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An injury in which the skin has been scraped off.
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terms list

An injury in which the skin has been scraped off.
Fuel used to make a deliberately set fire burn more vigorously
Accumulated degree hours. Time x temp. Amount of energy required for insects to move from one developmental stage to the next.
Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Scans fingerprints electronically and plots the positions of their ridge characteristics, comparing them with prints in a database.
Albert S. Osborn
Developed the principles of document examination
Algor Mortis
The postmortem cooling of the body.
Alphonse Bertillon
Father of criminal identification
Before death
Identification and examination of human skeletal remains
The first system of personal identification by a serious of body measurements.
Fingerprint ridges that rise above one another at their center like an arch.
Areas of Science
Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Biology
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firears, Explosives
The internal and external examination of a body after death. An autopsy is performed to confirm or determine the cause of death and establish other pre-death conditions, such as the type of food last consumed and the time it was consumed.
The study of the motion of bullets and their examination for distinctive characteristics after being fired. Examiners can use this evidence to match bullets or bullet fragments to specific weapons.
Biology Unit
DNA Identification and profiling by means of dried blood stains and other body fluids. Comparison of hair and Fibers and botanical material such as wood and plants.
Biology Unit
Find DNA matches to blood stains, body fluids, hairs, and fibers
Blood Splatter
The pattern of blood that has struck a surface. This pattern can provide vital information about the source of the blood. Can help determine the size and type of wound, the direction and the speed with which the perpetrator or victim was moving, and the type of weapon used to create the blood spill.
The diameter of the bore of a rifled firearm, usually expressed in hundredths of an inch or in millimeters.
Calvin Goddard
Developed the method for microscope in the usage of the comparsion of firearms
Computer Analysis and Response Team; FBI; Examines computers during investigations.
Cause of death
The action that resulted in death, a blow to the head or brain hemorrhage
Closed-circuit television; Surveillance camera used to record crimes being committed, to find lost persons, or to prevent crime.
Chain of Custody
A list that records every official person who handles a piece of evidence. Those in the chain put their initials and the date on the evidence container.
Class Evidence
Evidence that is specific enough to identify overall characteristics but too general for a unique identification
Combined DNA Index System (FBI). Used to share DNA profiles kept in the FBI's National DNA Index System (NDIS) with law enforcement bodies.
Cold Case
An old unsolved criminal case. Many are now being solved with the advent of DNA test.
Comparison Microscope
A microscope that has two compound light microscopes with an optical bridge, so that two samples can be viewed in a single eyepiece. It is used to match trace evidence such as fibers and bullet casings.
Composite Drawing
A sketch of a suspect produced from eyewitness descriptions of one or more persons.
The act of ruining evidence by accidentally depositing outside trace evidence, including DNA, on items from a crime scene or suspect.
A bruise in which the skin is not broken.
Public official who is responsible for investigating any death that may not have had a natural cause
First aid method of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is combined with chest compressions.
Crime Scene Investigation Unit
Specially trained personnel (civilian and/or police) to collect and preserve physical evidence to be processed at the crime lab.
The study of criminal activity and how it is dealt with by the law.
Drug Enforcement Administration
Deoxyribonucleic Acid
DNA Blueprint
Determines an individuals Hair and Eye Color
DNA Electrophoresis
The technique by which DNA fragments are placed in a gel and charged with electricity. An applied electric field then separates the fragments by size, as part of the process of creating a genetic profile.
DNA Profiling
The process of testing to identify DNA patterns or types. In forensic science this testing is used to indicate parentage or to exclude or include individuals as possible sources of bodily fluid stains (blood, saliva, semen) and other biological evidence (bones, hair, teeth)
Dead on arrival
Edmond Locard
Locard's Exchange Principle
Engineering Science
Failure Analysis, Accident Reconstruction, causes and origins of fires and explosions
Study of insects in relation to a criminal investigation
Anything that has been used, left, removed, altered, or contaminated during the commission of a crime or other event under investigation
Evidence Technicans
A person assigned of a suspect collecting and storing evidence
Evidence-Collection Unit
Preservation of physical evidence
Expert Testimony
A witness who through education and /or expirience has knowledge on a subject that aids in the incrimination of a suspect
Expert Witness
A specialist witness, such as a forensic scientist, who testifies at a trial.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The unique patterns created by skin ridges found on the palm sides of fingers and thumbs.
Firearms Unit
Examination of Firearms, discharged bullets, Cartridge shells, shotgun shells, ammunition. Comparison of marks made by tools. Garmets and other objects to detect firearms discharge residues and approx. distance from target.
Firearms Unit
Examines firearms, bullets, cartridges, shotguns shells, and ammunition
Forensic Information System for Handwriting. A database for handwriting samples
First officer attending a crime scene
Forensic Computer and Digital Analysis
Identifiying, collecting, preserving and examining information and other digital devices.
Forensic Engineering
Concerned with failure analysis accident reconstruction
Forensic Psychiatry
Human Behavioral Patterns and Profiles
Forensic Science
Application of science to the criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system.
A break, crack, or shattering of a bone
Francis Galton
Developed the method of classifying fingerprints
Functions of a Forensic Scientist
Analysis of physical, Provide expert witness testimony, provide training in recognition collection, preservation of evidence
Gas Chromatograph (GC)
A forensic tool used to identify the chemical makeup of substances used in the commission of crimes. The questioned substance is burned at high temperatures. The temperature at which this material becomes gas is then charted to determine its makeup.
A unit of inheritance consisting of a sequence of DNA that determines a particular characteristic in an organism.
The complete set of DNA within a cell
Gunshot residue
Unburned primer powder sprayed on to the hands of someone firing a gun, and possibly on to the target
Hans Gross
Application of science to crimes
A red blood cell protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the bloodstream. Provides the red coloring of blood.
Henry System
A system used for classifying 10-fingerprint collections. Developed in 1899 by Sir Edward R. Henry with the British police in India
Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (FBI's). Police forces can submit samples to be compared to those on this computerized database
Increase in Crime Labs
Increase crime rate, increase use of DNA evidence, required specialized training and equipment
Indented Writing
Examination of the visible depression appearing on a sheet of paper underneath the one on which the visible writing appreas.
A cut that is deep enough to need stitches
Los Angeles Police Department
Latent fingerprint
A fingerprint made by deposits of oils and/or perspiration, not usually visible to the human eye.
Latent Fingerprint Unit
Examines the evidence for fingerprints
Leone Lattes
Developed the method for blood typing
Polygraphy Unit
Lie Detection by means of a machine that charts how respiration and other bodily functions change as questions are asked of the person being tested. Also known as a polygraph. An attempt to knowingly provide false answers can cause changes in bodily functions.
A cordlike object used for strangulation
Livor mortis
A coloration of the skin of the lower parts of a corpse caused by the settling of the red blood cells as the blood ceases to circulate
Locard's Exchange principle
Whenever two subjects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between them.
Fingerprint patterns consisting of ridges that double back on themselves.
A chemical that is capable of detecting bloodstains diluted up to 10,000 times. Is used to identify blood that has been removed from a given area.
Manner of Death
Legal classification of how someone died determined by the coroner. Suicide, natural, accidental, or homicide
Mass Spectrometry
A technique used by toxicologist to identify chemical compositions. The instrument breaks a chemical down into its ions and accelerates them in a magnetic field that produces a unique spectrum.
Matheiu Orfila
Father of toxicology
Medical Examiner
Trained medical practitioner who devotes some or all of their time to forensic work
Mitochrondrial DNA (mtDNA)
Used to trace ancestry. Type of DNA located in the mitochondrion of most cells. Last longer than nuclear DNA. Only comes from the mother
Modus Operandi (MO)
The usual method of operation used by a perpetrator. Particular weapon used or taking "trophy" items from victims
Reagent that turns latent fingerprints purple
Nuclear DNA
The unique DNA that is inherited from each parent
Number of Crime Labs
Over 300 labs
Identification based on Dental evidence and bite mark analysis
The scientific study of disease and its causes, processes, and effects.
Pattern evidence
Evidence in which the shape or distribution of a substance provides information rather than the substance itself.
Polymerase chain reaction. A "molecular photocopying" technique that amplifies specific regions of a DNA strand, used to copy DNA
At or around the time of death
Photography Unit
Digital Imaging, Infrared, Ultraviolet, X-ray photography
Physical Evidence
Any object that can help explain an event under investigation, Can establish that a crime has been committed, and Sometimes can provide a link between a crime and its victim or between a crime and its perpetrator.
Physical Science Unit
Application of Chemistry,Physics and Geology to ID and compare crime scene evidence such as Glass, Drugs, Paint, Explosives, Soil, Mineral analyses and trace evidence.
Postmortem interval, Time since death
After death
Presumptive test
Simple test that shows that a sample probably contains the substance the test aims to identify
Professional Witness
A professional person who testifies at a trial. Police officer or security guard
Examines relationships between human behavior and legal proceedings
Questioned Documents
Examination of Handwriting and Typewrtiting, burned and charred documents, analyzing paper and ink, erasures and obliterations, examination of indented writing
Reconstruction of a crime
Determining the way a crime happened, pieced together using evidence at the crime scene.
Ridge Characteristics
Ridge endings, bifurcations, enclosures, and other ridge details, which must match in two fingerprints for their common origin to be established.
Rigor Mortis
A stiffening of the body that occurs about 30 minutes after death and continues for up to 18 hours.
A technology dealing with the properties and actions of serums in blood
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
DNA Testing that pinpoints ethnicity
The process of a body's soft tissues completely decomposing to leave only the bones.
Scene of Crime Officer
Staged crime scene
A crime scene where the perpetrator has left false clues to mislead investigators
Super Glue Fuming
Techniques used to develop latent fingerprints on non-porous surfaces. A chemical in the glue reacts with and adheres to the finger oils, and then exposes latent prints.
An individual who might possibly have committed the crime under investigation. Guilt is presumed or has been proven
The 10 section of the American Academy of Forensic Science
Criminalistics, Engineering Science, General, Jurisprudence, Odontology, Pathalogy/Biology, Physical Anthropology, Psychiatric and Behavioral Science, Questioned Documents, Toxicology.
The origin of Forensic Science ...
Bertillon, Galton, Lattes, Goddard, Osborn and Locard.
Time of death, The time a body died
Examination of Body fluids and organs for the presence or absence of drugs and poisons.
Toxicology Unit
The findings of drugs and other posions
Trace Evidence
Material deposited at a crime or accident scene that can only be detected through a deliberate processing procedure. An individual entering any environment will deposit traces of his or her presence, and this material can be used as evidence. Examples- hairs and fibers
The path of a projectile. A trajectory can be described mathematically either by the geometry of the path, or as the position of the object over time.
A wound or a physical or emotional shock to the body
U.S. Postal Service
Criminal investigations related to the postal service
Voiceprint Analysis Unit
Personal ID by sound patterns produced in speech. (Visual Graphic Spectrograph)
Fingerprint patterns that resemble small whirlpools revolving around a point.
Witness of fact
A member of the general public who testifies at a trial
The philosophy or science of Law.
Physical Anthropology
The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans
The scientific study and evaluation of physical evidence in the commission of crimes.

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