Crime Scene Investigations For You & Me
The widespread popularity of TV shows like CSI indicate an uncanny fascination in analysis and sleuthing skills. It is nothing less than awe-inspiring to see how regular people, with sophisticated attention to detail, can produce clues and solve cases.
Simply by gathering evidence and following protocol, the men and women of CSI units are able to solve some of the ghastliest cases society has witnessed. But, is it really true? Behind the fancy equipment and intelligent comments is it really possible to solve a crime simply on the details?
For the sake of the argument, let’s attempt to analyze the process of a Crime Scene Investigation to see how this thing might work in real life. While these shows present us with some intelligent snippets of the real process, there is obviously a lot missing from the show. The following article will contain a glimpse that shows it’s not all street smarts and bravura that leads to the incarceration of dangerous minds.
The Crime Scene Investigation
The first step in the process begins when the investigator arrives on site and begins taping down the area. This is when people must leave so that their presence doesn’t contaminate the site and confuse the details present at the scene.
1. Documentation — Touch Nothing!
From the way, the furniture is scattered around the room, to the way a cobweb hangs from a partially opened window, the entire story is here in the details and these must be conserved and observed in their original form. When an investigator forms theories on the happenings, they begin to look about the area for evidence that supports or refutes their initial observance. A good investigator will take a note of the objects that have been moved and altered.
The next step is to take a photographic collection of everything they find. All the angles have to observed and documented with sketches and snapshots. Until this has been accomplished nothing can be moved.
2. Collection and Crime Scene Cleanup
After each of the elements of the scene has been documented and recorded, the investigator can take time to collect the clues that are relevant to the incident. This can include any pieces of fallen hair, blood samples or any other clues that should be taken into consideration. Every aspect of the investigation should be well documented as the smallest details hold all the clues. This process may take as much as a couple of weeks depending on the specifics of the crime scene.
Finally, when all the clues and evidence has been properly collected and documented, the investigator can leave the crime scene and continue their investigations. This is when a crime scene cleanup will be in order and it is time to call in the professional cleaners.
According to the nature of the case and the information found in the evidence, the investigation can go on for a long time. The TV shows portray this phase of the investigation in happening under 40 minutes, the truth is that the investigation can go on for many months as the information is viewed from every angle and nothing is left out.
In closing — while the CSI shows can be very entertaining, it is important to remember that what you are looking at is the just the tip of the iceberg. If you are considering your own deductive skills and interested in a career of Crime Scene Investigation, take the time to consider the exhaustive poring over minuscule details and points that are required to make an accurate judgment on what happened at the scene of a crime.