Trace Evidence


Trace Evidence

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What is Trace Evidence?

The National Institute of Justice notes that trace-evidence is one of the most diverse forensic disciplines because it includes the analysis of hair, fiber, paint, glass, soil, and other particulate matter. Trace-evidence analysis can also include the analysis of botanical material, arson/fire debris, explosives, and/or impression evidence.

By definition, therefore, a trace-evidence examiner will be called upon to analyse a wide variety of evidence and as such will be proficient in such things as microscopy, spectroscopy, photography, and other analytical instrumentation.

Trace-Evidence Video

Insightful video featuring Dr. Richard Saferstein, the former chief forensic scientist at the New Jersey Police Laboratory; who addresses the following questions:

  • What is 'trace-evidence' and how is it studied in CSI?
  • What is the 'exchange principle' of CSI?
  • How does studying hair help in CSI?
  • What parts of a hair are studied in CSI?
  • What can be learned from studying hair samples in CSI?
  • What types of fibers are studied in CSI?
  • What do forensic scientists measure when comparing fibers?

  • Essential Reading

    Trace-Evidence by Max M. Houck

    Book Information

    Evidence that can barely be seen with the naked eye routinely plays a crucial part in the search for - and the conviction of - some of the most dangerous criminals known to society. From the hairs of a dog to tiny fiber fragments, forensic analysts study these trace materials and interpret them for use in legal proceedings. Hairs and fibers are two of the most commonly found types of trace-evidence and the focus of this book.

    Trace-Evidence explores the microscopic world in which the forensic scientist works by addressing the issues of what constitutes evidence; important methods of trace analysis, including spectroscopy and chromatography; human and animal hairs and what can be determined by examining them; and manufactured and natural fibers and the many ways in which they appear in textiles and are analyzed in the laboratory. Written by a well-respected author with extensive knowledge in the field, this book is essential for students fascinated by this area of forensic science.

    See following link for more details:

    Trace Evidence (Essentials of Forensic Science)

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    Read FBI Profiling Classics on Kindle

    This special Kindle collection consists primarily of the landmark articles written by members of the Behavioral Science Units, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, at the FBI Academy. These seminal publications in the history of FBI profiling were released by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the information on serial killers provided by the FBI's Training Division.

    See following link for full details.

    Information on Serial Killers

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