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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, October 11, 2004

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...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Border Patrol Expands Fingerprint Searches FCW.COM  - Oct. 7, 2004 ...Patrol agents can now search through two federal fingerprint databases to see if aliens crossing illegally into the US are wanted...

Man Accused in Bombings Sues Government   SALEM STATESMAN, OR  - Oct. 5, 2004 arrested by FBI after his fingerprint was incorrectly matched claims he was singled out because of his faith...

Detainee Fingerprint Ruckus   NEWSDAY, NY - Oct. 5, 2004 ...Police Department illegally printed the majority of people detained during the Republican National Convention...

L.A. Fugitive Apprehended After 13 Years MIAMI HERALD, FL - Oct. 5, 2004 ...Florida fugitive task force members pick up a Pompano Beach man wanted for a 13-year-old murder in California...

Last week
we looked at doubt and caution in latent print examination.

This week

we look at an article by the past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers published in their newsletter, the Champion.  I have not obtained permission to re-print the article in the Detail, so I will share with you instead the link to the entire article online.  In the article, the author takes a very critical stance on the Mayfield case and the implications of the case on the field of fingerprints:
(link outdated and removed on 4-25-05)

Also, the Detail article bank is almost empty.  If you have an article you would like to share with members of the Weekly Detail, now would be a good time to send it in.  This week's IAI update has a lot of great fingerprint information, so it will serve as this week's Detail.
IAI Update
by Joe Polski

Hello again from the IAI Office.

IAI Library

For the past several years, the IAI’s Library collection has resided in my office in 75 boxes tucked away in the warehouse section of the office.  You may be aware that the Board, during its meeting in St. Louis, approved an agreement with West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown, West Virginia to house the IAI Library at WVU for an initial period of ten years.  For the past several days, Max Houck from WVU has been at the IAI office conducting a preliminary inventory and assessment of the collection.  There is a wealth of information, some of it very rare, in this collection.  In addition to books, the collection includes copies of old newspaper articles, pamphlets and other miscellaneous writings concerning the early days of fingerprint identification.  Eventually all library materials will be cataloged with that catalog available via the Internet. 

National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Fingerprint Meeting

During the last week of October, the NIJ has invited about 20 people to Washington, DC to conduct a meeting dealing with the research needs of the fingerprint discipline.  The outcome of this meeting will determine the future course NIJ will take regarding fingerprint research and other fingerprint matters.  As a result, this meeting will be very, very important to the future of fingerprint identification.  Many of the attendees are IAI members and at least one is from outside the US.  This meeting is similar to the Fingerprint Forum held in Chicago several years ago and will continue to build on many of the points discussed during the Forum.  More information will be provided in the next Monthly Update.

2005 Membership Directory

All material for the 2005 Membership Directory will go to the printer in early to mid November.  If your address, phone number, title or e-mail address has recently changed, please call the IAI office or send an e-mail to to inform us of that change. 

Forensic Research Network/Crime Lab Improvement Program (FRN/CLIP) Conference

Several weeks ago I was privileged to attend this NIJ sponsored three-day conference held in Tampa, FL.  Attending were representatives of the several FRN organizations as well as recipients of CLIP grants.  The purpose was to provide a networking opportunity between the FRN partner organizations and those agencies and organizations that may have a need for the resources available from these FRN partners.

It was a great opportunity to network and explore financial and programmatic support available from the FRN partners.  Of particular interest to the IAI were the opportunities available to assist in providing sites and perhaps financial assistance to our training efforts through the RS&A/IAI cooperative agreement.  I connected Ron’s organization with several sites that appear to be able to offer long term commitments to host training and perhaps even lodging or other support to these efforts. 

Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO)

The CFSO has now expanded from four to six organizations.  Recently ASCLD-LAB and Forensic Quality Services (FQS) sought and were granted membership by the CFSO member organizations.  ASLCD-LAB was an original member of the CFSO but had left the Consortium a few years ago.  FQS is an independent, non-profit company that was at one time part of the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) in Largo, Florida.  FQS is now entirely independent of NFSTC.  Congratulations to both organizations and we look forward to working together to advance the interests of forensic science.

As you know, the CFSO has no legal status but is rather a loose confederation of organizations that have come together to advance common goals for forensic science.  That loose organization has caused some practical and legal problems that need to be addressed.  CFSO Washington, DC consultant Beth Lavach tells us there are opportunities in Washington to sit on various committees, provide input to various government organizations including the Department of Homeland Security and others.  Without a legal framework however it is almost impossible to get recognized as a legitimate organization. 

With that by way of background, I contacted a law firm in Tampa, Florida that has broad experience in the workings of non-profit incorporation documents.  At the present time draft documents have been drawn up and are in the hands of the CFSO member representatives.  A conference call was held several days ago to discuss various ramifications of the documents, suggest changes etc.  The document continues to be refined and several new ideas for membership discussed.  After the representatives are satisfied with a final version, it will be distributed to the various CFSO member organizations for input and, hopefully, approval.  Incorporation as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization is but the first step in this process.  The next step will be to apply for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. 

This is a significant step forward for the CFSO but one that is necessary if we are to continue to grow and develop as a viable player in Washington.

There has been significant interest from the vendor community to support the activities of the CFSO.  A number of larger vendors to the forensic science community have a Washington, DC presence and are interested in working with Beth to maximize resources to reach our goals.  The constitution and by-laws under development for incorporation envision an affiliate, non-voting status for interested vendors.  This concept needs further discussion but there is a consensus that the vendor community can provide a significant boost to the efforts of the CFSO.


Also, an update on the Henry Faulds memorial from Donald Reid:

Hi Folks
Just a brief update. I have been advised by Tom Armstrong, project liaison officer, North Ayrshire Council, that it is intended that the foundations for the Beith memorial will be laid at the memorial site late this week or early next week. The stone with plaque is ready and awaits the foundations being laid. The themed fence is ready at Ogilvie Engineering, Kilmarnock. The aim now is to tie everyone in and get the memorial stone in place ASAP and organise a formal inauguration ceremony.
Secondly, Keele University are abouit to name one of their laboratories in honour of Dr Henry Faulds. Absolutely wonderful. Pity that SCRO or a Scottish Lab had not been so forward thinking!  More information about this will be circulated when available, but I am sure that Dr Henry Faulds would be smiling and quietly saying "thank you."
Thanks again to everyone for all their help in honouring a largely forgotten Scottish hero. It is true to say that we Scots are somewhat retiscent when it comes to acknowledging greatness among 'oor ain folk.' I am very conscious that this project to honour Dr Henry Faulds in the town of his birth, schooling and where he spent his formative years seems to have gone on for ever, but I am sure that the end result will have made the waiting worth it. I do really appreciate the support I have received.
Donald Reid
7 Manuel Avenue, Beith KA15 1BJ
Tel: 01505-503801


Don't forget about our "Close Calls" page.  If you have examples of prints that are close but are non-matches, scan them at 1000ppi and send to

To discuss this Detail, the message board is always open: (

More formal latent print discussions are available at (


Life-and-Death Leadership Lessons

Sir Ernest Shackleton's most spectacular exploration attempt - crossing Antarctica by foot in 1914 - ended when his ship was crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea.

Caught adrift on a melting ice floe for five months before reaching a small island, Shackleton and his 217 men faced the unrelenting cold with skimpy provisions and flimsy tents.

Shackleton then picked a small group to voyage 800 miles over treacherous seas in a rickety lifeboat to a whaling station. He found another ship, packed it with provisions and returned to rescue the rest of his crew.

Because he succeeded in keeping every man alive for 634 harrowing days, Shackleton has inspired many to study his leadership. His lessons:

1) Communicate. Immediately after the ship sank, Shackleton addressed his crew, candidly assessing their situation but also detailing a plan of action. He thereafter communicated constantly with his men, keeping careful tabs on their thoughts and morale.

2) Maintain your leadership. Shackleton understood that as the crisis deepened, some would lose heart, questioning his decisions and authority. So while asking for everyone's support and help, he left no one in doubt about one thing: He was in charge.

3) Remain clear-eyed and optimistic. Shackleton remained open to alternative plans and solutions. His upbeat attitude instilled confidence in his men.

4) Involve everyone. To keep the diverse group united, loyal and focused, Shackleton made sure each person had tasks that contributed to the group's welfare.

5) Demand teamwork. Shackleton minimized status differences, insisting on mutual respect and courtesy, and reinforced the team message: "We are one - we live or die together."

Adapted From Dennis T. Perkins, "Leading at the Edge" and Margot Morell and Stephanie Capparell, "Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons From the Great Antarctic Explorer" via Leadership Strategies,, Premier Issue.


Updated the Detail Archives

Iain McKie has updated his website,

Added Julie Fulton, CLPE as a consultant to the Consultant's page

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.

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

Have a GREAT week!