain a photo- 
graphic log of each shot, including needed 
dates, initials, and other data pertaining to 
the crime scene. 

Transmitting Evidence to the 
Latent Fingerprint Section 

• Place nonporous items in individual 
nonporous protective coverings, such as 
thick transparent envelopes. Stabilize each 
item within each protective covering to 
avoid any movement or friction during 
shipment. Send it Registered Mail, unless 
it is a hazardous or explosive material. 

• Place porous items in a protective cover- 
ing, such as a paper envelope. Cardboard 
cartons need not be shipped in assembled 
position, but may be flattened out and 
covered with a protective wrapper. If the 
material is not hazardous or explosive. 

send it by Registered Mail. 

If possible, place lifts in one container and 
send them by Registered Mail. 

If evidence is exclusively for latent finger- 
print examination, direct it to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Attention: FBI Laboratory 

Latent Fingerprint Section 

10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N. W. 

Washington, D. C. 20535 

If evidence requires additional examina- 
tion, other than those provided by the LFPS 
(firearms, DNA, document, etc.), direct it to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attention: FBI Laboratory 
10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. 
Washingtoa D. C. 20535 

Examination of Fingers and/or Palms 
and Feet of Deceased Individuals 

The following conditions/restrictions apply 
to submissions of human fingers and/or 
palms and feet A written certification that 
the deceased did not have AIDS, i.e., the 
deceased has been tested for AIDS. If the 
test is positive, or the body parts are from 
an individual known to have AIDS, they 
should not be submitted. 

If the test result is negative, the body parts 
may be submitted. If the body is badly de- 
composed for an AIDS test to be conducted, 
this fact should be stated in the communica- 
tion accompanying the body parts. 

When submitting fingers, skin, hands or 
feet, place them in an unbreakable airtight 
container with a 70 percent solution of 
alcohol and state this fact in the accompa- 
nying correspondence. 


Do not submit entire hands, unless there is a 
special need to do so. Amputate and place 
each finger in an individual container, ap- 
propriately labeled (right thumb, right 
index, etc.). 

Using spedal techniques, FBI Fingerprint 
Specialists will attempt to derive a ten-finger 
classification which permits a file search 
through the fingerprint file. While adequate 
for identification purposes, fingerprints of 
value obtained from decomposed bodies are 
often not classifiable. 

If unable to determine the ten-finger dassifi- 
cation needed for a search of fingerprint 
files, the LFPS will preserve all prints of 
value. These prints will be compared with 
persons named by the contributor, if their 
prints are found in the FBI's criminal or dvil 

Additionally, if less than ten fingerprints are 
obtained (sufficiently legible for classifica- 
tion) and the necessary physical descrip- 
tions of the deceased, i.e., race, sex, approxi- 
mate age, etc., are furnished, an automated 
search of the FBI's criminal fingerprint files 
will be conducted in an effort to identify the 

All human remains such as hands, fingers, 
or feet, must be returned to the contributor, 
inasmuch as the FBI has no facilities or 
authority for disposal of such items. 

When investigating a deceased person, fol- 
low these procedures: 

• Take inked fingerprints and palm prints 
for comparison with latent prints. 

• If legible inked prints are not obtainable, 
sever hands (with proper authority, such as 
from a local coroner or medical examiner) 
and forward in accordance with previously 


stated shipping instructions. 

Latent Print Testimony 

FBI Latent Fingerprint experts testify in 
court to their findings for federal civil and 
criminal matters, and for duly constituted 
state, county, and municipal law enforce- 
ment agencies in connection with official 
investigations of criminal matters. 

Use the LFPS' report in lieu of FBI expert, if 
legal considerations permit, at any pretrial 
action, such as a preliminary hearing or 
grand jury presentation. 

The sample report on the next page reflects 
the results of a latent print examination of 
evidence submitted by a local law enforce- 
ment agency. 

FBI Disaster Squad 

• Travels to the disaster site and finger- 
prints deceased victims. 

• Assists in identifying deceased victims. 

• Requires consent from ranking official of 
federal, state, or local law enforcement 
agency having jurisdiction, coroner/ medi- 
cal examiner, or other government official. 

• Requests for assistance should be made 
through nearest FBI field office. 

Advanced Latent Fingerprint 

The LFPS provides Latent Fingerprint 
Specialists to teach advance latent finger- 
print schools for local law enforcement. 
Submit your request to the local FBI field 
office in your jurisdiction. The FBI will 
furnish technical equipment while the law 
enforcement agency must provide space. A 
minimum of 15 and a maximum of 25 
students must be in attendance. 

7-1 (Rev. 2-21-91) 


Date: March 22, 19 — 

Mr. James T. Wixling 

Chief of Police 

Right City, State (Zip Code) 

FBI Hie No. 95 A-HQ 7 777 777 
Lab No. E-73821 



MARCH 16, 19- 


Your No. 12-741 

Re: Letter March 17, 19- 

Spedmens: Piece of metal, Q5 

Ten transparent lifts 

Fingerprints of Guy Pidgin, FBI #213762J9 

Four latent fingerprints of value were developed on the piece of metal, Q 5. Twelve 
latent fingerprints of value appear on five of the lifts. No latent prints of value appear on the 
remaining lifts. 

The four latent fingerprints developed on the piece of metal, designated Q5, have 
been identified as finger impressions of Guy Pidgin, FBI #213762J9. The remaining latent 
prints are not the fingerprints of Pidgin. 

Photographs of the unidentified latent prints are available for any future compari- 
sons you may request. The remaining latent prints are not the fingerprints of Pidgin. 

(Continued on next page) 

This Report Is Furnished for Official Use Only 


Mr. James T. Wixling 

March 22, 19— 

Should you desire the assistance of one of the FBI's fingerprint experts in the trial of this 
case, we should be notified in ample time to permit the necessary arrangements. This report 
should be used, however, if legal considerations permit, in lieu of the appearance of our expert 
in any pretrial action such as a preliminary hearing or grand jury presentation. Our represen- 
tative cannot be made available to testify if any other fingerprint expert is to present testimony 
on the same point, that is, that the impressions in question are those of one and the same 
individual. The services of our representative should be utilized in a manner that would 
minimize our expert's time away horn Headquarters. 

The lifts and the fingerprints of Pidgin, which should be retained for possible future 
court action in this case, are enclosed. 

The results) of the other requested forensic examination^) and the disposition of the 
remaining spedmen(s) will be furnished in a separate report. 

Enclosures (11) 

Forensic Science Research and Training Center (FSRTC) 

The Forensic Science Research and 
Training Center (FSRTC) provides 
quality research and training programs, 
as well as operational assistance and 
information exchange, in the forensic 
sciences and bombing matters to the 
FBI, other federal, state, and local law 
enforcement, public safety agencies, and 
crime laboratories. The FSRTC is di- 
vided into two units, the Research Unit, 
and the Training Unit, which are dis- 
cussed in further detail below, if more 
information is needed, contact the 
Forensic Science Research and Training 
Center, Quantico, Virginia, telephone 
(703) 640-1181 or (703) 640-1123. 

Forensic Science Research and Training 

Forensic science research improves the examination techniques which involve technical 
methodologies used to support field operations. Programs sponsored by the Forensic 
Science Research Unit (FSRU) include the following: 

Counternarcotics/counterterrorism technology development. 

DNA research for human identification includes: 

1. Technical development for the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS), 

2. Technical Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (TWGDAM). 

General forensic chemistry research. 

Participation in the Technical Support Working Group, National Security Council's Policy 
Coordinating Committee on Terrorism. 

Foreign Visitors and Training Programs: 

1. FBI Director’s Honors Internship Program and the University of Virginia 
Intern Program. 

2. Visiting Scientist Program for scientists from state, local, and international 

Forensic science training increases the awareness of the probative value of physic 


evidence among all law enforcement person- 
nel, enhancing at the same time the analytical 
skills and technical capabilities of crime labo- 
ratory personnel from federal, state, and local 
crime laboratories. 

A wide spectrum of forensic science training 
courses is offered. They range from basic 
courses in the collection and preservation 
of bombing, arson, and general physical evi- 
dence, and extend to advanced methodology 
in instrumental analysis and biochemistry. 
Gass sizes range from approximately 8 to 40 
students for the different courses. The follow- 
ing courses are included in the program: 

Administrative Advanced Latent Fingerprint 

Advanced Aspects of Forensic DNA Analysis 

Advanced Techniques of Document 
Examination for Laboratory Personnel - 
Typewriters and Other Printing Devices 

Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism 
Analysis in the Forensic Laboratory 

Fundamentals of Document Examination for 
Laboratory Personnel 

Gunpowder and Primer Residues 

Instrumental Analysis of Paints & Plastics 

Introduction to Hairs and Fibers 

Laboratory Examinations in Arson Matters 

Latent Fingerprint Photography 

Latent Prints - Contemporary Approaches 

Law Enforcement Polygraph 
Police Arson Crime Scene Investigation 
Police Composite Artist 

Police Photography 

Post-Blast Investigators' School 

Specialized Techniques in Firearms Identifi- 

Atomic Absorption for Primer Residues 

Chromatographic Methods in 
Forensic Science 

Collection and Preservation of Physical 

Crime Laboratory Forensic Photography 

Detection and Examination of Footwear Im- 
pression Evidence 

Detection and Recovery of Human Remains 

Forensic/Laboratory Application of DNA 
Typing Methods 

Forensic Infrared Spectrometry Seminar 
Forensic Serology 

The Forensic Science Training Unit pub- 
lishes the Forensic Science Training Program 
catalog, listing all die courses with accompa- 
nying dates, course descriptions and appli- 
cation. In addition to the forensic science 
training program, conducted at the FBI 
Academy, short courses are also taught 
throughout the country for local and state 
law enforcement agencies and police train- 
ing academies. These courses are given by 
the training staff of the Forensic Science 
Training Unit when scheduling allows them 
to be away from their assigned instructional 
duties at the FBI Academy. The courses 
available include three-day workshops in 
specialized areas of photography, and one- 
week courses in collection and preservation 
of physical evidence and latent fingerprint 
matters. These courses are coordinated 
through the local FBI field offices. 





The Special Projects Section's five units: Graphic Design, Photographic Processing, Special 
Photographic Services, Structural Design/ Visual Production, and Video Enhancement 
provide services which are described in the following pages. 1/ you need assistance, 
76 > call us at (202) 324^220. 

(Below) Artist-composite drawing used 
to match witness' description of suspect 


Visual Information Specialist preparing a 

three-dimensional-trial model 


Superimposition of skull and photograph to 
match facial and skeleton features 

Trial exhibit for courtroom presentation 

Graphic Design Services 

Graphic Design includes high quality, 
sophisticated graphics used for investiga- 
tive, prosecutive, and related purposes. 
These graphics include charts, maps, 
diagrams, technical renderings, and scale 
architectural and engineering drawings 
which are used as demonstrative evi- 
dence, two- and three-dimensional crime 

scene diagrams, artist composite draw- 
ings, photographic retouches, facial age 
progressions, computerized photo-impo- 
sition, two- and three-dimensional facial 

reconstructions. Administrative Inquiry - 
Shooting Inquiry graphic support, com- 
puter animation, and a wide array of 
investigative graphic support for active 

Photographic Processing Services 

The Photographic Processing Services 
include providing imaging and photo- 
graphic reproduction for the FBI and 
certain other law enforcement agencies 
through prior arrangement. Services range 
from production of 35 mm slides from 
computer files, outputting digital files to 
photographic material, processing of 
photographic film, processing of micro- 
film and microfiche, production of photo- 
graphic prints from 4x6 to 40x60 inches, 
enlargement of images of shoeprints, etc., 
to precise scale as well as mass production 
of photographic images for distribution, 
briefings, etc. 

• Forensic Photography consists of 
specialized techniques such as infrared, 
ultraviolet, and monochromatic photo- 
graphy to assist in rendering visible, 
latent photographic evidence which 

is not otherwise visible to tie unaided 
human eye. Examples of this type of 
evidence include, alterations and oblitera- 
tions to documents, invisible marking, and 
indented writing. 

• Crime Scene Documentation consists of 
specialized photography that can be both 
general and applied for precision measure- 
ments in inaccessible crime scene locations. 

• Bank Surveillance Films are the most 
common types of examinations in Bank 
Robbery cases. These examinations pro- 
vide the following information 

1. Comparison of clothing recovered 
from the subject to clothing de- 
picted in the bank robbery film 
This also applies to items carried 
by the bank robber and compared 
to items recovered from the subject. 

2. Determination of the bank robber's 
height include various methods 
such as photogrammetry and re- 
photographing the crime scene. 

3. Comparison of facial features of the 
bank robber depicted in the sur- 
veillance film with known photo- 
graphs of the subject. 

Special Photographic Services 

The Special Photographic Services include 
Forensic Photography, Crime Scene 
Documentation, Bank Surveillance Filins, 
Digital Image Processing, and Miscella- 
neous Photographic Examinations. 

♦ Digital Image Processing includes the 
enhancement of poor quality photographic 
negatives. However, they will usually 
provide limited improvement in general 
image quality. The best results are 
achieved when examining lettering on a 
hat, license plate numbers, or similar 


• Miscellaneous Photographic examina- 
tions include the use of numerous tech- 
niques. Each photographic examination is 
unique, and much intelligence can be 
obtained from analysis of photographic 
evidence. The negative, print, camera, and 
image can all provide both evidence and 
intelligence which can greatly assist an 
investigation or prosecution The examina- 
tion of film /negatives can be utilized for 
the following: 

1. To determine if a negative was 
exposed by a specific camera, 

2. To determine if a photograph has 
been altered, 

3. To determine the date of manufac- 
ture of Polaroid film, and 

4. To prepare a print from the old 
style "throw away" negative. 

Structural Design/Visual 
Production Services 

Structural Design specialists design and 
produce three-dimensional visual mate- 
rial, including scale trial and training 
models.These specialists also travel to the 
field to gather information for model 
construction or to provide operational 
support Many requests have short dead- 
lines and are sensitive in nature. Visual 
Information Specialists are available to 
testify in court when necessary. 

Visual Production services include the 
preparation of items that are used during 
trials, conferences, and also used as inves- 
tigative aid. 

• Engraved items for presentation. 

for three-dimensional-trial models, 

• Mounting of charts and photos for 
trial and display, 

• Silk screening. 

Video Enhancement Services 

The Video Enhancement Services include 
the examination, enhancement and 
processing of evidentiary videotapes and 
the reconstruction of physically damaged 
videotapes submitted in connection with 
a criminal or intelligence investigation 
Experts prepare enhanced or processed 
photographs or videotapes and provide 
testimony regarding the techniques or 
technology used in the examination 

• Video image processing and 

• Photographic prints from video 

• Reconstruction of damaged 

• Crime scene documentation, 

• Synchronization of surveillance 
audio to videotapes, 

• Video demonstrative evidence, 

• English subtitles of surveillance 
videotapes in foreign language, 

• High speed video. 

Custom plastic moulding of items 

Technical Services 


Engineering Section 

1 he Information Resources Division (IRD), Engineering Section (ES) develops, procures, and 
deploys many types of technical equipment used to support the FBI's investigative activities. 
The ES also conducts examinations of electrical and electronic items, analyzes magnetic 
recordings, provides expert testimony regarding findings, and provides technical assistance 
in special situations such as kidnaping cases and airline disasters. Address your request for 
examinations to: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Engineering Research Facility, Audio/ 
Video Signal Processing Program, Building 27958 A, Quantico, Virginia 22135, or call (703) 
6.30-6722 for information. When requesting examination(s) of evidence, please include the 
information requested on page 81 . 

Specific Forensic Services 
Audia/Video Tape Analysis 

• Tape duplication provides standard 
format copies from unusual or obsolete tape 
or disc recordings. 

• Determines authenticity in response to 
allegations of tampering and/or alteration 
of an audio or video recording made by a 
defense expert but the legitimacy of the 
recording cannot be established through 
chain of custody and testimony. Submit the 
audio recorder, accessories used to make 
the questioned recording, and the original 

• Identifies, compares, and interprets 
nonvoice sounds on original tape record- 
ings, including telephone dialing, gunshots, 
and radio transmission signatures. Submit 
only the original recordings. 

• Tape enhancement is a process for selec- 
tive suppression of interfering noise on 
audio recordings or the audio track of video 
recordings, which improves the voice 
intelligibility. Submit only the original 

• Video tape analysis is a process to im- 
prove visual clarity and make high quality 
still photographs of images from original 
video recordings using digital signal pro- 
cessing. Also conducted are comparisons of 
known and suspect video recordings for 
copyright violations, authenticity examina- 
tions, and video standard conversion. 

• Identifies the speaker. The spectro- 
graphic (voiceprint) technique is used to 
compare the recorded voice of an unknown 
individual with a known recorded sample 
of a suspect' s voice. Submit verbatim 
known samples with no less than 20 com- 
parable words and original recordings. 

• Repair/ restoration of damaged audio and 
video tapes to allow proper play 


Electronic Devices Analysis 

• Electronic Device Examination 

Speaker identification is conducted solely 
for investigative guidance. No court testi- 
mony is provided. Findings regarding 
speaker identification by the spectrographic 
method are not considered conclusive. 

because of the limited scientific research 
regarding the reliability of the examination 
under the varying conditions of recording 
fidelity, interfering background sounds, 
restricted frequency ranges, voice disguise, 
sample size, and other factors commonly 
encountered in investigative matters. 

• Sound recording comparisons to provide 
an aural examination that determines if a 
recovered "bootleg" tape recording con- 
tains the same material as a copyrighted 
. .. commercial tape. 

80 " > 

1. Identifies passwords assigned to 
data contained in electronic 
memory devices and electronic 

2. Identifies countermeasures equip- 
ment used in suspected criminal 
activity for detecting of wire taps 
and "bugging devices." 

3. Provides support to the Explosives 
Unit of the Laboratory Division by 
analyzing timing circuits, radio 
frequency circuits, and other elec- 
tronic means of detonating explo- 
sive devices. 

4. Provides analyses of the electronic 
components in hoax bomb devices 

to determine origin of parts and com- 

in the commission of a crime. 

• Interception of Communications 

1. To identify devices attached to tele- 
phone lines which monitor, record, or 
transmit telephone conversations as a 
radio signal to a remote location (known 
as Wire Taps) and determines their 
operating characteristics. 

2. To identify devices which allow a room 
conversation to be monitored by a re- 
motely activated microphone on a tele- 
phone line (known as Infinity Trans- 

3. To identify telephones which have been 
modified to monitor a room conversa- 
tion when the telephone is not in use 
(known as Compromised Telephones). 

4. To identify miniature transmitters, con- 
cealed microphones and recorders de- 
signed to surreptitiously intercept oral 
communications (known as Bugging 
Devices) and determines their operat- 
ing characteristics. 

5. Examination of VideoCipher Satellite 
descramblers to determine if they have 
been modified to allow the unautho- 
rized decryption of satellite cable pro- 
gramming (known as Satellite Des- 

• Miscellaneous Devices Examination 

1. Identifies devices used to defeat burglar 
alarm systems. 

2. Identifies radio transceivers, scanners, 
tracking devices, and the frequencies 

Include the following information with 
your request for examination(s) of 

• Indicate any previous correspondence 
submitted to the FBI which is related 
to your requested examination. 

• Include the name(s) of the subject(s), 
suspects), or victim(s); violation; and 
investigative case number. 

• Describe the evidence enclosed or 
submitted under separate cover. If 
evidence was recorded, describe 
the problem. 

1. Send evidence via U.S. Postal 
Service (USPS) by Registered MaiL 
If you choose the Federal Express 
or another overnight carrier, use 
their "protective signature," "secu- 
rity signature," or other type of 
service which provides the same 
protection as the USPS registered 

• Indicate the type of examination re- 
quested. If appropriate, state how 
many copies are needed and their 
format (i.e., DAT, standard audio 
cassette, VHS video). 

• Indicate if expeditious handling is re- 
quired, the reason, and the exact date 
the examination should be completed. 

• Indude the name and telephone num- 
ber of the person to be contacted should 
a question arise concerning the exami- 
natioa Instead of the post office box of 
the contributor, indude full street ad- 
dress where to return evidence. 


3. Identifies electronic devices of unknown 
use or origin believed to have been used 

National Center for the Analysis of 
Violent Crime (NCAVC) Services 


NCAVC is a law-enforcement-oriented 
behavioral science and data analysis center 
designed to consolidate research, training, 
and investigative/operational support func- 
tions for the purpose of providing expertise 
to any duly constituted law enforcement 
agency confronted with unusual, bizarre, 
and/or repetitive violent crime. The NCAVC 
is composed of two units: Investigative 
Support and Behavioral Science Services. 
Questions or requests may be addressed to: 
National Center for the Analysis of Violent 
Crime, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia 
22135, telephone (703) 640-6131. 

The NCAVC, Investigative Support Unit 
offers three programs: Violent Criminal 
Apprehension (VICAP), Criminal Investiga- 
tive Analysis (CIAP) , and the Arson and 
Bombing Investigative Services (ABIS) pro- 


The VICAP provides the following services: 

• A nationwide clearinghouse for the collec- 
tion, collation, and analysis of solved or 
unsolved homicides, missing persons, and 
unidentified bodies. 

! 82 

• A people-based computer-assisted homi- 
cide database designed to match cases exhib- 
iting similar characteristics, identify cases that 
are part of a series, and locate other 

cases committed by one offender. 

• Notification to agencies with matching 

• Preparation of case matrices to compare 
and contrast detailed information among a 
group of cases. 

• Preparation of offender time lines detail- 
ing the travels, date, and location of a 
known offender for comparison with 
similar, unsolved cases in the immediate 
geographical area. 

• Organization and facilitation of multi- 
agency meetings, either on-site or at 
Quantico, where investigators with cases 
suspected to be part of a series sit down 
and compare physical evidence, modus 
operandi, offender behavior, and other 
case variables in order to link cases, iden- 
tify cases that are part of a series, identify 
cases committed by one offender, and 
determine prosecutive strategies. 

• Operational and administrative sugges- 
tions for multiagency task forces, serial 
offenses, and major violent crime investi- 

The CIAP proyides consultation on major 
violent crimes including arson, child 
abduction, computer crime, homicide, 
rape, sexual sadism, and threats with 
particular emphasis oa 

• Traits and characteristics (profiles) of 
unknown offenders. 

• Personality assessments. 

• Investigative strategies. 

• Interviewing techniques. 

• Search warrant affidavit assistance. 

• Prosecution strategy. 

• Expert testimony. 

• Equivocal Death Evaluations. 

The A BIS Program is a joint effort of 
the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, To- 
bacco and Firearms (ATF) to provide 
criminal investigative analyses (pro- 
files) of serial arsonists and bombers to 
federal, state, local, and foreign law 
enforcement agencies. Other services 
provided by ABIS include: 

• Investigative Techniques. 

• Interview Strategies. 

• Prosecutorial Strategy. 

• Expert Testimony. 

Criminal Investigative Analysis 

NCAVC provides services to the law 
enforcement community through the 
FBI field offices. If interested, contact 
the NCAVC Coordinator in the nearest 
FBI field office. 

Expert Testimony 

NCAVC members provide expert 
witness testimony on cases involving 
the Analysis of Violent Crime. 


NCAVC conducts research into violent 
crime from the law enforcement per- 
spective, attempting to gain insight 
into criminal thought processes, moti- 
vations, and behavior. The research 
involves examining the crimes associ- 
ated with a particular criminal as well 

as developmental history and back- 
ground of the offender. Experts with 
behavioral science backgrounds, profes- 
sional staff members, and consultants 
conduct intensive interviews with incar- 
cerated criminals using research proto- 

Insights gained through the research are 
refined into innovative investigative 
techniques that are applied to the case- 
work to increase law enforcement s 
effectiveness against the violent criminal. 

Briefings and Consultations 

The NCAVC shares information with 
foreign representatives through special 
briefings on NCAVC programs and 

Seminars, Conferences, and Specialized 

The NCAVC conducts seminars or 
conferences on issues such as Violence 
Against the Aging, Community Policing, 
and Police Psychology. Other specialized 
training in such areas as death investiga- 
tion and sex crimes is offered at the 
Academy and around the country. FBI 
Training Coordinators in each field office 
can be contacted for current schedules of 

Student Internships 

The NCAVC offers summer internships 
for college students through the FBI 
Honors Internship Program (HIP). The 
NCAVC also works with colleges and 
universities for interns during the school 




The FBI Bomb Data Center (BDC) provides state-of-the-art training and develops technology 
for public safety bomb disposal technicians, provides operational support to law enforcement 
agencies during special events and/or crisis management situations, and gathers and dissemi- 
nates information pertaining to bombing matters. The BIX* is responsible for the following 
programs: Foreign Cooperation, Operational Support, Publications, Research, and Technical 

The Foreign Cooperation Program involves the dissemination and gathering of bombing inci- 
dent statistics and technical information which is shared during bombing seminars with partici- 
pating foreign authorities. The BIX also disseminates information to foreign bomb data centers 
through FBI offices abroad. 

The BDC provides Operational Support which includes on-scene support, state-of-the-art equip- 
ment, and technical personnel who manage critical situations during special events and crisis. 

The BIX prepares and disseminates explosive-related publications and criminal bombing 
incident summaries to local, state, federal, and foreign agencies. 

The BDC provides technical research and development into advanced equipment and safer 
render-safe procedures and techniques. 

The BDC oversees the technical training program by administrating and funding the Hazardous 
Devices School, in Huntsville, Alabama, where public safety bomb disposal personnel receive 
basic and refresher training. The BDC also offers Regional Seminars for bomb technicians 
and bomb crime scene investigations. 




Evidence . . . 

Today’s mandatory regula- 
tions help ensure that there 
will be no problems encoun- 
tered in the shipment of haz- 
ardous materials. Regula- 
tions are enforced by agen- 
cies empowered by spe- 
cific legislation such as the 
U.S. Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR). 

The following pages contain 
excerpts of Title 29, Occupa- 
tional Health and Safety Ad- 
ministration (OSI IA); Ti- 
tle 42, Department of Health 
and 1 luman Services; Ti- 
tle 49, Department of Trans- 
portation (DOT); Interna- 
tional Air Transport Associa- 
tion (I ATA); and shipping, 
handling, and labeling rules 
for hazardous and nonhaz- 
ardous materials. 

l ; or information on shipping regulations for blood, urine and other liquid diagnostic speci- 
mens containing etiologic agents, contact IATA,1001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, 
D.C., 20004, telephone (202) 624-29 77. When using the U.S. Postal Service, it is advisable to 
contact the Postal Inspector in your jurisdiction since the U.S. Postal Service lias specific re- 
strictions for mailing. For information on shipments that are sent to the FBI Laboratory, call 
the FBI laboratory before shipping. 

Inquiries concerning the Code of Federal Regulations may be addressed to the Director, Office 
of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., 
20408 (telephone 202-512-1557). The sale of the Code of Federal Regulations is handled by the 
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, tele- 
phone (202) 783-3238. Additional information on the subject can be found on follow-ing pages. 


Proper Sealing of Evidence 

A package containing evidence must have an invoice letter, and it is imperative to have access 
to this invoice without breaking the inner seal of the package. This must be done to comply 
with regulations that establish that examiners must receive any kind of evidence as it was 
sealed and packed by the sender. The first person to receive a package may not be the 
examiner. The method (shown below) permits access to the invoice without breaking the 
inner seal. 

1. Pack bulk evidence securely in box. 2. Seal box and mark it "evidence." 

5. Wrap sealed box in outside wrapper 
and seal with gummed paper. 


6. Address to: 


Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attention: FBI Laboratory 
10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20535 

Place the label under a dear yellow 
plastic cover or yellow tape ONLY on 
packages containing evidence. 

4 *2 c® HaasaioiM 


feda;lfj'4Cl :l rs-4«l2<TM' 

icn- 'JTWia-K PeYk4.'0’)9*«eru«. NW. 

W5CJ “ 


W. ®UY"0»N.JUJ*CI 



i-.irti I'/M-g ^ 


M o\& 


3. Place copy of transmittal letter in 
envelope and mark it "INVOICE. 

4. Stick envelope to outside of 
sealed box. 

7. If packaging box is wooden, tack invoice 
envelope to top under a dear yellow 
plastic cover or yellow tape. 


If evidence to be sent f alls 
into the category of 
Hazardous Materials, call 
for instructions. Telephone 
numbers can be obtained 
through the Table of 
Contents (page vii). 

Please use dear yellow 
plastic cover or yellow tape 
ONLY for packages contain- 
ing evidence. 

Packaging and Labeling of Etiologic Agents 

The Interstate Shipment of Etiologic Agents (42 CFR, Part 72) was revised July 21, 1980, to 
provide for packaging and labeling requirements for etiologic agents and certain other ma- 
terials shipped in interstate traffic. For further information on any provision of this regulation 
contact: Centers for Disease Control, Office of Health and Safety, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, 
Georgia 30333. Telephone: (404) 639-3883. 








ICDC 3.203) 











Cross Section of Proper Packing 
Figure 2 

Figures 1 and 2 
show the packag- 
ing and labeling 
of etiologic agents 
in volumes of less 
than 50 ml in 
accordance with 
the provisions of 
72.3 (a) of the 
cited regulation. 

If dry ice is used, 
place it outside 
secondary con- 

Figure 3 illustrates 
the color and size 
of the label, de- 
scribed in sub- 
paragraph 72.3 (d) 
(1-5) of the regu- 
lations, which 
shall be affixed to 
all shipments of 
etiologic agents. 

Figure 3 
(Red on White) 







Figure 1 




404/633 S3 1.3 

Federal Express Corporation 

For information write: P.O.Box 727, Dept. 4634, Memphis, TN 38194, or call 1 -800-238- 
5355. For shipments between the United States and Puerto Rico call 1-800-247-4747. 

United Parcel Service (UPS) 

For information write: 1506 (oh Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21227, or call 1-800-346-0106. 

Federal Express or U.S. Postal Service Letter Envelopes 

1) Remove adhesive tape cover and seal flap. 2) Put two horizontal strips of Nylon Rein- 
forced Filament Tape around the entire envelope (at least once over the scams). 


Boxes Pack- 
aging Con- 
Shipped Via 

Express or U.S. Postal Service 

1) Seal with plastic tape or adequately 
moistened paper tape over flaps so 
that it appears "Mummy Wrapped." 

2) Put at least three strips of Nylon 
Reinforced Filament Tape around 
the entire container at least once. 

General Information 

by the Title 49 (Code of Federal Regula- 

Prior to sealing a packaging container, all 
unused space in the container must be filled 
with brown wrapping paper, bubble wrap, or 
any other acceptable packaging filler to pre- 
vent the material from shifting and breaking 
open in transit. 

For sealing, use extra gummed paper tape or 
nylon-reinforced filament tape. However, be 
aware that some shippers insist on die use of 
one of these two kind of tapes. 

Packaging containers (i.e., envelopes, boxes, 
tubes, etc.) must be reinforced with continu- 
ous nylon-reinforced filament tape placed 
around the container (see page 95). 

Standard opaque packaging containers must 
be sealed with plastic or gummed paper tape 
so that it appears "mummy wrapped." There- 
after, at least three continuous strips of nylon- 
reinforced filament tape must be placed 
around the container (see page 95). 

The U.S. Department of Transportation 
(DOT) and the International Air Trans- 
port Association (IATA) define "Dan- 
gerous Goods" as'Hazardous Materi- 

Boxes containing Hazardous Materials 
require specific DOT Diamond Labels 
on at least two sides of the package. For 
more information write or call Federal 
Express or UPS. 

The IATA mandates: training and 
periodic recertifications for persons 
handling Hazardous Materials/Danger- 
ous Goods, and the IATA Dangerous 

must be readily available at workplaces 
where employees handle Hazardous 
Materials/Dangerous Goods. 

Allow application and retention of adhesive 
stamps, postage meter impressions and 
postal endorsements made by hand stamp, 
bail-point pen, or number two pencil. The use 
of masking, cellophane, nylon-reinforced, 
and/ or plastic tape on the outer finish of 
registered mail is prohibited. 

Packaging containers must not be reused for 
shipment purposes. Standard opaque pack- 
aging containers may be reused only when 
the container is structurally sound, with no 
holes, tears, or missing flaps. Obsolete ad- 
dress mailing labels and markings must be 
removed or covered prior to shipment. 

Shipments must have the sender's and 
recipient’s complete telephone number. 

All packages must pass the National Safe 
Transit Association Project 1 A Testing in 

addition to any regulations set forth 

Title 29 - U.S. Department of Labor 
Occupational Safety and Health Ad- 
ministration (OSHA), 

200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washing- 
ton, D.C 20210, telephone: <202)219- 

Title 29, Part 1910 sets forth specific 
safety and health standards as they 
relate to the workplace. 

Title 42 - U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, 

Office of Health and Safety, 

1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Geor- 
gia 30333 

telephone: (404) 639-3883 

Title 42 has specific regulations for 
Interstate Shipment of Etiologic Agents, 
see page 94. 

Title 49 - U.S. Department of Transportation 

400 7th Street, Southwest, Washington, D.C. 20590, telephone: (202) 366-4000 

CJ’R Title 49, Section(s) and/or Subpart(s) for D-Marking specify that the person who offers 
hazardous material(s) for transportation must mark each package in the manner required by 
this title, a telephone number is provided to obtain specific directions. 


Collec tion, Shipment, Identification an d Packag ing Charts 

Amount Desired 




Send By 

Abrasives Not less than All 

one ounce. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


10 ml. 

A II to 1 00 ml. Call Chemistry- 

Toxicology Unit at 
(202) 324-4318 for 

Caustic Soda, 
Ammonia, etc. 

10 ml. of liquids. 
10 g. of solids. 

All to 100 ml. 
All to 100 g. 

Call Chemistry- 
Toxicology Unit at 
(202) 324-4318 for 


(Live Cartridges) 

Call Firearms- 
Toolmarks Unit at 
(202) 324-4378 for 

Anonymous Letters, 
Extortion Letters, and 
Bank Robbery Notes 

All original 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 



Same as above. 

Same as above. 

Same as above. 

Initial and date each docu- 
ment, if advisable. 

Wrapping and Packing 

Use plastic/ glass bottle. Pack 
in sawdust, glass, or rock 
wool. Use bakelite or paraffin- 
lined bottle for hydrofluoric 

Use plastic or glass bottle 
with rubber stopper held 
with adhesive tape. 

Call Firearms-Toolmarks 
Unit at (202) 32^4378 for 


Avoid use of envelopes. 
Label add, corrosive, etc. 

Label alkali, corrosive, etc. 

Unless specific examination 
of the cartridge is essential, 
do not submit. 

Use proper endosure. Place in Do not handle with 

envelope and seal with "Evi- bare hands. ; I 
dence" tape or transparent 

cellophane tape. Flap side of Advise If evidence should 
envelope should show: be treated for latent 

(1) wording "Enclosure^) to fingerprints. 

FB1HQ from (name of 

submitting office)/ 

(2) title of case, 

(3) brief description of contents, 

(4) file number, if known. Staple 
to original letter of transmittal 

of Use film cannister or plastic 
material, date obtained, in- vial. Seal to prevent any loss, 
vestigator's name or initials. 


Collec tion, Shipment Identification and Packagin g Charts 

Am ount 


Send By 



One tube each 
(sterile) 5cc-10cc 
blood only. No 

1; liquid Known 

or equivalent 

2. Small 

BilUquid Ques- 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

tioned Samples 

As much as possible. : Registered mail 

or equivalent : : 

b. E>ry stains ; ; 
Not on fabrics 

20 cc of blood and 
preservative mixture 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


USe1 ! : 

As found 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

3. Stained cloth- 
ing, fabric, etc 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


(projector without 

All found 

Call Firearms- 
Toolmarks Unit at 
(202) 324-4378 
for instructions. 


(live ammunition) 

All found 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

Cartridge Cases 
(shells only) 



Wrapping and Packing 


hesive tape. Name of donor, 
date taken; doctor's name, 
investigator's name or 

Wrap in cotton/ soft paper. 
Place in mailing tube or 
suitable strong mailing carton. 

Submit imdieciiaty # Pon't 
i tems fo r coxnparifloii;DoH: 
not freeze, keep refrigerate< 
until inking. Do hotSdd \ \ j 
refrigerants ; ai^/dr dry ke 

Same as above 

lumisnaampig wr y on non- 
porous surfacei scrape off or 
collect (iise eye droppers of i • 
clean spoon), traois/er to non 
porous surface or absorb in 
sterile gauze and let it dry. 

Seal to prevent; leakage 

Siifll: label With type of 1 
^ecimen, date secured/ in- 
vestigator's name or Initials. 

Same as liquid samples. 


Medical examiner should use 
a standard blood collection kit 

Preservative desired (identify 
pTeseiv^tl^^iiiiw^Ji : 5 H ; i ; ; ? ■ 

Reftigefate. Can ifreewlilHimp 

Label outside package as to harming, DO NOT USE : 
contents. Place in strong box HEAT TO DRY. Avoid 

to prevent shifting of contents. direct sunUght While drying; 

;i;; DortotUSepret^^ 

clothes : type of spedtnens, 
date secured, investigator's 
name c* ; initials. 

Initials on base, nose or Pack tightly in cotton or soft Unnecessary handling 

mutilated area. paper in pill, match, or powder obliterates marks. 

box. Place inbox. Label outside 
of box as to contents. 

Initials on outside of case Same as above. Live ammunition is dan- 

near bullet end. gerous. Handle with 


Initials preferably on inside 
near open end and/or on 
outside near open end. 

Same as above. 

Spent cartridge cases. 


Collec tion, Shipment, Identification and Packag ing Charts 
I Amount DesiredT I 

Send By 



(Dental or Die Stone 
Casts of Tire Treads 
and Shoe Prints) 

Send in suspect's shoes All shoe prints and 
and tires. Photographs entire circumference 
and sample impres- of tires, 
sions are usually not 
suitable for comparison. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


Registered mail 
or equivalent 


1. Liquids 

All to 30 g. 



Wrapping and Packing 

On back of cast before it 

hardens, write location and 
date taken, and investi- 
gator’s name or initials. 

Wrap in paper and cover with 
suitable packing material to 
prevent breakage. 

Label "Fragile." Plaster of 
Paris is no longer recom- 
mended, see page 30 for 
more information. 

Advise what parts are 
questioned or known, li; -i: 

:l^ y -— ipMon r 

Place name or initials. See Anonymous Letters 

date, name of make and on pages 98/99. 

model, etc., on sample 

Do not disturb inking mecha- 
nisms on printing devices. 

Mark dire^y ongatment ; i< 
or use String tag indicaftng 
type of evidence*/ date Ob- 
taii^rinvesti^toi’A name 
or initials. 

Wrap each article individually;: 
Place in strong contamer 
identification written cm out- 
side of package. 


lilijl -HhHnHUiiniipn-nu-luiHn; 

See Anonymous Letters 
on pages 98/99. 

See Anonymous Letters 
on pages 98/99. 

Furnish to Racketeering 
Records Analysis Unit. 

Outside container: indicate if 

fragile, date obtained, inves- 
tigator’s name or initials. 

Pack in rigid container between if moisture is added use 
layers of cotton. atomizer, otherwise, not 


Make sure container does not Mark VFragiif 
leak ^1 vdth ta^ to pre^t: ; 0 


Seal with tape to prevent any 

\ | ] \ \ j \ : 

1 + 
• / 
* % 

* < ► • 

#%#• 1 

' : ' . f . 

> • • 

w * * « 

• I 

k* ' 

found, irtcludmg date it was 
found mdmresii^te ; 
name or initials.] 

pfpfljbQy^fix : -i 



Drug Record*/ 

* 1 rr > < »««■ 

AH original document*, tapes; aruj ti^crgpts; 

Wire Tapi; 



EXPLOSIVES: Detonators, Blasting Caps, Detonating Cord, Black Powder, Smokeless Power, 
(202) 324-2696, for shipping instructions. (For an emergency after regular hours. 

Firearms All Registered mail 

(unloaded weapons) or equivalent 


Entire garment or 
other cloth item. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

Collec tion, Shipment, Identification and Packagin g Charts 
I Amount Desired | 

Specimen Standard 1 Evidence Send B y 



Wrapping and Packing 


initial and date ead* docu- 
ment. If too voluminous, ini- 
tial and date the box contain- 
ing the documents. i;;:;;:; 

Documents : follow the instruc- 
tions for Anonymous Letted. ;;;; 

label each tape. 

NOT X-RAY." : 

Indicate land <rf:examina-i 

:! I ilii slliiii! 1 ( 

C hem is t^-*fbxlcology>i lilii 
'All dffhtrabbve; : ;HH^ 

Same as drug records. 

Same as drug records 
on page 33. ; : 

Same as drug records. 

Same as drug records •: 
on page 33. 

Same as drug records. 

Same as dmg records 

Call Racketeering Records 
Analysis Unit (RRAU) at i 
(202) 324-2500 for instruc- 
:: lions. ;• ' i- 

onpag£3fc i;;:i 

Record serial numbers on 
each machine. Include date 
and investigator's name or 

• : ' ; ; j « 1 1 j i i : : ■ 

: . • >* 


*;^>o : * x » 
{wwwwX 3 «XX*><«? 




more feasible, partteulfl&y i HU| 

•x*:x*x w >»: w x'v»i*xxx*x»»'' 

» ./>. • w * : •<><>• {»<>/>• : • x*xx ' >< o 
• ;><>x<**x<><><»«xx»<x • N / x 

High Explosives and Explosive Accessories, call the Explosives Unit, FBI Laboratory, 
call (202) 324-3000.) 

Outside container or on the 
object fibers are adhering, 
include date and investi- 
gator's name or initials. 

Identify gun with a string 
tag bearing complete des- 
cription Mark inconspicu- 
ously and have investigative 
notes reflecting how and 
where gun is marked. 

Use folder paper or 
pillbox. Seal edges and 
openings with tape. 

Wrap in paper and identify 
contents of packages. Place 
in cardboard box or wooden 

Do not place loose in 
an envelope. 

Unload all weapons before 
shipping. Keep from rust- 
ing. See Ammunition on 
pages 98/99, if applicable. 


Collec tion, Shipment, Identification and Packag ing Charts 
I Amount Desired i 

Send By 


All to: 5i sheets. 

Flash Paper 

Unit (RR 


10 ml 

Call Chemistry- 
Toxicology Unit at 
for instructions. 


All to 10 ml 

Insured registered 
mail or equivalent 


All to 10 ink 


Glass Fractures 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

All of bottle or 
headlight. Small 
piece of each broken 

>* : 

* • • ^ • tMF 
»<*/■<>• : w 

< > • 

■ . 

(><;><>. ev 


•/ /w* 


>• •>' 

■ * • • « 

9 » < > * 

• • *• 

V. •< 

!; 0*4 

. • * i • 




1 4 1 a 



• * \ 
* • < 
' ; • 


«< •' i: i * »*> >« 

* J • J 

• \ • 
: *< > 

a a 

i . a a t a 

!>• I 

: >;<>* i>^>; : 

•< *• > 






s> w t>4 • * • M • 




• f ><:* 






. . w 



S : 

W * 

>4M>4> : • • 

\ : • < 

*« > •. 

>< : • < v 


*<#<} 1 

. a . a 


<>*< * * 




r»%: *i 








(Hi ill 


Wrapping and Packing 


Place in individual polyethyl- ;i : Biepro^j iplabc invented W.y. 
ene envelopes/ double-wrap in location away from any other 

manila envelopes, and seal combustible materials and, if 
with paper tape the inner feasible, plac* iri Watertight 

wrapper. containeriurunersed i in water. 

Mark inner w rapper ;?Bash 

dicating date and invest! 
gator'9 name or initials. 

Outside container: label in 
dicating type of material, 
date, and investigator's 
name or initials. 

Use an all-metal container 
packed in wooden box. 

An all-metal container 
should be used for its 
fireproof qualities. 

Use jeweler's box or place in 
cotton in pillbox. 

Outside container: label in 
dicating date and investi- 
gator's name or initials. 

Same as Drugs, see pages 

Cali Chernistry-Toxicolt 
Unit at (202) 324-4318 
; instructions, ii ; . : ; I : ip: 

dicating date and investi 
gator's name or initials. 

Same as Liquid Drugs, 
see pages 102/103. 

Same as Liquid Drugs, 
see pages 102/103. 

Separate questioned from 
known. Mark which is the 
interior or exterior of glass 
removed from frame. 

Avoid chipping 
Mark "Fragile. 

Wrap each piece separately in 
cotton. Pack in sturdy con- 
tainer to prevent shifting and 
breakage. Identify contents. 

g.CQQtainei; Label In- Place in film cannistex or • 
g date and investi- plastic vial. Seal and protect 
name or initials. against breakage. 

Do riot use envelopes, 
paper; dr plastic bags; 


Mill >•»*?> 


| Collection, Shipment, Identification and Packaging 



Amount Desired 

— 1 



* Evidence 

Send By 

Gunshot Residues 

1. Cotton applicator swabs All 

with plastic shafts. (Do 
not use wood shafts). 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

2. On doth 

Only to determine 
weapon to target 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

v < >< : 




o*>* : •«»<>•<*<»•.{ •<: 
: •<»<>*: ■<>/}•<»< 


• * • * * • • • • • ■ • 



• ^ . o < 

t .*:! t ’ ! 

y-flve fulli; •: 

. - .#W‘. »*«#.«•• li s » • » 

from dlf- 

.>• :><>• ;>• ; 

"* •<>• : •< 

:>« :>*>»<> 


>*;><»»<>*:*<>• :><>• •»<>• 


fexent parts of head 

i ;> ' * : • t * * * * > • • * • * • ; ' < * • : * •.»</•.•. »o - ; • •<>••' -4 / . 

9 TMl i JJf. f|I 1 p T pcTl fills .*.' /• •<»<>• : •<>•<>* . *wtw. <>*-•* 

ana/ or puDic region. 


*<>•»•>•>• ><>< 
'<>*>• >• > * >* >< 

, </ w w w w / < • > • 

Handwriting and 
Hand Printing 

Known Standards 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


1 . Glass Wool 1 " mass from each All 

suspect area. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

2. Safe 

Sample all damaged All 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

Matches One to two books of All 

paper. One full box 
of wood. 

Federal Express, 
UPS, or equivalent 

mamm ] 

^nSee Drugs onpages 102/103. 

>>>#%#< • >% * . 
>. W . >✓ . 

i; mm 

Metal 1 lb. All to 1 lb. Registered mail 

or equivalent 



Wrapping and Packing 


Place swabs in plastic 

Outside container: Date and 
name or initial. Label as to 
name of person and which 
hand (left /right). 

Do not mix items. Use more 
than one bag, or wrap dif- 
ferent items separately. 

Outside container: Indicate 
date, obtained from whom, 
description, name or initials 

in unused brown wrapping 
paper or brown grocery bag 

Do not place loose in 

flnuil I i'i; 

Indicate from whom obtained, 
voluntary statement included 
in appropriate place, date ob- 
tained, and investigator's name 
or initials. 

Same as Anonymous Letters, 
see pages 98/99. 

Same as Anonymous Letters, 
see pages 98/99. 

Out si de c on ta iner : type of ma- Use pillbox or plastic vial. Seal Avoid U9e of glass containers 
terial, date, name or initials. to prevent any Joss. and envelopes. 

Same as above. 

Same as above. 

Same as above. 

Outside container: label in- 
dicating type of material, 
date, and investigator's 
name or initials. 

Pack in metal container and 
in larger package to prevent 
shifting, rack matches in box 
or metal container to prevent 
friction between matmes. 

Keep and label: "Keep away 
from fire." 

O ut side cont ai ner label in- Use paper boxes or containers. Melt number, heat treatment, 

dicating type of material. Seal and use strong paper or and other specifications of 

date, and investigator's name wooden box. foundry if available. Keep 

or initials. from rusting. 


Collec tion, Shipment, Identification and Packagin g Charts 
I Amount D esired 

Evidence Send By 


10 ml together 
with specifications, 

AH lo IQ ml. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


1. Liquid 

Original unopened All to 1 /4 pint 
container up to 1/4 
pint , if possible. 

At least 1 /2 sa. in. of All. If on small object 
solid, with all layers send object. 

2 . Solid (paint chips 
or scrapings) 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 

PI aster Caste - Treads: and Shoe Prints (seepages 102/103). 

One yard or 
amount available 

Rope, Twine 
and Cordage 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


San^ above 

Use metal container with 
^ght screw top, Seal to ; l 

prevent leakage. 



Wrapping and Packing 


Same as Anonymous 
Letters, see pages 98/99. 

Same as Anonymous Letters, Advise whether bleaching or 
see pages 98/99. staining methods may be 

used. Avoid folding. 



death, dateipf 
autopsy, name of doCtofv in- 
vestigatbr’s' name; or initial* 

II! ViCtU 


material, origin if known, 
date, investigator’s name 
or initials. 

Use friction-top paint can or 
large-mouth, screw-top jar. 

If glass, pack to prevent break- 
age. Use heavy corrugated 
paper or wooden box. 

Protect spray can nozzles to 
keep them from going off. 
Avoid contact w/adhesive 
materials. Wrap to protect 
paint smears. Do not use en- 
velopes, paper/plastic bags, 
or glass vials. 

Same as above. 

If small amount, use round pill- 
box or small glass vial with 
screw top. Seal to prevent 
leakage. Do not use envelopes. 
Do not pack in cotton. 

Avoid contact with adhesive 
materials. Wrap so as to pro- 
tect smear. If small amount: 
seal round pillbox, film can- 
nister, or plastic vial to pro- 
tect against leakage/breakage 


><>.* w\ 

% < > « • 

Wrap securely 

material, date, investigator's 
name or initials. 

Collection, Shipment, Identification and Packaging Charts 


Amount Desired 

Send By 

Standard 1 

[ Evidence 

Safe Insulation, readily trans- 
ferred to tools and clothing, is 
found between walls of fire- 
resistant safes, in vaults, and 
in safe cabinets (pages 108/109). 

Saliva Samples 1.5" diameter stain 

in center of filter 


Registered mail 
or equivalent 


«»<>• : •<><:*<>':><>< : 


• • : • < w : 

• ./><><><>< . 

^w>s* •«»<>/><>< .4 



IMMM44/WW • ‘ 
<>« : > 
/<>• • 
<>':*<»<>*»'><><*< » / 


> / > / ; •<>''<><>/'<>< • 
* • • * 

W* / , 

M? >/*<. 

> * • 
• M 

Soils and Samples from areas All 

Minerals near pertinent spot. 

Registered mail 

Tools/Toolmarks Send in the tool. If All Registered mail 

impractical, make or equivalent 

several impressions 

on similar materials 

as evidence using 

entire marking area 

of tool. 


paper: Type of sample, name 
of donor, date of collection, 
and collector's initials or 

Seal in envelope. 


Stain should be circled in 
pencil for identification. 
Filter paper available from 
hospitals and drugstores. 
Allow to dry. 

lifting; tape dr paper i | . 
'died Wpm | date, ; iftvestin 

ime scene 


Avoid glass containers 
and envelope. 

Uutfilde container type of Use pillbox or plastic vial 
material, date, investigator's 
name or initials. 

<>• :•<><'• •< 

> . » • • 
< > • - • 
><> /v 

. • i • : • 

Do not cut 



* Kara : 

• o* 


4 • i » < • 


recovered and investigator's 
name or initials. 

After marks have been pro- 
tected with soft paper, wrap 
in strong wrapping paper, 
place in strongbox, and pack 
to prevent shifting. 

If necessary to remove item 
from its source by cutting, 
indicate where item was cut. 


Collection, Shipment, Identification and Packaging Charts 


Amount Desired 

Send By 

Standard Evidence 


known standards 

For instructions on 
known standards; 
see Documents 
page 27. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


Preferably all urine 
voided over a period 
of 24 hours. 


Registered mail 
or equivalent 

Vaginal Sample* 

1. Slides iii®;; 

i % • • . f % • f 1 4 • . ;*««•' 

fl; e%«i • ! • *i • t 

r | ; v. 

!•*»•! •<*'! •<> 

Minimum of two 


Minimitfn hvo; 




Registered mail 
or equivalent 

:><: ><»• 

•'I • 


<>•<><:/<>«<<< >/P}{/v>>{<i/>^v{ ,<><>< . 

>«>*«>/<>. « 4 . < .4 . i 

OOiOMJW'O'Ji two <»<»«>• : • ; *0 . 

4 .2 * I. . .. >'<><i'0<Oi>^0 <> 0 < >000^ 

!>« 0 <f’ 0 * 00 * 0 v 

• *>• 
i> <> 


100 ml. 

100 ml. 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


3 ft (Do not kink). 

All (Do not kink). 

Registered mail 
or equivalent 


One foot or 


Registered mall 

amount available. 

or equivalent 


On specimens: serial number, 
brand, model, etc., date 
recovered, and investigator’s 
name or initials. 

Same as Anonymous Letters Examine ribbon for evidence 
on pages 98/ 99. of questioned message . 

liquid, date taken, investi- 
gator’s name or initials. 

Use plastic specimen con- 
tainer. Seal tight with lid. 

Make sure that package 
does not leak. 

Use commercial slide box 

name of donor, date of 
on] and collebtd^s 
name or initials. 

i . . . . 

... > • i 

... ># 

<>: • 


sw a 

1 • > • 
, .41 


<>" * 
• < »« • 


. . 

• < - * 
\ ; • * v 

• • 
f • • 


; 5 • 


. - * > 

!*;!!; ; 

Same as Urine. 

Same as Urine. 

Same as Urine. 

of material, date, investi- 
gator’s name or initials. 

Wrap securely. 

Do not kink wire. (See also 
tool/toolmarks on pages 

Same as above. 

Wrap securely. 



(Safety) pages 

Abrasives . - page 44 

CollectionChart pages 98-99 

Adds - - page 44 

CollectionChart - pages98-99 

Alkalies - page44 

CollectionChart pages 98-99 

Ammunition (Live) page 58 

CollectionChart pages 98-99 

Anthropological Identifications page 66 


page 45 

Assault Cases — - page 46 

Audio/Video Tape Analysis page 80 

Bank (Surveillance Films) - page 77 

Biological Sped mens 

(For Toxicological Examinations) page 44 


(Examination, collectiorvetc.) . page 48 

(Blood evidence transmittal letter) page 50 

CollectionChart - pages 100-101 

Botanical Examinations page66 

Building Materials page68 

Bullets - page 57 


.... pages 100-101 

Capillary Electrophoresis .... page 67 


(Shotshell casings, buckshot/slugs) page 57 

CollectionChart pagesl00-101 

Cases (FBI and non-FBI) page 52 


(Casting) page 30 

(Plastic for Stamped Impressions) page 63 

CollectionChart pages 102-103 


(Explosives) page 54 

(For the Analysis of Violent Crime) page 82 

(Bomb Data) page 84 

Charts (Evidence) — pages98-115 


(Services) — page 44 

(General Analyses) page 46 

(Safety) - page 9 

Blood borne Pathogen Safety page 6 Chromatography 


(Fingers/palms/feet of deceased)..... page 37 

(Fluids) page50 

(OigansA>lfectionchart) pages 110-111 

(Protective Equipment) page 11 


(Bomb DataCenter) page 84 

^^^JExplosives) page 53 


page 46 

(Material Analysis) page 67 

Codes and Gphers (Cryptanalysis) .... page 34 
Computer (CART) page 22 

Confined Space Safety 


Cordage/Rope Examinations page66 Drugs (and Pharmaceuticals) . page45 

CoIlectionChart pages 102-103 

Cosmetics page 67 


Court Order, Disposition of Weapons .. page 60 (In bank robbery packets) page 47 

Crime Scene page 14 p 

(Basic Safety Guidelines) page 3 

(Crime Scene/Mass Disaster) page4 _ 

(Removal of Hazardous Materials) page 6 Hectronic page 80 

(Personal Protective Equipment) page 11 . 

(Postblast investigation guidelires) page 54 Services page 79 

Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) 
History, Current Operation, Standard Forms for 
Submitting Identification Data, Search of Finger- 
print Cards, Name Checks to Locate Identification 
Records, Fugitive Program, Automated Improve- 
ments, Revitalization, and Enhanced Services 
- - page85 

Ciyptanalysis (Codes and Ciphers) page 34 

Decontamination (Nondisposable) page 8 

Definitions (of Evidence) pageviii 

Dental-Die Stone 

(Substitute fcr Plaster) 

page 30 

Electronic Devices page80 

Engineering Services page 79 

Etiologic Agents page 94 


(Biological) page44 

(Body Fluids) pages 49- 50 

(CoUectionofPhysical..) page 18 

(Explosives) page S3 

(Footwear) page29 

(LatentRngerprint) page37 

(Packing and Shipping) page91 

(Photographing the..) page29 

(ShippingExplosives) page 53 

(Technical) page81 

(Submissionof Firearms) page 58 


(Examinations) page53 

(Instrumental analyses of) page 71 

(Safety) pages 

Detonatots (Explosives) page 53 

Devices (Electrostatic lifting) page 32 ^^Examinations page66 

Digital Image Processing page77 

DisasterSquad page38 

DNA Examinations page48 


(Examinations) page23 

(Services) page21 

(Shipment of Evidence) page24 

CoIlectionChart pages 98-99 

FBI and Non-FBI Cases 



Fibers (andHairs Examinations) page 65 

CoIlectionChart pages 104-105 


Standard Reference Files and Collections, and 
Files of Questioned Material pageix 


Reference Hies of Known Standards Typewriter, 
Photocopier, Printer, and Facsimile Sections 
- page 27 

Watermark Standards, 

Safety Paper Standards, 

Checkwriter Standards, 

Shoe Print and Tire Tread Standards, 

National Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title, 
National Fraudulent Check, 

Anonymous Letter, and Bank Robbery Note 

page 28 

Glass — - page70 

CollectionChart .. pages 106-107 

Gelatin-lifting material . — page32 


(Rifling Characteristics) page GO 

(CollectionChart of theUnknown) pages 106-107 


(Residues Examinations) - - page 58 

(Primer Residues) page 74 

(Automobile altered numbers and Vehide 

Identification Number) page 64 

(Standard Ammunition File, SAF) page 59 


(Safety) page 9 

(Search) page 88 

(Services) - page35 

Fire (trails) page46 

Halts and Fibers Examinations page 65 

CollectionChart pages 104-105 

Hand writing/ printing .. page24 

CollectionChart..... pagesl08-109 

Hazardous Materials (Removal) page6 


Examinations, Identification, Terminology, 
Disposition (the Court Order) pages 57-64 

Flash Paper page 34 

CollectionChart pagesl06-107 




(In Sand/Snow/Soil) 


(Made by wet shoe, etc) page 32 

CollectionChart pagesl02-103 

Infrared Spectroscopy 

*«♦*«♦ *«•■♦*« 

... page 67 

CollectionChart .. pagesl02-103 Ink Analysis - - page 47 


Forensic/Technical Services «... page 20 

Forensic (KtiKiC) Services page 41 

ForensicUtilityof Soil ....- page68 

Inorganic Examinations page 74 


(Glass Wool and insulation) - page 68 

CollectionChart...- pageslQ8-109 

Gasoline page44 

CdlectionChait pagesl06-107 

Gems - - page68 

_ Collection Chart - pages 106-107 


FBI Services, Terminology, Purpose of Physical 
Evidence, Nature of Physical Evidence, Standard 
Reference Hies and Collections, and Files of 
Questioned Material 

- ... — pagevii 

Latent Fingerprint 

(Safety) - page 9 

(Services) - . page 35 

Lead Analyses . . page 57 

Linguistics page 22 

Live Ammunition . page 58 

Locks and Keys . . page 61 




page 45 

... pages 108-109 

Materials Analysis 


Mechanical Impression 



... pages 114-115 

Medicines or Drugs 

.. pages 103-104 

Metals Examinations 

Collection Chart 

page 54 

.. pages 108-109 


(Iruxgamc/ crystalline^ .. 

page 68 


Notes (on paint) . . . page 68 

(Background information) page44 


Oil/fuel (cases of sabotage) page 46 

CoflectionChart . pages 110-111 


(and shipping evidence) 


(Bumed/Charred) - page27 

(Watermark/Safety/ Checkwriter) page26 

Personal Protective Equipment page 11 

Pharmaceutical page 45 

Photocopier Examinations page 26 


(Casting Impressions) page 31 

(Forensic and Processes) page 77 

(Latent Prints) page 36 

Plaster (see: Dental /Die Stone) page 30 

CollectionChart..... pages 115-116 


(Insulation cm wire, plastic/rubber tapes, 
and miscellaneous plastic materials horn 

crime scenes) page 68 

(Replica Casts) page61 

Poisons page 44 

Polymers page67 

Protective Equipment page 12 

Psycholinguistic Analysis page 23 


(Bomb Data Center) mm page 84 

(Forensic Science Training catalog) page 42 

Publication Rights page 122 


Questioned Documents 

page 23 

Paints, Plastics, Polymers 

Rape (Evidence Considerations) page 50 

Removal of Hazardous Material page 6 


(Examinations of Gunshot Residues ) page 58 
(Information) page 74 

Rope/Twine, and Cordage ...» — page66 

Collection Chart. .. pages 110*111 



(Chemicals used...} * page46 


(Guidelines) page 3 

(Universal Precautions) page 7 

Saliva Samples - page48 

Collection Chart...- pagesll2-113 

Sample Latent Fingerprint Report page 39 


(Advanced Latent Fingerprint) - page38 

(Hazardous Devices (Huntsville, AL) page 84 

Scientific Analysis Services.— page 43 

Search Patterns 

(Strip/Grid/Spiral/Quadrant or Zone)., page 18 

Semen - page50 


(Bomb Data Center) - page84 

(National Center for the Analysis 

of Violent Crime)..— - — - page 83 

Serology - page48 


(Charts) MWWHHW.HW iM i MH i page 98 

(Document Section) — .. page 24 

(Documents for Racketeering Unit) — page 34 

(Explosives) page 53 

(Hazardous materials) page 5 

(Latent evidence) - - - page37 

(Live ammunition) - page 58 

(Packing evidence) page 91 

Shoe Print/Tire Tread Examinations .. page 29 
ColIectionChart.— pagesll2rll3 


(Examinations, Determination of Accidental 
Firing, etc) page58 


Collecting samples - pAgeG9 

Collection Chart. pages 112-113 

Standard Forms for Submitting Identification 
Data page 86 


The International Critical Incident Stress Foun- 
dation Emergency assistance hotline. 

• — - - page* 


(forDNAtesting) - page50 

ColIectionChart - - pages 114-115 

Tampering (with consumer products) ... page47 

(Paints, Plastics, Rhymers, and Cosmetics 

Examination) page67 

See Collection Charts pages98-115 

Technical Services 

(Audio/ Video Tape and Electronic Devices 
Analysis) page79 



(Forensic General Information) pageviii 

(fireaims-Toolmarks) .. . page 59 


(Results of Latent fingerprint Evideixe) 
- page 38 

Tire Tread and Footwear Impressions 

(Two- and Three-Dimensional Impressions) 

• — — - . pages 29-30 

CoUectionChart. . pages 102-103 


29U.S. Labor Department, OSHA page% 

42 U.S. Department of Health page% 

49 US. Dept of Transportation page 97 


(and Firearms Services) page57 

(Identification) — . page60 

CoUectionChart . pages 112-113 


(Advanced Latent fingerprint) page38 

(Forensic Science Research and 

Training Center) . page 41 

(Hazardous Devices (Huntsville, AL) .. page 84 

True Age of a Document . page 27 

TypewriterExaminations page 25 


(General Solid s and Liquids Non-hazardous) 
CoUectionChart . pagesl07-108 

Urine Collection Chart pages 114-115 

Vaginal Samples 

(Special evidence considerations) page50 

CoUectionChart pages 114-115 

Video Services 

page 78 

Violent Crimes (NCAVQ page82 



(Analysis) page44 

CoUectionChart... pages 114-115 


Safety Paper, Checkwriter, National Fraudu- 
lent Check, Anonymous Letter, Bank Robbery 
Note Files pages26-28 


Examinations, Identification, Terminology, 
and Disposition (the Court Order) 

•••••* — pages 57-64 

Disposition of Weapons for FBI and Non-FBI 
Cases - - page 60 


(With plastic insulation) page 68 

CoUectionChart pagesll4-115 

Wood page 61 

CoUectionChart pages 114-115 


(Obliterated/Eradicated, /Indented) .... page 23 
CoUectionChart pages 98-99 

Vacutainer Tubes for DNA Samples . page 51 

X-ray Diffractomeby 

Infrared Spectroscopy, Capillary Electro- 
phoresis, and Chromatography used to iden- 
tify or compare chemicals page 67 


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is mandated by Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, 
Section 0.85 to conduct scientific examinations of evidence, free of charge, for any duly 
constituted law enforcement agency within the United States. Such services may also be 
made available to foreign law enforcement agencies under special agreement between the 
Attorney General and Secretary of State. 

The Attorney General has determined that the publication of the 1 iflnd bwk of Forensic 
Science is necessary to disseminate vital information related to those examinations which 
shall be provided at no cost and are also required by law. 

Use of available funds for printing this handbook has been approved by the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget, pursuant to the authority granted under Title 44, United 
States Code, Section 1108, and delegated by Executive Order No. 11609. 

The Handbook of Forensic Science is revised every five years by the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20535. 

It should be noted that the names of products and/or companies appearing in this hand- 
book are not included for endorsement but for identification of the particular product being 

Credits have been earned by FBI personnel who are the contributors of the writings offered 
in this handbook. 

The Laboratory owes special appreciation to John W. Hicks (Assistant Director from 1989 to 
1994) whose vision of the value of forensic evidence is reflected in this handbook. 

Write to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Attention: Assistant Director in Charge, labo- 
ratory Division, Washington, D.C. 20535, if you have any comments. 

Cover Photograph, Courtesy of Jeffrey Miller, Fairfax County Police Department. 

Published in June, 1994, and sold by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government 
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402-9328, for a nominal fee.