The given paper delves into the peculiarities of the first crime scene investigation. Considering the unique importance of the given process, it is crucial to guarantee the observance of the main rules and regulations related to the given process to collect all pieces of evidence needed for the comprehensive investigation and creation of the complete image of a certain crime scene. For this reason, the work describes the main stages of the crime scene investigation using a specific accident with a body that fell from the sky on a family car. The peculiarities of the case introduce the need for its comprehensive investigation. For this reason, the paper is focused on the first steps made by an investigator. It also provides a list of questions that should be asked and a crime sketch. At the end of the paper, the conclusion is given.
Considering the unpleasant tendency towards the significant increase in the number of crimes peculiar to the last several decades, the comprehensive examination of any crime scene becomes crucial for the further investigation and credibility of findings. A specialist who arrives at a crime scene for the first time should act in accordance with the outlined procedures. The fact is that the observance of the main rules guarantees a specialists ability to collect the most important pieces of evidence that could be used for further analysis. The standardized procedure also contributes to the creation of a certain pattern that makes the work of criminalists less sophisticated. In this regard, the first-time investigation of a crime scene becomes a responsible task as it preconditions the overall results. The work with witnesses of the crime is also crucial and should be given great attention. For this reason, having arrived at a crime scene, a specialist should perform an array of tasks to ensure that he/she observed the main rules. The suggested case could be explored as the background to demonstrate the main procedures.
First of all, it is necessary to secure and protect the scene. It is very important to preserve the state of any potential physical evidence (Saferstein, 2012). For this reason, it is desired that the owner of the care has not caused disruption to the body trying to move it. A crime scene tape should be used to restrict the area and save all pieces of evidence that could be found there. When the area is protected, an investigator should conduct a preliminary survey describing all important facts related to the case. It could include opened windows, damaged cars, bodies, driveway, etc. Moreover, it is important to take photos of the scene (Saferstein, 2012). They will be later used by other specialists who analyze the given accident. Furthermore, the investigator should also search the scene to trace any facts or details that remain undiscovered at the first gaze. These might be fibers, pieces of glass, soil, etc. These elements are very important, though they could be easily destroyed. In this regard, it is vital to find them as soon as it is possible. Biological evidence should also be collected. It is necessary to find blood spots, note their position, and take samples to be able to understand the scene better (Saferstein, 2012). The investigator should also fix the position of the body and the damage done to the car as it will help to determine the height, the peculiarities of the fall, etc.
Thus, the investigation of the scene should also be accompanied by detailed documentation as it is necessary to support all assumptions with clear evidence. First of all, photos of the scene should be taken. They will help to understand its character. Furthermore, all pieces of evidence found at the crime scene should be described in a proper way. The place, their location, peculiarities of the discovery, etc., should be noted (Shiro, n.d.). Every object must be put in a special container that will be able to protect it from external factors (Penven, n.d.). Besides, biological evidence should also be described and stored in proper containers. That is why the list of the most important documentation will include the detailed description of the scene, all pieces of evidence with explanations, peculiarities of the area, list of potential witnesses, the sketch of the crime scene (see Picture 1), witnesses answers, etc.
Thus, it is also important to collect pieces of evidence that will contribute to the positive outcomes of the investigation. Considering the peculiarities of the case, the following evidence should be collected.
- Parachute as one of the main causes of death;
- Cocaine samples;
- Bank papers and fingerprints on them;
- Clothes samples;
- Windscreen pieces;
- Car pieces;
- Car owners fingerprints;
- Blood samples.
The given pieces of evidence are crucial to create the complete image of a crime scene and guarantee that all basic assumptions created in the course of the investigation will be supported by credible evidence.
Besides, the usage of specific techniques might be required to help the investigator to collect all needed evidence. First of all, they should be kept in separate paper containers with labels that describe the content (“Crime scene procedures,” n.d.). Moreover, the black powder should be used to obtain fingerprints and document them. Finally, blood samples should be taken “from non-body cavity areas such as heart or major internal blood vessels” (Catalin, Andrei, & Mitrasca, n.d.). It is extremely crucial to preserve the structure of all objects. For this reason, the investigator should use gloves and pincers. Only under these conditions, positive results could be expected. Finally, to discover other important pieces of evidence, additional equipment like scanners will be needed. It will help to determine biological evidence, fingerprints, etc. (Saferstein, 2012).
Furthermore, there are several questions that might help to improve the comprehending of the case:
- Are there any other injuries on the body except those caused by the fall?
- What are the peculiarities of the scene?
- Are there any other buildings in the area in which eyewitnesses could be found?
- What is the state of the parachute?
- What is the state of the reserve chute?
- What kind of clothes are there on the body?
- Who is the owner of the car?
- Does the owner has any relations with the deceased?
- What is the origin of cocaine?
- Are ID cards found at the crime scene true or falsified?
- Is there any other descriptive information about the body that should be mentioned?
- Could the body be identified without using specific techniques?
- Is there any information about the deceased in the police database?
- Does Andrew Jackson exist? Who is he?
- Does Paul Smith exist? Who is he?
- Are there any statements for the police related to the deceased?
- Where could new witnesses be found?
- What planes were in the area in the identified period of time?
- What were the weather conditions?
- What are the first assumptions about parachute failure?
- Are money adulterated or good?
- What are the bank papers numbers?
- Is there any mentioning of these papers in other reports?
- What is damage done to the car?
- What are the main peculiarities of the scene?
Therefore, analyzing the main facts related to the case, it is possible to make the following assumptions. First of all, the deceased could be considered a drug dealer because of the cocaine and a great sum of money found by him. The peculiarities of the fall evidence that he tried to cross the border illegally and land in some area. Two IDs could prove the illegal character of his activity. Using the AFIS inquiry, we could also analyze the fingerprints and determine the personality of a crime if there is any information about him in the database (“Automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS),” n.d.). Finally, the case could be characterized as either causality or intentional homicide as the parachute could be damaged. That is why additional investigation is needed.
Altogether, the investigation of the given crime scene becomes an important task that demands the observance of the main rules existing in the given sphere. Moreover, the investigator should devote great attention to the tiniest details trying to find the most credible pieces of evidence needed to find the main causes for a certain accident. The unusual character of the given case demonstrates the complexity of the main tasks and the variety of tools that should be used by the investigator to make a certain conclusion.
Automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS). (n.d.). Web.
Catalin, M., Andrei, A., & Mitrasca, O. (n.d.). Modern methods of collection and preservation of biological evidence for human identification by DNA. Web.
Crime scene procedures. (n.d.). Web.
Penven, D. (n.d.). Basic stages for a crime scene investigation — possible homicide. Web.
Saferstein, R. (2012). Forensic science: From the crime scene to the crime lab. New York, NY: Pearson.
Shiro, G. (n.d.). Collection and preservation of evidence. Web.