Fingerprints and Other Ridge Skin Impressions

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Since its publication, the first edition of Fingerprints and Other Ridge Skin Impressions has become a classic in the field. This second edition is completely updated, focusing on the latest technology and techniques—including current detection procedures, applicable processing and analysis methods—all while incorporating the expansive growth of literature on the topic since the publication of the original edition.

Forensic science has been challenged in recent years as a result of errors, courts and other scientists contesting verdicts, and changes of a fundamental nature related to previous claims of infallibility and absolute individualization. As such, these factors represent a fundamental change in the way training, identifying, and reporting should be conducted. This book addresses these questions with a clear viewpoint as to where the profession—and ridge skin identification in particular—must go and what efforts and research will help develop the field over the next several years.

The second edition introduces several new topics, including

  • Discussion of ACE-V and research results from ACE-V studies
  • Computerized marking systems to help examiners produce reports
  • New probabilistic models and decision theories about ridge skin evidence interpretation, introducing Bayesnet tools
  • Fundamental understanding of ridge mark detection techniques, with the introduction of new aspects such as nanotechnology, immunology and hyperspectral imaging
  • Overview of reagent preparation and application

Chapters cover all aspects of the subject, including the formation of friction ridges on the skin, the deposition of latent marks, ridge skin mark identification, the detection and enhancement of such marks, as well the recording of fingerprint evidence. The book serves as an essential reference for practitioners working in the field of fingermark detection and identification, as well as legal and police professionals and anyone studying forensic science with a view to understanding current thoughts and challenges in dactyloscopy.


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Preface to the Second Edition
Configuration of MinutiŠ
Friction Ridge Identification Process
Chemistry Light and Photography
Issues Related to the Exploitation of Fingerprints
Statistical Data on MinutiŠ
Fingermark Detection Sequences
Reagent Preparation and Application

Forensic Analyses

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About the author (2017)

Christophe Champod is a full professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he earned his PhD (summa cum laude) in forensic science. He is currently in charge of education and research on identification methods and also serves as an active expert witness in these areas. He is a past member of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Analysis, Study and Technology, and is a current member of the Steering Committee for the International Fingerprint Research Group (IFRG) and the Friction Ridge Subcommittee (part of the Physics and Pattern Evidence Scientific Area Committee) of the Organization for Scientific Area Committees. In 2015, he received the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes Distinguished Forensic Scientist Award for his contribution to forensic science. His research is devoted to the inferential aspects associated with forensic identification techniques. The value to be attached to fingerprint evidence is at the core of his interests.

Chris Lennard holds a PhD in chemistry (forensic science) from the Australian National University, Canberra. He has worked for Forensic Services in the Australian Federal Police (AFP), initially as laboratory services coordinator and later as forensic operations support manager. In the latter role he served as the chief scientist, responsible for coordinating research and development across the organization’s forensic science portfolio. He later took up a professorship in forensic studies at the University of Canberra before relocating to Sydney to run the forensic science program at Western Sydney University at their Hawkesbury Campus in Richmond. He has a strong interest and involvement in fingerprint-related research, particularly fingermark detection and enhancement techniques, and he has an extensive publication record in these areas. He is a Steering Committee member for the IFRG and played a major role in the establishment of the IFRG guidelines for assessing fingermark detection techniques.

Pierre Margot holds a PhD in forensic science from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. Following his postdoctoral research that took him around the world, he took up a professorship at the University of Lausanne, becoming the fourth professor to occupy the world’s first academic chair in forensic science, created in 1909. One of his major contributions is the creation of a research center where more than 60 PhD theses have been completed over the last 20 years. The research center is committed to further develop as a key contributor to many related areas, including forensic intelligence, investigative science, and the provision of solid and measurable evidence in court. His group has published more than 220 peer-reviewed papers in forensic science within the last 10 years. His contributions to forensic science have been internationally acclaimed, and he has received numerous major awards. He is an associate editor of Forensic Science International, the major scientific journal in forensic science.

Milutin Stoilovic received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Belgrade University, Serbia. He worked for nearly a decade at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he was involved in fingermark detection research and the application of light sources in forensic science. His innovative work on the development of a forensic light source led to the eventual commercialization of the Polilight. He later joined the AFP where, among other duties, he continued to research fingermark detection methods and optical enhancement techniques. He was involved in designing and evaluating a vacuum metal deposition unit that was built specifically for the AFP by the company Dynavac, located in Melbourne, Australia. He has conducted numerous workshops on advanced fingerprint detection and enhancement and the application of optical methods for various forensic science disciplines. He has authored or coauthored more than 40 articles in the field. He retired from the AFP in 2008.

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