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Monday, February 16, 2009

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
Student Finds Rare Lincoln Fingerprint
Science Daily (press release) - Feb 13, 2009
“I have seen a number of fingerprints that I assumed to be Lincoln’s, but never more than one in one repository. The fact that Miami has two makes it ...
No trace of Plytnykas' DNA at Jolanta murder scene
Brechin Advertiser,  UK - Feb 12, 2009
But fingerprints matching those of Vitas Plytnykas, 41, were found on bin bags containing the dead woman's belongings. at Arbroath found Jolanta's head and ...
Hughes’ fingerprints on knife
Victoria Advocate, TX - Feb 11, 2009
DPS latent print examiner Bryan Strong testified how the lab determines a match between a latent fingerprint and an a known fingerprint. ...
Experts testify in police shooting?
New Haven Register (subscription), CT - Feb 10, 2009
In addition, Kevin Parisi, a latent fingerprint examiner for the Connecticut State Forensic Lab, said his tests of the two latex gloves found behind the ...
Jolanta Bledaite murder trial: Accused's prints 'found on bin bag'
Glasgow Daily Record, UK - Feb 11, 2009
FINGERPRINTS from a man accused of murdering a Lithuanian woman and dumping her body parts in the sea were found on bin bags containing her belongings, ...

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    Updated the Detail Archives

    Last week

    We looked at a report on a lecture given recently by Dr. Dror.

    This week

    we look at a report on a committee formed by IAI President Robert Garrett in regards to a review of the prints erroneously identified as Shirley McKie. 

    Findings of the I.A.I.'s Y7 Committee

    by Robert Garrett,
    International Association for Identification President


    In 1997, Marion Ross, and elderly woman living a solitary life, was murdered inside her home in Kilmarnock, Scotland. Investigators at the crime scene developed a fingerprint on a door frame. The print or mark was subsequently identified to Shirlie McKie, a detective constable with the Strathclyde Police, by fingerprint examiners of the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO). A problem surfaced when the detective denied ever having been in the victim's house. The detective's unwillingness to admit to leaving the print resulted in charges of perjury and a trial for the offense. The detective hired her own fingerprint examiner(s) who refuted the findings of the examiners from SCRO. The detective was found not guilty and filed suit against the service in which she ultimately prevailed. The controversy surrounding the identity of the source of the print which was known as Y7 has not abated. For many years, members of the fingerprint community have asked for the International Association for Identification (IAI) to assist in resolving the issue. In response, as President of the IAI, I had decided to use its resources and study the issue. My decision was made in the interest of fingerprint science and its practice and without regard for any of the individuals involved.


    A committee was organized to examine the Y7 mark and the alleged source of the print which was, according to SCRO examiners, the left thumb of Detective Shirley McKie. The committee consisted of four experienced fingerprint examiners, all certified by the IAI in latent print examination. A fifth member was a renowned expert in forensic imaging who also had a background in fingerprint science. Images of the Y7 mark were secured from a number of sources, each image scrutinized for consistency, quality and quantity of detail.


    Three of the fingerprint examiners would be responsible for the actual examination and comparison of the prints. The fourth would be the committee chair, insuring the consistency of the processes used, commonality of reference, terminology and agreement of features used for comparison. The chair would also serve as the technical and administrative reviewer and be responsible for maintaining examination notes and documents. The examiners would conduct their comparisons individually after agreeing on which ridge characteristics to use, ridge counts and tolerances. Conclusions would also be made on an individual basis. Examiners would then act to review the conclusions of their co-workers.


    The examiners were required to thoroughly document their analysis of the prints; observations made during the comparison of the prints and the basis for their conclusions. The notes and materials prepared by the examiners will be maintained by the IAI and made available to researchers. A detailed article, based on the committee’s work and findings will be prepared for publication in the Journal of Forensic Identification.


    On December 23, 2008 the Committee’s work was completed with the arrival of the final examiner packet. It will be a while before the article is published considering the time necessary to prepare the article for submission to the JFI, the subsequent review process and the publication schedule, As Committee Chair, I decided to issue a summary finding of the committee’s work. The examiners came to a unanimous conclusion that the developed latent print known as “Y7” and the recorded known exemplar print identified as the left thumb of Shirley McKie do not share a common source. Therefore, the left thumb of Shirley McKie is excluded as the source of latent print/finger mark Y7.


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    Have a GREAT week!