Steve Scarborough's Tips on Getting Forensics Right

Steve was wonderful. He's been an expert forensic witness on all kind of crimes. I'm just going to mention a few of the things he told us.

Forensic Evidence can narrow the leads and eliminate suspects.
Forensic facts can make your story come alive, but you need to be careful.

You should know the direction your story is going before you do the research.

Fingerprints are the most conclusive form of forensic evidence though Fingerprints and DNA should get equal billing.

It's hard to get fingerprints off of towels, the sofa, etc. metal and glass works better.

Ballistics evidence depends upon certain conditions of the bullet.

Other types of evidence are hair, fiber, glass fragments, ABO blood type, shoe prints.

Everything is circumstantial evidence except an eye witness.

What you must have is Means, Motive and Opportunity.

It's a myth that anything can be done--nothing is proven quickly, and some of the science seen on TV is make-believe.

You can't tell race or sex from fingerprints.

There is no such thing as a three point or four point match in fingerprints.

Detectives don't follow the evidence to the lab.

And the labs don't have everything they need in forensics. The smaller the place, the less they will have in the way of crime labs.

Steve was fantastic, worth the price of the conference.

In my books, the police officers use old-fashioned detective work--I never use much in the way of forensics, found it easier that way.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith


Kathleen Ryan said…
Hi Marilyn,

You took excellent notes during all of these presentations! You've given a great overview of the information shared during the conference.
Hi Marilyn,
Great post. I knew you couldn't get race or sex from fingerprints but no 3 or 4 point match? I always thought that meant 3 or 4 fingers matched. Which of course should be better than say just a thumbprint. But not? Is there some way that fingerprints are more conclusive?
Dang I wish I could have come sounds like a great conference.
There's always next year. It's always a good conference, but this one surpassed last year's.

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