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NCJ Number: 220232 Find in a Library
Title: What Knots Can Reveal: The Strengths and Limitations of Forensic Knot Analysis
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:57  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2007  Pages:726-749
Author(s): Robert Chisnall
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study presents the strengths and weaknesses or limitations in the area of forensic knot analysis.
Abstract: Although the analysis of knots found at crime scenes cannot offer the precision and certainty of fingerprint or DNA analyses, and there is always the possibility that nothing significant will result from such an investigation, there can be value in properly preserving and analyzing all knots and ligatures found at crime or death scenes. However, until more statistical and demographic research is undertaken, forensic knot analysis is a technique that must be utilized within an accepted range of conditions. It may provide grounds for various legal and scientific investigations, keeping in mind that knots are class-characteristic and are related to action and intent. The forensic analysis of knots and ligatures is a relatively underdeveloped and poorly understood technique. The effective-analysis of knots and ligatures frequently depends on adequate experience and good judgment. This paper attempts to articulate and disseminate what knot investigators can and cannot do reliably with the evidence they analyze. The analysis of knot evidence can be valuable in civil and criminal investigations. Knot analysis is not a mainstream technique. There is little supporting research, there are discrepancies in the knotting literature regarding nomenclature, there are no globally accepted standards for knot experts, and the general strengths and limitation of forensic knot analysis have not been extensively conveyed. References and appendix
Main Term(s): Evidence identification
Index Term(s): Crime laboratories; Crime laboratory equipment; DNA fingerprinting; Fingerprints; Forensic sciences; Literature
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