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Crime Scene Forensics for Writers and Readers.

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I’m continuing on with the workshop on Forensics for Writers. There was so much information ion that workshop and hopefully it might be of interest.

For security the crime scene should be roped off; the larger the area the better. Establish an area for the media away from the scene. There should be an inner and an outer primary scene. Keep all personnel out of the scene. Establish a crime scene log of everyone who enters.

Physical evidence – this will be introduced in a trial. It can include testimony. This can change over time, can be affected by memory, perception and the connection to the crime. It can be situational such as weather conditions, temperatures, sounds, smells, and clothing. And it can be actual physical that provides leads, indentifies suspects, proves or disproves alibis and statements, connects or eliminates suspects. Physical evidence cannot lie.

Apparently in a suicide members of the family may not remember moving a weapon. For example if a gun is found by the victim’s hand, a family member in a state of shock may pick it up and place it on a counter away from the body and may not remember doing it.

Documentation should include photography, note taking and sketching. Note taking should be factual and include a brief narrative, the location, the surrounding area, situational evidence and any evidence collected and location it was found. Sketches should be an accurate rendition of the scene – not artistic. Number the items. For example in a room put squares in front of window, against a wall, etc and number them. Underneath the sketch list numbers and what they represent.

Make sure to photograph the hands for things like blood back spatter and direction of the spatter. Test for GRW before the hands are bagged. Bagging can wash off the GSW residue. And in a stabbing, the stabber usually also gets stabs.

Drug test results - these are average times n the Florida area. Latent prints – fast. Blood alcohol – 1 day. Drug tests (multiple drugs) – 60 days. DNA – 32 weeks to 6 months. Sexual assault – 120 days. Trace evidence (fibres, paints, glass, etc.) – 8 months.

Any comments?