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Thread: Crime scene "do's and don't's"

  1. #1 Crime scene "do's and don't's" 
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Suppose you are a police officer/detective at a crime scene. You have to gather enough evidence to catch and convict the criminal, and you definitely don't want to mess up any potential evidence.

    What should you do, and what are some of the pitfalls?


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    Forum Sophomore Pikkhaud's Avatar
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    The first part I would guess is to secure area, so that no one was allowed in to the area. You should be vary carefull about what you touch. Photograph everything of intresst.


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    Forum Junior Twaaannnggg's Avatar
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    Just don't do anything like the guys in "CSI". Rather do the opposite. Overalls that do not leave any fibers behind as to contaminate the real evidence. Looks alot like scrubs face cover and all. You do not wanna taint the evidence by leaving some yourself. But this of course does not look nice on TV when the hot CSI-Chicks show up at the scene. Take photos, photos and again photos. Laser scanner would be nice too. Makes crime scene work more precise than drawings or scetches.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    here's how not to it : Verdict raises DNA evidence doubt
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Basically look at the OJ Simpson crime scene as an example of what NOT to do. Walk all over the evidence, light up smokes over the evidence, all good examples of what not to do.
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    Forum Freshman blackfoxtrade's Avatar
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    Get a good team working for you and try to look very busy while on the scene.
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    You can try and see this crime scene cleanup crew has any useful information on their resources page. hope that helps
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    I think the most interesting thing about crime scenes are what happens after. Like if there is a murder in your house, you have to hire someone to clean that up. I could never do that. It's why I read either a crime scene cleanup blog or crime scene cleanup case studies. There are some crazy stories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twaaannnggg View Post
    Just don't do anything like the guys in "CSI". Rather do the opposite. Overalls that do not leave any fibers behind as to contaminate the real evidence. Looks alot like scrubs face cover and all. You do not wanna taint the evidence by leaving some yourself. But this of course does not look nice on TV when the hot CSI-Chicks show up at the scene. Take photos, photos and again photos. Laser scanner would be nice too. Makes crime scene hey work more precise than drawings or scetches.
    Hey twaaannnggg i love your quote at the botton! classic.


    Anyway You are right, also ask who else has been in the room, specificly the person who found the body and if anyone tried reviving the person or seeing if they were dead. Someone who has tried mouth to mouth will of left dna and possibly other forensic evidence. and you dont want to waste time on something not relevant.
    Also check the pockets of the victim straight away as these will likely get passed to the family at the morgue. you need to record and photgraph all of this as a slip of paper could have any sort of meaning and be the diference between solving a case and not. For example i once read about a case where a man had been murdered dumped in a field, when they found him his pocket items werent recorded or looked at in any great detail. 2 years later a grass trying to get off a crime told the police who killed this chap and where and how. Turns out in his pockets which his wife still had in a memory box at home was a bit of paper with the name, phone number and place and time to meet, This only cam to light when the polcie contacted his wife and said do you know this man nd she told them thats the name on the paper, and with that they eventually managed to connect him to the murder and obtain further evidence from the killers mum! of all people, who told them where her son kept his guns, ballistics showed a match to the bullet in the dead body 2 years before. NEW CSI'S : CHECK THE POCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and dont steal there money, even if theyve got a big roll of 50's in there. ok take one. but thats only because the government does not pay you half as much as you should get for keeping the streets safe. without you everyone could say not guilty and unles there is cctv or a eye witness then Thered be alot more bad people on the loose....ok take a few 50's , but put them back, quick someones coming...to late, now your in trouble
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by william View Post
    Suppose you are a police officer/detective at a crime scene. You have to gather enough evidence to catch and convict the criminal, and you definitely don't want to mess up any potential evidence.

    What should you do, and what are some of the pitfalls?
    Police do not normally gather evidence because they aren't trained in forensics. But you're right, probably the most important task of the police at a crime scene is not to mess up any potential evidence. So basically, they should do nothing except secure the scene and call in the experts. Unfortunately, all too often, police swarm a crime scene like ants at a picnic.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    Dont pick your boogers and fling them onto the crime scene (your partners backside is perfectly acceptable however)
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    nothing. i tell another guy to take care of it.
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    I'm not sure but remember, if we get caught, I 'm deaf and you don't speak English!
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    Many of today's police departments have trained forensic investigators to process a crime scene. Years ago, when I became a detective, it was up to us. Among the most important tasks, in my opinion are securing the crime scene; photographing the crime scene; searching the scene and documenting where each piece of evidence is found. Properly identifying and collecting each piece of evidence; finally establishing and maintaining an accurate chain of custody for the evidence. Obviously, there is much more to it than I have outlined, for example, serious crimes regularly drew the attention of the "brass" who all wanted to tour the scene and usually ended up contaminating it. I could go on and on but you get the idea.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by william View Post
    Suppose you are a police officer/detective at a crime scene. You have to gather enough evidence to catch and convict the criminal, and you definitely don't want to mess up any potential evidence.

    What should you do, and what are some of the pitfalls?

    As was already said to do is call "trained forensic investigators" and secure the scene.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    Thats good. I always wanted to be the police officer at the crime scene. It really sucks to be the guy in handcuffs all the time.
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    There are some very detailed procedures on the Forensic Outreach website about CSI procedures, including evidence handling and photography.

    In short, I'd make sure that the scene is cordoned off to prevent contamination; that personnel are posted so as to ensure selective entry into the area; that the area is properly secured and photographed; and that evidence is handled and collected following proper procedures. There are detailed protocols in every unit about how this is supposed to work!
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  19. #18  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
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    Are you trying to plan the perfect crime, William? Only kidding!

    OB
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