Forensic Magazine April/May 2014APRIL/MAY DIGITAL EDITION


“Open to Dispute”: CODIS STR Loci as Private Medical Information

By David Kaye, Ph.D.
or nearly 25 years, advocacy groups and legal scholars have been predicting that the day when the DNA features used in forensic identification will reveal predispositions to diseases or behavioral traits is just around the corner. Questions such as these were mooted by a panel at ISHI last October. Although I cannot presume to speak for the other panelists, I can offer three recommendations of my own.

Introduction to Forensic Image Processing

By Marcus Borengasser, Ph.D.
Forensic image processing (FIP) involves the computer restoration and enhancement of surveillance imagery. The goal of FIP is to maximize information extraction from surveillance imagery, especially imagery that is noisy, incomplete, or over/under exposed. FIP techniques can be applied to various types of images, such as retinal images, shoe impression images, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) infrared images, and more. 

Four Reasons You Should Not Dry Evidence in a Fume Hood

By Kelly Williams 
If you are currently drying evidence in a fume hood, it might be time to consider obtaining an Evidence Drying Cabinet instead. Evidence Drying Cabinets (EDCs) are designed specifically to dry evidence in a secure environment too not only protect the evidence from cross contamination, but to maintain proper chain of custody. 

Book Excerpt: Social Media Investigation for Law Enforcement

By Joshua Brunty and Katherine Helenek
In order to effectively investigate crimes involving social media, it is imperative that law enforcement understand “how” social media is stored, “where” such information is stored and found, and “how” to obtain such information using forensically sound procedures. Social media requires a different mind-set to traditional investigative and current forensic methodologies. 


Solid State Drives: Part 6

By John J. Barbara
When compared to a typical hard drive, SSDs are totally different in design and functionality which leads to some difficult issues to deal with pertaining to their forensic analysis. The SSD’s use of flash memory for data storage rather than rotating magnetic discs is the cause of the forensic issues.

Contamination Control

By Dick Warrington
Do you ever stop to think about how you might be contaminating your equipment? If you don’t consider this possibility and take steps to protect your equipment and decontaminate it when necessary, you could be putting yourself, your fellow officers, and the success of your case at risk. With some advanced planning and a little common sense, you can avoid many serious problems.

Knock! Knock!

By Vince McLeod, CIH
Good forensic lab managers know why we should conduct periodic laboratory safety audits or inspections. But, do you give much thought to how they should be done? Or, when is the best time? Or, what you should be looking for? This Safety Guy’s column will answer all these questions and step you through a meaningful laboratory safety survey. Our intent is to stimulate you to set up and implement a successful program.

A Resilient Medical Examiner or Crime Lab Facility

By Lou Hartman
Forensic facilities and the operations they house, both Medical Examiners and Crime Laboratories, are important components of a community’s infrastructure. Natural disasters have the potential to cripple or destroy the buildings that support these operations. Making sure that forensic buildings operate through or are quickly available after an event is resiliency.

“Rapid” Progess

By Chris Asplen
To say that developments in “Rapid DNA” have been progressing quickly is an understatement. From a front page USA Today article headline reading “Rapid DNA Test Could Transform Crime Fight”, to its first use in a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, approval from the FBI to upload reference profiles to the NDIS, the moniker “Rapid” applies more to its rate of implementation than to its DNA analysis time.