- Principles of Investigations
- Foundations and Principles
- Practical Application
- Specialized Investigations
- Digital Story Projects
Welcome to Principles of Investigation
Investigators attempt to identify, charge, and prosecute the criminal population by operating within an ethical framework in diverse, sometimes uncertain, but always challenging circumstances.
This course is an introduction to the practices and procedures involved in conducting criminal investigations and will provide you with a working knowledge of the relevant principles, techniques, laws and procedures involved, along with an integration of modern tools . You will learn basic theoretical concepts and apply them to the basic elements necessary for criminal case resolution. Topics include learning major goals of investigations, primary functions and responsibilities of investigating officers/agents, specialized investigations and the investigator's relationship with other individuals and agencies involved in an investigation.
As a prerequisite to this class you should have engaged in the prior study of such classic material as South Park, The X-Files or the new BattleStar Galatica (not the old one, ugh). Any of the three will promote a better understanding of the contents of this site.
Dr. Michael Thompson
United States Secret Service
The vision of the United States Secret Service is to uphold the tradition of excellence in its investigative and protective mission through a dedicated, highly-trained, diverse, partner-oriented workforce that employs progressive technology and promotes professionalism.
The mission of the United States Secret Service is to safeguard the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events.
The United States Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency located in Washington, D.C. It started in 1865 to control counterfeiting. Now it’s controlled by Congress to carry out two missions: protection of national and visiting foreign leaders, and criminal investigations. In the past they investigated the Klu Klux Klan, smugglers, mail robbers, land fraud, and many other things. They started protecting the president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, but the organization wasn’t fully responsible for the protection of the president until 1902.
JAMES J. ROWLEY TRAINING CENTER
Outside of Washington, D.C., the James J. Rowley Training Center has almost 500 acres of land, six miles of roads and 31 buildings. The Secret Service provides a wide range of courses for different careers. The main courses are designed for special agents, Uniformed Division officers, special officers and physical security specialists. In a single year, hundreds of training recruits go through extensive training in firearms marksmanship, use-of-force/control tactics, emergency medical techniques, financial crimes detection, physical/site/event protection and water survival training. At the other end of the professional spectrum, scores of veteran law enforcement, executive/managerial, administrative and technical personnel are offered comprehensive curriculum of specialized and technology-based training courses throughout their careers.
Advanced computer-driven methodologies enable the training center to reach beyond its Washington, D.C. facilities to provide "on-site" educational experiences to personnel throughout the Secret Service's domestic and international field offices. The Secret Service supports its valued law enforcement partners from across the country by providing protective security, financial crimes, specialized tactical and weapons training to other federal, state and local law enforcement personnel.
The Secret Service was established as a law enforcement agency in 1865. While most people know the Secret Service to be in charge of presidential protection, its original purpose was to investigate the counterfeiting of U.S. currency.
Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to protect the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations.
Since 1984, the Secret Service's responsibilities have included crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations.
The Secret Service protects
the president, vice president, president elect, vice president elect, and their immediate families.
Former presidents and their spouses for ten years from the date the president leaves office.
Children of former presidents until they turn 16
Visiting heads of state, foreign dignitaries and their spouses while visiting the United States.
Major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a presidential election.
by Mikaela Reiff
-Stop and Frisk Exception
By Mikaela Reiff
The stop and frisk exception is just the rule that states that the police can search a person even if the arrest isn’t justified. They’re also know as a pat-down search. They do this mainly to look for weapons and drugs. The landmark case that caused this to become a routine is Terry v. Ohio. This case occurred in 1968 when an officer saw two guys outside a store appearing to be casing it . He followed them for awhile then walked up to them when one of the men mumbled something which led to the officer frisking them. Terry and one of the other men were found to be carrying handguns. When this case went to court it was decided that if a police officer sees something that he believes could lead to criminal activity he is entitled to a search. Stop and frisk is when police temporarily detain somebody and pat down their outer clothing when there are specific facts leading a reasonable police officer to believe a person is armed and dangerous. It is not necessary for the officer to articulate or identify a specific crime they think is being committed, only that a set of factual circumstances exist that would lead a reasonable officer to have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is occurring. Reasonable suspicion is one step below probable cause and one step above a hunch.
A "frisk" by definition is a type of search that requires a lawful stop. It is best thought of as a separate act, but in practice, a suspect who refuses to answer questions in a stop may be providing the officer with sufficient justification to frisk. A frisk should not be for anything other than a dangerous weapon or contraband. However, if other evidence, like a suspected drug container, is felt, it can be seized by the officer under the "plain feel" doctrine. The purpose of the stop and frisk is for safety reasons for the officers and the people around them.
The Investigation of Crime
By Tyson Miller
When breaking down this first chapter, it is relatively simple. For every crime there are two sides, the police or law enforcement and the perpetrator or person who is thought to have broken a law or committed some kind of crime.
“Criminal investigation is the process of collecting crime-related information to reach certain goals” (Brandl 4). When looking at this a person can take away three main parts. The first part refers to the process. This is the duty or job of the law enforcement personal in finding out who had committed the crime. There are many steps in solving crimes which act much like a puzzle in which many different pieces must be put together or found in order to determine what really happened and the solution.
The second step is working with crime-related information. Many crimes are not random and happen for no particular reason, they usually have some type of build-up or events that lead the criminal to doing whatever it was that he or she did. Law enforcement officials have many ways of obtaining information on possible suspects and other events or information that might be beneficial in solving the case. Data from other agencies, witnesses, and background information all contribute to the case being solved.
Finally, a goal is the last step in the process. Goals set keep everyone who is working on the cases on the same page and understanding of what is trying to be accomplished. The simple task of keeping everyone informed and aware of the state of the case is vital in finding the solution. Goals help everyone maintain a certain mind set of what they need to do in order to achieve what was set out to do, it keeps everyone on track and allows them to take the proper steps needed to ultimately reach the goal.
There are two types of Criminal Investigation, reactive and proactive. Reactive investigations are traditionally worked on in a way where everyone that is or might be involved is informed and approached up front. This type of investigation usually occurs when the crime is less of a threat or if there is already ample amounts of information and evidence against the perpetrator. The proactive investigations are done in a “behind the scenes manor” where police begin working on a possible case or situation before it happens. This technique allows the police to be more prepared and might possible keep the crime from happening.
The Information Theory is the main concept behind law enforcement. Rather than a theory it is described best as resembling “a battle between the police and the perpetrator over crime-related information”(Willmer 1970). Determining on the amount of evidence found at the scene of the crime, information from witnesses, and background information the police will either be able to or unable to identify and apprehend the perpetrator. In either case someone will win being it either the perpetrator who doesn’t get caught or the police who catch the perpetrator.
Chance, accident, and discovery take an important role in the investigative process. Many crimes are solved through a manor of luck and chance. For instance, many crimes are solved or closer to being solved when investigators are working on another case and happen to stumble upon information that helps in another case. Police have time on their side and in some cases its not if they catch the criminal but just a matter of when.
The roles of logic, analysis, and inference have a vital part also. “Criminal investigation has been linked to the game of chess; Each case to which the investigator is assigned is like a chess match in process. As many as ten cases can be worked on by one investigator at a time which means that the investigator must keep the information from each cases straight and not confuse the cases with each other. There are two main approaches for this, the inductive and deductive approaches. “The inductive approach begins with particular facts or specific instances and draws general conclusions and explanations from these facts or instances” while the deductive approach, “begins with general premises and principals and, from these, specific conclusions are drawn.”
There are certain qualities that are important to have as being an investigator, “good judgment, stability, stamina, persistence, intelligence, teamwork, involvement, and dedication” are some of the most important.
Brandl, Steven G. Criminal Investigation. Second Edition. Pearson Education, 2008. Boston MA.
Structure and Content of Investigations
The structure comes in 2 major parts and giant details thereof: the Investigator and Evidence (as processed by Forensics). All investigations begin at the crime scene where detectives or other officers of the sort would begin with evidence and information gathering. Determining whether or not a crime has been committed and following the lines of responsibilities, use what they've found on scene evidence and otherwise to determine the facts. After gaining the physical evidence and clue development, they can identify the cause, what or who caused it and apprehend said perpetrator. As questioning and holding is underway, the physical evidence that had been picked up at the scene goes into the Forensics Labs and are tested for possible crime involvement. The Forensics Team (or person in some cases) will use different techniques on the different items to confirm or deny if the defendant is involved. If yes, then it goes onto higher ground, if no, then the person will be released and the paperwork filed and stored for references in the future.
It sounds really simple for only 2 parts, but the finer details are quite particular and everything from the steps required to figure out how a bullet lodged itself in a tree to who on the teams handles what piece of the case as the whole thing is quite delicate. One little thing goes wrong and all the hours of man labor can be thrown out the window.
[Textbook: Criminal Investigation - 5th Edition by Osterburg and Ward. Copyright 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007. Published by LexisNexis]
http://trouncealley.com/contents/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/policetape.jpg [picture reference]
Chapter 14-The Future of Criminal Investigation
The Technology of Identification and Forensic Science
+By Tyson Miller
Times are rapidly changing; with new advances in technology police are finding new ways to police the population and control crimes. However, as police become more equipped with these improvements and advancements so are criminals, as well as terrorists. Finding more efficient and productive ways of making sure their plans and acts of injustice are acted out is the number one priority of the wrongdoers.
One of the main priorities for law enforcement officers is to quickly and accurately identify and locate the criminal or prospects. There are many different ways of identifying these criminals today, new ways are being created and older ones improved. DNA is one current way being used to trace criminals. Blood, semen, and hair are common types of DNA that are used to match the criminal with the evidence found at the scene of the crime. Analyzing their DNA samples takes time however. “Portable devices may allow DNA evidence to be collected and analyzed at the crime scene, and allow for crimes to be solved via DNA more quickly” (Brandl 434). This new technology would be very beneficial to investigators and detectives making their jobs easier and allow most crimes to be solved or closer to being solved than they are today.
Other than DNA there are other types of evidence that can be collected at the crime scene that may lend to solving a case. Fingerprints are vital tools that detective use to quickly match the criminal with the crime. Fingerprints are used in situations were security is important. Locks and other security devices use fingerprint technology to make it more difficult for criminals to access safes, buildings, and other points of entry that may spark criminal interest. In the future it is very likely that the use of fingerprints will continue to be used. “For instance, fingerprint scanning devices have been developed to take the place of passwords on computers and locks on doors” (Brandl 435).
Along with fingerprinting there are other ways of identification such as facial and speech recognition. The process of using fingerprints is reliable but there are some flaws in this system, prints can sometimes be faked or impersonated. Speech and facial recognition will tend to be harder to mimic. These tools will benefit people wanting a very good security system and those who work in careers that require that each and every person have no past history of any acts that may endanger others round them. Airports are one example of a place where facial recognition is used to ensure safety. Nonetheless “these systems also raise a multitude of issues regarding privacy. In addition, the effectiveness of these systems has not yet been firmly established” (Brandl 435).
Identity theft and fraud are to very rapidly growing crimes in the world today. New technologies are being developed using “smart” identification cards they are very similar to the ones used in credit cards, driver’s licenses, and passports. “Smart cards are difficult to alter fraudulently. Future applications for smart cards may include global positioning satellite locators as well as personal, medical, and other identifying information” (Brandl 435). It is also very likely that GPS technology will be incorporated into “smart” card technology to better locate the individual who has stolen the card.
The world is constantly changing and until our last days humans will continue the battle between good and evil with each side working hard not to let the other side have the upper hand. As one side develops a better way to do their job the opposite side will in return work harder to even the playing field and gain the upper hand. These new and improving technologies mentioned will certainly be a part of this long time battle.
Brandl, Steven G. Criminal Investigation. Second Edition. Pearson Education, 2008. Boston MA.
The Future of Policing
By Rachel Montgomery
The basic future that surrounds policing is computer technology. The advancements in computer software and the internet have made it possible to access widespread information at incredibly fast speeds. According to the book, the information revolution has affected every facet of human life, from the nature of education, to family structure, and to the nature of occupations. The police are now under more incessant pressure than before due to the advancement in computers, but that is to be expected with the progression of technology.
The “New” Crime and Technological Demands
According to recent observations many new demands on the police today are certainly related to crime and technology. Also, according to Marx in 1988, since society has become more complex so has the crime. It has become more organized, specialized, and certainly complicated. Along with that assertion, Marx asserts that also society becomes more global so will crime. Globalization is defined as a firmly established trend as evidenced over time by imperialism, world wars, global and continental currencies, global trade agreements etc. Both devious crimes and globalization point to international terrorism as the “new” most significant crime-related demand on police.
Terrorism isn’t new to society, but since September 11 it has taken on new meaning. In 2001, according to the U.S. Department of State, terrorist activity has become significantly more prevalent since the 1960s. Since the 1960s it has increased to the 1990s and it continued to increase throughout the 1990s without hesitation. Since 1968 there have been 150 significant terrorist attacks, but only a few of them occurred in the U.S. A few infamous terrorist attacks were: the 1975 Wall Street bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1997 Empire State Building sniper, the first WTC bombing in 1993 by Islamic extremists, and then the second WTC bombing in 2001 by essentially the same group of people. Several other incidents occurred which, sadly, backs up the point that technology helps induce terrorism and makes it harder to track.
Most terrorism is initiated because of prior experiences that instilled hate and revenge in a person or group of people. The conclusion about terrorism is that it has exposed the current system of policing and how ill equipped it is to deal with the new demands of society. According to the book, there are good reasons to believe that trends already in place will increase the terrorist threat to the U.S. One specific trend is the demographics of Middle Eastern countries. A great example is Saudi Arabia because 70% of their population is 25 years old or younger…and their most likely to get involved in criminal activity. Along with that, central authority is declining among the political heads of state, which creates political instability, which created a haven for terrorist ideologies.
Knowing these facts, rapid changes are being made in American law enforcement to deal with potential threats and ultimately preventing them altogether. According to book sources, they claim that clues to September 11th were obvious. The book provides several examples of clues, such as the storming of planes, terrorist killings, and the foiling of terrorist plots back in the early to mid-90s. The terror threat is not new and will likely continue to haunt the United States. If authorities had had the capabilities to monitor the activities of these terrorist groups back then though, their formation even may have been prevented. Another trend that will effect crime, the policing future, and the criminal investigations future all together is the rapid adoption of technology.
The most significant source of technology today is the computer and its partner, the internet. The internet has changed our world in so many different ways. It has made it so people can work from home, pay bills online, and even order pizza! It has also created a darker side of the world. It can speed up the spread of hatred and revenge through e-mail, IMing, blog sites etc. and it is all done from just the click of a button. Also, the internet can provide people ways to steal sensitive information from government websites (i.e. WikiLeaks guy?). It can also spread viruses and other disturbing things.
The “New” Police
Basically, it has been theororized by Marx that as the world crime stage gets more global and complex…policing methods will have to follow suit, which only makes sense. The government has inserted itself even more so than before by passing laws; one such famous one is the PATRIOT Act of 2001 which mainly gives power to law enforcement to gather information by monitoring phone calls, e-mails, internet activity, and allows for wiretaps. This law is rightfully criticized and constantly debated over, yet we keep it in place out of fear. As of 2008, it was estimated that the federal government devoted $100 billion to federal law enforcement which means local law enforcement agencies were and are still being neglected too much.
Another factor that will play into new policing is the growing bond between our military and police agencies. Both will essentially become each other over time, so naturally they’ll have a lot of power which could be dangerous. September 11th is a good example of this. The immediate response was made by the National Guard who put soldiers in airports for security reasons. Also, the U.S. Air Force provided air patrols over cities, and there were other instances like this. Police assume the role of power too without question. For example, they have “war” on drugs and “war” on crime. The point is made that police are very community oriented when the country is at peace, but very authoritarian and centralized (military like) during uncomfortable times.
Technology that has been increased in local police agencies consist of devices that have radar, two-way radios, night vision, sensor-technology etc. It has been increased and updated over time but sometimes not quite fast enough. Since it has been recognized that the police are becoming more powerful and authoritarian the technology levels have increased. It has been said that the future of our police is headed for a more “iron fist” strategy, and a lot of it is in place thanks to technology and more globalized crime.
The Investigation of Crime
Tracy Earl & Allison Boyd
Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation at the Local Level- Municipal police departments have three primary functions such as service, order maintenance, and law enforcement(crime control). Service refers to the provision of assistance to the public with regard to nonprime-related matters. Example of that would include getting keys out of a locked car. Order maintenance involved activities oriented around maintaining the public peace. Example would include responding to an animal complaint. Crime control activities involve intervening in situations in which a law has been violated and the identity of the perpetrator needs to be determined. The criminal investigative process can be placed within the crime control of the police mission. On average, 90% of sworn officers in police departments are assigned to field operations, which include patrol and investigative units. Approximately 10-20% of sworn officers in police departments are assigned as investigators or detectives.
Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation at the County Level- Along with performing public services, order maintenance, and law enforcement activities in the county, most sheriffs’ departments are also responsible for function related to jails and court operations. Approximately 90% of all sheriffs’ departments operate one or more jails and nearly all have court related responsibilities such as serving papers, and providing services to courts(transporting prisoners to and from court). Overall, approximately 42% of sworn officers in sheriffs departments are assigned to patrol operations, 31% to jail operations, 12% to investigations and 11% to court related duties.
Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations at the State Level- State law enforcement agencies were created primarily to assist local police and county sheriffs departments in carrying out their law enforcement functions. A primary reason for this perceived need was the effects of automobile. State police agencies have numerous organizational units to provide the broad spectrum of law enforcement services in the state and interstate highways. Their enforcement jurisdiction and authority is quite limited, and their services relate specifically to traffic matters. The complementary agency to the highway patrol has responsibilities’ for remaining general law enforcement tasks including investigations training, and forensic sciences.
Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation at the Federal Level- These agencies have authority to enforce Federal Law. They can’t enforce violations of state law any more than state or local authorities can enforce federal law. Federal laws are enforced by federal agencies, violators of these laws are adjudicated in federal courts and those convicted of federal crimes are referred in federal correction system. It might be confusing because in some cases such as bank robbery, and kidnapping, they are in violation in state and federal laws. Therefore, federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities may operate joint investigations or task forces directed at certain types of crimes (terrorism, drug trafficking).
Federal Bureau of Investigation is the major investigative agency in the Department of Justice. FBI has broad authority and jurisdiction. They are responsible for more than 200 categories of federal offenses. The investigative responsibilities of the FBI fall into several categories.
1) Domestic Terrorism
2) They have been given responsibility for investigating foreign espionage, international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and attacks on the country’s critical infrastructure
A) Banking system, transportation system, and mail system.
The FBI main goal is to protect and defend the US against terrorist attacks, and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the US and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. Local agencies rely on the FBI crime laboratory for their forensic analysis needs. Such things include, documents, fingerprints, DNA, explosive, firearms, tool marks, toxicology, and tire treads, among other things. The FBI also maintains and operates the National Crime Information Center. The purpose was to maintain a computerize filing system of criminal justice information, including, stolen vehicles, guns, and missing persons. Approximately 1.3 million inquires are made every day into the system from more than 100,000 terminals located in police agencies across the country.
Drug Enforcement Administration was created in 1973 merger of the former Bureau of Narcotics and dangerous drugs, the Officer of National Narcotics Intelligence, The Officer for Drug Abuse Law Enforcement, and the drug investigation and drug intelligence operation of the U.S Customs Service. The DEA is headed by an Administration of Drug Enforcement. The main task of the DEA is to investigate violators of controlled substances laws at the interstate and international levers. U.S Customs and Border Protection may seize drugs and apprehend drug violators, suspects are still directed to the DEA investigation. DEA manages a national drug intelligence program that involves collecting, analysis, seizes assets derived from or used for drug trafficking.
United States Marshal Service is the oldest law enforcement agency of the federal government in the United States. It was not created until 1789. It was created to support the operations of the federal courts. From the beginning, they served subpoenas, summonses, writs, warrants and other processes issued by the courts. The USMS is responsible for apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses., and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. The USMS is most well known for its responsibility in pursuing and locating federal fugitives.
The Role of Evidence in Criminal Investigations
-Lexi, Wes, Jason
Criminal Evidence is broadly defined as any crime-related information in which an investigator can base his decision off of or make a determination from. Criminal evidence consists of alleged facts and knowledge that can relate to a particular crime and or perpetrator. Evidence is what comes from the different investigative activities that are preformed. Evidence is normally used to establish proof that a crime has been committed by a particular person. Another type of evidence is exculpatory evidence and exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory evidence normally tend to exclude or eliminate a person they assume to be a suspect. Proof is established by evidence. To prove something means you have to eliminate all uncertainty.
Probable cause is also another standard of proof; this is a way to justify a search or an arrest. The true nature of probable cause comes directly from the fourth amendment. Probable cause from the fourth amendment justifies a legal search, seizure and or arrest. If probable cause does not exist then all evidence found during any of the above, all of it will become inadmissible in court and the arrest, if one, will be considered not valid.
Standard Critical questions Situations of Relevance
Probable cause Is it more likely than not that a particular circumstance exists? To make an arrest?
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Is the doubt about the defendant’s guilt meaningful or significant To obtain a conviction
Reasonable Suspicion Is there reason to believe that particular circumstances exist To stop and frisk
There are various types of evidence that can be used to establish proof, and all evidence can be classified as direct or indirect and that evidence can be classified as either testimonial, real, or demonstrative. Direct evidence refers to crime-related information that immediately demonstrates the existence of a fact in question. Indirect evidence which is also known as crime related information that probabilities are needed to draw an associated conclusion. Sometimes circumstantial evidence is often viewed as less valuable than direct evidence in establishing proofing. Testimonial evidence is the evidence that is presented through witnesses speaking under oath, whether they be lay witness (person who witnessed the crime) or an actual expert witness. Real evidence, also known as physical evidence, scientific evidence, real evidence consists of any objects that are able to be touched, held or seen. Demonstrative evidence also refers to tangible objects that relate to a crime or the perpetrator that are produced indirectly from the crime.
Evidence of any type may serve various purpose or functions in establishing proof. These functions can be broken down into Corpus Delicti Evidence, Corroborative Evidence, Cumulative Evidence, Associative Evidence, Identification Evidence, and Behavior Evidence.
All in all this is just a little bit about how evidence plays a role in criminal investigations. Evidence is such a big part of investigating and an investigation any more summing it up is almost next to impossible, besides it’s massively important.
Rules Of Evidence
++++++by Laura Williams+++++
A criminal investigation lives and breathes on evidence. If there is no evidence, an investigation cannot begin…or will be discontinued….or will end without a conviction. Whether evidence can be used to further an investigation or gain a conviction is dependent on a number of interrelated factors. There are five standards which must be met;
1) The evidence must be relevant. Does it have any bearing on the case?
2) The evidence must be material. Does it make the existence of a fact more probable?
3) The evidence must be competent. Was it legally collected? Is it allowed by federal and state laws? Is it allowed by the rules of the court?
4) The evidence must be necessary. Does it establish a point?
5) The chain of custody must be correct. Was it correctly collected? Has every step of its journey been documented?
Of all of these standards, perhaps the most attention and controversy is levied on the third, the competence of the evidence.
The third standard is most directly addressed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which seeks to protect citizens against illegal searches and seizures. Basically, if the police want to search for evidence, they need a warrant. If they wish to seize evidence, there must be no federal or state law against doing so. If they wish to present evidence in court, there must be no rule of that court saying the evidence is incompetent. The Frye test and the Daubert rule are together an excellent example of the court first narrowly defining what they will accept, then later broadening that standard. There are a number of valid exceptions to all of these rules, but all undergo intense scrutiny in view of the citizen's rights.
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution guarantee to citizens the rights to avoid self-incrimination and to have counsel available to them, even if they cannot afford their own lawyer. The narrowing and specifying of these rights has often caused controversy in the criminal investigation community, as after the verdict of Miranda v Arizona 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
The exclusionary rule says that any evidence that doesn't meet the five standards listed above cannot be used in court and must be excluded. But just like the warrant rule, there are exceptions to this as well. The only firm rule seems to be that the rules of evidence are entirely flexible and open to judicial interpretation.
Overall it can be said that rules that exclude evidence and the exceptions to those rules have a strong and direct bearing on criminal investigation. For every ruling that seems to bubble-wrap citizens from what investigators consider crucial evidence-gathering abilities, there is another which seems to allow the same investigators to get around the first. In the end, the worst possible outcomes seem to be largely avoided. Confessions haven't ceased to exist, and police haven't moved wholesale into the living rooms of the average citizen. Maintaining that balance will continue to be the focus of the courts moving forward.
Chapter 5 by odasie wright
The search warrant requirement and its exceptions
The motor vehicle exception, first recognized in Carroll v United States and often referred to as the Carroll doctrine, has evolved into an expansive search authority that effectively renders the need to obtain a warrant to search a vehicle unnecessary. When analyzing the manner in which the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the exception and its permissible scope, one can conclude that if the facts indicate a warrant could be obtained to search a vehicle, it is not likely that, as a matter of federal constitutional law, a warrant would be legally required. The authority of a police officer to search a vehicle has been the subject of numerous Supreme Court decisions. This is not a surprising revelation given the frequency of police-citizen encounters involving vehicles. The Supreme Court has been called upon to address not only when law enforcement officers may engage in this warrant less search but also its permissible scope. This article examines the Court’s decisions that establish what is required before law enforcement officers can engage in a warrantless search of a vehicle under the motor vehicle exception and where in the vehicle this search authority extends.
Attributes of the Investigator 1
Physical Evidence 2
Physical Evidence 3
Physical Evidence 3
Kaleb, Roberto, and Brittany
This chapter of Criminal Investigation talks mostly about forensics and how useful it is to criminal investigators. There are many different ways used by investigators to examine evidence that could be helpful in catching the perpetrator with physical evidence (such as fingerprints, bullet cartridges, and tool marks.)
Criminalistics is the application of various sciences to answer questions relating to examination and comparison of firearm and tool mark examination, biological evidence, controlled substances, impression evidence (such as fingerprints, footwear impressions, and tire tracks), trace evidence ballistics, and other evidence in criminal investigations. Normally, evidence is processed in a crime lab.
When examining evidence, investigators first identify the object used, and then establish the victim/criminal/scene triangle for further help. Afterwards reconstruction of the crime and the crime scene, all to protect the innocent and to provide “expert” testimony in court to put the criminal/suspect in prison. During an examination of a crime scene, the investigators search for certain things such as fingerprints, blood, urine, other bodily fluids, eyelashes, broken glass, bullet cartridges, alcohol, ect…as well as reason for the crime. Certain evidence like fingerprints, handwriting, and bodily fluids can be traced back to the perp by looking at DNA samples or previous records of self, in order to question, hold as a suspect, or arrest as a suspect.
The role of the crime lab is as such, to establish the reason for the crime, to link the scene to the victim, victim to the scene, scene to the criminal, and criminal to the victim, making a triangular shape that attaches the scene, criminal, and victim all together. As well as to reconstruct the crime scene, try and obtain a confession, and to protect the innocent and provide testimony in court. Fingerprints, bullet cartridges, DNA samples, confessions, and ect…can all be used in court to prove or disprove the suspects’ innocence.
There are many instruments from World War II that have helped in the development of the analytical instruments we have today, that were designed to examine certain objects such as glass, beakers, bottles, test tubes and so on and so forth. Some instruments are called spectrophotometers, emission spectrograph, mass spectrograph, x-ray diffraction camera, neutron activation analysis, and a chromatography. All of those machines do something helpful in investigations someway or another, in their own respective ways, sadly I am too much of an idiot to understand what they do, so I’m just going to type what they are supposed to do. They take infrared pictures, or ultraviolet pictures or x-rays, or whatever an atomic absorption instrument does. They are quite nice and formidable, but the investigators don’t really need the knowledge of how any of the machines or tools work at all.
Figuring out the criminal’s identity or the victim’s identification is extremely important for criminal investigators. How they identify someone’s identity is either by DNA samples or fingerprints. Or if a bullet was found in someone after a shooting, then the criminal investigators can trace the bullet casing all the way back to the suspect by checking out the size and type of the bullet that was used, then check if the suspect is in possession of a firearm capable of using the bullet.
Forensic Medicine deals with such studies as forensic pathology, forensic serology, toxicology, forensic odontology, and forensic psychiatry. Forensic pathology determines the cause, the time, the tool, the injuries acquired during and after, the identity and age, and the size of the body after found dead. Forensic serology is the study of blood and how certain chemical reagents can permit detection. Toxicology deals with poisons, namely where, when, and their properties. Criminal investigators have the ability to identify the chemical analysis, and how they connect a person to a certain set of bite marks, or estimate a persons’ age. Forensic psychiatry is the study of a criminal’s state of mind, or mental state. It isn’t really useful unless used in law enforcement, the courts, and the correctional system.
Ultraviolet rays and laser radiation are valuable instruments when it comes to detecting latent fingerprints. As well as powders, namely dust, iodine, ninhydrin, silver nitrate, and cyanoacrylate fuming are just as valuable when searching for fingerprints especially that of a murderer. Fingerprints have distinct ridges that make distinct patterns on peoples fingers, making it to where no one has the exact same fingerprints. There are three types of fingerprints, arches, loops, and whorls; each type has subdivisions of that category. And that’s pretty much it for Chapter 2, sorry its not that good but hey at least its something.
Kaleb, Roberto, and Brittany
People As Sources of Information 4
People are used as sources of information by criminal investigators, the people can tell the investigators what all happened, what is happening at the present time, or what may or will happen. People are practically information banks, filled with information on certain things that they have learned, saw, heard, done, touched, smelled and tasted. They not only hold what may be important information they can describe, use, and tell said information to others, and when certain actions by individuals turns into bad situations and the police are then brought in, then the information that was gathered by the spectators can be used by the police to determine how to handle the situation at hand.
The actions of a criminal can serve to betray him, such as the criminal’s motive, the pattern of operation, or the psychological process behind his/her crime. His origin and clues that he may or may not have left behind can and may betray him. Or his confession to the people he believes he can trust can and will get him caught. The victim of the crime can also be used to help catch the criminal, using his/her five senses, sight smell, hearing, taste, or touch. The victim or witness can describe to the police the criminals’ physical characteristics, vehicle, weapons, and clothing so as to allow the police sketch artist to create a drawn likeness of the suspect.
After all information is gained from informants, the surveillance then begins. Surveillance is described as the unobtrusive observation of a person, place, or thing, and in this case it would be the suspect. They locate the suspect, obtain information about the activities the suspect does, prevent more crimes that may be caused by the suspect, and to apprehend the suspect. After surveillance runs its course and the obtaining of the suspect, the interrogation can begin. Interrogation is pretty much the questioning of the suspect, or the opportunity to gather information from him/her. Then he and a few other suspects are all lined up for the witnesses to hopefully identify the correct suspect that actually committed the crime.
There are a few different ways to determine whether a suspect has committed a crime or not, one ways would be by connecting the suspect up to a polygraph, or a lie detector. Lie detectors are used more as a scare tactic rather than the actual detection of lies. Then there is lie detection by voice stress analysis, in which a suspects’ voice is recorded then compared to regular voice so as to hopefully detect a change in his/her voice pattern, such as changes in pitch, glottal source factors, duration, intensity, and spectral structure. Either way both lie detectors work, either by scaring a suspect into confessing or actually showing us that the suspect was lying. Another way is by hypnosis, though not as powerful or useful, it can sometimes get the job done. Or one could study the suspects’ nonverbal communication, or his actions such as his kinesics, paralinguistic, and proxemics.
By Lindsay Frahm, Bryce Marble, and Tonya Rudzik
Almost everyone has either been interviewed or has conducted an interview. An interview is just a way to exchange information. The most important thing to remember during an interview are the “five W’s and one H”: Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and How?.
First comes questioning people. There are 2 processes for doing this: interrogations and interviews. An interrogation is the questioning process that is used for a suspect, suspect’s family, friends, or associates. These are the people who are more likely to withhold information or be deceptive. An interview is the questioning process that is used for a victim or eyewitness. This is for people who wouldn’t hold anything back and are expected to discuss everything they know. During an interview, these questions should always be covered in an interview: Who?, What?, When?, Where?, and How?. Other questions will be asked also to help get more information about the case. The modus operandi is also to be obtained during an interview. A modus operandi is the offender’s pattern of operation, or method of preparing for and committing a crime.
There are many ways to acquire the facts about a case. One way is through a victim or eyewitness. A victim or eyewitness is asked to describe the offender the best they can. There are several methods of getting a good description of the perpetrator. One example is a portrait parle or verbal picture. This is a verbal description of the perpetrator’s physical characteristics and the clothing they were wearing. Another example is the use of a Police Artist. Another example is pre-drawn facial features. One last example is using a computerized sketch program.
Another way is through describing the lost or stolen property. It needs to be described in as much detail as possible to make sure it’s the right object. This requires getting a description of the stolen property by the owner and the pawnbroker who sold it.
One last way is through taxonomy. The facts that are obtained through taxonomy are classified by the following: kind of object, name of manufacturer, model number, identifying features, the material used in the construction, physical appearance, and markings.
There are many ways to deal with the reluctant, fearful, or unaware witness. First, for securing cooperation, there are 24-hour hotlines for witnesses to call. There are also rewards offered for any information in getting the arrest of a suspect. Next, dealing with the reluctant witness can be difficult. There must be a reason why potential witnesses are so reluctant to come forward. Also, convincing them to testify in court is particularly hard, because the case may depend upon their testimony. Next difficulty is dealing with a fearful witness. They may be fearful because of reprisal or may be scared of the police which leads to a communication barrier between the call takers and the complaints. Next difficulty is the long-term cooperation from witnesses.
Possibilities are putting them in victim-witness units or by allowing there to always be hotlines for anyone to call about a crime. One last difficulty is the unaware witnesses. Many times the crime scene will be revisited to find unaware witnesses that may work or live nearby. Also, the crime is often publicized to see if anyone sees it on the news and realize they have information that could help. A neighborhood canvass is often used also. Often times there are people who say they are too busy to be questioned and act like they just don’t care about it too.
Behavioral analysis interviews specifically focus on the fact that the person being questioned unwittingly gives nonverbal signals. Bait questions are sometimes used to draw the individual into modifying or even repudiating the original assertion of noninvolvement.
Another way of interviewing is using hypnosis. There are two major concerns when using hypnosis though. Sometimes the victim may suffer from a severe psychological trauma and reliving through hypnosis could make it much worse. “Facts” could be implanted that would mislead the witness while they were under hypnosis. The FBI follows a specific policy when using hypnosis. The hypnosis has to be trained and must use specific techniques that are fair and are not misleading.
An eyewitness’ evidence and/or testimony and their perception of memory are very important. The stages to observing and recalling this memory can be complicated and making sure the memory is correct. Any information that is encountered through senses and encoded into memory is called sensory input. Memory is the storage and retention of what was observed and encoded. To retrieve information, there are two processes: recalling and recognition. Recalling is bringing a previous event back from memory. Recognition is remembering an event after cue is provided.
Often times there are witness errors. This could be due to an environmental condition or a personal factor. Examples of an environmental condition are illumination, distance, noise, or weather. Personal factors are relevant sensory organs other than sight or hearing that are not impaired in any way.
The cognitive interview is a technique used for memory-retrieval. Memory-event similarity is an attempt to have the witness mentally recreate the environment surrounding the event. Focused retrieval is when the interviewer helps witnesses focus by not asking a lot of short answer questions, undirected, or irrelevant questions, which could break their concentration. Extensive retrieval is the focusing on the most indelible inscribed event in memory and proceeding forward or backward, or beginning with how the event ended and working backwards. Witness-compatible questioning is done when the interviewer is able to ask questions when they place their mind in the mind set of the witness’ frame of mind.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
Records and Files 7
By Lindsay Frahm, Bryce Marble, and Tonya Rudzik
Government and business organizations maintain the major sources of recorded information. Law enforcement records are set up according to the following:
1. Type of offense
2. Name(s) of offender(s)
3. Name(s) of victim(s)
5. Date and time of occurrence
6. Relevant facts pertaining to the case
7. Disposition of case
All files must be updated and keep current.
The application of information science concepts to the storage and retrieval of information and a more sophisticated use of records in crime pattern analysis are two developments that will enhance the value of records. Automated data processing is a form of record keeping that is very important. It is used to reduce the time of investigating reoccurrences. Many times departments do some sort of analyzing of crimes.
Crime data can be collected from two different sources. One is an external source. These include crime victims, the courts, correction agencies, and probation/parole departments. Another source is an internal source. These include patrol, detectives, communications, and special units.
To check for crime patterns, there are many ways possible. The most efficient extracting of useful information is through computers. They help by:
1. Identifying possible suspects for a particular crime
2. Listing crimes having a common offender
3. Indentifying crime trends and potential targets
4. Preparing crime maps by type and location of crime or by residences of common offenders
A famous crime pattern analysis program which helps identify the suspect, is named “modus operandi” (MO). “The MO system meets with more success when some unusual mode of committing the offense is noted.” This is called linkage.
Another program is ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program). It was set up by the FBI in 1985 and specialized in the following areas:
1. Solved or unsolved homicides or attempts, especially those that involve an abduction; are apparently random, motiveless, or sexually oriented; or are known or suspected to be part of a series
2. Missing persons, where the circumstances indicate a strong possibility of foul play and the victim is still missing
3. Unidentified dead bodies, where the manner of death is known or suspected to be homicide
4. Sexual assault cases
A MO file is organized by 10 different factors to help with linkage. Those 10 factors are:
1. Type of crime
2. Time, day, location
3. Type of property or persons targeted
6. Ruse used by perpetrator
7. Tale used by perpetrator
8. Miscellaneous idiosyncrasies
10. Electronic data processing
In criminal investigations, geospatial analysis is also used. This is the use of mapping technology to provide an array of information on the locations of specific events. This can create maps that illustrate crimes by time of day and relationship to other locations such as roads or transit facilities, businesses or drop off points. These maps can also generate special reports and maps locating high criminal activity areas or generate patterns relating to a particular offender.
Another method of gaining information about criminal is through business records. This can become very hard because of the cooperation between businesses and law enforcement. Sometimes a search warrant is necessary. This includes, not only information about the person, but financial records as well.
There are many hills that must be overcome to be able to obtain that information that is desired. The biggest issue is the actual existence of the information, rather than the availability of the recorded information.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
By Lindsay Frahm, Bryce Marble, and Tonya Rudzik
An informant is anyone who discloses investigative information. Today’s journalists call informants sources. Informants are perceived as betrayers and are often called “stool pigeon,” “squealer,” “rat,” “fink,” “snitch,” “snout,” “informer,” and “agent provocateur.”
Hoffa v. United States involved the admissibility of an informant’s testimony in court. The court upholds the use of paid informants. On the other hand, in Maine v. Moulton, the court considered any incrimination statements made by a defendant to an informant that were prompted by the informant inadmissible.
An informant is very useful in criminal investigations. There are many different ways that the information coming from an informant can be used. It can be used to prevent a crime that is planned but not yet committed, uncover a crime that had been committed but has not been discovered or reported, identify the perpetrator of a crime, locate the perpetrator of a crime or help to locate stolen property, exonerate a suspect, and/or lower morale among criminals through apprehension. These results can vary because there are different types of informants and different informants have different motivations.
There are 3 different types of informants. Some informants are volunteers, while others expect payment. Some also conceal their identity, while others act openly. Others remain anonymous, furnishing information by way of mail or telephone. Informants can be generalists or specialists and function just once, or continuously. Informants can be viewed in many different ways. Usually in police department an informant will work with a specific detective and that detective only. While on the federal side, an informant may work with many different detectives.
There are 5 main motives for informing. These 5 motives are: self-serving, mercenary, self-aggrandizement, emotions, and civic duty. The reasons for self-serving motives deal with cutting a deal, the elimination of competition, or building a line of credit. The reasons for mercenary relate to paid informants only. The reasons for self-aggrandizement are motive by vanity to provide information believing it will win favorable attention from authorities. Fear, revenge, jealousy, repentance, and gratitude are all emotional reasons. The reason for civic duty is to be a good citizen.
There are a couple of opportunities for informants. They are to acquire useful information and to reveal information without exposure to retaliation. Dealing with informants can cause many problems, especially when it comes to the investigator-informant relationship. First, is handling the informants. They must meet on neutral ground, treat the informant fairly, treat the informant courteously, appeal to the reason of motivation, clue in newly recruited informants, explain entrapment, maintain their cover, keep informants in line, make sure informants are not committing crimes to gain information, and keep financial transactions exact. Next, is interviewing the informant. They must press for details, be tactful, check reliability of information, not reveal discrepancies of information, be sympathetic, avoid embarrassing questions, and maintain control of the interview. The potential problems and precautions include the potential for corruption and the control of the informants by an agency or individual investigator.
There are many problems with the legality of evidence that is based on “informant-supplied” information. One problem is probable cause, which were decisions based on the following 3 Supreme Court cases: Draper v. United States, Aguilar v. Texas, and Spinelli v. United States. Another problem is the preservation of confidentiality. The problems include: to determine that the informant actually exists, to determine the reliability of the informant, to establish differences between the police version of events and the informant’s statements, and to endeavor to have a charge dismissed by the court if the state refuses disclosure. The following Supreme Court cases dealt with confidentiality: Roviaro v. United States, McCray v. Illinois, and Smith v. Illinois. One last problem is entrapment or the act when police or informant with official concurrence beguiles an innocent person into committing a crime.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
By Lindsay Frahm, Bryce Marble, and Tonya Rudzik
There are many terms that a person should know to be able to participate in surveillance. These terms include the following: surveillance, subject, surveillant, tail, stakeout, undercover, convoy, shadow, be make, burn the surveillance, close surveillance, fixed surveillance, moving surveillance, loose surveillance, open surveillance, mustard plaster, plant, tailgating, technical surveillance, bugging, pen register, and beeper.
There are three types of surveillance. First, the fixed surveillance remains fixed or stationary in one location. Second, the moving surveillance deals with the subject moving about, therefore, the surveillant moves about. This type of surveillance is usually conducted from a vehicle. Last, the technical surveillance involves electronic eavesdropping devices and assorted visual and infrared optical devices.
The major issue with surveillance is legality. With fixed and moving surveillance, the issue of individual privacy and harassment has been invoked to confront these issues. With technical surveillance, the issue of wiretapping, bugs, pen registers, beepers, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 are all issues. Visual enhancement devices are generally permissible.
There are a couple of considerations that the surveillant must take. The tactics they must take include close surveillance, planning, and preparation. In Preparation, they must be familiarized, have the proper equipment, and be able to blend in the neighborhood. The other consideration is counter-surveillance. The surveillant must be cautious as to not be placed on counter-surveillance by the subject.
There is a procedure that must be followed for the interception of wire or oral communications. An ex parte order must be obtained and the surveillance may last no longer than 30 days. To obtain an ex parte order, the following facts must have been submitted:
1. There is probable cause for belief that an individual is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a particular offense
2. There is probable cause for belief that particular communications concerning that offense will be obtained through such interception
3. Normal investigative procedures have been tried and have failed or reasonable appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or to be too dangerous
4. Except as provided in subsection (11), there is probable cause for belief that the facilities from which, or the place where, the wire, oral, or electronic communications are to be intercepted are being used, or are about to be used, in connection with the commission of such offense, or are leased to, listed in the name of, or commonly used by such person
An extension may be granted; there are no limitations on the number of extensions.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
By Brianna Elliott, Skyler Weisshaar, & Mark Naron
A crime has been committed and someone has witnessed the incident. The witness then calls the police and is asked by police to look at a serious of pictures to hopefully identify the perpetrator.
The Rogues Gallery
In all states the law requires that when an individual is arrested for a felony or a serious misdemeanor, the law states that photographs or mug shots, fingerprinting and collection of DNA must be taken from the individual. Also personal information like height, weight, place of birth, scars and tattoos, social security numbers, crime(s) committed will be collected to. After the obtaining of this information it is stored and organized by crime in what is called The Rogues Gallery.
Using Rogues Gallery
Witnesses have to agree to look at mug shots, which not every witness will agree to. Once the witness does agree to look then these precautions must be taken in order to minimize the chance of misidentification.
1. “A reasonable number of randomly arranged photographs should be shown to the witness regardless of whether an identification is made immediately upon viewing but one or two of them. In Simmons v. United States the Supreme Court approved displaying only six photographs. Many departments, however, require more. From and investigative standpoint, they find a higher number preferable.
2. A detective or other police officer must not offer an opinion as to which person in the mug shot display may have committed the crime. If a witness asks, it should be explained that this is not allowed because it is the eyewitness’s unbiased opinion that is crucial.
3. Only one witness at a time should be permitted to view the mug shot display. Furthermore, one witness may not view photographs when another is present. All must act separately and out of earshot of each other.
4. After viewing a set of mug shots, a witness must not suggest by word or gesture to another witness that he or she has or has not made an identification.
5. When a positive identification is made and probable cause to warrant an arrest is thereby established, the remaining witnesses should not be shown more mug shots; instead the witnesses should be held in reserve to scan a lineup for the suspect if one can be arranged.
6. Whenever a positive identification results, a record should be made of all photographs shown, and the witness asked to initial and date any photographs found to identify the offender. When and where t procedure occurred and who was present should be also recorded. As soon as practicable, the investigator is to record anything the witness said upon making the identification.
7. In general, the use of mug shot photographs to identify an offender is an advisable practice only when a live, corporeal identification-such as a lineup-is not feasible.
8. Photographs should be presented in “as neutral a form as possible” and should not be referred to as “mug shot” photographs.”
Sketches and Composite Images
If Rogues Gallery doesn’t produce and offenders identification then police artists or composite image kits are brought in.
Using Police Artists
Police Artists are very talented artistic people that are really good at drawing faces and that are on police payroll. Police Artists sit down with the witness and the witness describes the offender and answers any question the Police Artist may have about the offender. After all the detail is given the Police Artists then leaves the witness and goes off to a different room without interruption to sketch the offender. By doing this it prevents the witness from directing the way the offender is drawn. After the image is sketched it is revealed to the witness to see if the offender has been revealed and if the image is wrong it can be redrawn.
Using Composite Kits
Composite Kits contain many images of different races of individuals both male and female. By using Composite Kits the witness is able to create the offender using various images of people.
Lineups are when the suspect is apprehended and placed within a group of people so that he may be viewed by eyewitnesses. Suspects are told before the lineup occurs that they have the right to refuse the lineup and if they do refuse than it can be used against them in criminal court. The Suspects are also advised of whether they are or aren’t allowed to have a lawyer present during the line. It all depends on the procedure. Also other rights are given to the suspect. Police are not allowed to assist the witness in choosing the suspect. Each time the lineup is viewed by a witness the suspect is allowed to move to a different location down the line.
Outward Appearance of Participants
All people participating in the lineups must be similar in looks. If you have 5ft 6in high white male, wearing glasses with brown hair and brown eyes, wearing blue jeans and a white shirt then your participants must resemble him.
When it comes to behavior of the suspect the participants must behave in the same manner. It is very important that the participants resemble the suspect in every way possible.
Recording the Procedure
When a lineup is conducted everything must recorded such as the procedure itself, the witnesses remarks, the people’s names who participated, and a color photograph must be taken of the lineup.
Role of Suspects Attorney
Suspects Attorneys are allowed to consult the suspect before the lineup. Attorneys are allowed to observe the lineup but are advised that they have to remain silent during the lineup, and that they are allowed to be around when the witness picks out who is the suspect. At the end of lineup upon approval by the witness may the suspects attorney ask him/or her questions.
One-On-One Confrontations (Show-Ups)
When a proper line up can’t take place a One-On-One Confrontation may take place. This is where the suspect brought back to the scene or presenting a suspect to each eyewitness separately. One-on-One Confrontations are only allowed take place under certain compelling circumstance (i.e. if the witness is wounded and has a possibility of dying.)
1. “The permission of the physician in charge is obtained.
2. The time between the crime and the confrontation is limited-to within 20 minutes, preferably.”
While a confrontation is taking place no remarks are allowed to take place to the witness. The procedure is recorded.
By Skyler Weisshaar, Brianna Elliott, & Mark Naron//
The Purpose of Interrogation
Who conducts the interrogations: Investigators
The purpose of Interrogation is to coax out information from a suspect and to see who’s innocent and who isn’t by clearing up facts. Other information that is obtained are the names of accomplices, facts and circumstances surrounding the crime, Follow-up leads, location of stolen goods, location of physical tells their involvement in the crime, but is insufficient by itself to prove guilt, or the investigator will try to get a confession which is an oral or written statement acknowledging guilt.
Why People Confess
The concepts of why people confess are based off of the works of Horowitz and Pavlov.
Horowitz: Basic Concepts
1. Accusation: The person under interrogation has to be mentally or visually aware of the accusation. It doesn’t matter whether the accusation is explicit or implicit during the start of the interrogation and this factor doesn’t make no essential difference in the suspect social-psychological situation. “Whether guilty or innocent, the individual is in a difficult position. Feeling cornered, freedom is the main concern, but the route appears blocked. The strength of the perception of accusation is subjective; it is “a function of the person rather that an function of the objective strength of the authority itself.”
2. Evidence is Available: If the suspect is guilty then the realization of being accused causes them to worry a lot and psychologically they become very disturbed and unstable.
3. Forces-Friendly and Hostile: Any factors that create uneasiness will evoke a confession. Being Friendly can cause psychological uneasiness and also being hostile will do the same.
4. Guilt Feelings: If the suspect doesn’t feel guilty then the likelihood of confession is not good.
5. Confession: The Way Out-Under interrogation people become vulnerable and their weakness become more easily to get to. So if the suspect is told something like “tell me about it, and you will feel better” then the likelihood of confession is high.
Pavlov: Basic Concepts
Pavlov did a study dogs and their reactions to signals and decided to take those results and compare them with humans.
1. Intensity of Signal: When a suspect realizes that incriminating evidence exists the feel that their life is an open book.
2. Anxiety Waiting: When a suspect is in readiness and is wanting and waiting for something to happen they become tense. So if the suspect is denying involvement in the crime and is asked to think it over and come back tomorrow then that might cause them to confess.
3. Alternate Signals: During Pavlov’s dog study he found that when a friendly signal is given off it evoked a positive response and when a negative signal was given it evoked a negative response
4. Physical Condition: Pavlov in his study with dogs he made the dogs work until they were sick and was having health problems. Well of coarse Pavlov concluded he couldn’t do this to suspects but he came up with that if the suspect is tired or ill then the likelihood of a confession was high.
Why Some Do Not Confess
Some reasons why people don’t confess are some people don’t suffer from guilty feelings and are completely numb and don’t see a need to confess. Other live in fear and are afraid of their accomplices while others believe that talking digs their own grave. Lastly Under Miranda, it would be an unusual set of circumstances for an attorney to fail to advise a client to remain silent.
ISSUES IN INVESTIGATION OF VIOLENT CRIME
by: Allison Boyd, Rachel Montgomery, and Laura Williams
Violent crime, as defined by the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (FBI, 2005), is commonly broken into three categories. They include homicide and battery, forcible rape and other sexual assaults, and robbery. Each presents its own investigative challenges.
Homicide and battery comprise the smallest category of violent crime. Although considered “high profile”, these crimes are relatively rare. Statistically, most victims are young adults, male, knew or were related to their attackers, and the weapon involved is most commonly a gun. Both homicides and batteries provide a wealth of clues to investigators. These are the most commonly “cleared” types of violent crimes. After first determining the cause, approximate time, and location where the attack occurred, investigations often proceed quickly. Forensic evidence is generally available from the body of the deceased or wounded and the environment where the attack occurred. Because there is so commonly some prior relationship between victims and their attackers, the backgrounds of the victims often provide clues to the identity of the perpetrator and the motive behind the crime. Witnesses are often useful in providing leads that will lead investigators in the right direction. Additionally, if the weapon used is recovered at the scene or at a later time, it often reveals the identity of the perpetrator and connects them to the crime. This is not to say all homicides and batteries are cleared, but they do stand a statistically higher chance of closure than other violent crimes.
The next most common category of violent crime is that of forcible rape and other sexual assault. Most notably, where the victims of homicide and battery are most commonly young male adults, the victims of this category of crime are most usually young female adults. Statistically, even more victims of these crimes knew or had a prior relationship with their attackers than the previous category. It is estimated that, because of these relationships, this may be the most under-reported category of violent crime. There are seldom any witnesses to this type of attack. Because of the face-to-face nature of the crime, victim statements are often the most useful information investigators have with which to proceed. Forensic evidence from the body of the victim and where the attack occurred may then decisively connect the suspect to the crime. It is important to the investigation of these crimes to understand what motivates the perpetrator. “Contact” rapists are primarily motivated by sexual pleasure, whereas “sexual aggressor” rapists are motivated by anger and control and are less likely to know their victims. Investigators in this field are often highly specialized. The investigator's ability to establish a supportive relationship with the victim, as well as successfully interrogating potential suspects, is frequently the difference between a cleared case and a cold case.
The final category of violent crime occurs most frequently and is the least likely to be cleared. The very nature of robbery makes it the most challenging investigative undertaking for law enforcement. The motivation is simple; money. Criminals want it and believe that robbery is the method of obtaining it that puts them at least risk of apprehension. Statistically, the victims are far less likely to have any prior knowledge of or relationship with their attackers than either of the previous categories. Robberies of persons on streets accounted for the largest proportion of robberies in 2004 (Criminal Investigation, Steven G. Brandl, 2nd ed, 2008 pg. 350). The very mobile nature of the crime makes forensic evidence less likely to be available. Witness statements can sometimes be useful, but can also be conflicting and misleading. Police have the best chance of apprehending robbers when they are notified of the crime while it is happening and they respond quickly to the scene, thereby allowing for an on-scene apprehension (ibid.)
While violent crime often dominates the evening newscast, it is important to note that it is relatively rare. In fact, all three categories discussed here have fallen consistently since 1992. While these crimes do continue to occur, however, the investigative challenges they present will continue to warrant serious consideration.
Ch.13 Documentation and Presentation of Evidence
-Wes, Lexi and Jason
This chapter talks about the correct procedures of collecting and obtaining evidence and goes into the process of presenting the evidence properly to the court and jury. In beginning of the chapter they explain several cases where the subject was wrongly accused based on evidence that was later determined to be inadmissible in court or by the miscarriage of justice. Many of the subjects actually served prison time and then later released. One of the most notable cases was with O.J. Simpson where the evidence was handled sloppily and some of it was fabricated which lead to O.J. not being convicted of murder.
The book describes the process of the courts to be viewed sometimes as a game. The prosecution and defense attorney are opponents presenting conflicting arguments of the truth. You have the judge who is essentially the referee who is there to make sure the rules are followed. The defense attorney is sometime said to have the upper hand because they do not have to prove anything to win, that the burden of the proof is up to the posecution.
Miscarriages of justice—be it in the form of an innocent subject being punished or guilty subjects going free—can occur in many ways:
1. Police Misconduct and Incompetence
-When the police are reckless or neglectful in searching for and collecting evidence
2. Prosecutorial Misconduct and Incompetence
-When the prosecutors let exculpatory evidence be suppressed, when some evidence is destroyed, using witnesses that are unreliable or that were offered perjured testimony.
3. Defense Attorney Misconduct and Incompetence
-Defense attorneys being appointed to poor subject and then becoming overloaded with cases which leads to the attorney not being able to give each defendant the time it deserves.
4. Inept Judges
-Judges who let misconduct take place in the court room and who in turn work against the desired outcome.
5. Incompetent and Corrupt Expert Witnesses
-The way they are being compensated may lead them to provide a testimony that is not necessarily true.
6. Inept Juries
-When juries do not take into count all the evidence that have been presented and fails to make a good faith decision.
-Are documents that contain information relating to a criminal incident and investigation. They are used to document the particulars of the crime and investigation. The reports need to be exact and can determine whether or not correct procedure was followed.
Two types of Testimony:
1. Expert Testimony-A person of knowledge that would be able to provide their opinion about a certain event or piece of evidence.
2. Cross Examination- Is where the prosecutor conducts a examination of a witness. After the prosecutor is done the defense attorney gets to question that same witness and tries to convince the jury that this witness should not be believed.
The Role of the Jury
-To hear and consider the evidence as it is presented and decide whether the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed it.
-Juries are not asked to decide if the defendant committed the crime but whether the prosecution gave proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime.
Interrogation of Suspects and Hostile Witnesses 12
By Brianna Elliot, Skyler Weisshaar & Darik Stithem
The Miranda doctrine spells out the constitutional rights and procedural safeguards, including the waiver of those rights, that must be conveyed to a person before any interrogation may be undertaken. The words of the Court also spell out what the police must do to comply with the Miranda ruling.
*Implementing the Miranda Warnings
1. You have the right to remain silent. This means you do not have to answer any questions addressed to you.
2. If you answer any question, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to legal counsel. This means you may secure the services of a lawyer of your own choosing and seek his or her advice. You may also have him or her present with you while you are being questioned.
4. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning takes place, if you so wish. This will be done without any expense to you.
5. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you retain the right to stop answering at any time. At that time you still have the right to seek the advice of a lawyer before continuing to answer questions.
*Waiving one’s Rights
The concern, first expressed by the police after Miranda, that no one would agree to be interrogated is not supported by experience. Fewer individuals exercise their rights than do those who waive them. It is incumbent on the investigator to prove that the person voluntarily and knowingly waived his or her Miranda rights and decided to answer questions posed by the investigator.
*Interrogation in Practice
To conduct an interrogation it is important to establish its purpose and be familiar with the underlying principles.
The success of an interrogation rests on several factors, among which preparation is one of the most important. In order an investigator will:
1. Personally visit the crime scene and review crime scene photos.
2. Review the entire file and be familiar with details.
3. Be aware of physical evidence.
4. Learn as much about the suspect as possible.
5. Ascertain which elements of crime can be proved by the evidence and which ones cannot
The conduct of an interrogation is best served if the barriers to communication are minimized. The amount of privacy and time, the room arrangement, and the tone set by the investigator can influence the conduct of the investigation.
2. The room.
3. Seating Arrangements.
4. Viewing, listening, and recording devices.
*Creating the Tone
It is important at the outset to create an atmosphere that will govern the interrogation. This is done with several objectives in mind: to make it easy for the subject to talk and confess; to establish that you are in control of the questioning; to avoid distractions that allow the subjects mind to stray from the matter at hand; and to prevent interruptions that break the continuity of the narrative description or thought pertaining to the event under investigation.
1. Dress and Appearance
5. Taking command of the situation
*Conducting the interrogation
1. Preliminaries- Capacity of subject to understand and respond rationally to questions and Give the suspect opportunity to confess.
2. Beginning the Interrogation- Establish that suspect can remember and is rational and ask questions not related to crime but to general information.
3. The body of interrogation- Establish suspects whereabouts at the time of the crime. Who was suspect at time of crime? What was suspect doing at time of crime? Anyone witness suspect doing any of above at time of crime? Evaluate responses given (including body language). And Last The “break.”
*Documenting the interrogation.
1. Recording Confessions
2. Types of cases videotaped
3. A consensus favoring videotapes
4. Reducing the confession to writing
5. Witnessing the confession
6. Time and Personal Needs Register
Reconstructing the Past 13
By Brianna Elliot, Skyler Weisshaar, Darik Stithem
*Methods of Inquiry
It brings insight to divide the principle methods of inquiry into two broad, distinct categories: those that reconstruct the past and those that discover or create new knowledge. The first is the method of the historian, archeologist, epidemiologist, journalist, and criminal investigator; the second, that of the scientist in general. Although usefully stated as a dichotomy for the sake of a conceptual distinction, these methods finally fuse in the minds of the better thinkers and practitioners, for the reconstruction of the past often makes use of the scientific method, while science and art build on and digress from the past.
*The Scientific Method
Evolving from the efforts of many workers over the course of several thousand years, the scientific method is a way of observing, thinking about, and solving problems objectively and systematically. As the prestigious nineteenth-century student of science Thomas Huxley emphasized, its use is not limited to scientists. A lesson Huxley learned early was to make things clear.
*Induction is a process of reasoning based on a set of experiences or observations from which a conclusion or generalization is drawn. It commences with the specific and goes to the general. As to the result secured, however, care must be exercised. This warning is implicit in Huxley’s sour apple lesson. For another illustration, consider the man who notes that of the 10 pieces of bird he observed, all are able to fly. When he induces from this observation that all birds fly, he will be incorrect. Though not always recognized as such, the penguin is a bird but cannot fly.
*Deduction is a process of reasoning that begins with a generalization and moves to a particular fact or consequence.
- Classification is a systematic arrangement of objects into categories based on shared characteristics
- Synthesis is the combining of separate parts
*Analysis starts with a whole and involves an effort to separate the whole into its parts for individual study.
*Hypothesis is the conjecture that provisionally accounts for a set of facts
*Theory is a somewhat verified hypothesis, a scheme of thought with assumptions chosen to fit empirical knowledge
- A priori is from a known or assumed cause to a necessarily related effect (deductive).
A posteriori denotes reasoning from empirical facts (inductive).
The first step in reconstructing the past or unraveling the mysteries of the universe is to identify the problem. Although the techniques and methods for problem solving have been systematized as the scientific method, the state of affairs regarding problem identification namely, recognizing what it is precisely is less than satisfactory.
Reconstructing the Past: Sources of Information
1. People- As long as general, specific, or intimate knowledge concerning an individual endures, it can be acquired by those who know how. People are social beings, and information on them can usually be found in the possession of family and relatives, work or business associates, and others.
2. Physical Evidence- Any object of a material nature is potential physical evidence. The Scientific specialties that undertake most examinations of physical evidence are forensic medicine and criminalistics.
3. Records- Records are a form of physical evidence. They receive separate treatment in this text, however, because they are widely scattered, voluminous, and have specialists devoting full time to their storage and retrieval.
4. Innovative Applications
a. Industrial archeology-Uncovering traces of an ancient civilization in a temple or amphitheater sounds more romantic than finding what remains of an old factory. Yet the classical techniques of archeology are now being used.
b. Garbageology- Another contemporary form of archeology is Garbageology, the science of rubbish or the study of garbage.
c. Theological Detective Work- Candidates for sainthood in the Catholic Church undergo an investigation that has been described as theological detective work.
**Further Commentary of the Investigative Process
1. Luck or creativity
2. The prepared mind
3. A case of unheeded warning flags
4. Investigative Mind set
5. The development of mind set
6. Evidence and proof
Reconstructing the Past: Methods, Evidence, Examples
Methods of Inquiry such as the Scientific Method can help bring about the cause of a crime scene layout investigators must solve. Any form of thinking can tip the scale in an investigation so starting with the basics isn't that uncommon. The complex twisted stages of thoughts and deductive reasonings on par with Sherlock Holmes happen to be something of televisions creation and blown massively out of proportion.
An open mind to many things can solve something faster then thinking to hard; such as inductive reasoning. Sure deductive reasoning seems to make more sense, but sometimes thinking from the specific information you have can help you form a better general conclusion. As you may find for every method, there's an equal and opposite theory that can bring about just results. Classification's (the systematic arrangement of objects into categories that have one or more traits in common) opposite happens to be Synthesis (the combining of seperate parts or elements that lead toward a certain conclusion) yet both have been known and used to solve cases, spelling out whats happened and how the scene got to where it did. For every Hypothesis there's a Theory, for all priori there's a posteriori yet it all meshes together to make an answer. (Even if the answer isn't an answer).
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2005/10/03/forensicexperts_wideweb__430x305.jpg [image resource]
http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/news/00016286.jpg [image resource]
[Textbook: Criminal Investigation - 5th Edition by Osterburg and Ward. Copyright 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007. Published by LexisNexis]
What is Crime? 14
By Brianna Elliot, Skyler Weisshaar, Darik Stithem
What is Crime?
Crime is defined as an act committed or omitted in violation of law forbidding or commanding it, and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.
The legislature defines crime by enacting penal statutes that govern behavior for which punishment can be meted out. Behavior can be viewed as (1) inherently bad (malum in se, the deliberate killing of another human being), or (2) against public policy (malum prohibitum, committing arson in order to defraud). Public perception of crime varies over time and across cultures.
Public perception has also changed regarding the way health is acquired. Many families that are today’s pillars of society acquired their “old money” through now outlawed malum prohibitum business practices, whereas some “new money” involves behavior that may yet be outlawed ( white collar crime in general which presently is a sociological rather that a legal term.
1. Anti-abortion activists may view abortion as malum in se while abortion rights proponents may view it as malum prohibitum
2. Acquiring of wealth; earlier business practices that were legal may now be malum prohibitum practices.
A. Substantive criminal law-two classes: felonies and misdemeanors.
1. Felony- Punishable by death or imprisonment for less than one year
2. Misdemeanor- punishable by fine and or imprisonment for less than one year.
3. Elements of a crime- specific acts taken together compose the crime.
4. Corpus deliciti-two components.
a. That elements of crime be satisfied
b. Someone is responsible for the injury of loss sustained
B. Procedural Criminal Law
1. Based on the federal and state constitutions
2. Bill of Rights (Forth through Ninth Amendments).
A. Decisions on Law Interpretation
B. Prior decisions on interpretation used in present cases.
*Model Penal Code
A. American Law Institute proposed a Model Penal Code in 1962 in order to make laws more uniform.
B. Model Penal Code has not been widely accepted by states. (Case Law would continue even if the Model Penal Code was universally accepted.)
*Sources of State Law
A. United States Code and state codes (annotated statutes).
B. Shepard’s Citations- case law source.
C. Computer online searches.
1. Lexis Nexis
Chapter 15 Homicide
Homicide is one of the most feared crimes in the United States. The fear was created by the “Beltway Snipers.” Individuals in the mid-Atlantic area.
Means: The body of the Crime
That each element of the offense has been satisfied
That someone is responsible for iflicting the injury.
More than 16,000 murders are reported in the U.S every year.
Blacks are more often victims that Whites.
Most victims are between the ages of 20 and 29.
Most murders are committed with a gun of some sort.
Overview of Investigative Activities
Record Crime Scene
Collect and Preserve physical evidence
Identify the Victim
Establish the cause, manner, and time of death
Ascertain motive from crime
From the way the Crime was Committed
From Knowledgeable people of victims activities
Interview and Interrogation
Recording crime Scene
Recognizing, collecting, and preserving physical evidence
Identifying the victim
Estimating the time of death
Establishing the cause and manner of death
Recording crime scene
Recognizing, collecting, and preserving physical evidence
Accertianing the motive for the crime
Importance- provides lead for suspects
Apparently Sex-connected Homicides
Wanting a new or younger mate, Killing a Spouse
Anger, jealousy, revenge, envy, hate,….or nuptial agreements, domestic
Removal of an inconvenience or impediment
Apparently Motiveless Crimes
Stranger killing Stranger
Gangs acting on dares
Family, Friends, Business associates
Financial Gain, Debt, Family Quarrels, Divorce
The Crime Scene as the Focus of Investigation
Is this an Unlawful Homicide?
Establishing Corpus Delicti
Manslaughter or Murder
Justifiable or Excusable
Is Homicide Simulated as a Suicide?
Using Info from Final Exit to stage a Suicide
Suicide Not present
Who is the Deceased?
What was the Motive?
Is there Associative Evidence Present?
Reconstructing What Happened
The Body as the Focus of Investigation
Who is the Deceased
Tattoos and other Markings
Medical Records of Broken bones or scars
Establishing the Case and manner of Death
Reconstructing the Crime
Last Person to See Victim Alive
Checking a Witness’s Story
Time of Death
Accuracy of Time of Death
Was there sufficient time to effect injury
Time Line– Determining opportunity
Number of Wounds
Cutting and Stabbing Wounds
Blunt Force Wounds
Blood Spatter interpretations
Type of weapons used
Are the Remains Human?
Was the Victim Alive or Dead when Burned?
Was fire to Cover up Homicide
Ante mortem and Postmortem Injuries
People: Those Who Knew The Victim
Immediate Crime Scene Area
Perpetrators after a while will relax and start to talk or brag about their exploits
Interrogation begins and Miranda warnings are in order
Determine what the suspect is willing to talk about and what connection exists between the suspect and the crime that was committed or the crime scene itself
The Value of Records
Insight Into Motive
Diaries and letters
May reveal and hint or a motive
Beneficiary of an insurance policy, a will, or other inheritance
Ownership of a pair of eyglasses
Previously recorded Activities
Anything in the police or judicial records and be searched through
Types of Homicide Investigations
- Case that is easily solved
Also known as – Platter, Dunker and Meatball
- no apparent solution
– Homicide that appears to have a solution but will require effort
- Major investigation that has the community agitated
- make death appear accidental
Vehicles – break lines cut or not
Firearms – occupation, and hobbies checked
Fire - smoking in bed or just mattress set on fire
Poison – put in medicine capsule to look like suicide
First person to Report the Crime
Ruse – cover up my misdirection
Apparently Involuntary Disappearance
Family Abduction - when a family member abduct a child
Non-Family Abduction - Unauthorized taking of a Child
Runaways - Children who have left home without permission
Thrownaways – children who have been told to leave the household
Lost, Injured, or Otherwise Missing
Intrafamily Killings – someone in the household did it – most likely the adolescent son
Home and Workplace invasions
Random Shootings - all victims die in one event
– separate events spread over time
Generally motivated by robbery or rape
Victims unknown to killer
Serial Murders - Usually prompted in males with sex drive
Select Victims at Random
ViCAP – Violent Crime Apprehension Program
Recognize crimes that might be committed by the same perp
“Lonely Hearts” Killings
Victim Must believe they are about to die
Victim must have no hope of recovery
Declaration must identify the person responsible for their conditions and the manner which injuries were inflicted
Victim must be rational and competent
Victim Must die from the injuries received
Dying Declarations may be oral but must be taped or recorded somehow
May also be written and signed by the victim, and useful to have it witnessed by a member of the public
Videos are also acceptable but hard to obtain when an ambulance is involved
by: Rebecca Howard, Bronson Scott, and Mark Naron
One of the feared crimes to a community is murder (Homicide). Homicide is killing of a human or multiple humans by another human. Not all Homicides are criminal: they could be justifiable or excusable. A suicide is treated as a homicide until it can be established as a suicide. Different types of Homicide's and there definitions are Justifiable Homicide This involves the intentional but lawful killing of another. The state commits justifiable homicide in carrying out a death sentence handed down by a judge after conviction. justifiable homicide is also committed when a police officer kills a human being who shoots at the officer first: or when and individual , believing his or her family or self is being threatened with a weapon, kills the person they believe is putting them or there family in harms way.
Another type of homicide is Excusable Homicide. Excusable Homicide is where a person kills another person by accident, without intent to injure somebody or without gross negligence.
Suicide is defined as taking one's own life. Even though it is not considered a crime, it is considered as a public wrong in many jurisdictions.
The definition of Criminal Homicide is the unlawful taking of a human life. There is also two different types of Criminal Homicide; murder and manslaughter.
Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with intent or premeditation.
Manslaughter is the killing of someone without intent.
Different Investigative activities used in a Homicide:
1. Record details at the crime scene. For example: photographs, sketches, and notes of the different things you see.
2. Recognize, collect, and preserve all the physical evidence. So that you will be able to facilitate and reconstruct the crime. To link a suspect to the victim, crime scene, or both. Also identify a substance like poison, narcotic, blood, and semen, or an object like bludgeon, or a gun in order to locate the source and trace the owner.
3. Identify the victim or victims.
4. Establish the cause, manner and the time of death.
5. Ascertain the motive for the crime. From the way the crime was committed-using evidence at the scene, and trauma inflicted on the victim for psychological profiling. From those who had knowledge of the victim’s activities (social, familial, business).
Partitioning all of the responsibilities:
Evidence Technician- Recording the crime scene, Recognizing, collecting, and preserving physical evidence.
Criminalist- Recognizing, collecting, and preserving physical evidence. Sometimes responsible for: recording the crime scene.
Forensic Pathologist- Identify the victim or victims, estimate the time of death, establish the cause and manner of death, and sometimes recognize, collect, and preserve physical evidence. Forensic Pathologist also ascertains the motive for the crime.
Forensic Anthropologist- Recognize, collects, and preserves the physical evidence. Forensic Anthropologist also identifies the victim or victims.
Detective (Investigator) - Record crime scene, recognizes, collects, and preserves physical evidence. Detectives also ascertain the motive for the crime, seeks additional information, question suspects, and develops authentic information for identifying the victim or victims.
The following list covers most of the apparent reasons that impel one person to kill another. Sometimes it can be a combination of motives:
- Financial Gain
- Sexual gratification
- Apparently sex-connected homicides
- Emotional factors
- Removal of an inconvenience or impediment
- Apparently motiveless crimes
- “Thrill” of killing
Some associative evidence suggests what we might be looking for at a crime scene like:
1.Traces of the person
a.Finger and palm prints
b.Blood, semen, saliva, hair
d.Other skin patterns such as ear prints and lip impressions, or teeth marks
2.Traces of wearing apparel
b.Weave pattern and stitching of clothing and gloves
3.Impressions left by
a.Weapons-firearms, cutting or stabbing devices
b.Tools- jimmies, metal cutters, hammers, metal punches
c.Shovels- used to bury a body or weapon (some types of soil, such as clay, retain striation marks left by the digging edge of a shovel.)
Answers to information entomologists may be able to provide include:
1.How did the death occur?
When the body is in an advanced state of decay, it may be possible to offer an opinion.
2.Was the body mutilated after death?
Insect secretions or bites sometimes seem to have a pattern, appearing to have been inflicted by a handmade tool. If a similar pattern were observed in another homicide shortly thereafter, investigators might infer that a disturbed person was involved. Clearly, this would be an unproductive effort if the mutilation pattern is that of insects.
3.Was this animal, especially a species protected by law, killed illegally?
A conflict regarding time of death- (1) as “told” to an entomologist by studying the insect population and (2) the story told by a suspect as to where or when the carcass was discovered-can have significance for an investigator.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
by: Rebecca Howard, Bronson Scott, and Mark Naron
Arson kills more than 700 Americans a year. Fifty five percent of all those arrested are under 18 years of age. It’s the most expensive crime in America. Only sixteen percent lead to arrests.,and only two percent of those arrested are convicted. There are different types of arson as shown below.
Chapter 16 – Robbery
By: Whitney Brown and Jessica Barker
Robberies have strong psychological and social implications within a community. They affect millions of people every year. These people don't suffer alone, their friends and relatives must also cope with the trauma of a loved one's victimization. Robbery involves either violence or the threat of violence, and the taking of property. It also carries a high potential for physical injury, emotional trauma, and frequently a feeling of being helpless.
Robberies have considerable impact on a community. They breed fear and reduce the quality of life in a neighborhood, and political pressure is often brought to bear on the police department to solve them. For such reasons, supervisors will assign their most trusted and capable investigators to robbery cases.
Robberies that occur on streets or highways accounted for 44 percent of total robbery offenses during 2005. Robberies of commercial establishments accounted for 25 percent and those occurring at residences, 14 percent. The remaining percentage of robberies were miscellaneous types.
In approximately 90 percent of robbery arrests, the suspects are male. Not surprisingly, most robberies occur in metropolitan areas. Black males tend to be robbed at twice the rate of black females and over two times the rate of white males. In almost half of the cases, suspects use weapons to get what they want. Guns being the weapon of choice in 54 percent of cases. 70 percent of cases are committed by strangers. Of these, one-half consist more than one offender. Most armed robberies and assaults occur on the street after dark. Most victims do not perceive that they are about to be robbed. The actual event usually takes place in a relatively short period of time.
Investigators should be aware that, as victimization studies indicate, about one-half of all robberies are never reported to police. This fact can be important because the investigator may want to use the media and other community resources to ask victims who have not reported the crime to come forward in order to develop their information about suspects.
Robbery victims come in all shapes and sizes from different walks of life. Males are victimized more than twice as often as females and persons between the ages of 12 and 24 have a higher probability of victimization than those who are older. About a half of all robbery victims were 24 years old or younger. Hispanics are victimized at a higher rate than whites and black are victimized the most.
There is a vast amount of types of robberies, but some include street and residential robberies, those in schools, banks and armored cars, etc. The most common commercial robberies involve convenience stores, gas stations, liquor stores, drug stores, cab drivers, and other businesses or activities that frequently operate during evening hours and involve cash transactions.
The probability of victimization is related in large measure to where individuals live, their occupation, and their “availability” to be targeted. The investigator should be aware that facial identification, though important, is not the only source of information. Clothing, physical marks such as scars or tattoos, a characteristic such as a limp, among others are all helpful.
Successful robbery investigations depend heavily on the ability of the investigator to recognize significant variables that can be used to research past crimes as a measure of identifying and locating suspects. When all leads have been exhausted with reference to the immediate investigation, the solution will frequently lie in past crimes.
Recognizing patterns, geographical locations, the types of victims, and the number and characteristics of associates should be a high priority in the follow-up sequence of the investigation. By putting this information together it is frequently possible to add to the information about suspects. After accomplishing this, the investigator should begin to review arrest records of individuals who fit the composite modus operandi or MO and physical characteristics.
In the event this fails, the investigator should relay information to other jurisdictions, requesting their cooperation in crimes of a similar nature, or those in which potential suspects may haven't been arrested.
Research concerning robbery indicates that most street robberies are not well planned, and the choice of victim is based on both circumstances, usually associated with time of day and location, and the perceived vulnerability of the victim. More sophisticated or professional robberies, on the other hand, generally display varying degrees of preparation. All of these factors should be a part of the robbery investigator's store of knowledge. The literature in this area should be filled with useful information.
by: Rebecca Howard, Bronson Scott, and Mark Naron
Armed Robbery has strong psychological and social implications within the community. Robbery affects millions of Americans every year. Not only do victims suffer, but relatives and friends also much cope with the trauma of a loved ones victimization. Robbery involves wither violence or the threat of violence, and the theft of property. It confronts the victim with a high probability of physical injury or death, emotional trauma, and frequently a feeling of helplessness.
Generally, robbery involves the taking of property from a person by the use of force or the fear of force. The Model Penal Code offers:
A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he or she:
1. Inflicts serious bodily harm upon a person or persons; or
2. Threatens another with or purposely puts a human in fear of a serious bodily injury; or
3. Commits or threatens to commit any felony of the first degree.
An act is deemed “in the course of committing a theft” if it happens in an attempt to commit theft or in flight (fleeing the scene) after the attempt or commission.
Robbery is generally defined for statistical purposes such as:
The unlawfully taking or attempted taking of property that is in the immediate possession of another, by force or threat of force.
Victims and witnesses can usually be spotted by simple categories based on the physical and emotional/psychological factors. Categorizing your victims and witnesses can help to determine the interview plan, how valid the information is, and where you will head with the investigation.
Physical Factors are:
Eyesight or other physical infirmities
Degree of distress
Whether or not prior victim
Attitude toward police
Attitude toward race
Physical Evidence that can be found at the scene of the crime and considered at the robbery scene:
1. Footprints could be found at the scene.
2. Fingerprints may be left in certain locations. For example, the suspect in a store robbery may have handled merchandise prior to carrying out the robbery; in a bar there may be fingerprints on the glasses or bottles used by the robber; in a handbag snatching in which the item is recovered there may e fingerprints on the handbag or on its contents, or possibly you may find footprints where it was recovered. It’s even possible to find fiber traces on recovered material.
3. Saliva could be found on discarded facial masks.
4. Body secretion, fiber evidence, or other materials could be present on the victim’s clothing if there was a scuffle or the use of force.
5. When a suspect has been indentified or apprehended, trace material could be present on the suspect’s clothing that will link him or her to the victim or the scene.
6. Physical evidence would be available where a weapon was recovered. Blood samples, skin or tissue residue, or even “tool marks” should not be over looked. In one robbery-homicide case the perpetrator stuck the victim with a serrated hammer. The blow was struck with such force that an impression that matched the weapon was left on the skull.
7. Fingerprints or trace evidence can be left on the articles recovered. A watch taken during a robbery, which was later pawned and recovered by police, produced a partial print that helped convict the suspect. In a rape/robbery, a suspect was identified more than a year later when a fingerprint recovered from the victim’s handbag was run through the computerized fingerprint system known as AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System) when the suspect was arrested for another crime.
Record and other sources of information that should be used to help find the robber:
3. Age (although this can be deceiving)
4. Color of hair
5. Specific descriptors (such as a tattoo or piercing)
6. Clothing (particularly hats or jackets)
7. Type of weapon
8. Geographic location
9. Type of vehicle used
10. Number of subjects involved
This partial list of variables provides an indication of he ways in which potential list of suspects can be developed and then reduced.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward) (James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007)
Evidence and Effective Testimony 18
Geoff Rohr, Johnny Unruh, and Jake Cox
A criminal investigation may be culminated in one of the following ways:
*the case is cleared by arrest for another case or the suspect is diseased
*The suspect pleads guilty to the crime or to a lesser defense
*an indictment is filed, or the case is referred to a trial
This chapter is about the process of a criminal trial with a presentation of evidence and testimony of the investigator. A court room trial must establish the guilt of a defendant, proved beyond a reasonable doubt, with legally obtained evidence, which is evidence that is admissible in court, or that is presented to the jury. After hearing the evidence the jury or judge evaluates, and determines the facts, and based upon the judgment of guilty or not guilty. And when a jury cannot reach a verdict they are considered a hung jury, and the prosecutor has the option of retrying the cause with another jury.
What is evidence? Evidence is anything a judge permits to be offered in court to prove the truth or falsity of the questions at issue… it can be classified as testimonial, real, or demonstrative. Testimonial evidence is given orally by a witness. Real evidence is any tangible object or exhibit offered as proof, and demonstrative evidence can be a chart, drawing, model, illustration, or experiment.
Evidence can also be classified as either direct or circumstantial. Direct is evidence that in itself proves or refuses the fact of issue, a confession. Most often direct evidence is testimonial. Circumstantial evidence is indirect proof from which the fact at issue may be inferred.
Relevancy: is concerned wither there is a connection between the evidence and the issues to be proved. Relevant evidence tends to prove or disprove a fact.
Materiality: is concerned with whether the evidence is sufficiently important to influence the outcome of the issue being contested.
Competency: is concerned with the quality and kind of evidence being offered.
Relevant Evidence – is admission and exclusion – is succinctly described in the federal rules of evidence.
Competency involves either the nature of the evidence itself or the person through whom it is offered in court.
Similarity, evidence based on a privileged communication is not admissible by statute, any such proposed testimony is ruled out as incompetent, A privileged communication is any statement made y one person to another with whom a special relationship of trust and confidentiality exists. Ex. Husband/wife , church member, and physician/patient. Evidence deem incompetent by court rules
*the evidence is unreliable (hearsay evidence)
*The evidence might lead to undue sympathy or hostility on the part of the jury
*the evidence would waste the courts time.
Immediately following the investigators direct testimony, defense counsel will begin cross-examination.
*to develop facts favorable to the defense
*to discredit the witness
*to destroy the character of the witness, his or her story or both.
Discrediting the Witness:
*Bringing out any latent evidence of bias or prejudice
*Revealing, through adroit questioning the direct testimony to be unreasonable and therefore, of questionable credibility.
Strategy and Tactics. A leading question is one that in its very asking supplies an answer, such as a yes or no question.
Putting It All Together 19
Geoff Rohr, Johnny Unruh, and Jake Cox
Investigations are made to find who may be responsible for the crime that has been convicted. After all of the investigative work a detective must put all of his/her evidence together. Starting with any fingerprints that may have been found at the scene.
During the investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. all fingerprints were on cards. It could take months to find a relatively close fingerprint to the one found at the scene. Today an investigator can enter a fingerprint in a system and have possible results within a few hours.
While putting all the evidence together a detective must realize the there are several false leads in a large criminal case. Especially when there is a reward out for any information leading to the arrest of any suspects. These unproductive leads can lead to months of unnecessary investigating leading to a dead end. In the King investigation the leads that needed lots of investigating were not productive or helpful in any way.
If and when a potential suspect materializes:
Preparatory and antecedent to questioning, the investigator should:
1. Review all reports and information concerning the crime, including
forensic laboratory reports, crime scene photographs, and sketches.
2. Examine the arrest record, if any, or the suspect.
3. Interview officers who have arrested the offender previously.
4. Contact any custodial officers who may have gotten to know the suspect while incarcerated.
5. Proceed to question suspect.
(Criminal Investigations. Pg 708)
Proactive measures may exist. For example a when a bank robber goes to his/her bank to rob it the attendant behind the counter will give the robber a bill that has serial numbers recorded so that it can be tracked. Other proactive measures are the training detectives take so that they could analyze evidence better and come to a better conclusion on the crime committed. This also allows them to be ready for the next crime that will most likely be committed. Targeted investigation is another type of a proactive investigation in exception of where it starts. Targeted goes after small groups that account for the larger amounts of crime committed.
Reactive approach is when someone may call the police department with a bomb threat. Officers must react with careful and quick investigating. In most of these cases surveillance and interviews prove to be very valuable to solve the case.
During investigating detectives must think about the “developing” the crime scene. Such as: possible results, figuring out what had happened at the scene, go through and decide what may have happened, takes pictures from the scene, collect evidence, and analyze all evidence and follow leads. By following these and more steps a detective could find a suspect and eventually a conclusion to the crime. Officers must be careful not to damage evidence or scare away any witnesses that there may be. If everything is done correctly the quality of the detectives work will be determined through the accuracy of the investigation.
(James W. Osterburg and Richard H. Ward. Criminal investigations)
(Samuel Walker and Charles M. Katz. Police in America)
By Johnny Unruh, Geoff Rohr, and Jake Cox
Many people have seen raids at first hand. Few realize what it takes to organize and execute a raid correctly and smoothly. Raids are police functions and not investigations. A unit needs several officers to help with each person having a radio on for contact. Also, the right items needed, correct weapons, and of course careful planning of how to enter the building safely without losing or harming the suspect or officers.
If all the correct measures are taken then the raid will be conducted properly. When officers are trained properly the raid will be completed without any injuries. The suspect will be apprehended in a save manor. Although raids can be dangerous officers still must proceed to insure that the suspect wont get away and put other people into harms way. Most officers enjoy the adrenaline rush from conducting a raid. When their lives are in danger the thrill is higher although they must be careful to make sure that everything is done correctly.
In 2006 the supreme court decided that officers were not required to knock on the door when issuing a search warrant. Meaning they just pronounce that they were there and enter. Officers no longer had to wait 15-20 seconds after making their presence known to knock the door in. By eliminating this time cap officers should be able to catch their suspect faster and easier using their advantage of surprise. This doesn’t allow the suspect to be able to get a gun and fire back or run out of a busted window.
Throughout the raid a unit in a nearby van must keep close communication and strategic operation to insure that police do what they are supposed to. For instance, an officer must protect lives and property even though a door may have to be busted in to do so.
These are the Guidelines to SWAT Tactical Operations……
- A zone of operation is established for the exclusive use of the SWAT team to set up a Media Photo Site.
- As soon as possible, identify the Media Information Center or Command Post site and be prepared to brief the media at the Media Information Center.
- Generally, containment consists of outer and inner circles. Outer containment is designed to keep the scene isolated from the public and limit the physical expansion of he incident. Inner containment is designed to restrict the suspect's movement from a relatively small area.
- In advance of a SWAT deployment, perform tactical assessment, several scouts are dispatched from the team to observe the incident site and develop a tactical plan.
- Before demobilizing the assault area, carry out the bodies of those you failed to save while planning the assault……
Dalton Simon, Autumn Preston, Tony Pham
Increasing Threats and Emerging Crime 20
There is a rapidly changing social environment that is due to rapid changes in technology, communications, traveling techniques, social mobility, economic changes, and the influx of immigrants (Both legal and illegal). With all these changes occurring simultaneously, police departments are finding different changes to crimes and new crimes altogether that have an impact on the investigative function. This means that there is no one way to come to a conclusion on solving a crime. Each procedure is changing slightly to accommodate the new changes in criminal activity. One quick example would be that we have a growing population of elderly individuals. Criminals and less-than-legal business organizations have been quick to take advantage of them.
Identity theft is another rapidly increasing crime that brings new challenges for investigators. The invention of the internet and web sites that require you to create a profile have greatly contributed to this phenomenon. There are a couple forms of identity theft that include fraud, phishing, actual thievery, and spoofing. Fraud is pretending to be someone else. Phishing is a computer scam in which the victim is contacted by e-mail and asked for their social security number, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information which they will use for personal gain. Spoofing involves the efforts of criminals obtaining caller ID numbers for the victim’s cell phone, which can be used to obtain information about the victim’s identity.
Internet fraud is another emerging crime in today’s world. Exploitation of women and children is also an increasing threat. With the advances of computers and internet, it is easier for this exploitation to take place. It should be recognized that pedophiles that have collected such materials are in communication with others who share photos and such materials.
Home Invasion is pretty self explanatory. This kind of criminal act is usually the result of drug activity. Many of these cases involve murders due to revenge or retribution.
Con or “scam” artists have developed an array of schemes designed to swindle naïve and unsuspecting citizens of millions of dollars each year. These types of criminals usually work in pairs and are highly mobile. By the time the victim realizes they have been conned, they con artist is already long gone.
Copies and “knockoffs” are counterfeits. This could range from money, watches, films, records, clothing, and even prescription drugs. This type of offence is typically not considered a great crime.
The sale of body parts is usually done in India and China, and usually only with kidneys. The sale of kidneys by the poor has become increasingly common because it is not illegal in those countries. There have been cases of people stealing someone else’s kidney. They were drugged, and then they woke up with a missing kidney. Another example would be the recently deceased. During an autopsy, organs would be harvested without the families’ knowledge.
General violence in schools and in work places also contributes a lot to the increasing threats and emerging crime. The Columbine High School shooting in Colorado on April 20, 1999 is believed to be the beginning of the stricter gun control laws for minors, and the mark for other shootings in the coming years. Workplace violence drew national attention a little earlier in the 1990’s, following a series of shootings in postal facilities.
Satanism, Cults, and Ritual crime are some of the darker and more complex criminal activities. Investigators should have an understanding of this type of criminal behavior. The reason being is so they can identify it when the need arises. A lot of Satanist, cults, and rituals can include sick and sadistic ways of sacrifices and torture. The biggest defense against satanic rituals is freedom of religion. Freedom of religion defends freedom of belief, not behavior. Things to look for when trying to constitute ritual behavior could include ritual symbols, inverted crosses, mutilated corpses of human or animal, and candles.
In the closing statements regarding this chapter, I believe there is a never ending source of crime. There will always be something for investigators to try and solve. With advancements in technology, both the offenders and investigators will be constantly finding new ways to counter act each other.
Terrorism investigations differ from traditional types of investigation. The events that took place on September 11, 2001 marked the change the world’s attitude towards political violence. The idea of terrorism has been around for quite some time, it’s just that most people didn’t really acknowledge its existence up until the 9/11 attacks. The establishment of The Department of Homeland Security has resulted in a massive reorganization of government.
Investigation on terrorism usually differs from more general crimes. At least some members of terrorist organizations are likely to be known, painstaking surveillance can result in identifying others who may not be know. Usually because of this though, terrorists tend to employ counter-surveillance measures. Examples of theses could include a two hour trip that would normally take only 20 minutes just to deter the possibility of them being observed. Sometimes a person closely suspected to a terrorist organization can be turned into an informant. These informants can be used to develop a profile for terrorist group.
There are many forms of terrorist activities other than aircraft bombings. Such examples include Ecological terrorism (also referred to as ecotage or ecoterrorism), Agro-terrorism, assassination, and kidnapping. Ecological terrorism is essentially what is says. Terrorist attacks against the land and environment. Some terrorist groups have been known to put steel spikes in trees to prevent lumbering, and pouring sand in gas tanks of vehicles. Agro-terrorism is attacks against livestock, farms, and ranches. Some terrorist acts could include the use of poisons and viruses to kill off livestock. Assassination attempts are often made through bomb attacks. Although mainly in the U.S., assassination attempts (or actual assassinations) have been with the use of firearms.
Kidnapping is a hard one to investigate when it is in combination with terrorism. The complexity of this type of investigation requires a thorough understanding of the use of the crime scene search to develop evidence that may lead to suspects and the location where the victim is held. Most terrorist-related kidnappings involve a high degree of planning. This planning effort may provide clues to determine when the suspects are careless. It is also very important to determine the importance of the kidnapping which could be for monetary reasons, to force a political concession, or to bring a specific individual under the custody of the kidnappers for a “revolutionary trial.”
Generally terrorism falls into one or a combination of typologies. The more commonly accepted forms of terrorism include violent political movements, Special interest groups, racial threats, Religious threats, ethnic threats, global economic movements, and/or anti-immigrant groups. Prior to the 9/11 attack, Americans were lulled into the belief that terrorism was a problem that occurred overseas. Millions of dollars have been invested to local law enforcement to help them understand terrorism and expand their capabilities.
The serious threat of weapons of mass destruction places a greater emphasis on prevention efforts. Over the years, tactics, technology, and weapons used by terrorist groups have changed and now differ from what they used to be. Explosions are the primary weapon of choice in most terrorist acts. This is believed to change in the near future with the new threat of cyber-terrorism. It is important to try and understand terrorism. Our knowledge of terrorism in the past is soon to be outdated, which is why we need to constantly be vigilant and learn as much as possible from today’s terrorist act such as 9/11.
“Terrorism is the unlawful use or threat of violence against persons or property to further political or social objectives. It is generally intended to intimidate or coerce a government, individuals, or groups to modify their behavior or policies.”
This definition currently provides a framework that encompasses relatively new legislation that includes more traditional types of crime under the USA PATRIOT Act and other branches of the homeland security framework. The most common type of crime in this area include, conspiracy, assassination, kidnapping, hijacking, bombing, robbery, extortion, creation of weapons of mass destruction, and raising funds for a terroristic group.
On December 7, 2004, the House of Representatives passed the intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act of 2004. The main purpose of the act was to ensure that the people in government responsible for defending America have the best possible information to make the best possible decisions.
Some of the bombs and/or explosives that terrorists prefer include semtex, c4, home made explosives, improvised explsive devices, triavetone triperoxide, peroxide based explosive, pipe, bomb, plutonium, ammonium nitrate, and tnt.
There are other firms of terrorism such as biological and chemical warfare.
Computer Crime 22
Faceboook and myspace are two popular websites that people are real familiar with and can’t live a day without. People don’t have a full understanding of the dangers that comes with computer technology crime. Each year brings new ways in which clever individuals adapt new forms of old crimes, such as fraud or child pornography, to technology. The term cybercrime means committing crimes using computers and the internet. Cybercrimes generally fall into three categories:
1. Cases in which the computer is the target of criminal activity.
2. Cases in which the computer is the tool used to commit the crime.
3. Cases in which the computer is used an incidental aspect of a crime.
The United is now in the second stage of a major technological transformation. It all stated in the 1980’s but Computer Revolution is being to extend and has reach the Computer and Internet Revolution. The second stage of the revolution is not only transforming American life, but also leading to calls for federal government protection from perceived threats presented by specific Internet content.
Seventy-five percent of families have a computer located in their home. Small percentage use information technology for criminal purposes, but the internet has a lot of power; their impact can be much greater than that of more traditional crimes. Here are a few of the common crimes: terrorism, gambling, drug activity, fraud and child pornography. It’s impossible to determine how many crimes can be committed through internet technology but if the situation doesn’t get under control the problems is costing lots of money running into billons of dollars and may reach a trillion dollars.
Consider, for example, such high-volume crimes as child pornography. These are just two types of crime that cross national and international borders and involve thousands of individuals, both as perpetrators and victims. Telecommunications fraud cost telecommunications providers between three and five percent of their annual revenues. Statistics have proven a loss of fifty five billon dollars a year, making telecommunications fraud a bigger business than drug trafficking. High-quality scanners have increased opportunities for the criminal to perform illegal activities, including counterfeiting, different types of fraud, child pornography and theft.
Laws and policies are different from state to state. With this reason in mind the investigator should talk with an appropriate legal counsel. A search warrant must be shown to perform an investigation on a computer and to gather information from the internet source. The problem to deal with is that the search of computers is protected under the rights of the Fourth Amendment which protects a person from unreasonable searches and seizures. Stephen W. Cogar suggests to determine person privacy in a workplace isn’t being violated is to consider the following questions:
1. Is the hard drive password-protected?
2. Is the computer physically locked?
3. Is the software used to monitor computer use, and are employees aware of the practice?
Chat rooms have become a really popular place for people to meet and talked about many issues. These rooms are becoming very useful in catching child molesters. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has stopped about five-hundred molester and been involved in the conviction of more than two hundred fifty persons for child sexual exploitation since 1997. Law enforcement agencies are currently using chat rooms as a means of identifying criminal activities, especially child abuse. People are even using the power of the internet for drugs. They are taken advantage of it by communicating with other groups and keeping track of transactions.
One of the more major crimes is the hacking or cracking into a computer, which is defined as entering another person computer illegally or without knowledge of the victim. The term hacking generally refers to individuals who enter computer systems illegally and the term cracker is used more often to describe a person who attempts to destroy, change, or steal programs of information.
To get properly investigate a computer crime scene there is a number of considerations that should be followed. According to the National Institute of Justice Guide five steps should be followed:
1. Observe and document the physical scene.
2. Document the condition and location of the computer system.
3. Identify and document related electronic components that will not be collected.
4. Photograph the whole scene to create a visual record as noted by the first responder.
5. Photograph the front of the computer as well as the monitor screen and other components.
The computer has come of age in law enforcement as departments and other agencies develop applications through which this technology can benefit the field. Law enforcement uses of information technology are: fingerprints, stolen property files, wire taps, voice paging and cell phone intercepts. In the field of criminal investigation, the computer has not yet come close to the potential it offers as an investigative tool.
One reason is the lack of available funding, and other considerations that limit computer utilization. Examples include the right to privacy, lack of training in technicians, and the number of officers who have little understanding of computer’s abilities. Even through this is a major problem in the United States we are working our hardest to educate people with computer technology. The only way to get the situation under control is for law enforcement investigators to take a stand and make a change. In conclusion information technology offers investigators on of the most important advances in law enforcement, and is a new idea of development. Most federal agencies and many police departments are now looking for employees for are schooled in technology and who can serve as an important source of support to field investigators.
Enterprise crime is a broad range of crime characterized by criminal networks and illegal relationships, including but not limited to organized drug trafficking, white-collar crime, corruption and economic crime. The primary goals of individuals involved in enterprise criminality are:
1. Propagation of the group.
2. Financial or economic group.
3. The advancement of power and influence.
Enterprise crime is different in several ways compared to traditional lawbreakers. They represent a greater threat to society, are much harder to investigate and bring to trail and conviction, and are usually self-perpetuating. Their groups are hierarchical in nature and you have to have a membership to be considered part of the group. The group works with their own code of behavior.
In some cases it will be necessary to pass new laws and develop new procedures for the control of enterprise crime, but this cannot be done without a full understanding of the problem. The most effective laws of recent origin involve asset forfeiture, which makes it possible for police to seize assets of criminals that are being used in criminal enterprises. Investigating enterprise crime can be categorized into five areas:
1. The organization and structure of the group.
2. The membership of the group.
3. The sphere of influence of individuals the group works with or controls.
4. The goals or purpose of the group.
5. The means by which the group attains its goals.
All the groups are organized in different ways. Some are organized with certain individuals serving as the leaders, supervisors and workers. Membership is important part of the group and in can take up for years before a new individual member is fully trusted. The means by which a group attains its goals represent its modus operandi. Modus operandi is and offender’s pattern of operation (method of preparing for and committing a crime).
Criminal groups that are organized in the United States included: Mafia, Columbian Drug Cartels, Jamaican Posses, ethnic and racially related street gangs, street gangs, outlaw motor-cycle gangs and white collar syndicates. Mafia is also referred to as la Cosa Nostra (“our thing”), or the mob. The Mafia did not get recognize by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for several years until a raid. The raid happened in New York in November of 1957 and that when they started to recognize the threat.
The Mafia is large because of its ability to corrupt public officials and police, it emphasis on preying upon the weak, and its development of and organizational structure difficult for law enforcement to penetrate. The Columbian Drug Cartels is responsible for eighty percent of the cocaine distributed in the world. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, this group consists of independent organizations that work together on various levels. They are characterized by extreme violence, corruption of officials, and even the destabilization of governments.
Jamaican Posses groups consist of 10,000 members operating in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the Caribbean. Their primary goals involve drug dealing and firearms trafficking, and have been active in a wide varies of crime that includes: burglaries, robberies, fraud and auto theft. Street gangs can get extremely large and their involvement in various forms of criminal activity is extensive. They are involved in sophisticated drug trafficking activities; their operations are characterized by high degree level of violence. According to statistics individuals involved in street gangs may surpass 200,000.
Drugs and drug trafficking have been around for many decades, but lately the last part of the twentieth century saw some changes and trends. The development of information and intelligence relative to sources and methods of supply and the distribution networks within a city is the key investigative activity. Another impact aspect of drug investigation involves tracking money. Most transactions involve cash, frequently in small bills, makes concealing and “laundering” it extremely difficult. Generally, drug-related investigations involve five areas:
1. Traditional Investigations.
3. Undercover and informant operations.
4. Cooperative inter-agency investigations.
5. International investigations involving two or more countries.
Traditional investigations occur when there is a complainant, victim, or witness who provides information concerning a drug operation. Two aspects of such cases are somewhat different from those involving other forms of crime: 1. the need to secure evidence which establishes corpus delicti; 2. the frequent need to protect witnesses from the drug dealers. Surveillance is the observation of a person, place or thing and generally is not necessarily, in an unobtrusive manner. Undercover and informant operations represent and important means by which intelligence and information is collected. Surveillance and undercover investigations involve a degree of specialization.
Asset forfeiture is the most effective tool that has been used by law enforcement agencies. Asset forfeiture is an act allowed by recent law by which police may seize assets which are being used in criminal enterprises. Racketeer Influenced corrupt Organizations laws apply to a broad range of criminal activity. The act prohibits four specific activities:
1. Investing the proceeds of a pattern of racketeering activity in an enterprise that engages in interstate or foreign commerce.
2. Acquiring or maintaining an interest such an enterprise by means of a pattern of racketeering activity.
3. Using a pattern of such activity in conducting the affairs of such and enterprise.
4. Conspiracy to do any of the above.
These laws provide the backbone of the government’s efforts to combat organized and enterprise crime in the United States, and have been used against foreign nationals who are involved in illegal activities in the country.
We all think that our automobile is something used to get us from point A to point B. Now day’s people use it to commit a crime. The term larceny is the crime of taking another person’s property without consent and with the intent of depriving the owner of the property. Under the law larceny comprises these elements:
1. The taking and removing.
2. Another’s personal property.
3. Intent, permanently, to deprive the owner of its use.
Fraud can be defined as a deception deliberately employed to achieve and unlawful gain. According to statistics in 2005 there were approximately 6,776,807 larceny theft offenses. There were also 1,162,417 motor vehicle thefts. Another number that is quite outrageous is that only 30% of the value stolen was recovered. Most of the people that were arrested for these offenses were under the age of twenty-five. Cars can be stolen to help commit other crimes like robbery or homicide.
Often to get rid of any evidence that it happened they will push the car in a lake or pond. Other ways to dispose of it can be burying it in a bush. One of the most effective ways that they get rid of it is just to burn it. Just a quick way to get rid of it is just leave it in a large parking lot. It is very hard to trace it back to anywhere. Plus nobody will think of it out of place because there are always cars there. Finding a car is a lot harder to find if they do not discard it immediately. The criminals will try to switch the tags or the will try to cover it with something so it is not detected.
Other types of criminals that try to steal cars can be runaways, and hitchhikers. They will use them for short term purposes. They will only use them to get to there destination. If the car breaks down or runs out of gas then they will just steal another car. Stolen cars are also used for many different purposes. People will steal cars and then take them to chop shops. The chop shops will take and strip the cars and sell the parts. They can do this by changing VIN numbers on everything.
They can strip the cars and sell the parts for less and end up making a lot of money because more people will buy from them because it is cheaper. In some resale operations, the entire vehicle is sold, usually after repainting. It is then provided with a fraudulent title, with which a proper registration certificate can be obtained. The nicer cars are usually handled in this manner. Many will try to sell them over seas so it is harder to trace. Cars that are not so nice will be transported to another state and sold to used car dealers or private individuals.
Another type of car crime is insurance fraud which is the monetary loss to insurance companies and car owners through the increase of insurance rates have a big effect to making vehicle larceny one of the most costly property crimes. People are hired to help take money from the insurance companies. One of the biggest kinds of claims is simply false claims. A vehicle owner and insurer will strip the car themselves and sell the parts. Then push the car in a lake or pond and report it stolen, and file a claim with the insurance company. In a lot of cases the insurance is taken out with the express intent to defraud.
Recovering a vehicle is a very difficult to task to do. If a vehicle is pulled over the officer looks for the following.
1. Damage signifying forced entry:
a. Broken window glass;
b. Punched out door or trunk lock;
c. Broken door handle; glove compartment, door, or trunk that has been pried open.
2. With regard to the car’s tags:
a. Are front and back plates the same?
b. Is one plate loosely attached, covering another?
c. Are new bolts used to attach old plates?
d. Are new plates on an old vehicle?
That is just a couple of the things that the officers will look for.
There are many larcenies in the United States each year. If you are a victim of a larceny the chances of finding your car is not very good. The only way to try and not let this happen to you is keep yourself protected as best as possible, but there is not for sure way.
Issues in the Investigation of Property Crime
Burglary refers to “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft”. The use of force to gain entry in not required to classify an offense of burglary. To establish that a burglary has occurred, there must be evidence of entry, of theft from the structure, or evidence of a felony having occurred there, and a statement from the owner of the property that entry was obtained without permission. Burglary is relatively frequent and serious crime. In smaller police stations, the majority of the time spent is on burglaries. Approximately 65% of burglaries are residential(houses, apartments) and 62% occur during the daylight hours when residents are not at home. Other burglaries are approximately at 42% during daylight hours. The most common items taken from a burglary would include
C) small electronics
Thief’s will take anything that can be turned in easily for cash.
- From the perspective of burglary victims the crime is often traumatic for a couple of reasons.
1) Their property has been stolen
2) their personal territory has been invaded.
- Of the burglaries that are cleared, juveniles involved as perpetrators. Right along with other property crimes as well.
- With most burglary crimes commit 85% were male.
- 70% were white
- 28% were black
- the other 2% is all other races.
- Burglary is a difficult crime to solve. Burglaries are usually discovered only after the crime has occurred and the perpetrator had time to flee.
- Given the typical lack of evidence available in burglary investigations, the identification of a perpetrators probable motive and method of target selection may be some of the most valuable information available in the investigation.
- According to Wright and Decker(1994) based on their study, information about a target most commonly comes from the offenders own observations of it. For instance, a kid walks home from school every day for a month or 2, takes the same way every time. He continually walks by a fancy house he has admired for awhile. That is the house that he is going to break into because he has became familiar with that house.
*Second, most common way that burglars obtained information about the target was by knowing the occupants. Example—* The perpetrators will know when the owners of the place will be out of town.
- Third, some burglars will just go by limited information before they burglarize a property. Hearsay from others.
- Most burglars like to be daring, committed large number of crimes. Some commit 11 or 12 a year.
- The prime motive for burglary is obvious, MONEY.
- There are 6 ways to covert property into money
1) Sell the property to a friend
2) Trade the property for illegal drugs.
3) Selling the property to someone that deals with reselling stolen goods
4) Selling the property to a pawnshop
5) Selling the property to strangers.
6) Keeps the stolen property for his/her own pleasure.
- There are different types of theft that you can considered but most of the burglaries are committed for the same reason , money. Even with vehicle theft, they are always hard to solve.
Larceny and Fraud
*refers to “the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession of constructive possession of another.
Such crimes include, shoplifting, pocket-picking, purse snatching, thefts from motor vehicles, thefts of motor vehicles, parts and accessories, and bicycle thief’s.
*Larceny is the most common of property crimes. The most common form of larceny is theft from motor vehicles, 2) shoplifting3) theft from buildings 4) and all others.
*With larcenies, usually there are few leads for the police to pursue. There are usually no eyewitnesses to the crime, no usable physical evidence.
- Usually because the loss is to small, larceny is rarely solved. Police departments usually get a telephone report. Because of more serious crimes larceny gets low priority.
*Fraud is treated as a part 2 crime in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports.
- There are many types of frequent fraud cases.
A) Forgery B) Blackmail C) Extortion D) A kickback E) Racketeering F) Money laundering G) Investment fraud H) Insurance fraud I) Welfare and Food Stamp Fraud J) Identity theft K)Internet Fraud L) Tax evasion M) Bribery N) Embezzlement * Fraud is usually handled by local, state, federal, and private agencies including the U.S Secret Service, the FBI, the IRS, state regulatory agencies, country prosecutors offices, and private business investigative divisions. ( Insurance investigators, Bank credit card investigators)
- Most Fraud provide evidence for investigators to pursue. Nearly all forms of fraud involve critical information on paper. For fraud cases its like “follow the paper trail”.
- The more complicated the fraud, the greater knowledge and training required to investigate those cases.
- Fraud and Burglary is most common in the United States.
Movie made by: Ted, Jose, and Robbie
Moie by: Jessica Barker
3 appear for serial murders of homeless
Like the plot of a horror movie, three alleged serial killers will be tried in the Durban High Court next week for murdering eight homeless people in order to defraud insurance companies.
In the dock will be the alleged mastermind Maryanne Dimba, 39, of Joburg, along with those who the State says did her bidding - Linda Mdluli, 42, of Durban, and Sibusiso Buthelezi, 24, a shack dweller from Pinetown.
They are facing 49 charges including murder, racketeering and fraud.
According to the indictment, the crimes were committed between November 2005 and March 2008 - and as yet none of their victims has been identified.
The State alleges that they fraudulently used other people's identity documents to open bank accounts and take out policies, with themselves as the beneficiaries.
They would then kill a homeless person, identify him or her as being the policy holder and make the claim.
In two instances when they could not find a suitable person to kill, they simply went to the mortuary and found unidentified people - both road accident victims - who they claimed were their relatives.
The State alleges the total of insurance policies taken out was more than $2 million. However, they only actually received $1 million.
Many of the policies were small - between $20,000 and $40,000 - but one paid out $500,000.
The indictment alleges that Dimba ran the enterprise and made decisions regarding who would be insured, with which insurance company, and ensuring that a few monthly premiums were paid before the claims were made.
She instructed Mdluli and Buthelezi to commit the murders and she decided who got what from the pay-out, taking the lion's share for herself.
It is alleged that Mdluli, who also used the alias Busisiwe Lucy Zuma and Thandiwe Radebe, and Buthelezi assisted in making the applications for the fraudulent policies.
They also assisted in controlling the bank accounts and participated in the "hunt" for people matching the description of people who had been fraudulently insured.
They participated in the murders and falsely identified certain of the deceased to the police as being their own next of kin.
Most of those murdered - whom police believe were either homeless people or prostitutes - were stabbed repeatedly.
One was shot in the head.
The ultimate goal, it is alleged, was enrichment.
All three have been in custody since their arrest by members of Durban's organised crime unit in 2008.
Movie by: Em Walz, Bev Johnson, Ryan Baalman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os_n7lxomWM — [Won't Embed; EB 2011]