ABAFS 432X648


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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Basic Considerations and History

The Development of Forensic Science

The First Forensic Scientists

The Coroner and the Medical Examiner

Duties of the Coroner/Medical Examiner

The Coroner/Medical Examiner In the Courtroom

Crime Lab Origins

The CSI Effect

Chapter 2: General Organization of Forensic Science

Criminalistics and Criminalists

Crime Lab Services

Chapter 3: Evidence: The Heart and Soul of Forensic Science

Locard’s Exchange Principle

Using Evidence

Evidence Classification

The Crime Scene

Evidence Handling

Crime Scene Reconstruction

Staged Crime Scenes

Search Warrants

Evidence Standards of Acceptance

Chapter 4: The Autopsy

History of the Autopsy

Forensic Autopsy Milestones

The Pathologist: Clinical versus Forensic

The Forensic Autopsy

Chapter 5: Identifying the Body

Why is Identification Important?

Basic Considerations

Getting Rid of the Body

Identifying the Corpse

Skeletal Remains

Facial Reconstruction

Photographic Comparisons and Age Progressions

Chapter 6: Time of Death

The Importance of the Time of Death

Determining the Time of Death

Putting It All Together

Chapter 7: Cause, Mechanism, and Manner of Death

The Cause and Mechanism of Death

The Five Manners of Death

The ME’s Determination

The ME’s Report

Chapter 8: Traumatic Injuries

Guns and Bullets

Sharp-Force Injuries

Blunt Force Trauma

Electrical Injuries

Bite Wounds

Rape Investigation

Chapter 9: Asphyxia



Toxic Chemicals


Chapter 10: Blood and Other Body Fluids

The Characteristics of Blood

The ABO System

Blood and the Serologist

Paternity Testing

Other Bodily Fluids

Chapter 11: DNA

The Structure of DNA

DNA and Forensic Science

DNA Matching: A Numbers Game

Degraded DNA

Locating DNA

Testing Paternity

Familial DNA

Mitochondrial and Y-Chromosomal DNA

The CODIS System

Plant and Animal DNA

Chapter 12: Toxicology

What is a Poison?

Historical Perspective

The Modern Toxicologist


Visible SIgns of Poisoning

Sample Collection

Toxicology and the Cause and Manner of Death

Toxicological Testing Procedures

Acute versus Chronic Poisoning

Common Drugs, Poisons, and Toxins

Chapter 13: Fingerprints

The History of Fingerprints

Anthropometry and Bertillonage

Ridge Patterns

Fingerprint Classification Systems

Locating and Collecting Fingerprints

Fingerprints and DNA

Altered Fingerprints

Glove Prints

Chapter 14: Blood Stains

Characteristics of Blood

Blood Spatter Patterns

Spatter Classification

Blood Spatters and Crime Scene Reconstruction

Chapter 15: Impression Evidence: Shoes, Tires, and Tools

Shoe Impression Evidence

Tire Impression Evidence

Tool Mark Evidence

Fabric Impressions

Chapter 16: Trace Evidence

Types of Trace Evidence





Soils and Plants

Chapter 17: Firearm Examination

Weapon and Ammunition Components

Bullet and Shell Casing Examination

Gunshot Residues

Restoring Serial Numbers

National Ballistic Database Systems

Chapter 18: Arson Investigation

Fires and Explosions

Motives For Arson

Arson Investigation

Homicidal Fires


Chapter 19: Questioned Documents


The Examination Process


Altered Documents

Indented Writing

Paper and Ink

Typewriters and Photocopiers

Art Forgery

Chapter 20: Criminal Psychology

The Forensic Psychiatric Professional

Psychiatric Testing

Competence and Sanity

Lies and Deceptions

Serial and Multiple Offenders

The Psychopathology of Serial Offenders

Serial Offender Profiling

Trophies and Souvenirs

MO Versus Signature


Geographic Profiling

Linking Criminals and Crime Scenes

A Few Final Words

Appendix: Forensic Science Timeline

© Douglas Lyle 2015