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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135799 Find in a Library
Title: Systematic Examination and Comparison of Paper Safety Matches
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:(March/April 1992)  Pages:115-118
Author(s): R C Johnson
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Removed paper safety matches can be examined and compared to identify or eliminate a particular matchbook using readily available equipment.
Abstract: The comparison of paper safety matches involves using various aspects of the same type of expertise acquired in other identification disciplines. In the comparison of handwriting, typewriting, latent fingerprints, and tool marks, the goal is to observe and note differences and similarities between the known and unknown in order to determine the origin of the unknown. Paper match comparison similarly attempts to associate a removed match with a source of origin by using a systematic examination approach. The initial step of any paper match comparison is to note such conditions as depth of waxing and head size. If the unknown match cannot be eliminated, the next step is to compare the torn edge of the match to the matchbook. A class characteristic examination can be conducted with infrared and ultraviolet techniques, and a microscopic examination may be necessary in some cases. The examination of luminescent inclusions can be accomplished using the argon-ion laser. While an excellent method, laser examination may not always be available or may not be appropriate for those using simple bench-top methods. As an alternative, a #22 Wrattan filter can be mounted on a microscope and a forensic light source with fiber optics. The use of semidestructive testing to make inclusions more visible and potentially increase the number of identifying characteristic is examined. Experiments based on variations in submersion and silicone rubber casting are also noted. 5 references
Main Term(s): Paper analysis
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Forensic sciences
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