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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, February 13, 2006

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

Father Warns of Court Action in McKie Case HERALD, UK - Feb 9, 2006 ...a private prosecution may be raised against fingerprint experts by the family of Shirley McKie...

£750,000 Payout To McKie SCOTSMAN, UK - Feb 8, 2006 ...the former detective claims she was subjected to a prosecution for perjury because of false fingerprint evidence...

Microsoft Fingered Over Fingerprint Patent   INQUIRER, UK - Feb 8, 2006 company is being sued by a firm which claims it's infringing a fingerprint patent...

Suspect Nabbed After 18-year Probe - Feb 6, 2006 ...fingerprints were rescanned on an Auto Fingerprint Identification System, and a positive match was made...

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist

Shirley McKie update
Iain McKie Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:23 pm

Any problems using DFO on an item previously Ninhydrin'd?
Steve Everist Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:00 am

Shirley McKie
Pat A. Wertheim Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:46 am

How much training
94 Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:58 am

Pilot study on simultaneous (cluster) impressions
John P. Black Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:39 pm

detail 233
Michele Triplett Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:37 am

Zinc Chloride Solution
susan Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:24 am

RAM Dye Stain
Andrew Schriever 688 Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:20 pm

Shirley McKie
Pat A. Wertheim Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:33 pm


Updated the Detail Archives.


Last week

we paused to reflect the passing of Dr. E. Roland Menzel.

This week

we look at the McKie full settlement out of court, we learn of another looming controversy in that case in the related news articles, and Joe Polski brings the IAI Update that includes highlights of the recent Board meeting in Florida, as well as a call for papers and student opportunities at the upcoming conference in Boston.

An Update on the events surrounding last week's out-of-court settlement in Shirley McKie's lawsuit against the Scottish Ministers.

In an editorial about the case of Shirley McKie printed in the Scottish newspaper “The Herald,” Thursday, February 9, Alison Rowat wrote of Shirley, “One long dark night of the soul is bad enough. Imagine 3000 of them. . . . When McKie first became aware of the murder of Marion Ross, Princess Diana was still alive and Bill Clinton was still in the White House.” In an almost unheard of development, members of both major political parties in Scotland are demanding an open inquiry into the mess. Bipartisan calls are being made for the resignations or firing of the four Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO) “experts” on up to the First Minister, John McConnell; the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, QC; Justice Minister, Cathy Jamieson; and others. Universal demands are being heard throughout Scotland for an open public inquiry and massive changes in the way things are done there, not just in fingerprints, but all the way to the top of government in the enforcement of laws and the administration of justice.

Things came to a head last Tuesday, February 7, when Shirley McKie’s legal team arrived in court in Edinburgh, Scotland, prepared to begin the civil hearing in her action against the Scottish Ministers. Up to that point, the Ministers, through their lawyers, had failed to negotiate in good faith. But in a move all of us have experienced, once Shirley’s witnesses arrived in court the other side threw in the towel rather than face the consequences of sworn testimony against them. The witnesses scheduled to testify for Shirley included Pat Wertheim, Allan Bayle, Arie Zeelenberg, James Mackay and Scott Robertson (who had conducted a secret inquiry in 2000 and recommended prosecution of the SCRO experts at that time), Geoff Shepherd and training staff from the British fingerprint training facility in Durham, England, a number of true Scottish fingerprint experts from fingerprint units other than the SCRO, and even a number of the Scottish Ministers themselves who wanted to avoid giving testimony at all costs. It is significant that Shirley’s original lawsuit was for £750,000 and the attorneys for the ministers offered that full amount in settlement at the very minute testimony was to begin by Pat Wertheim.

In a bizarre twist, David Russell, attorney for Peter Swann and the SCRO “experts,” complained on the CLPEX discussion board last week that Shirley McKie denied his clients their day in court by accepting the settlement. Apparently, the “Flat Earth Society,” enraged that the villainous Shirley McKie has won and accepted the Scottish Ministers’ concession that the earth really is round, has found a worthy mouthpiece in Mr. Russell. Mr. Russell, in the manner of all good lawyers, has total confidence in his clients and gives them his blind and unquestioning devotion. One of the SCRO “experts,” Fiona McBride, was trying her best, even after last Tuesday’s settlement, to get onto Scottish television to defend the SCRO’s position and “prove” that the print in question really was made by Shirley McKie! It seems, then, that the saga is far from over.

Next to come is likely to be David Asbury’s civil case for damages resulting from his faulty conviction for the murder of Marion Ross, which was also based on an erroneous fingerprint identification. The SCRO still claim that identification was correct, also.

The latent and inked fingerprints in both cases are available on the internet at by viewing the cases listed as “Second case – Scotland” (McKie) and “Third case – Scotland” (Asbury).

For more details on the case, the settlement, and the results of the secret inquiry in 2000, each of the following links will provide a little bit different information:,,2090-2036826,00.html

from the IAI Update
by Joe Polski

IAI Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

The IAI’s Board of Directors recently concluded its mid-year meeting in Orlando, Florida.  Full minutes of the meeting will be published in a future JFI.  Below are several highlights of that meeting: 

·         The Board approved a number of changes to the IAI by-laws designed to remedy conflicts, inconsistencies and reflect current practice.  These changes will be incorporated into resolutions to be introduced at the Boston Conference


·         A report by Candy Murray, the IAI’s Conference Planner.  The Boston Conference planning is on schedule.  Candy sought board direction for conference sites after 2008 and was given general direction to explore one site in the south and one in the west and report back to the board with those options.


·         Educational Program Planner Jim Gettemy notes that approximately 80 workshops are scheduled.  The registration booklet for the conference should be mailed around April 1 to all IAI members and others who have requested it.


·         President Maberry reported that he had been asked about the possibility of the IAI establishing a sub-committee and certification program for the discipline of crime scene reconstruction.  After some discussion, President Maberry announced the formation of a committee chaired by Tom Bevel with members Jan Johnson and Ross Gardner.  The committee will explore the feasibility of this proposal and report back to the board next summer in Boston.


·         President Maberry also announced his intention to appoint a special committee, at this time called the Standardization II Committee, to explore current problems facing fingerprint identification and make recommendations to address those problems.  The members of the committee will be announced after they are formally appointed by President Maberry.


·         The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been awarded $1.5 million dollars to establish a Forensic Science Committee to explore a number of issues affecting forensic science.  The establishing legislation mandates that representatives from the forensics community be appointed to this Committee.  In addition, the IAI has been asked for names of individuals from specific disciplines to make presentations to the Committee.  President Maberry nominated the following for NAS consideration:


·         For the Committee:  Steve Nash, Curtis Shane, Dr. Herb Pendleton, Joe Polski

·         As presenters to the Committee:  Mike Campbell, Peter Komarinski, Glenn Langenburg, Dean Bertram, Steve Meagher, Robert Kennedy and Grant Boulay.


·         The Certification Quality Assurance Committee was directed by the Board to work with the IAI’s certification boards to develop a structured program designed to encourage individuals to achieve certification in their respective disciplines.  This program should include an in-depth explanation of the certification testing process and a clear outline of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for certification.

2006 Boston Conference

Educational Program Planner Jim Gettemy is hard at work on the educational program for the 2006 Boston Conference.  If you are a discipline sub-committee chair you should have been contacted by Jim regarding program offerings for your discipline for the Boston Conference.  In addition, anyone who would like to present a workshop or lecture at the conference, please complete the Application for Presentation from that can be found on the right side of the IAI’s website Home Page, .  You can contact Jim by e-mail at or by phone at (850) 591-2732.

There will be a new session at the conference this year aimed at student attendees.  For the past few years, the IAI has encouraged students to attend the conference by offering a reduced registration rate.  That rate is one half the regular rate and includes all conference activities except the banquet.  This year, Dean Bertram, the IAI’s Student Committee Chair, has created a Student Program that will take place each day during the conference.  Presentations aimed particularly at students will be presented by some of the best instructors available.  We are hopeful this approach will attract even more students to the conference.

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

Have a GREAT week!