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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77119 Find in a Library
Title: Applications of SEM/X-ray (Scanning Electron Microscopy/X-ray Analysis) at the Los Angeles County Forensic Science Center (From Gunshot Residue Workshops, Appendix A, 1979, by Alan S Colborn and John A Brown - See NCJ-77118)
Author(s): R L Taylor; M S Taylor; T T Noguchi
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Various applications of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis at the Los Angeles County Forensic Science Center are described.
Abstract: This analysis technique has proven a valuable tool in the clarification or confirmation of suspected pathological conditions. In one case, the presence of residual thorium dioxide in the decedent's spleen was confirmed; and in another, not only was the presence of asbestos in the lung confirmed, but also the particular types of asbestos fibers were determined. In a third case involving a chemical burn which resulted from an explosion, the presence of one of the suspected reactants in the explosion was readily detected on the skin surface. In questionable suicides by gunshot, SEM/X-ray analysis has demonstrated its potential in arriving at a determination of whether or not the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Primer residues are picked up from the back of the decedent's hand, observed in the SEM, and identified by their elemental composition using X-ray analysis. This instrumentation can also be important in the determination of the source of a lethal bullet by examination of a gunshot wound. Such analyses have shown their potential value in situations where the bullet cannot be located and its source may be obscure because two or more parties were firing weapons. Photographs and a three-item reference list are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): California; Case studies; Criminal investigation; Electron microscopy; Gunshot residue; Trace evidence; X-Ray Technology
Note: Taken from Proceedings of the Workshop on Scanning Electron Microscopy and the Law, Chicago, Illinois, April 1975, P 493-502.
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