If you’ve ever watched NCIS, CSI, or Criminal Minds, you may be familiar with the concept of forensic evidence. The term forensic comes from the Latin word meaning “in open court” or “public.” In a court of law, forensic scientists present scientifically-analyzed residues left by perpetrators in order to support or refute claims of guilt and innocence. Forensic evidence often leads to the first major breakthroughs of a criminal case.
For example, fingerprints—especially fingerprints containing DNA—left on a murder weapon that match a suspected criminal constitute enough evidence to convict, or at least investigate. Forms of forensic evidence include blood and other bodily fluid testing, ballistics, and DNA profiling.
- Identification of Bodily Fluids
If fluid found at a crime scene came from a human body, it can be tested. This includes all manner of substances including blood, urine, saliva, semen, and sweat. Not only can blood testing verify the identity of a deceased body, but it can also pick up blood traces from the killer under the victim’s fingernails if there was an initial struggle. Other uses of fluid testing include matching rapists to their victims through semen testing and formulating DNA profiles based on fingerprints containing a culprit’s sweat.
Just as humans leave fingerprints wherever they go, so do guns. Gun fingerprints are referred to as ballistics evidence, having to do with such aspects as gun and bullet caliber, spiraling or “striations,” firing distance, gunpowder residue, impact, shell casings, etc. Due to general wear-and-tear over time, guns develop distinct characteristics that can be used to match bullets at a crime scene to a specific gun, thus identifying the owner.
- DNA Testing
Both hair and fingerprints contain DNA unique to every person. Finding hair at a crime scene can not only prove that an offender was present but also identify his race and sex or serve as a basis for comparison against other data to rule out suspects. Testing other fibers at the scene can demonstrate the kind of fabric the felon was wearing, sometimes down to the manufacturer and make of the garment.
Other forms of forensic testing include blood stain pattern interpretation, drug and arson analysis, and expert testimony. For help with all these facets and more, contact Forletta Investigative/Security Consultant. Our Cleveland criminal private investigator can help you nail a case that’s been bugging you for years. Don’t wait; call now for a free consultation: 877-874-9394.