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Solid State Drives: Part 1

June 20, 2013 9:16 am | by John J. Barbara | Comments

The construction and design of SSDs provide many advantages versus traditional hard drives. There are also a number of disadvantages to SSDs, particularly as they relate to their forensic examination for potential probative evidence. 

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The Witness Interview: How Handwritten Statements Can Help

June 20, 2013 8:57 am | by Sheila Lowe, MS | Comments

If you are not currently requiring your witnesses and suspects to handwrite their statements, you may be missing an opportunity to gather valuable information about your subject. Agencies that recognize that handwriting reveals important data that goes beyond the words written on the page have a useful tool to use in interviews and interrogations.

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The Value of Bloodstain Pattern Recognition at Crime Scenes for Probative Sample Selection for DNA Analysis

June 20, 2013 8:51 am | by Kimberly Rumrill | Comments

Even though it takes years of experience, training, and practice to develop the level of confidence it takes to be able to adequately write a bloodstain pattern analysis report, every crime scene analyst, serologist, and DNA analyst can benefit from a short course in pattern recognition to aid them in their selection of stains from a crime scene or from garments.

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Grass Roots

June 20, 2013 7:56 am | by Douglas Page | Comments

A national marijuana DNA databank has been established by a university researcher that will give law enforcement the ability to track where the drug originated when arrests are made and contraband dope seized.

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Collecting Terrorist Attack Evidence

June 20, 2013 7:04 am | by Tim Studt | Comments

The Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in Yemen created new protocols for collecting forensic evidence at sea. As a result of the onboard and onshore forensic investigations, the FBI determined that the hull of the disguised garbage barge was interleaved with blocks of C-4, Semtex, and TNT.

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Drink Speaks the Truth: Forensic Investigation of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults

June 20, 2013 6:23 am | by Lata Gautam and Michael D Cole | Comments

The presence of a drug in a drink raises suspicion about the nature of the case that needs forensic investigation. There can be different motives behind spiking beverages, which can range from miscarriage, abortion, and attempted murder through to sexual assault.

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Effective Communication: The Manager’s Must

June 20, 2013 4:42 am | Comments

Your effectiveness as a manager stands or falls on your ability to communicate. That’s true no matter what kind of organization you’re in, no matter what kind of department you run, no matter what kind of employees you have, no matter what kind of boss you have, no matter what kind of person you are. To manage is to communicate.

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Building a New Facility? Consider Construction Safety

June 17, 2013 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Whether building a new lab or renovating the old one, don't forget about the safety of the bystanders. Develop a Public Hazard Control Plan. The purpose of the Public Hazard Control Plan is to evaluate and reduce to a minimum the hazards to the public identified through analysis of the project prior to the commencement of work and throughout the process

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Actively Listen to Subordinates

June 13, 2013 5:55 am | Comments

Draw out the thoughts and ideas of subordinates, as well as their feelings. Ask questions and rephrase key points that are made (e.g., "Do you mean that ... "). Don't respond until you clearly understand what's being said. Even if you disagree, allow the person to complete what he/she wants to say.

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Biocontainment Is a Bigger Challenge in Medical Examiner Facilities

June 10, 2013 7:06 pm | Crime Lab Design | Comments

How well do biocontainment and biosafety guidelines written for research facilities apply to medical examiners? The mission of medical examiners and the procedures they use present significantly different challenges. There are major differences between medical examiner and research operations with respect to biocontainment and biosafety.

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Be Loyal to Your Employees

June 6, 2013 7:15 am | Comments

Develop warm person-to-person relationships with each subordinate, while avoiding becoming close personal friends. Strive to help your employees be successful. 

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Forensic Uses of 3D Printing

June 4, 2013 11:36 am | by Eugene Liscio, P. Eng. | Comments

The use of 3D printing for investigative or court purposes is still relatively new. This may be in part because of a perception of a complex technology, cost, or simply a lack of understanding of what can be done with 3D printing. It’s a wonder why more investigators, lawyers, and expert witnesses haven’t seen the benefit of 3D printing for use in court.

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Respirator Rules

June 3, 2013 8:00 pm | by Vince McLeod | Comments

Before ever putting a respirator on, OSHA requires (and it makes good sense) to ensure users are physically capable of wearing a respirator. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 states: “Employees that use any respirators including respirators such as air supplied positive pressure face masks or hoods must have a medical evaluation before use.”

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Using Vegetation to Date Clandestine Graves

May 28, 2013 10:21 am | by Jeffrey S. Ward, Ph.D. | Comments

Determining the postmortem interval (PMI) is a critical component of clandestine grave investigations.Forensic anthropologists can assist with estimating the PMI for longer internments based on rate of decay and condition of the remains. Investigators may also be familiar with the potential of using biological matter such as pollen as a tool to estimate the season when a clandestine grave was created or DNA to identify plant fragments.

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Use Photography to Create an Accurate Record

May 2, 2013 8:00 pm | Comments

When photographing a scene, keep in mind that you are trying to provide a permanent record of the scene and the evidence collected. This record will assist anyone who is not at the scene—from detectives and prosecutors to members of the jury, if the case goes to trial.

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