Volume 23, Issue 2 (April 1978)
A Review of Crime Scene Investigation
Over the next few years, this text is likely to emerge as one of the best sources dealing with crime scene investigation. Although the author states that the text is written for only one audience, the crime scene investigator, the material is certain to be of interest to the criminalist, the latent fingerprint examiner, and the pathologist. In the introduction to the text, the respective roles of the crime scene investigator and the criminalist are discussed from a perspective that is more historical than philosophical, and some interesting insights into the development of operational attitudes toward crime scene investigation are offered. The seven chapters of the text comprehensively cover the equipment used in the processing of crime scenes, investigative approaches, and specific collection techniques. The most attractive feature of the text is the clarity and simplicity with which it is written. The second most attractive feature is the manner in which the book is illustrated. The illustrations are both felicitous and numerous. In the section dealing with the making of plaster casts, for example, there are a total of twelve photographs to illustrate each step in the process. The section dealing with equipment used in the collection of physical evidence is very much up-to-date and is profusely illustrated. For each type of evidence, the why is explained as well as the how, and the investigator using the text as a model need not rely on doing something by rote as opposed to doing something because of a more fundamental understanding of the process. The section dealing with photography and the sections dealing with the marking and packaging of various types of physical evidence are particularly clear and well written. In short, this is a very readable book that should be very useful to anyone responsible for any aspect of crime scene investigation.