Examine the various search patterns investigator can use to systematically search crime scenes for evidence. Here are some search patterns that investigators can use. Grid search pattern, spiral search patterns, wheel/ray search pattern, quadrant /zone search pattern, vehicle search. What is the difference between a primary and secondary scene There are more clues at the primary scene and not as many clues at the secondary scene. List the three methods for crime scene recording.
Note taking process begins with the crime scene investigator reports to the scene. The note starts when the person contacts the investigator at the time. The person will give their name titles, and times of arrival should be recorded. Most of the times, photographs are taken at an, crime scenes of evidence. The goals of taking pictures at the crime scene are to examination quality photographs. The people that are involved with the case from the investigators to the judges and jury must be able to understand the photographs easily.
There are many important functions in the investigation of a crime. A sketch can show the layout of an indoor or outdoor crime scene and relationship of all the items and features to the investigators. Sketches are very important to give the location of collected evidence. Sketches can show measurements over long distances. What are aperture and f-number? How does the aperture relate to the F-number and how does the amount of light to which the film is exposed.
The aperture is the hold behind the camera lens that can be opened or closed to control the amount of light that shines onto the film. By opening and closing the aperture. What is depth of field? How does a camera’s the f-number relates to a depth of field of the photo it produces? Depth of field depends on the film and lens. This depends on camera and the speed. What should medium range photos taken at the crime scene show? What should appear in every medium photo and why? Medium range photos will show a smaller layout but significant.Related posts: Leave a comment Leave a comment Cancel reply Recent Articles
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Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015
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In the mid 20th century the first photographer on the scene was Weegee. Weegee had a natural ability for highlighting the shockingly unexpected and even humorous side of crime scenes. His famous nickname coming from his Ouija-board like sense to getting to a good photographic scene. Weegee's classic film-noir style is represented in black-and-white photographs of cover corpses on the side of streets, victims of car crashes, and more elegant scenes, like the picture of a fashionable young woman covering her face with black-gloved hands. Weegee's photographs brought these awful and haunting images to the home of newspaper readers. Weegee's style has a greatly influences today's American tabloid journalism industry, it also helped create magazines like The National Enquirer and TV shows like ''America's Most Wanted.''
Arthur Fellig was born on 1899, in an eastern province of Austria; he came with his family through Ellis Island to New York in 1910. As a teenager, he left home and got a job as an assistant to a street photographer who shot tintypes of children on a pony. During the 1920s he worked as a darkroom assistant at The New York Times and Acme Newspictures.
Weegee's period of fame as a freelance crime and street photographer was between the mid-1930s into the years after the war. Always running around the streets during the night, he took thousands of photographs that defined Manhattan nightlife of hoodlums and gangsters, fires and car crashes, bums and slumming swells, and victims of domestic brawls. He named it the Naked City. He once said that is his photographs he shows "in New York ten and half million people lived together in a state of total loneliness."
He claimed that "Somehow, the word spread that I was psychic because I always managed to have my pictures in the hands of the paper before any news of the event was generally known," he wrote in "Weegee by Weegee." Co-workers gave him his nickname after popular board game, the Ouija board, and he phoneticized it as Weegee. His foresight was aided by the police and fire department short-wave radios he installed near his bed and in his '38 Chevy. In the car's trunk he carried photo equipment, a typewriter for photo captions, clothes, salamis and cigars.
Manhattan has gone through many changes since Weegee's time. Today his work, especially his book "Naked City", is the best evidence of how people lived in 1930's in New York. Safely kept the in the archives of the International Center of Photography, which holds some 20,000 photographs by Weegee, hundreds of his filmstrips, also the newspapers and magazines where his work appeared, and two of his hats.
In his 1945 book, "Naked City," he wrote about certain people that he photographed often. One of them was a woman they called Pruneface and another was a midget who walked the streets dressed as a penguin to promote cigarettes. When the midget got drunk, Weegee wrote, he "offered to fight any man his size in the house."
From the mid-1930s to 1947, Weegee lived in a single room at 5 Centre Market Place, the street was a gloomy block of tenements all which were reporters and street photographers that worked crime cases. In the morning the block was covered with paddy wagons bringing in the night's arrests for booking and processing. The news reporters would crowd the sidewalks for the when cops paraded the criminals they called this a "perp walk".
There are rumors that Weegee would sometimes bribe the police to bring a perp in a different entrance so he'd be the only one standing there with his camera, while all the others were waiting around the corner. Out of this work his most striking shots were of Norma Parker, a young woman who in 1936 held up a number of restaurants on lower Broadway using a cap pistol.
Weegee did not just take photographs of drunken men and dead victims he shows us social problems through his work. Sometimes he seemed to be congenital, uncritical leftist, he gave his work a deliberate political slant. The photographs he took in his later years were of segregation and prejudice attacks. In one 1951 photo, he shows a black woman holding a picture of a gun which happens to be a coupon for admission to a movie called ''Colt 45.'' Later on Weegee put a ''Black Power'' label on the photograph giving it a poignant meaning.
By the end of the war, Weegee was in fact famous. With his boxy Speed Graphic camera by his side he was always recognized throughout the city and his popularity increased. "Crime was my oyster," he wrote in his 1961 autobiography, "Weegee by Weegee." "I was friend and confidant to them all. The bookies, madams, gamblers, call girls, pimps, con men, burglars and jewel fencers," he states in his book. He took behind-bars portraits of famous gangsters, for example Dutch Schultz, Legs Diamond, Waxey Gordon and Mad Dog Coll, his co-workers called him "the official photographer for Murder, Inc."
Soon his crime photography days ended. He began experimenting with film and trick photography and traveled the United States and Europe, enjoying his fame and giving lectures to young photographers.
In 1957, Weegee took a small apartment, a town house owned by his friend Wilma Wilcox, an amateur photographer. When he died he left the place crowded with equipment "and stacks and stacks of thousands of photos and negatives strewn about," Mr. George said. "His philosophy of archiving was to keep everything in a barrel, so if anyone wanted anything, they'd come over and fish." Most of his work came in the early 1990s to the International Center of Photography, which has held many exhibitions of his work since then.
In a New York Times article, the director of the International Center of Photography recalls that "Along with everything else there was a cardboard box labeled 'Weegee,' ". "It was opened several months after it arrived. Weegee was really in there." It was his cremated remains he stated. "Apparently some staffers got the heebie-jeebies from having the ashes around," he said, "so I.C.P. arranged to have them dispersed at sea."
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Forensic photography, also called crime scene photography and crime scene imaging, is the art of taking accurate and precise images of a crime scene that can be used to aid investigators piece together the moments before, after and during the commission of a crime or the events that led to an accident.
Forensic photos are often used by courts when determining causes, events, fault and deciding guilt or innocence.
This genre of photography is definitely not for everyone. If you are squeamish, don't feel comfortable around blood, wounds, had trouble in your high school biology class, are highly offended by gruesome scenes, that can often include children, then this type of photography is probably not for you.
Forensic photos most always include items to show scale, such as coins, rulers ,everyday items, although most forensic photographers have specialized equipment for such tasks. A common example is to use a coin placed next to blood droplets to show the scale when compared to a known size (the coin).
Photographs are taken methodically and meticulously, in other words forensic photographers follow a strict set of rules and procedures in every assignment. The images form part of forensic reports and are meant to substantiate conclusions.
Photographs of circumstantial evidence are often taken to show a possible correlation to the crime scene, such as water from a rainstorm that led to a car skidding of the road.
Most crime scene technicians, as forensic photographers are officially known, must often undergo the same or a similar training program that other crime scenes technicians do, if their goal is to join a police department, plus they must show training and expertise in the photographic arena.
In many instances they must have have had training in human physiology as they often will have to photograph bodies,or body parts. In today's society, a degree in criminology is also quite sought after by employers.
Some forensic photographers can eventually transition into forensic agents, which are crime scene investigators that are in charge of collecting evidence, cataloging such evidence and conducting several other aspects of the investigation.
Forensic photographers use a wide array of specialized photographic equipment in their job. The use of photo-microscopes, specialized lenses, X-ray, fluorescence, infrared and ultraviolet lights and film are common. Computers are commonly used to highlight, magnify or re-size photos.
Forensic photographer's main goal is to accurately and clearly take images of anything and everything within the compounds of a crime scene that can be used to shed light on the crime and be used as evidence. They attempt to depict a crime scene in photos that are technically sound, unaltered and provide views from several angles.
Most forensic photographers use film, both color and black & white, depending on the scene, and because film provides a much better resolution than digital. They most always develop their own film and must always keep accurate records at all times during the film processing to the delivery of the images to dispel any notions of adulteration or contamination of the images.
The average starting salary for a crime scene forensic photographer is around $15,000 per year and can go up to $49,000 per year with the average being around $24,000 per year.
The principal employers for forensic photographers are hospitals, insurance firms, law firms, private investigators, the federal and local governments and police. They can also be freelancers working for a variety of clients.
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The crime scene examination and subsequent search should be done in a careful and methodical manner. After talking to the officer(s) who were the first ones on the scene and learning from them of any changes that might have been made to the scene since their arrival, such as turning lights on or off or opening doors or windows, start the examination by working your way into the body using great care to avoid disturbing or destroying any evidence as you do. Carefully observe the floor or ground surrounding the body. Look for items of evidence or of evidential value such as stains, marks, etc. Remember to look up too, every crime scene is 3 dimensional. Another technique to you assist in locating evidence is to shine a flashlight on the ground at an oblique angle. Yes, even in the daytime. Look at the items as they are located. Pay close attention to everything as you approach the body at this time, do not dismiss anything until its evidentuary value can be determined. Are there any footprints or drag marks? Is there anything on the floor or ground that may be stepped on or destroyed?
Only one investigator at a time should approach the body! Determine what, if anything, has been moved or altered by the suspect(s) or anyone else prior to your arrival. Has the body been moved? If so, by whom and for what reason?
Never move or alter the positioning of the body! Make close visual examinations of the body and the area immediately around it. Look between the arms and legs without moving them. Look at the arms, hands and fingers. Are there defense wounds? Is there anything under the nails that you can see at this time? If you can, try to determine the cause of death and the instrument or method used. Take careful notes of the external appearance of the body and the clothing or lack of clothing. Look at or for lividity, decomposition, direction of blood flow patterns, remember the law of gravity. Is the blood flow consistant with it? Make detailed notes.
Describe the clothing, and especially the condition of the clothing. Do folds or rolls indicate the body had been dragged? If so, in what direction? Note those folds and rolls, diagram them then photograph them. They could assist you in determining the method of transportation or placement of the body at the location where it was found. There could be trace evidence in the folds and rolls too.
Describe the location and appearance of wounds, bruises, etc. Make careful and detailed observations. Describe not only what you see, but also what you do not see! Forget about what you think you see! If something is missing, note it. For example, if you observe an area on the wrist that is not tanned by the sun, note it. DO NOT state that a wristwatch is missing. What if the victim had an I.D. bracelet or sweatband on instead? Never ASSUME! Examine the scene for the presence and absense of blood. If any is located, note the amount, size and shape of the drops and degree of coagulation or separation of it. Photograph it using a scale and always taking the pictures from a 90 degree angle.
At this time, you should be making a sketch of the scene. It can be a rough, freehand sketch drawn on a blank piece of paper or in your notebook. You should include in the sketch things like the location of all doors, windows, furniture, the victim and anything else you feel it is necessary to document. A sketch should be made in all murder cases and any other case involving a death where there is any question of cause or at the discretion of the investigator. Measurements can then be made of the location to show the size of the area drawn, the width and height of doors, windows, tables, the bed or any other items needed. This will also geographically locate the victims body and items of evidence within the scene. If the investigator is reasonably sure this is not a natural death and he/she is going to proceed with the investigation as if it is a murder, then at a later date, a detailed formal diagram should be drawn using drafting tools, a scale and a uniform format. Photos of the scene can give a distorted view of the relationship of the body to other fixed objects due to camera angle, size of lense, lighting, etc. To accurately depict the scene it is possible to use photos in conjunction with the finished diagram. Something to keep in mind about the sketch is this, you should have enough information in it so you could give it to another investigator and that person would be able to complete a finished diagram without the need to revisit the scene.
The investigator should have the photographer, if one is available, or, if not that lucky, then the investigator himself should ensure that;
Overall photos of the scene are taken to show the approach to the area, street signs, street light locations in relation to the actual scene, street addresses and identifying objects at the scene. Pictures should also be taken of every room in the house, even if their relationship to the crime scene is not readily apparent.
Photograph the scene in a clockwise pattern before altering the body's position or any other evidence within the scene. Photograph the scene from at least 2 opposite corners, but from all four corners is even better. This way, nothing is missed or hidden from view by intervening objects.
Photograph the body and the immediate vicinity around the body. If you have a camera boom, take pictures from ceiling height down of the victim and any other evidence. This perspective often shows things missed when viewed from ground or eye level.
Keep a photo log.
Another idea to keep in mind when photographing the exterior of an indoor scene or an exterior scene is to take photos of the spectators who are standing around watching the activities. Many times the perpetrator will return to observe the actions of the police or fire personnel. This seems to be especially true in arson cases. Additionally, photos may help identify reluctant witnesses who can be identified and interviewed at a later time.
Once the photos are taken, the investigator should now make a detailed examination of the victim. Are the eyes and/or mouth open or closed, what is the color of skin, of the nails and hands or lips. The presence or absence of blood, saliva, vomit, lung purge, their direction and flow. The best idea is to begin at the head and work down to the feet. Look for cuts, bruises, stab wounds or bullet holes. Document maggot activity if present. When the body is moved, check the underside of the body for wounds and underneath the body for items of an evidentiary value. Record the temperature of the body, the surface it is laying on, and the interface area between the two.
Crime Scene Photography, Second Edition, offers an introduction to the basic concepts of forensic picture-taking. The forensic photographer, or more specifically the crime scene photographer, must know how to create an acceptable image that is capable of withstanding challenges in court. The photographic theory and principles have to be well grounded in the physics of optics, the how-to recommendations have to work, and the end result must be admissible in court.
Based on the author's years of experience in the field at both the Arlington County and Baltimore County Police Departments, this book blends the practical functions of crime scene processing with theories of photography to guide the student in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and ability to render reliable evidence.
This text has been carefully constructed for ease of use and effectiveness in training and was class-tested by the author at George Washington University.
Beginning August 2008, this book will be required reading by the IAI Crime Scene Certification Board for all levels of certification (through August 2011).
Over 600 full color photographs Two new chapters on 'The History of Forensic Photography,' and 'Digital Image Processing of Evidentiary Photography' An essential reference for crime scene photography, including topics such as Composition, the Inverse Square Law, Court Cases affecting photography, Digital Image Processing, and Photogrammetry Required reading by the Crime Scene Certification Board of the International Association for Identification (IAI) for all levels of certification
Edward M. RobinsonCrime Scene Photography