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NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 43 Issue: 4 Dated: (July/August 1993) Pages: 378-385
J B Wallace
Date Published
8 pages
This article demonstrates the importance of sound latent fingerprint collection technique and accurate recording of crime scene information, along with the use of advanced technology, in yielding suspect identifications from latent prints.
The case study examines the feasibility of using only four fingers to classify latent impressions for a cold fingerprint file search. It also determines the information that should be included on lift cards when they constitute the information source for a fingerprint specialist who examines latent prints in a central facility. The case study profiles the work of the Identification Section of the Tucson Police Department in identifying a serial rapist. The Identification Section is divided into two units: the Field Unit, which consists of identification technicians who respond to crime scenes to photograph and process for latent impressions, and the Latent Print Unit, which does all latent print comparisons and the chemical processing of evidence. The information required on lift cards includes the name of the lifter, case number, date, location, crime classification, and victim's name. The card also has a brief description of the item or surface processed, a diagram that shows the item and the location of the lift, and an arrow that shows placement on the surface of the item that appears on the diagram and next to the lift. The diagram and arrows proved to be key factors in the identification of the rapist. The case is used to illustrate how knowledge of the Henry Classification System applied by the examiner and thorough crime-scene notes taken by the identification technician were critical in suspect identification. 7 figures