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G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, August 11, 2008

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...
by Kasey Wertheim
Fingerprints Provide Clues To More Than Just Identity
Medical News Today (press release), UK - Aug 10, 2008
Fingerprints can reveal critical evidence, as well as an identity, with the use of a new technology developed at Purdue University that detects trace ...
Lee man accused of stealing laptops from North Naples Wal-Mart
Naples Daily News, FL - Aug 8, 2008
Deputies identified Nesmith as the suspect through store surveillance video and fingerprints obtained at the scene, reports said. ...
Man found guilty of 2006 fatal beating, FL - Aug 7, 2008
Forensic technicians found Sterling's fingerprints in several areas of Wallace's home, including a window frame where the burglars broke in and a garage ...
Penn. police take prints into their own hands
Police News, CA - Aug 4, 2008
Mr. Reutzel is one of only 135 people in the world certified as a fingerprint examiner by the International Association for Identification, ...

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

Public CLPEX Message Board
Moderated by Steve Everist

Calls for Inquiry to be scrapped
1 ... 29, 30, 31by Daktari on Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:28 am 463 Replies 39969 Views Last post by Pat A. Wertheim
on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:24 am

UK Experts Are Better Trained Than Americans
by Big Wullie on Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:58 pm 2 Replies 73 Views Last post by Pat A. Wertheim
on Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:21 am

Is Peter Swann A Qualified Fingerprint Expert
by Big Wullie on Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:28 pm 7 Replies 232 Views Last post by Daktari
on Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:27 am

Mass Examiner to testify about prints on firearms
by L.J.Steele on Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:22 am 8 Replies 277 Views Last post by Charles Parker
on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:48 am

Computer Monitors
by kimba325 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:08 am 4 Replies 88 Views Last post by George Reis
on Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:59 pm

Fingerprints Now Used to Find Drugs, Explosives
by RedFive on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:18 pm 0 Replies 38 Views Last post by RedFive
on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:18 pm

"Forged" fingerprints
1 ... 5, 6, 7by Pat A. Wertheim on Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:21 pm 96 Replies 13242 Views Last post by R T
on Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:24 pm

Ulnar trend of bifurcations on finger tips?
by Dan Perkins on Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:20 am 2 Replies 162 Views Last post by Bob Doak
on Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:37 am

Comparison tests
by Dan Perkins on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:07 am 8 Replies 565 Views Last post by Dan Perkins
on Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:24 am

IAI Conference Topics -
Louisville, Kentucky 2008:
Moderator: Steve Everist

Louisville Airport Shuttle
by Steve Everist on Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:41 pm 3 Replies 81 Views Last post by Ernie Hamm
on Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:25 pm

Documentation issues as they apply to latent prints
Moderator: Charles Parker

No new posts

Historical topics related to latent print examination
Moderator: Charles Parker

Early fingerprint enhancement
by gerritvolckeryck on Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:13 pm 2 Replies 25 Views Last post by gerritvolckeryck
on Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:49 am



Updated the Fingerprint Interest Group (FIG) page with FIG #57; movement, pressure and substrate distortion; submitted by Sandy Siegel.  You can send your example of unique distortion to Charlie Parker:  For discussion, visit the forum FIG thread.

Updated the forum Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony (KEPT) thread with KEPT #31; Quality assurance during the comparison phase - Originals or Copies?, submitted by Michelle Triplett.  You can send your questions on courtroom topics to Michelle Triplett:

Updated the Smiley Files with 2 new smileys, submitted by Ted Gibson of the Lamar County Sheriff's Office and Michael Williams of Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office. You can send your smileys to the Smiley Czar, Bill Wolz at:

A post this week on the CLPEX History forum by Gerrit Volckeryck (Belgium) exposes what could be the earliest published instance (1863) of the proposition of use of chemically developed (iodine fumes)
unique ("infinitely variable") latent prints to prove a crime (forgery).  Gerrit points out publication by Louis Figuier in the Journal de Toulouse, dated 29/12/1863, of the research of  M. Coulier.

Updated the Detail Archives


Last week

we looked at the importance of knowing our AFIS databases.

This week

George Reis brings us an overview and a request for more information regarding forensic digital asset management systems.

Forensic Digital Asset Management; An Overview and Search for More Information
by George Reis

This paper is an outline of ideas that I plan to expand in the coming few weeks – with your help. Please read this paper, and provide feedback to me via e-mail at or via my survey at: <>

What is digital asset management? In the simplest of terms, it is the method we use for archiving and retrieving our digital photos, scans, videos, and other digital files. It will consist, at minimum, of some sort of hardware (to store the assets) and some fort of filing method. In more complex scenarios, it may include secure networks, encrypted files, authentication software, database integration with other systems, etc.

Solutions range in price from free (except for the cost of the storage – hard drive space, for example) to tens of thousands of dollars.

The free solutions can provide image security, easy retrieval, image browsing and a simple interface. Modest priced solutions will include all this, plus they may include a database of both searchable metadata terms and low-resolution images. Off the shelf, commercial applications such as Extensis Portfolio or Canto Cumulus, can also integrate with other databases using common protocols like SQL. The most expensive solutions are marketed as “law enforcement solutions” and may include some extras like storing the files on a hidden drive.

When I consider the options, I often wonder what the considerations are that users consider when planning their digital asset management and storage solutions – why they choose one option over another. When I worked for a police agency, we used the free method, and it worked well from 1992, when we incorporated it, to the present. I’ve seen other agencies incorporate systems costing tens of thousands of dollars that don’t seem to offer any benefit over what we did for free.

There are a few choices to make when storing our images. We need to pick the media to use, the downloading method (from drag-and-drop to custom windows that include HASH logging), the level of security, whether to add keywords to search for images based on crime type, location or photographer, whether we integrate this system with a records management system, etc.

For images to be used in court, they basically need to represent what they purport to represent. No requirements exist for special “law enforcement” security or for software-based authentication. This doesn’t mean that we don’t need to use good practice, but it does mean that there are many ways to meet and exceed court requirements.

Whether you currently use a law enforcement solution, a commercial application, or have simply done it yourself – I would really appreciate your feedback on either why you have made the choice you have, whether you are considering something different (and why), and what features are important to you in making this decision.

KEPT - Keeping Examiners Prepared for Testimony - #31
QA during the comparison phase - Originals or Copies?
by Michele Triplett, King County Sheriff's Office

Disclaimer:  The intent of this is to provide thought provoking discussion.  No claims of accuracy exist. 


Question - Originals or copies:

How does using a copy affect the comparison process?


Possible Answers:

a)      Copies of the originals are somewhat degraded from the original image and this may have an affect on a conclusion.  Conclusions may be possible with originals that aren’t possible with copies.

b)      Latent images can be enhanced through the use of computer programs.  Once an image is enhanced then additional individualizations can be made that may not be possible when using the original image.

c)      Copies can be used for comparison purposes and it’s up to the person doing the comparison to decide if the copy has the quality needed to be useful.



Answers a and b:  Both of these answers are correct but it’s the examiners responsibility to use what’s necessary to do a thorough job.  If the appropriate tools cannot be used, for a variety of reasons, then this should be stated in the result, “Inconclusive – computer enhancement may aid in arriving at a conclusion”.

Answer c:  I think this is the most accurate answer.  As stated with answers from other questions, it’s important to give the most comprehensive answer because multiple examiners may be testifying in the same case.  This may not be known if one of the examiners is testifying for the prosecution and another examiner is testifying for the defense, therefore it’s wise to always assume another examiner may be testifying in all of your cases.



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

Have a GREAT week!