Every crime has a storyline that no one fully understands besides the perpetrator. Everybody else can only piece together the different cues left behind to make a sensible story. As such, scene photos are critical to the criminal justice system. Photos in this sense provide important information such as lighting, angles, and distance. Pictures from the genesis of solving the crime puzzle. This paper will describe the crime scene and the responsibility of the investigator, missing items, and an explanation of photography, as well as, the steps taken in taking the photos and evidence collected at the crime scene.
The Crime Scene and the Responsibility of the Investigator
On January 26, 2019, a call came in at 13.04 asking for backup at a crime scene at 4213 Avenue, California. The caller passed information to the effect that there was a burglary in their house. The suspect took off a few minutes before the caller came in. Some evidence, including DNA, was left at the scene. At 14.00, the crime investigator arrived at the scene, which had been cordoned off by law enforcers to ensure that evidence is not tampered with.
The analysis of a crime scene is a process that is considerably long, and within it are different important steps. Crime scene investigators work with people from different backgrounds including forensic photographers to ensure that the crime scene is documented and mapped before it is collected for analysis. During the process of evidence collection, there are various protocols that are followed to ensure that the integrity of the evidence is preserved. Investigating technicians will document, collect, tag, and seal all items of importance at the crime scene to preserve the evidence.
Missing Items and Photography
The suspect was able to access the house by use of a loosely locked door. He first pushed the main door open to access the house via the living room. Inside the house, the suspect accessed the living room, the kitchen, and one bedroom through the rear window. In the living room, various electronics were taken including a laptop and a HiFi System. At the kitchen, some electronics were taken and their accompanying cables left on the raised table. The bedroom was ransacked and jewelry was taken with the jewelry box left on top of the bed. Further, the bedside cabinet was ransacked together with the bedroom drawer. Other things that were taken include small wards of cash that the suspect had left in the drawer. It seems like the suspect hurt himself during the process since the doorknob had blood stains (Source of DNA). Photographs of all these issues were taken to ensure that the image of the crime is captured in its original and unaltered state as expressed by Young and Ortmeier (2011).
The following procedures were followed. There was the receipt of information and the crime investigators had their initial response. Then, there was the conduction of Officer Safety procedure, which was followed by securing and controlling the scene within the shortest time possible. The last step before collecting evidence was securing the boundaries of the crime scene. All this time, it was necessary to exercise extreme caution to ensure that there is no unintended destruction or contamination of evidence, as well as, ensure that the suspect is not in the crime scene.
Photos are a good source of evidence, as well as, the source of pointers in ensuring that more information about the crime is availed. As can be seen in the accompanying PowerPoint presentation, the living room windows, doors, were captured, the disorganization in the living room and in the bedroom. The suspect’s blood must be the one on the bedroom doorknob.
Falcone (2010) explained that evidence is information or objects, or even the recounting of events by a suspect and witnesses. Such items and information must be of probative value. The evidence collected must be admissible in court. DNA from the doorknob will be instrumental in identifying the suspect for the avoidance of doubt. The photos taken will be a good indicator of the kind of items the suspect might have taken off with.
A crime scene is an important area in the pursuit of justice for the aggrieved. As such, the collection of information at the right scale and manner is necessary for ensuring that suspects are pinned down legally while their victims get justice. The scene should not be released unless the investigators feel that they have collected sufficient information, as well as, having documented the entire work. In this case, the investigator was able to photograph the house in important areas (the living room windows, doors, were captured, the disorganization in the living room, kitchen, and in the bedroom) that the suspect left signs of activity and also left evidence. The stolen items’ positions and the disorderliness created by the burglary case left important evidence that needed to be documented using photos.
Falcone, D. (2010). Prentice Hall’s Dictionary of American Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Criminal Law. Columbus, OH Young, T., & Ortmeier, P. J. (2011). Crime Scene Investigation: The Forensic Technician’s Field Manual. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ
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