PSWA's Crime Scene

Poor soul came to unexpected end at our conference.

All during the conference this poor soul lay dead in the corner. All of the curious stopped by and checked things out--including the hotel maids who weren't exactly sure what the heck was going on. One even asked if we weren't going to take him away.

PSWA Members, Mike Black (retired police officer and very much active mystery author) and Steve Scarborough, retired CSI, prepared the scene and told us about crime scene investigation, which has little relationship to what we see on TV.

The process begins when the crime is reported. First officers on the scene make sure the person's dead. Any suspects still on the scene are arrested and the safety of others ensured. The crime scene is secured and protected. Witnesses are located and identified.

Supervisor and coroner are called. 

First responders have a crucial role, the initial observation upon arrival.

Some tips: Never underestimate the strength of stupid people in large crowds.

Protect the scene and make it was big as possible. It is necessary to keep everyone out, including fellow officers.

The CSI people do not wear all the wonderful clothes seen on TV-they aren't paid that well. They also don't have the super computers that are depicted on TV.  Real CSI do not follow the evidence into the lab.

Evidence is collected in systematic and proper fashion making every effort not to cross contaminate. Need to change gloves and booties from one area to the next.

Three components of the investigation.
 1. Physical Evidence.
 2. Interviewing Witnesses
 3. Interrogation of Suspects

Direct or testimonial evidence.
Circumstantial evidence
Physical or real evidence.

Scene Recognition.
Initial assessment and documentation
Photos/ Diagrams
Evidence Collection (Paper bags not plastic.)

Various types of evidence:
Fingerprints, Weapons, Information, Arrests

This was a great on-going presentation--and no we didn't find out who did it, but we made some great guesses.


M.M. Gornell said…
Mike and Steve did such a great job with the Crime Scene presentation. I loved it. Kudos!
WS Gager said…
I've seen Mike's crime scenes before and they are awesome. I really missed seeing everyone!
W.S. Gager on Writing
I loved the presentation too, Madeline Mike and Steve were great.

Wendy, we missed you!

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