All About Forensics

Ally Pouch


Forensics Science is any science used for the purpose of law and provides impartial scientific evidence for used in the courts of law like criminal investigation and trial.

A crime laboratory is used for the purpose of examining evidence from criminal cases. There are 350 public crime labs operation divided into the three categories of basic, optional and special forensic science services.

Basic Services

  • Physical Science Unit- chemistry (drugs, explosives), physics ( glass scratches), and geology (soil, rocks)
  • Biology Unit- bloodstains, body fluids, hair & fiber
  • Firearms Unit- rifles, pistols, guns, bullets, cartridge, shells
  • Photography/ Documentation Unit- handwriting analysis

Optional Services

  • Toxicology- drugs, poison
  • Fingerprint Analysis
  • Voice print Analysis
  • Polygraph Administration- lie detector
  • Crime-scene Investigation (evidence collection)

Special Forensic Science Services

  • Forensic Pathology- manner of death, conduct an autopsy
  • Forensic Anthropology- human skeletal remains
  • Forensic Entomology- study of insects
  • Forensic Psychiatry- study of human behavior
  • Forensic Odontology- study of teeth, jaw, and bite marks
  • Forensic Computer Science- examination of digital evidence
  • Forensic Engineering- failure analysis, accident reconstruction

Functions of Forensic Scientists

  • scientist must be skilled in applying scientific method
  • scientist may provide expert court testimony
  • scientist must participate in training law enforcement personnel in the proper recognition, collection, and preservation of physical evidence

Forensic Databases

  • CODIS- Combined DNA Index System
  • IAFIS- Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System
  • NIBIN- National Integrated Ballistics Information Network
  • PDQ- Paint Data Query
  • SICAR- Shoe Image Capture and Retrieval
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Crime Scene and Physical Evidence

Common Types of Physical Evidence

Physical Evidence- any object that can establish that a crime has been committed or can provide a link between a crime and it's victim or it's perpetrator.

Common types of evidence include body fluids that contain DNA, a murder weapon, casts of footprints or tire prints, blood, semen, saliva, etc.

Examination & Significance of Physical Evidence

Physical Evidence is important as it can be used to link a suspect to a crime scene or eliminate. All evidence must be documented and the officers in charge of the crime scene have to make sure nothing disappears from the crime scene and that it is left in an unaltered condition. It must be documented in time of discovery and how it was discovered. Recording methods include photographs and sketches and there also has to be notes of evidence.
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Preserving and Recording a Crime Scene

The Seven S's of Crime Scene:

  • Secure the scene
  • Separate the witnesses
  • Scan the scene (photographs)
  • Sketch the scene
  • Search for evidence (collection)
  • Secure collected evidence (packaging)
  • Survey the overall crime scene for additional evidence and close up photos

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Role of FBI & CSI

Role of FBI

FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation and they are a national security organization with both intelligence and and law enforcement responsibilities that protect and defend the United States against terrorists and foreign intelligence threats to enforce criminal law of the US.
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Role of CSI

CSI are crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians that collect and examine evidence present at a crime scene by walking the scene of the crime looking for evidence to collect such as hair, fibers and fingerprints.
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Careers in Forensic Science

  • Arson Investigator
  • Computer Forensics Examiner
  • DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Autopsy Technician
  • Forensic Nurse
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Medical Examiner
  • Forensic Scientist
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What Forensic Science is/isn't?

Forensic Files is Forensics because it is realistic like an actual Forensic Scientist would do with the evidence they found.

CSI is not Forensics because the crimes they solve are not that easy to solve. They have so much evidence in every show that they can immediately find out who the suspects or injured parties are.

In actual real life, crimes are much harder to solve because people try to get away with crime by not leaving a lot of evidence behind like in the shows where the crime scene is filled with fingerprints and so much evidence.

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Fun Facts of Forensics

  • Forensic Science wasn't invented by scientist.
  • Fingerprints aren't foolproof.
  • Bullets aren't foolproof.
  • DNA Testing saves lives.
  • Teeth are trustworthy in identification.
  • Bugs help scientist estimate time of death.
  • Dead bodies emit certain smells when they die.
  • Deleted computer files aren't always gone.
  • There is no perfect piece of evidence.
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