Course Forensic Science. Unit IV Crime Scene Investigation

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1 Course Forensic Science Unit IV Crime Scene Investigation Essential Question What procedures are implemented at a crime scene and why are they important? TEKS (c) (1)(A)(B) (2)(F H) (3)(A F) (5)(A J) (6)(A) Prior Student Learning Safety and the Scientific Method Careers and History of Forensic Science Estimated Time 5 to 6 hours total 50 min. lecture 2 3, 50 min. mock crime labs 50 min. room sketch 50 min. final sketch 50 min. review Crime Scene Investigation Rationale Crime Scene Investigation is critical to the criminal justice system. The role of the crime scene investigator is critical in obtaining, photographing, and preserving evidence at a crime scene. An understanding of crime scene investigation is crucial for the forensic scientist to further analyze the crime and suspect. Objectives The student will be able to: 1. Work as a productive member of a team. 2. Conduct a systematic search of a mock crime scene. 3. Develop a crime scene sketch. 4. Demonstrate proper techniques of collecting and packaging evidence at a crime scene. Engage Show the following video clip CSI: Bloody Mary or a crime scene clip of your choice (if a video is not available, you can role play a crime scene investigator that does not follow protocol). Have students discuss the procedures that they feel are true to crime scene investigation and those they feel are not true. Use the Discussion Rubric for assessment. Key Points I. Process a Crime Scene A. Isolate and secure the scene B. Document the scene C. Search for the evidence D. Collect and package the evidence while maintaining the chain of custody E. Submit the evidence for analysis II. First Officer on the Scene A. A Assess the crime scene and assist the injured B. D Detain the witness(es) C. A Arrest the perpetrator D. P Protect the crime scene E. T Take notes III. Secure the Crime Scene A. Look for signs of life B. Cordon off the scene (only allow authorized personnel in) C. Bodies should be certified as dead by a medical examiner (ME) before being moved 1

2 IV. Survey the Crime Scene A. A walkthrough is performed by the crime scene investigator, the first officer, and sometimes the lead detective B. Record initial observations of who, what, where, when, and how C. Make a plan of action V. Document the Crime Scene A. Record the crime scene and potential evidence with 1. Notes record the following while at the crime scene (details are the key) (1) Date (2) Time (3) Description of the location, weather, and environmental conditions (4) Description of the crime (5) Location of the evidence relative to other key points (6) Names of all people involved (7) Any other relevant information 2. Photography (1) Nothing should be moved until photographed (2) Take photos of the scene and the surroundings (3) Photograph entrances and exits (4) Use wide and close-up photos (5) Use various angles of each piece of evidence (6) Use a ruler to show size 3. Sketches draw a rough sketch at the scene (reconstruct a better one later) including (1) Date, time, and location (2) Scale (3) Recovered items (4) Important features (5) Accurate distance measurements of objects (from two fixed points) (6) A legend for the description of items (7) A compass designating north (8) Names of the investigators, victims, and suspects 4. Videography (1) Narrate the video (2) Be objective (3) Record from different perspectives VI. Measuring Techniques A. Triangulation 1. For each piece of evidence being recorded, use two permanent objects as reference points that are not likely to be 2

3 moved 2. The two reference points and the piece of evidence form a triangle, hence the term triangulation 3. Whatever object you are measuring to or from, use the same spot on the object every time B. Rectangular Coordinates Baseline 1. The simplest form of the rectangular coordinate system 2. Using a straight line between two known points, items are measured along the line and then measured perpendicular to the line 3. Inside or outside of a house, this line can be a straight wall 4. For outdoor scenes, use a string or a long measuring tape as the reference or baseline C. Rectangular Coordinates Grid 1. Measure the distance of the items from two perpendicular base lines 2. This technique is particularly appropriate in a room with perpendicular walls or in the outdoors with perpendicular streets D. Polar Coordinates 1. Measure both the distance and the direction (angle) an object is from a known reference point 2. For example, 40 feet from the edge of the house and 15 degrees east of north VII. Search the Crime Scene A. When searching a crime scene wear the following, if available, to minimize contamination 1. Disposable gloves 2. Masks 3. Coveralls with a hood 4. Slippers B. Search Patterns 1. Depend on the size and the location of the crime scene and the number of investigators available 2. Stick to one pattern and one supervisor 3. It s better to collect everything and not need it than fail to collect something and need it later 4. Spiral may move inward or outward; best used where there are no physical barriers 5. Grid basically a double-line search; effective, but timeconsuming 6. Line (Strip) best in large, outdoor scenes 7. Zone (Quadrant) most effective in houses or buildings; teams are assigned small zones for searching 3

4 VIII. Collect and Package Evidence A. Physical evidence must be packaged and collected before time and weather can alter it B. Physical evidence any object that can establish that a crime has been committed or links a crime and the victim or suspect C. The Golden Hour the window of opportunity to collect timesensitive information or evidence D. Each item must be placed in a separate container, and sealed and labeled E. The most fragile evidence is collected and packaged first F. Different types of evidence require specific or special collection and packaging techniques G. The body is the property of the coroner or medical examiner; collection of evidence on the body is done by that department H. Containers such as vials, envelopes, plastic bags, paper bags, canisters, and cardboard boxes are good packaging devices I. Most items should be placed in a primary container and then in a secondary container J. Trace evidence may be placed on a piece of paper which is then folded in a druggist fold and placed in a secondary container K. Containers should be sealed with tamper proof tape, and dated and initialed L. Each package should contain 1. Date, time, and location 2. Case number 3. Agency and collector s name 4. Victim s name(s) 5. Description of contents M. Never package two items from two different sources or locations IX. Chain of Custody A. There must be a written record of all of the people who have had possession of an item of evidence, beginning at the time of the collection B. Every person who has handled or examined the evidence must be accounted for C. Chain of Custody should include 1. Date and time of transfer 2. Location of transfer 3. To/From names 4. Purpose of the transfer X. National Databases A. Crime scene investigators can submit evidence for analysis to several national databases depending on the type of evidence B. Examples include 4

5 1. Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) 2. Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) 3. Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) 4. Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) 5. International Forensic Automotive Paint Data Query (PDQ) Activities 1. Room Sketch. For homework, have students pick a room in their house and make a rough sketch of the room. They will bring it back to class and discuss how they decided what to include in their sketch and relate that to a crime scene. Students will then make a final sketch from their rough sketch. Use the Crime Scene Sketch Rubric to assess the final sketch. 2. Mock Crime Scene Investigation. Students will enter a mock crime scene. They will work as a team to investigate the crime scene. Each student will have a specific responsibility assigned to them by the team. Use the Mock Crime Scene Investigation Responsibilities handout. Using all of the team s information, each student will submit a final sketch of the crime scene and form a hypothesis about what happened. Use the Mock Crime Scene Investigation Handout, the Data Table, and the Mock Crime Scene Investigation Post Lab Questions for the activity. Use the Individual Work Rubric for assessment. Teacher note: You will need to set up a mock crime scene the day before the activity (see the materials list for Activity 2). You will need to decide what evidence and weapons will be included. Step-by-step student instructions are found in the Mock Crime Scene Investigation Handout. 3. Crime Scene Investigation Review. Students will research and answer the questions on the Crime Scene Investigation Review. The students may work as individuals or in small groups. Use the Crime Scene Investigation Review for the activity and the Crime Scene Investigation Review Key for the assessment. Assessments Crime Scene Investigation Quiz Crime Scene Investigation Review Key Crime Scene Sketch Rubric Discussion Rubric Individual Work Rubric Research Rubric Materials Crime Scene Investigation PowerPoint Room Sketch Activity Paper 5

6 Pen/ Pencil Ruler Mock Crime Scene Activity Room for a Mock Crime Scene Materials to set up as crime scene evidence (plastic weapons, table, chairs, etc.) Paper or Poster board Black pens and pencils Clipboard Rulers Compass Tape measure Camera Latex gloves Crime scene tape Crime scene badge (optional) Mock Crime Scene Investigation Handout Data Table Mock Crime Scene Investigation Post Lab Questions Mock Crime Scene Investigation Responsibilities Handout Crime Scene Investigation Review and Key Resources , Saferstein, Richard. Forensic Science: An Introduction. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, , Ball-Deslich, Barbara and John Funkhouser. Forensic Science for High School. 2 nd Edition. Kenall/Hunt, Accommodations for Learning Differences For reinforcement, students will be given a rough sketch and produce a final sketch from looking at the rough sketch. Use the Crime Scene Sketch Rubric for assessment. For enrichment, students will research a case where the crime scene was compromised. Examples include the OJ Simpson, JonBenét Ramsey, and Enrique Camarena cases. The following link might be helpful: earch. Use the Research Rubric for assessment. State Education Standards Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Career and Technical Education Forensic Science (One Credit). (1) The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. These investigations must involve actively obtaining and analyzing data with physical 6

7 equipment, but may also involve experimentation in a simulated environment as well as field observations that extend beyond the classroom. The student is expected to: (A) demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations; and (B) demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials. (2) The student uses scientific methods and equipment during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to: (F) collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data and make measurements with accuracy and precision using tools such as calculators, spreadsheet software, data-collecting probes, computers, standard laboratory glassware, microscopes, various prepared slides, stereoscopes, metric rulers, electronic balances, gel electrophoresis apparatuses, micropipettors, hand lenses, Celsius thermometers, hot plates, lab notebooks or journals, timing devices, cameras, Petri dishes, lab incubators, meter sticks, and models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures; (G) analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends (H) from data; and communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports, and technology-based reports. (3) The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. The student is expected to: (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student; communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, news reports, published journal articles, and marketing materials; draw inferences based on data related to promotional materials for products and services; evaluate the impact of scientific research on society and the environment; evaluate models according to their limitations in representing biological objects or events; and 7

8 (F) research and describe the history of science and contributions of scientists. (5) The student recognizes the procedures of evidence collection while maintaining the integrity of a crime scene. The student is expected to: (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F) analyze the role of scientists such as forensic pathologists and anthropologists as they relate to a homicide investigation; demonstrate the ability to work as a member of a team; conduct a systematic search of a simulated crime scene for physical evidence following crime scene protocol; apply knowledge of the elements of criminal law that guide search and seizure of persons, property, and evidence; describe the elements of a crime scene sketch such as measurements, compass directions, scale of proportion, legend, key, and title; develop a crime scene sketch using triangulation, rectangular coordinates, straight-line methods, and use of coordinates on transecting baseline; (G) outline the chain of custody procedure for evidence discovered in a crime scene; (H) demonstrate proper techniques for collecting and packaging physical evidence found at a crime scene; (I) explain the functions of national databases available to forensic scientists; and (J) collect and preserve physical evidence from a simulated crime scene. (6) The student analyzes the evidence collected from a crime scene using scientific methods. The student is expected to: (A) demonstrate conversions of measurements between English and International System (SI) of units; College and Career Readiness Standards Science Standards I. Nature of Science: Scientific Ways of Learning and Thinking C. Collaborative and safe working practices 1. Collaborate on joint projects. 8

9 Name Date Crime Scene Sketch Checklist Objectives Possible Points Points Earned Sketch is neatly completed 5 Sketch is drawn to scale 5 Evidence is labeled 5 North is labeled 5 Objects in drawing are proportional 5 Based on a rough sketch 5 Legend is complete 5 All fixed points are labeled 5 Length and width of the room are labeled 5 Total Points 45 9

10 Mock Crime Scene Investigation Background Information Thursday, Sept. 23, 8pm There was a disturbance reported to 911. When the police arrived, there were signs of a struggle and what appears to be blood in the room. There were no persons found at the scene. Materials Pencil Paper Clipboard Tape measure Compass Ruler Camera Procedure Day 1: Investigate and create a rough sketch 1) Decide on team responsibilities and record them on the Mock Crime Scene Investigation Responsibilities handout. Turn this in to your teacher. 2) Accompany your team to the crime scene room. 3) Decide on a search pattern and give each person a responsibility. 4) Identify all of the items that you believe are physical evidence. Make sure you note the victim s taped outline. 5) The team s designated photographer should begin taking pictures of the crime scene. Remember to get pictures of all of the entrances and exits: close-ups and wide-angles. 6) Record the locations of the physical evidence for your rough sketch. Use the tape measure to determine the width and length of the room Use the compass to determine north, south, east, and west walls Select fixed points for each piece of evidence and then measure in centimeters the distance from your physical evidence objects to each fixed point. Record the information in the data table. Repeat for each piece of evidence. You do not have to use the same fixed points for every piece of evidence 7) Using the measurements, physical evidence, and notes, begin a rough sketch (at least 2 members of the team should be responsible for doing a rough sketch to give an accurate picture). 8) The rough sketch should include The room number where the crime occurred Labeled north Doors and windows Representations of objects with squares or circles. Make the objects in proportion to their size (a couch should be a larger square than a chair) 10

11 Each piece of evidence lettered or numbered. Make a key that lists each letter or number and what it identifies Dashed lines from your fixed points to your physical evidence. Write the actual distance above the dashed line Procedure Day 2 1) Using the rough sketch as a guide, draw a final sketch. The final sketch should be polished so as to use it as evidence at a trial 2) Your final sketch should Be neatly drawn in black ink Be drawn to scale (Ex: 1 centimeter= 20 centimeters in the room). Include the scale on your drawing Label north Represent the pieces of physical evidence in proportion with each other Label the physical evidence. Contain all of the measurements of distance from fixed points to the evidence Label the actual width and length of the room Include a legend containing your physical evidence identification 11

12 Physical Evidence Example: spilled coffee cup Fixed Point #1 Example: North door Data Table Distance of physical evidence to fixed point 1 Example: 115 cm Fixed Point #2 Example: Corner where the west wall meets the north wall Distance of physical evidence to fixed point 2 Example: 250 cm 12

13 Name Date Mock Crime Scene Investigation Post Lab Questions 1) What possible weapons were found at the crime scene? Where were they located? 2) Did anything seem to be out of place? What conclusions could you make about this? 3) What is the purpose of using fixed points? 4) Along with the background information and your notes, describe what you believe happened. 13

14 TEAM Mock Crime Scene Investigation Responsibilities Supervisor Photographer Sketch Artists (2) Note-taker Marking and Measuring Evidence (2) 14

15 Name Date Crime Scene Investigation Review Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. 1) What are the 5 steps in crime scene investigation? 2) Who should certify that the body is dead? 3) What does observing a crime scene involve? 4) What should a crime scene sketch include? 5) How do you measure at a crime scene? 6) What can be considered a fix point? 7) What are the 4 search patterns for crime scenes? 8) How do you decide which pattern to use? 9) When photographing a crime scene what are the important aspects to remember? 10) What is the Golden Hour? 11) How do you package evidence at a crime scene? 12) What is chain of custody? Why is it important? 13) How do you scale a sketch? 15

16 Crime Scene Investigation Review Key 1) Isolate and secure the scene Document the scene Search for evidence Collect and package evidence, maintaining the chain of custody Submit evidence for analysis 2) Medical Examiner 3) Initial walkthrough Plan of action 4) Date, time, location, scale, recovered items, fixed point distances, compass, legend 5) From two fixed points 6) Wall, door, window 7) Grid, Quadrant or zone, spiral, line or strip 8) Based on size, location and number of investigators 9) Photograph from all angles Take wide angles and close ups Do not move any evidence Use a ruler to show scale Photograph the area surrounding the crime scene 10) The window of opportunity to collect time-sensitive information and evidence 11) Individually packaged, no wet objects, new packaging 12) A record of the possession of evidence so we know who has come in contact with it 13) Example: Room is 600 cm by 610 cm Scale is 1cm=40cm Divide both measurements by 40 cm to get your scale drawing 16

17 Name Date Crime Scene Investigation Quiz Multiple Choice (10 points each) 1) Observing a crime scene involves what two things? a) Initial walkthrough and plan of action b) Walkthrough and search pattern c) Collecting evidence and taking notes d) Sketching the crime scene and photography 2) Who should certify that a body is dead at a crime scene? a) First officer on scene b) Medical examiner c) Lead CSI investigator d) Paramedic 3) The key to taking notes is what? a) The legend b) Scale c) Shorthand d) Details 4) All of the following would be considered fixed points except a) Door b) Wall c) Desk d) Window 5) The window of opportunity to collect time-sensitive information or evidence is known as a) The Golden Hour b) Immediate Response c) Locard s Exchange Hour d) Chain of Custody 6) When packaging the evidence, you should a) Package all like evidence together b) Package only one piece of evidence at a time c) Package everything from the crime scene together d) Package it after you take it to the crime lab 17

18 Short Answer( 10 pts each) 7) What are the 5 steps of crime scene investigation? 8) What is the responsibility of the first officer on the scene? 9) When an investigator documents a crime scene, what should they include? 10) Describe the four search patterns that could be used to search a crime scene. 18

19 Crime Scene Investigation Quiz Key 1) A 2) B 3) D 4) C 5) A 6) B 7) Isolate and secure the scene Document the scene Search for evidence Collect and package evidence, maintaining the chain of custody Submit evidence for analysis 8) A Assess the crime scene and assist the injured D Detain the witness(es) A Arrest the perpetrator P Protect the crime scene T Take notes 9) Notes, Photography, Sketches, and Videography 10) Spiral may move inward or outward; best used where there are no physical barriers Grid basically a double-line search; effective, but time-consuming Line (Strip) best in large, outdoor scenes Zone (Quadrant) most effective in houses or buildings; teams are assigned small zones for searching 19

20 Name Date Objectives 4 pts. Excellent Discussion Rubric 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Participates in group discussion Encourages others to join the conversation Keeps the discussion progressing to achieve goals Shares thoughts actively while offering helpful recommendations to others Gives credit to others for their ideas Respects the opinions of others Involves others by asking questions or requesting input Expresses thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively Total Points (32 pts.) Comments: 20

21 Name Date Objectives Follows directions Student completed the work as directed, following the directions given, in order and to the level of quality indicated Time management Student used time wisely and remained on task 100% of the time Organization Student kept notes and materials in a neat, legible, and organized manner. Information was readily retrieved Evidence of learning Student documented information in his or her own words and can accurately answer questions related to the information retrieved *Research/Gathering information (if relevant) Student used a variety of methods and sources to gather information. Student took notes while gathering information Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: Individual Work Rubric 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. 21

22 Name Date Objectives Question/goal Student identified and communicated a question or goal of the research Research/Gathering information (if relevant) Student used a variety of methods and sources to gather information. Student took notes while gathering information Conclusion/Summary Student drew insightful conclusions and observations from the information gathered. Information is organized in a logical manner Communication Student communicated the information gathered and summary or conclusions persuasively. Student demonstrated skill in the use of media used to communicate the results of research Reflection Student reflected on the importance of the research and its potential application 4 pts. Excellent Research Rubric 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: 22

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