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Most crime labs have units that cover many of the specialties described above. Crime labs are a very recent phenomenon in the United States, butonce they began to be developed, the growth was rapid. The rapid growth, coupled with the fact that this was a new establishment, left mostlabs with little national and regional coordination among them. At present there are approximately 350 public criminal labs operating at the various governmental levels in the United States.
You can see below in Figure 12 this is one of the most common conceptions of a forensic crime lab, featured by the actors included on theTV show Bones. You have, you know, analysts of all different specialties, and you have super high-tech labs. The question is, is this how it really is in real life?Earliest Figures: Late 19th-Early 20th CenturiesHans Gross: Applyed scientific methods to crime sceneEdmond Locard: Expanded on Gross’ work with Locard’s Exchange PrinciplePrinciple states: Whenever 2 objects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between themLocard was also known as the "Sherlock Holmes of France"Every contact by a criminal leaves behind a traceFig. 14 Sherlock Holmes, a classic fictional figure in the crime scene and death investigation.Source: Universal Studios / Wikimedia"Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value." Alexander Lacassagne: produced autopsy standards on actual forensic casesTaught LocardTranscript:
Earliest figures—late 19th to 20th centuries. There were several key figures who each played a role in creating the foundation of forensic science today. In the late 19th century Hans Gross was responsible, essentially, for the birth of criminalistics. He was an Austrian policeman and applied the scientific method to his criminal investigations—a novel approach for the time. He was also the first to establish crime scene photography as a necessary form of documentation.In the early 20th century, Gross’s work was expanded on by a French policeman named Edmond Locard. Edmond Locard developed something called Locard’s exchange principle. His principle stated that whenever twoobjects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between them. In the crime scene this could be fibers from a shirt,