Crime Scene Project Research Paper

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Crime Scene Analysis

Introduction- There is always missing information when analyzing a crime scene. The detective's task is thus to piece together the appropriate clues to find the most likely scenario with the data at hand, then attempt to validate that data based on further investigation. In our crime scene case we have the murder of a lawyer; we will call him Mr. Tort, Mr. T. For short. By all accounts, Mr. T. is a kind, upstanding citizen with no overt negativity in his life. He was married and had a small child. The crime took place while his office assistant was away on vacation, and sometime around 630 pm based on a clock being unplugged while certain effects were ransacked from the office. Mr. T was stabbed multiple times, showed no defensive wounds, and his wallet and credit cards were not touched. The only things in the office that were either damaged or potentially taken (will need to verify file contents) were paper files that had been riffled through, and the office computer thrown on the floor. We do not yet know if the hard drive or jump drive, if attached, we taken. There were no witnesses to any noise or struggle, Mr. T. was found by the janitor when he opened the building just prior to 8am. In addition, there was an open window in Mr. T.'s office leading to the outside. Preliminary viewing of the building's security tapes shows no suspicious characters. At present, the case has been turned over to CSI for analysis, the reporting detective having reviewed and secured all relevant evidence.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Paper on Crime Scene Project Assignment

Forensic sciences are actually a number of techniques designed to answer scientific questions about a crime or crime scene that may be used in the legal system. By the 21st century, this includes collection of trace elements, reconstruction of bodily parts, forensics of the scene, victimology, and even the psychopathology of the victim or proposed perpetrators. Even trace amounts of DNA are sometimes left at a crime scene, making DNA matching and typing, in combination with other crime scene techniques, viable and precise when performing criminal analysis (Koblinsky,, 2004). Fingerprinting, even latent prints that were unusable just a few years ago, are now discoverable using new techniques (lasers, optics, and new chemicals. The advent of an international database, too, has increased the robustness of their use (Quinche and Margot, 2010).



Assessment of Crime Scene -- the Murder of Mr. T.

Location -- 513 Main Street, 3rd Floor; First National Bank Building

Generalized Map of 3rd Floor

Theories of the crime -- (in order of likliehood)

Alleged Perpetrator



Strength & Wekness of Theory

#1 -- Client or Adversary or representative of adversarial client

The fact that information was all that was taken makes this appear to be a crime relating to case information or legal issue.

Interview assistant; which files were missing; what is current or upcoming case load? What might be controversial.

Most of evidence fits except for number of times Mr. T. stabbed, which suggests more passionate or personal connection.

#2 -- Unknown Luncheon Colleague

Could have easily returned to office with Mr. T., or waited until building was empty; argument could have occurred in restaurant.

Stabbings suggest anger. This person is a large unknown -- gender, relationship, etc.

While a possibility, it will be easy to confirm, find out alibi, probe relationship details, etc.

#3 -- Office Assistant

Numerous motives depending on what is uncovered (personal, embezzlement, professional, etc.) Could have broken computer and dumped files to hide theft of firm's money.

Conveniently on vacation; is assistant male or female; is the relationship purely professional?

Had keys, knew routine, needs to establish alibi, location, etc.

#4 -- Wife or Mistress

Passion, discovery of affair(s), jealousy, etc. would know routine

Need to probe more about Mr. T. before accepting or rejecting this theory

By all external accounts happily married; need to probe and investigate situation further.

#5 -- Doctor or Staff Member from medical office

Easy access, entrance and egress (no one would notice); Mr. T. may have uncovered something unsavory or illegal about medical practice.

Check to see if anyone from office is on file in the office; question assistant as well; get timeline and alibi for medical personnel.

Longshot based on location and potential.

#6 -- Janitor or other building staff

Have opportunity but no motive unless investigation turns up something.

Means and opportunity are strongest parts of this theory, several weaknesses.

Lack of motive, but knows routine and could easily get in and out of office.

#7 -- Thief

Artwork, value unknown; cash credit card left. Hard to judge dollar value of information? Also, multiple stabbings seem incongruous with this type of thief

Could have been hired by any of the above and then used the flurry of crime scene as cover up.

This would be the most difficult to solve since it would be a random person; was there any information that was worth $$

Information needed to make determination:

What was the firm's focus?

Clearly, we need to have a better analysis of Mr. T's life; family, events, etc. In order to determine locus of the crime or potential areas to probe.

What was on caseload, or future/past that might have been controversial or that someone would kill over?

Computer data and/or back up files. Forensic analysis of computer data.

Detailed analysis of case files, past cases, future cases, cases on appeal, or cases in which information contained in Mr. T's office might be pertenant.

Who was colleage? Relationship? Vested interest?

Details on wife and Office Assistant or outside relationships?

Examination of windowsill and wall for rope or rapelling equipment.

Gambling or substance abuse debts? Unsavory behavior or clients? Probe background.

Fingerprint analysis -- anything left at the scene? Trace analysis? Potential DNA analysis? (Houck and Siegel, 2010).

Working hypothesis:

Perpetrator knew Mr. T., multiple stab wounds suggests anger; 1-2 to the heart would have killed him. There were no defensive wounds on Mr. T., and the fish tank was still intact; suggest no real fight -- almost a surprise.

Papers suggest some sort of legal matter, as does computer. What was the information?

The perpetrator could be a combination; colleague for lunch who was also a client or adversary; or assistant who had fradulent dealings with Mr. T. (this will be narrowed by alibis and info on Assistant and colleague.)

If colleague and Assistant are clear, it is likely that the perpetrator was either a client or advisary of a client; murder was a way to prevent certain information from becoming part of the public record or revealed at trial.

Discarded Theories of the Crime -- in this partical crime, the underlying issue, yet to uncover, is the actual motivation surrounding the matter. As criminalists in this case, we might ask ourselves, "why" did it happen? Is there a single theory that could account for the evidence left, as well as the mode of murder? What behavior does this particular perpetrator exhibit that might help us accept or reject certain available options? Clearly, there is no one single answer to all the above, but we can make a few assumptions that help us reject certain theories, the idea of certain perpetrators, and even postulate some of the events that might have occurred prior to the execution of the crime (Helfgott, 2008).

The victim was not posed, the scene did not appear to be staged, unless the perpetrator was covering up the true motive.

What was the value of the modern artwork left on the wall? The detective indicated some might be originals? Check with the insurance company. However, we are discarding the theory of theft for purely theft's sake as the motive -- too many valuables were left, and most thieves do not kill with multiple stabbings.

We cannot yet negate this as a crime of passion made to look messy. However, most of the research indicates that a pure crime of passion is done at the heat of the moment, with little thought to planning (purchasing a knife, entrace and egress issues) (Myers, 2004, 53). Note: we do not have the murder weapon, check with the coroner to get an estimate on the weapon: actual knife, letter opener? What was the inventory of the office, is anything sharp missing?

Unless we uncover other motivations; we will likely reject the theory of someone in the building (janitor, medical staff, etc.). At present, we have no indication of antipathy between Mr. T. And any of the staff within the building. Note: Where are the security cameras located? Only on the front floor? Who might not have wanted to be seen, or was the open window a red-herring.

Case Study

Analysis of Crime -- it is Wednesday, almost noon, CSI Specialist reporting. Called to a crime scene at a downtown location. Upon arrival, breifed by Detective handling the case. Details of the crime:

Table 1 - Initial crime scenario - victimology


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