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Monday, November 19, 2001


Welcome to the fifteenth "Detail," a weekly e-mail newsletter that greets latent print examiners around the globe every Monday morning. The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.


BREAKING NEWz you can UzE...

PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION, by Wentworth and Wilder  This book has not been available since I opened the website, but just the other day a copy surfaced on the internet!  Written in 1918, this is still regarded by many as a landmark text in the fingerprint field.  I'm just glad to have rescued it from a bookstore somewhere for the loving home of a latent print examiner.  I sold a copy at the IAI conference in Miami for $240, but I didn't pay that much for this one, so I'm letting it go for only $195.  These do not come along very often, so I expect it to be gone this morning.  First e-mail get's it, so E-mail now! (very good condition, first edition hard cover, book number 2005.  Details on "bookstore" page of www.clpex.com)


This week, we learn of an interesting tale from Scott Spjut, West Valley Utah Police Crime Laboratory:


Unusual Inked Fingerprinting Situation

Scott R. Spjut MPA
Certified Latent Print Examiner (I.A.I.)
Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst (I.A.I.)

Most latent print examiners or crime scene technicians have the opportunity to take inked fingerprints from a large variety of individuals and different physical situations. Many of these would include individuals who have digits which have been amputated, or possibly an extra digit. There have been situations where the digits have webbing between one another, or the flexibility of the individual digits does not allow standard inking applications. Once employed in the field for a long period of time, the examiners tend to see many if not all of these individuals and must adapt the proper recording of inked fingerprints accordingly.

During the month of October 2001, I encountered a female individual with such unusual physical characteristics that standard inked fingerprinting method would not suffice. The individual was obeying a court order to be fingerprinted for a misdemeanor charge. This candidate arrived, and I could not believe what I witnessed. She had fingernails on all ten digits with an average length of three feet each.

Due to the curvature of her fingernails, conventional rolling of each finger on an ink slab would not be successful. After attempting to ink her digit tips with a portable postmortem style ink pad, I was unable to roll her fingers in a conventional process via a card holder. I finally implemented the "spoon" tool in conjunction with the postmortem ink pad. The fingerprint sections were manually cut into strips, and each tip was carefully placed into the appropriate box without rolling the fingers. In addition, the plain impressions were taken simultaneously by cutting that section of the fingerprint cards, folding each hand area individually, and recording the fingerprints accordingly.

Two full sets of inked fingerprints were recorded from this candidate and were submitted into both our local and State AFIS systems.

(Details and photographs in the original story have been removed as a result of a request to the webmaster.)   

Added several new dermatoglyphic book entries to the fingerprint bookstore:
1977, Dermatoglyphics: An International Bibliography
1978, Dermatoglyphics: An International Perspective
1983, Quantitative Dermatoglyphics: Classification, Genetics, and Pathology
2001, The State of Dermatoglyphics: The Science of Finger and Palm Prints

If you know of any other fingerprint-related titles which are not represented on the site, send me an e-mail and I will add them and/or try to locate a copy for you.


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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.
Have a GREAT week!


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