10 Jul 2011

Forensic Science INTRODUCTION

What exactly is Forensic Science?
Forensic science applies the knowledge and technology of science to define and enforce laws.
The History of Forensics
Mathieu Orfila (Spain)
“Father of Forensic Science”(1787-1853)
        Established the science of Forensic Toxicology, by studying the effects of toxins on animals
Alphonse Bertillon (France) (1853-1914)
        Developed the science of Anthropometry - a way of taking extensive body measurements to identify people. This technique of personal identification was considered extremely accurate for 2 decades and was eventually replaced by fingerprinting.

Francis Galton (1822-1911)
        Proved the uniqueness of human fingerprints and published a book called “Finger Prints”.  Current fingerprinting techniques are based on his research.
Leone Lattes (1887-1954)
        Devised a technique to determine the blood group of a dried bloodstain and applied the technique to criminal investigations.  (The ABO blood groups were discovered by a Dr. Karl Landsteiner in 1901)
Calvin Goddard (1891-1955)
        Used microscopy to determine if a bullet was fired from a particular gun, and if that compares to the suspect’s weapon and a crime scene bullet.  Modern firearms examiners still use his techniques.
Albert S. Osborne (1858-1946)
        Published a book “Questioned Documents”, and was responsible for the acceptance of documents as scientific evidence by courts.  Modern document examiners still use his book as primary reference.
Walter C. McCrone (1916-2002)
        Did extensive work with microscopy to examine forensic evidence.
Hans Gross (1847-1915)
        The first person to write about marrying all arms of science (Botany, anthropology, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, etc.) into one unified investigative science: Forensics.
Edmond Locard (1877-1966)
        Established “Locard’s Exchange Principle” which state that, whenever 2 objects come in contact with each other, there will be an exchange of materials between the two.
Therefore, when a criminal comes in contact with an object or a person, a cross-transfer of evidence occurs.  So you can find something of the criminal on the victim and vice versa.
        In 1932, thanks to J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, launched a national lab that would offer forensic services to the entire country’s law enforcement agencies. 
        Today, the FBI laboratory is the largest and most reputable in the world.
Basic Services of a Full-Service Crime Lab
        Physical Science Unit
        Biology Unit
        Firearms Unit
        Document Examination
        Photography Unit

Optional Services of a Full-Service Crime Lab
        Toxicology Unit
        Latent Fingerprint Unit
        Polygraph Unit
        Voiceprint Analysis Unit
        Evidence-Collection Unit

Specialized Forensic Services
These are provided by specialized individuals, and are not usually a part of a full-service crime lab.

        Forensic Pathology

        Forensic Anthropology

        Forensic Entomology

        Forensic Psychiatry

        Forensic Odontology

•        Forensic Engineering

Body Mystery

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