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Monday, March 31, 2003

BREAKING NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Man Who Killed California Officers in 1957 Pleads Guilty - KVOA-TV, AZ  - March 25, 2003 ...an original false lead prompted a review in which the FBI's fingerprint database matched prints from the stolen car...

Bureau of Criminal Identification Speeds Up Fingerprint Checks - WPRI-TV, RI - March 26, 2003 ...Rhode Island's BCI has cut the turnaround time on civilian fingerprint checks from one month to less than an hour...

Fingerprint on License Ends Fugitive's Freedom - THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, TX - March 26, 2003 ...A thumbprint required for a Texas driver's license ended a 14-year masquerade for a New York fugitive...

Fingerprint Law Remains Divisive - WMTW-TV, ME - March 27, 2003 ...teachers in Maine who don't like being fingerprinted have made their voices known...

Man Who Spent 4-Years in Jail Cleared - THE SUN-SENTINEL, FL - March 29, 2003 ...the defense attacked new fingerprint technology, calling it "junk science"...

Good morning via the "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.

It is once again that time of year for our CLPEX.com T-shirt contest!  We all want a 2003 shirt to remember, so get those minds in gear and come up with a fingerprint-related slogan for examiners worldwide to proudly wear.  The slogan last year was "Nothing in life is certain... except death, taxes,... and FINGERPRINTS!"  The runner-up (to be included in this year) was "Absolute Identity" with an eliptical whorl showing a vodka bottle in the core.  Next week I will announce appropriate entries and we will all vote on our favorite.  You have an entire week to brainstorm with co-workers, but entries must be e-mailed to kaseywertheim@aol.com or posted on the CLPEX.com message board by NOON on Saturday, April 5.  I will be configuring the survey Saturday afternoon for the Detail next week.

This week, we hear from Glenn Langenburg on a project he needs your help with.  I think you will see, it is a very worthwhile cause, and I would encourage everyone to drop Glenn an e-mail when you finish reading the Detail this morning.  I am sure he would rather have too many inquiries than not enough.

Dear Fellow Latent Print Examiners,

I am beginning the next phase of my research entitled, “A Statistical Analysis of ACE-V Methodology, the Analysis Stage”. The scope of this project involves the examination of statistical differences present between three groups: latent print examiners, lay persons, and computer (AFIS) automatic minutiae finding software. If there are differences between examiners, the study will attempt to determine whether the differences can be attributed to such factors as training, experience, education, age, sex, etc. (and if so, whether any factor(s) is/are more influential). I am specifically studying the ability of examiners to locate and detect minutiae, and the statistical accuracy and precision of such results. To locate reliable minutiae, all 3 levels of details must be utilized during the analysis phase.

I performed a pilot study amongst Minnesota examiners (approximately 30) and the results were very promising and interesting. Now I need a much larger sample size, preferably 200 or so nationwide. 

I am asking any examiner, including Trainees, interested in participating to please contact me. I presented the results of my pilot study in a poster presentation at the IAI in Las Vegas last year. If you stopped by and I received a business card from you, then you are on ‘my list’ and I will be contacting you shortly. Otherwise any examiners who are willing to participate in this, please see the following notes below:

• The results of the pilot study will be submitted to JFI for publishing after I complete the nationwide study (so as not to introduce bias).

• The results of the nationwide study will be submitted to JFS for publishing when completed.

• The results of the nationwide study will be presented at the IAI conference in Ottawa.

• This phase of the research ONLY INCLUDES EXAMINERS PRIMARILY TRAINED AND WORKING IN THE UNITED STATES. A separate phase will compare the results of this study against examiners from Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and perhaps a continental European county or two.

• Your participation is COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL. No names, no indicators of identity, etc. will be included. There is a survey to complete and the results of the survey are tabulated for data. Your department, personal stats, and even the state in which you work, will not in any way be attainable by the researchers.

• In each study packet sent out, a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope is included so that you can return the results of your packet without any identifying indicators or cost to your department.

• The time to complete the study packet was reported at an average of 1.5 hours by Minnesota examiners.

• If there are multiple examiners in your department willing to participate, please email me that information. Rather than send out 5 separate packets to your department, I can reduce costs, by mailing all 5 to one source. So please indicate in your email the number of examiners in your department.

• Section Coordinators, Supervisors, Trainers: I am asking for your assistance. You have access to greater numbers of examiners. Please contact me!

• Email me at: Glenn.Langenburg@state.mn.us (note the ‘dot’ between my first and last name!)

Thank-you kindly in advance for your participation. This research will be helpful to strengthen Daubert defenses regarding the scientific testing of ACE-V methodology.

Best Regards,

Glenn Langenburg
Latent Print Examiner
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1246 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104



For informal latent print related discussion, visit the CLPEX message board.
And as usual, the onin.com forum (http://onin.com/fp/wwwbd/) is also available for more formal latent print-related discussions.
For discussions with an international flair, check out Dave Charlton's forum at: http://charlton97.proboards12.com/index.cgi


UPDATES on CLPEX.com this week...

Updated the Ridgeology Science Workshop (RSW) page of the website.  Both open enrollment courses this year are listed; Orange County California (December), and Suffolk County New York (October).  Details are available on the website, and registration is available through Bonnie at Forensic Identification Training Seminars (FITS): (888) 235-1230.

Updated existing titles on the bookstore; new books include 1st and 2nd editions of Cooke "Finger Prints, Secret Service, and Crime Detection", Duncan's "Introduction to Fingerprinting" (several copies, previously unavailable), Bridges "Practical Fingerprinting", Cummins and Midlo "Finger Prints, Palms and Soles" (previously unavailable, and currently unavailable anywhere else on the internet that I can find), The Science of Fingerprints, James Holt "Finger Prints Simplified" (previously unavailable), Ashbaugh "Qualitative, Quantitative Friction Ridge Analysis".  More titles will be added next weekend also, so stay tuned!

Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners.  This is a free newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent print examiners. There are no copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open for all to visit.

If you have not yet signed up to receive the Weekly Detail in YOUR e-mail inbox, go ahead and join the list now so you don't miss out!  (To join this free e-mail newsletter, send a blank e-mail to: theweeklydetail-subscribe@topica.email-publisher.com )  Members may unsubscribe at any time.  If you have difficulties with the sign-up process or have been inadvertently removed from the list, e-mail me personally at kaseywertheim@aol.com and I will work things out.

Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!