skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 83014 Find in a Library
Title: Criminalistics Mission - A Comment
Author(s): R H Fox; F R McDaniel; G R Howell
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 13
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The daily role, procedures, and objectives of a criminalist are described, with attention to recent advances and input to the laboratory.
Abstract: Recent advances in criminalistics are (1) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which is used primarily for the identification of drugs and poisons; (2) dispersive X-ray analysis, which can be used to analyze the inorganic constituents of samples of paint, glass, safe insulation, and metals on the order of 10 mg in size; and (3) the scanning electron microscope, which is used to analyze paints, metals, fibers, and other similar items. Neutron activation analysis, atomic absorption, spark source-mass spectrometry, and laser microprobe are also being used and researched as forensic tools. Criminalistics laboratories must continue to rely upon the recognition, collection, and proper submission of physical evidence by highly trained investigators. Law enforcement officials should consider the use of the expertise of trained evidence technicians working outside the police service. In many areas, the laboratory of the coroner or the medical examiner is staffed with evidence technicians capable of conducting thorough crime scene investigations. The crime laboratory functions in the areas of reconstruction, which involves reconstructing the events leading up to, during, and sometimes preceding a crime: establishment of corpus delocti, which most often involves establishing that a seized substance is a controlled drug; and analyzing materials so as to connect or disconnect suspects from the crime scene. Eight references are listed.
Index Term(s): Crime laboratories; Crime Scene Investigation; Evidence collection; Evidence identification
Note: Reprinted from Legal Medicine Annual 1975.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.