Glass and Soil Evidence - Glass and Soil 1 Glass and Soil...

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Glass and Soil 1 Glass and Soil Evidence Genise Caruso January 15, 2009 Glass and Soil 2
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At a crime scene, investigators are trained to recognize and distinguish what is or what is not evidence. Anything, including the smallest glass fragment, single strand of hair, or bloodstained brass statue, which could possibly lead to a suspect, is considered as evidence. Investigators’ skill level and degree of concrete experience enables them to know what to look for, where to search and how it should be carried out. Serious repercussions would result if any substance or material questionable were discounted. (Saferstein, 2004). Careful as a criminal may be not to leave evidence behind; miniscule particles of materials are usually transferred unknowingly to or from a victim or scene. This is precisely the type of connection, between victim and suspect, investigators are looking to find. These tiny bits of physical material, that can be transferred from person to person, are known as trace evidence and vital to a case. Two types of trace evidence are soil and glass. Both are classified as class rather than individual evidence, as they usually can only be linked to a common source, not to one individual, and primarily supplement other evidence, rather than stand on their own. More often than not, trace evidence excludes a suspect, as it typically cannot be tied to any one specific person or place, with absolutely certainty. Glass as evidence Due to the variability and quantity of items made from glass, it is extremely critical to perform a thorough search and collection for glass fragments. More often than not, examiners are trying to determine the probability that two pieces are alike, or came from a common source. The chemical composition of glass from a car’s windshield, headlights, windowpanes, or a drinking glass are all different and can be distinguished through an examiner’s analysis. When most glass breaks, it shatters and typically scatters pieces around a crime scene. For example, the small glass fragments, from a broken window, may unknowingly attach to clothing, or lodge in the shoes or hair of the person who committed the crime. (Lyle, 2004). The same goes for Glass and Soil 3
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glass from a car’s headlights, broken during a hit-an-run crash. These particles could easily confirm they came from a particular car and identify the suspect driver. Comparing the glass remnants found at the crime scene with the fragments found on a suspect is how investigators
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2010 for the course CRJ 381 taught by Professor Giannoni during the Spring '09 term at New York Institute of Technology-Westbury.

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Glass and Soil Evidence - Glass and Soil 1 Glass and Soil...

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