Recap #cclivechat Jan 13, 2012

Friday the 13th! It was tempting fate and indeed something happened. Air plane delays messed up Richard Case‘s travel plans. Our #cclivechat therefore began much early with questions and answers send via email and Twitter. At the noon hour, several other CSI folks jumped in and we learned a great deal today!

1: Can you repeat the three types of finger prints that can be found at a crime scene? The 3 types of print at Crime Scenes are Latent(invisible), Patent(visible) and impressed(3D print left in soft matter eg clay.

2: Please explain the difference between blood spatter and transfer. Answer: Blood transfer is when something covered in blood makes contact with another surface and leaves some blood behind. Blood spatter occurs when liquid blood is airborne due to the force of a moving article or impact and hits a surface. Sue Carney added that impact into wet blood causes airborne blood drops which then land on a surface = spatter.

3: Latent prints are made visible because leucocrystal violet reacts to the hemoglobin in blood. Anything else? You cannot develop latent prints in blood, only enhance the ones that are visible to show a better contrast to photo.

4: Is it common to find a patent hand print with latent fingerprints? If a hand is covered in a contaminant or ink then its possible, but not common.

5: Please explain the use of Amido Black. I’ll leave this one for any lab people out there.

6: Can you lift prints from any surface? If not, why? You can find and recover prints from any surface, but some surfaces retain fingerprints better than others.

Locards forensic principle of “every contact leaves a trace” dictates that if you touch a surface then you will leave your fingerprints on it in some guise, but whether you can recover that evidence so it can be compared depends on what the surface is and how the mark was left.

The main thing that determines on how you would look for fingerprints and what materials you would use is whether it is porous or non-porous. For non-porous items such as wood or metal you would commonly use powders or superglue. For porous items such as paper you would use chemicals called DFO and Ninhydrin. Other information like was the item wet, is also critical in determining what methods you would use.

7: You mentioned Lincolnshire is trialing Blackberry Playbooks to take photos+send prints from scenes. Explain? If a print is found at a scene its possible to use mobile technology to submit it directly to the bureau for search.

8: What are the best recommendations from the Scottish Fingerprint Inquiry? All of the recommendations in the Scottish Fingerprint Inquiry have some benefit, but the one that’s regularly focused on is fingerprint evidence should be opinion and not fact. Expert witness testimony has always been based on opinion, which is why it can be challenged in a court with the use of experts employed by the defense. It is only the public perception that fingerprints are fact.

Nobody would argue against the statement no two persons have the same fingerprints, but when dealing with crime scene marks where often only fragmentary prints are found, then this requires some human interpretation … And humans can and will make errors, and a lot of these recommendations in relation to standards and training will help to minimise any errors occurring.

9: What are some recent developments in fingerprinting? See verbatim text below.

10: What made you decide to be a scientist? I never regard myself as a scientist though I would argue with anyone (and there are lots) who say that the study of fingerprints is not a science. I got my job by luck as I started working for the police as a computer operator, but when I saw there were opportunities to work in fingerprints I jumped at the chance. I always believed that it was a job for police officers.

Interesting articles to check:

National Geographic: Mutated DNA causes no finger print disease

National Geographic: Born without finger prints

Science Daily: Recovering finger prints on fabric could turn clothes into silent witnesses

Richard, please check the thread. There are still some questions there. Hal Brown might add his take here later on as well.

The verbatim thread is below.

Cheers, Vidster

Vidocq_CC#cclivechat at noon EST on fingerprinting!Fri, 13 Jan 2012 16:38:32 +0000
TrickyCase@Vidocq_CC #cclivechat I'm at departure gate, but still here for nowFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:01:46 +0000
pwmullen@Vidocq_CC I'm just here lurking. :-) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:02:23 +0000
miriamsaidI'm loitering...:) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:03:28 +0000
Vidocq_CC@pwmullen LOL, that's fine! Welcome! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:03:52 +0000
Vidocq_CC@miriamsaid Cool! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:04:07 +0000
Vidocq_CC@TrickyCase OK, let us know when you take off. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:04:18 +0000
Vidocq_CCA different chat, folks, I'll be copy and pasting some Qs and As previously put together. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:05:01 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Thanks, Sue! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:05:35 +0000
Vidocq_CCI asked Richard to repeat some information that Gary discussed at the beginning of his chat. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:06:16 +0000
miriamsaidAre there diferences between cadaver fingerprints & live person fingerprints when you recover them? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:07:09 +0000
TrickyCase@Vidocq_CC #cclivechat just about to board.. Phone needs to go off on flight.. I land about 1.20 EST.. Good luck :)Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:07:18 +0000
Vidocq_CC@Barnesy_ Great, Daniel! Pls use hashtag #cclivechat so everyone can see your tweets.Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:07:41 +0000
Vidocq_CC@TrickyCase Thanks, safe flight! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:07:58 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @TrickyCase: @Vidocq_CC #cclivechat just about to board.. Phone needs to go off on flight.. I land about 1.20 EST.. Good luck :)Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:08:02 +0000
LilacLounge@TrickyCase have a good flight Richard. Don't forget we're talking about you while you're in the air! ;-) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:08:39 +0000
Vidocq_CC@miriamsaid Excellent question for which we either need Richard or another fingerprint expert. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:08:40 +0000
ColdCaseSquadHello friends at #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:08:47 +0000
katcop13Sorry I'm late, just tuned in. Have a safe journey @TrickyCase! #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:09:15 +0000
TrickyCase@miriamsaid #cclivechat huge differences... Depends on the condition of the body... Cadaver printing needs extra training and practiceFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:09:17 +0000
Vidocq_CC@ColdCaseSquad Hi Joe! How are you? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:09:36 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: Hello friends at #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:09:43 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid do you mean the way in which we recover them? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:09:48 +0000
ColdCaseSquadI'm not a fingerprint expert but many times the cadaver's hands need to be hydrated with water via a syringe #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:10:03 +0000
roserandel@ColdCaseSquad Top of the morning to you at #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:10:34 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 I think recovery #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:10:41 +0000
miriamsaid@csiguy01 Both the condition of & differences & the way in which they are recovered..:) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:10:43 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: I'm not a fingerprint expert but many times the cadaver's hands need to be hydrated with water via a syringe #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:10:57 +0000
msashton_writerSorry I'm late. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:11:36 +0000
Vidocq_CC@ColdCaseSquad Thank you for that image, Joe! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:12:40 +0000
katcop13Sadly, they had to do that with many of the victims of Flight 800 @ColdCaseSquad #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:12:42 +0000
Vidocq_CC@msashton_writer Welcome! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:12:47 +0000
ColdCaseSquadHey @msashton_writer @miriamsaid #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:12:55 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: Hey @msashton_writer @miriamsaid #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:13:30 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid some techniques are simple. It depends how long the person has been dead and what condition their fingers are in #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:14:11 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@katcop13 Flight 800 had the added problem of salt water -dehydrates the skin #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:14:12 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: Hi @roserandel #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:14:56 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: @katcop13 Flight 800 had the added problem of salt water -dehydrates the skin #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:15:03 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 Can you explain further? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:15:30 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid PM's by using black powder and white sticky labels. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:15:47 +0000
roserandel#cclivechat and then curls up like a moth..........through drying out ..........hard to find. Search carefully.Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:16:12 +0000
LilacLounge@miriamsaid there have certainly been cases where bodies have had hands removed to hinder identification. Same for teeth etc. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:18:09 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@miriamsaid I haven't seen it and I have been around a lot of bodies #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:18:45 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid there is a rare condition called adermatoglyphia where people are born with no fingerprints. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:18:48 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge Don't forget the head! #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:19:13 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: @LilacLounge Don't forget the head! #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:19:29 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge there have been cases where bodies have had hands removed to hinder identification. Same for teeth etc. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:19:47 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Exactly! Ran out of room after teeth, hence the etc! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:19:56 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @csiguy01: @miriamsaid there is a rare condition called adermatoglyphia where people are born with no fingerprints. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:19:58 +0000
miriamsaidWhen newborn babies have their footprints taken, can they be used as identification later in life? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:20:22 +0000
LilacLounge@csiguy01 That's really interesting. Do we know what proportion of people have that condition? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:20:39 +0000
katcop13There was a case when the murderer cut hands & head off, only to forget the wallet in the victim's pocket! #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:20:47 +0000
roserandelRT @LilacLounge: @ColdCaseSquad Exactly! Ran out of room after teeth, hence the etc! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:20:55 +0000
roserandelRT @katcop13: There was a case when the murderer cut hands & head off, only to forget the wallet in the victim's pocket! #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:21:27 +0000
dtkevRT @ColdCaseSquad: I'm not a fingerprint expert but many times the cadaver's hands need to be hydrated with water via a syringe #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:21:34 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC @miriamsaid a National Geographic article on the very subject: http://t.co/21BJunnt #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:02 +0000
Vidocq_CC@dtkev Welcome and thank you for jumping in! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:25 +0000
Barnesy_#cclivechat does any one know of any more common skin conditions, or something along those lines that can hinder identification?Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:25 +0000
csiguy01@LilacLounge http://t.co/21BJunnt #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:26 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:38 +0000
katcop13Another headless, handless corpse was ID'd via a breast implant... #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:43 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRT @csiguy01: @Vidocq_CC @miriamsaid a National Geographic article on the very subject: http://t.co/8TAe6KvA #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:48 +0000
miriamsaidYou lot need to get over to #cclivechat about fingerprints...It's extremley interesting...:)Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:22:59 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid the rules that apply to fingerprints also apply to footprints, so technically, yes #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:23:09 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: RT @csiguy01: @Vidocq_CC @miriamsaid a National Geographic article on the very subject: http://t.co/8TAe6KvA #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:23:20 +0000
roserandelRT @ColdCaseSquad: @LilacLounge Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:23:29 +0000
Vidocq_CCQuestion from @Evie_G_L: Would eyes have same re-hydration problems after death as FrPrts? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:23:59 +0000
LilacLoungeMe too! :/ RT @ColdCaseSquad: @LilacLounge Of all the things Ive lost, I miss my mind the most #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:24:02 +0000
Vidocq_CCBy the way, just had an email from Hal Brown! He'll pick us answering Qs and posting again! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:24:33 +0000
msashton_writer@LilacLounge ~ Has there been some sort of history attached to the person committing the crime? To go to those ...#cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:24:47 +0000
SandroniqueRT @TrickyCase: I am answering fingerprint questions as part of #CClivechat between noon and 1 (EST) / 5pm - 6pm (UK) as I will be in the air, send Q's now!Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:24:52 +0000
LilacLounge@csiguy01 Thanks for the article. Great stuff! :) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:25:09 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @Barnesy_ #cclivechat what other more common skin conditions, or something along those lines that can hinder identification? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:25:24 +0000
miriamsaid@csiguy01 That's amazing...Thanks for the info...:) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:26:15 +0000
dtkev"@Vidocq_CC: Question from @Evie_G_L: Would eyes have same re-hydration problems after death as FrPrts? #cclivechat" I didn't see the replyFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:26:23 +0000
LilacLounge@msashton_writer Potentially. If a body remains unidentified, that may be an advantage to the murderer for many reasons. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:26:49 +0000
Barnesy_RT @LilacLounge: @csiguy01 Thanks for the article. Great stuff! :) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:27:09 +0000
Vidocq_CCThere's a lot of confusion on some blogs betw blood spattered on latent print and bloody finger print. How to tell difference? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:27:23 +0000
katcop13Come join the Cold Case chat, hosted by @Vidocq_CC ~ live 'til 1 pm ET Today's topic: Fingerprints #police #writetip #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:27:25 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC @evie_g_l re-hydration for what purpose? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:27:40 +0000
Vidocq_CC@dtkev No reply yet re Evie's question #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:27:50 +0000
miriamsaidAre ear prints acceptable in court as forensic evidence? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:06 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge yes, the first Step is to identify your Victim- why? Because most people are killed by someone they know! #CclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:29 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @miriamsaid: Are ear prints acceptable in court as forensic evidence? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:37 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC @evie_g_l eye colour corresponds to the living state in a fresh cadaver. As time continues the colour deteriorates #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:38 +0000
Vidocq_CC@miriamsaid Excellent question! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:47 +0000
LilacLounge@miriamsaid I'm sure we had a case with an evidentially significant ear print when I was at the FSS. Got DNA from the print too! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:29:23 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 What colour would they get, approximately? Grey-ish? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:29:46 +0000
SandroniqueHow @TrickyCase can I prevent mafioso governments intruding my integrity by forcing me to leave prints for pasport #vingerafdruk #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:30:02 +0000
csiguy01@miriamsaid a comparison to a suspect #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:30:23 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC irises darken to a brown colour #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:31:39 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 Plays a huge role in this case http://t.co/lm2s9Ui1 and on that blog http://t.co/lm2s9Ui1 cc @TrickyCase #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:31:51 +0000
LilacLounge@csiguy01 @Vidocq_cc Can tox analysis can be carried out on the fluid in the eye too? @pwmullen, would that be your area? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:31:58 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 And all eyes do that, right? Regardless or age, colour, race, gender? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:32:34 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @LilacLounge: @csiguy01 Can tox analysis can be carried out on the fluid in the eye too? @pwmullen, would that be your area? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:32:51 +0000
Vidocq_CCAnyone an expert here in ear prints being accepted in USA courts as method of identification? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:34:21 +0000
Vidocq_CCSome of these questions are also Hal Brown's area, I'll ask him to scan over the recap later. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:36:03 +0000
Vidocq_CCWhat are some of the major advances in finger printing? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:36:23 +0000
csiguy01@LilacLounge @vidocq_cc @pwmullen it can also be used for tox #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:37:04 +0000
Vidocq_CCRT @csiguy01: @LilacLounge @vidocq_cc @pwmullen it can also be used for tox #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:37:26 +0000
miriamsaidI saw on TV once that sinus cavaties in the skull are unique to each person. Is this true & can it be used for identification? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:38:50 +0000
Vidocq_CCBorn Without Fingerprints: Rare Disorder http://t.co/4Za3yy4y #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:39:02 +0000
katcop13Read how the Bertillon system was scrapped in favor of fingerprinting at Leavenworth by 1904 http://t.co/MagSKk5R #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:42:25 +0000
Vidocq_CCFrom @pwmullen Yes, the eye (vitreous humour, actually) is a "protected site" which is often analysed (even for alcohol). #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:43:27 +0000
Vidocq_CC@pwmullen Pls use the hashtag #cclivechat so the others using http://t.co/Otzdx12V can see you.Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:43:58 +0000
Vidocq_CCWe only have about 15m left: what are the major advancements on finger printing, folks? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:45:29 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC technology allows us to speed up identifications from crime scenes by remote transmission at the scene #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:47:05 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I think @Trickycase previously mentioned vacuum metal deposition for fingerprints on fabric, as a recent advance #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:47:19 +0000
Vidocq_CCFrom @Evie_G_L Are smears (eg down pane of glass) a unique pattern of finger print? Could suspect be used to reconstruct smear? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:47:24 +0000
Barnesy_RT @csiguy01: @Vidocq_CC technology allows us to speed up identifications from crime scenes by remote transmission at the scene #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:48:04 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 And the best tools for that are? Do all police departments have those tools? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:48:05 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Yes, but I need that explained! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:48:26 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Link for vacuum metal deposition: http://t.co/xrjOCrNV #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:49:12 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC most forces are exploring these advances. BTP for eg SOCO's have laptops with scanners #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:50:17 +0000
Vidocq_CCAny homework for @trickycase, folks? Ask here now and it will show up in the recap. Then he can answer at his leisuire. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:51:09 +0000
Vidocq_CC@csiguy01 Thanks! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:52:10 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I'd like to know if there are any areas where research would be beneficial. What might be the advances of the future? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:53:00 +0000
miriamsaidThank you to all our forensic experts for answering our questions. I have been both amazed & educated. Awesome....:) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:53:45 +0000
Vidocq_CCI am also curious what kind of portable devices there are for finger printing "on the go" and the costs of these new scanners. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:54:14 +0000
Vidocq_CC@miriamsaid The power of the chat! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:54:31 +0000
msashton_writer@csiguy01 @Vidocq_CC ~ Is that the mobile forensics? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:54:37 +0000
Vidocq_CC@msashton_writer Yes. #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:55:16 +0000
csiguy01@Vidocq_CC there's a device for fingerprinting live people. We call it 'lantern' #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:55:51 +0000
LilacLounge@miriamsaid I second that! Especially enjoyed @csiguy01's input today. It's been a good one! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:56:29 +0000
Vidocq_CCDo finger prints regrow exactly the same after deep burn wounds to the flesh? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:56:51 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge I love that others jump in! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:57:12 +0000
Vidocq_CCLet's not forget to thank @dtkev for jumping in as well! Pls make it a habit! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:58:08 +0000
LilacLoungeRight chatters, they're turning the lights off here and I need to vacate! Happy Friday to you all. Catch you all later! :)) #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 17:59:33 +0000
Vidocq_CCAny other finger printing related issues that @trickycase can answer later on? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:00:10 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge Bye and thanks, Sue! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:00:19 +0000
Vidocq_CCIt is 1pm EST, folks. Recap with links will be posted on DCC later on. @trickycase: can you can it for unanswered questions? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:01:11 +0000
katcop13Thanx, @Vidocq_CC, @coldcasesquad @trickycase & fellow chatters! See you next time! #CClivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:01:15 +0000
Vidocq_CCThanks to all spontaneuous chat jumpers. Pls do that more often. We welcome the input! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:01:47 +0000
miriamsaidHave there ever been cases where 2 different people have been recorded as having identical fingerprints? #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:02:07 +0000
Vidocq_CCWow, big spelling mistake in previous tweet! *slaps face* #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:02:07 +0000
Vidocq_CCSigning off here! Much appreciated all and happy weekend! #cclivechatFri, 13 Jan 2012 18:02:30 +0000

 

Comments

  1. Hi guys,

    Apologies again for not being “Live” in #cclivechat on Friday, but you will be pleased to know my flight went without incident, which considering it was Friday 13th, I witnessed a suicidal pheasant fly into a window, I saw a TV show called “The Worlds Scariest Landings” the evening before… and to top it off the last question I saw before boarding was…

    Are there differences(sic) between cadaver fingerprints & live person fingerprints when you recover them?

    Although I quickly responded to this before the flight, it is worth more input.

    Depending on how the person died, how long it had been dead and what was the environment in which the body was left will determine any methods to recover finger, palm and/or footprints. As was mentioned in the chat, if the body was dry or mummified then you could look to inject moisture into the skin.

    An important thing to remember is that you have two layers of skin.. an inner-layer (dermis) and an outer-layer (the epidermis). Your fingerprints are replicated on both the dermis and the epidermis. The epidermis is replenished through your life as you grow or injure the skin.. that is how your skin repairs itself. It is only when you damage the dermis that you permanently alter the appearance of your fingerprints by way of a permanent scar. But it must be remembered that a scar itself can be used as a unique identifying feature in conjunction with other parts of the print.

    When you die, the epidermis will be the first to decompose and its this that often gets in the way of the recovery of prints. So it is often a good idea to detach the epidermis and either take prints using the detached epidermis, or by printing the dermis. Although you can use powders, ink or chemicals to recover cadaver prints, digital photography is being preferred more and more.

    It was mentioned that “there have been cases where bodies have had hands removed to hinder identification.” This was a technique used in the past for efficiency, but in the UK it was rightly questioned after the Marchioness Disaster in the Thames, that it showed a lack of respect for the dead and their families. As a result this technique is no longer used unless there is no other way of recovery, and this would need to be an agreed course of action by the coroner.

    It was asked “When newborn babies have their footprints taken, can they be used as identification later in life?

    It was correctly said that footprints can be identified the same way as fingerprints, so if they were kept they could be used as ID. Although, I wouldn’t like to be the person to compare a baby footprint to that of an adult. The reason that footprints are taken in hospitals opposed to finger/handprints, is that it is difficult to open the hand of a newborn baby to sufficiently take the prints.

    There was a question “does any one know of any more common skin conditions, or something along those lines that can hinder identification?”. The most common condition would be eczema, which does make it difficult to fingerprint depending on its severity. You can also get Ectodermal Dysplasia which can cause the fingerprints not to form correctly in the womb. This is usually connected to other medical conditions.

    Are ear prints acceptable in court as forensic evidence?” There have been successful ear print convictions in the UK where the evidence has been presented by fingerprint experts who have received further training in this form of comparison. The world leaders in research to ear prints are the Dutch. I also have knowledge of appeals against earprints, and I once had the privilege to speak to Michael Mansfield QC, the defence barrister in such a case; so personally I would like to see it used only in conjunction with other evidence such as fingerprints or DNA.

    How @TrickyCase can I prevent mafioso governments intruding my integrity by forcing me to leave prints for passport(sic)”. The donation of prints for national identity databases has always been a political sore point, and it would surely depend on the country as to whether I would feel comfortable in giving my prints. But used for the right reasons and maintained correctly then it is my personal belief that there are huge social benefits in a national fingerprint database… but I would say that !

    Vidster was correct in pointing out that there has been some research recently on obtaining prints from fabrics using Vacuum Metal Deposition. I have seen this week a mark on fabric that was developed using superglue fuming (Cyanoacrylate), but the print was left and recovered under controlled circumstances. The problem with fabrics is that if it is not a tight weave and the fabric absorbs the constituents of the fingerprint, then it is then extremely difficult to recover.

    There are always new developments and techniques in fingerprints and I hope this doesn’t decrease as funding for research and development becomes increasingly tighter.

    Are smears (eg down pane of glass) a unique pattern of finger print? Could suspect be used to reconstruct smear? “. A smear itself would hold little evidential value… but what you might get is the last point of that smear where the finger is removed from the surface may hold ridge detail.

    I hope this answers your questions, but if there is anything I have missed then please let me know, either here or on Twitter.

  2. Thank you, Richard! It was actually Sue who mentioned vacuum metal deposition first. Very interesting subject!

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