Volume 46, Issue 6 (November 2001)
The Application of Lead Isotope Analysis to Bullet Individualization in Two Homicides
Bullets were characterized by lead isotope ratio analysis and trace element analysis in two homicides. In one case, we concluded that a fatal bullet did not share a common origin with bullets in a box of ammunition containing 24 cartridges taken from suspects. Evidence in the second case included two bullets from the crime scene and 163 bullets taken from various suspects. We were able to infer that the two bullets from the crime scene did not share a common origin and that they differed from all of the bullets taken from suspects. All of the suspects' ammunition had been reloaded as was evident both from trace and isotopic analysis and, indeed, from visual inspection.