Skip to main content

Fingerprints || Part 1 || Introduction

Forensic Terminology

Here, I am going to mention the common terms used in Forensic Science. These terms are useful to understand the forensic science reports and to use them appropriately in your career:

Accused :- A person charged with a criminal offense. He is still not convicted of the crime.

Suspect:- Person suspected of committing a crime. There can be one or more suspects in a crime or criminal activity. However, few of them can be accused or convicted as criminal.

Culprit:- One who is found guilty of an offence after the investigation. He/She is also called as the criminal, perpetrator or offender.

Corpus Delicti – The essential body of facts that suggest a crime has occurred. From the Latin ‘body of crime’. All the parts of the crime scene are considered as corpus delicti.

Criminal Profiling –The analysis of the crime scene and crime patterns to assign relevant characteristics to a perpetrator in order to aid law enforcement in narrowing the field of suspects.

Crime Scene Staging – The alteration or manipulation of a crime scene in order to reduce its evidentiary value or to misguide the investigator.

Acquittal- A courtroom verdict in which a criminal defendant has not been found 

Evidence – Any items, in any state of matter or in any form encountered at the scene of crime and are included in a legal investigation for the jury’s or judge’s consideration in the determination of an individual’s guilt or innocence.

Circumstantial Evidence – Evidence from which a logical conclusion of a fact may be drawn.

Testimonial Evidence - statements or the spoken word from the victim(s) or witness(es).

Expert Witness – An individual with a specialized knowledge of a certain field that can assist in the understanding of complicated information or offer an expert opinion in the court of law. Example: Forensic Expert, Ballistic Expert etc.

Impression Evidence – The evidence left by anything that leaves a kind of impression at the scene or on an item, such as footprints, tire tracks, toolmarks, bite marks, fingerprints etc.

Indent – An impression left on paper caused by the force from a pen tip.

Trace Evidence – Minute pieces of evidence found at the crime scene, including fibre, hair, glass, seed, and soil.

PERK - The Physical Evidence Recovery Kit, or PERK, is a kit used to collect evidence. 

Signature Crime – A crime scene bearing the individual ‘stamp’ of a particular offender. It is not a physical stamp, however a particular pattern opted by the criminal or a particular symbol left at the crime scene.

Serial Killer – An individual who has murdered three or more people with a cooling-off period in between. This cooling off period can be in days or months.

CODIS – The Combined DNA Index System, the FBI database of genetic information

NDNAD – National DNA Database, the UK’s database of DNA profiles

IBIS—Integrated Ballistics Information System—a database used for acquiring, storing, and analyzing images of bullets and cartridge casings.

Exemplar—representative item usually in undamaged or less damaged condition to which a damaged item can be compared.

Oblique lighting—lighting cast at angle almost parallel with an object to show detail by creating shadows. The light at any angle other than 90 degree is often called as oblique light.

Point of origin—three dimensional point or area from which the blood that produced a bloodstain originated; determined by projecting angles of impact or well-defined bloodstains back to an axis constructed through the point or area of convergence. It is also used for fire in cases of arson.

AFIS—Automated Fingerprint Identification System

Back spatter—blood directed back toward the source of energy or force that caused the spatter; often associated with entrance gunshot wounds.

Castoff pattern—bloodstain pattern created when blood is released or thrown from a blood-bearing object in motion.

Drip pattern—bloodstain pattern resulting from blood dripping into blood.

Expirated blood—blood propelled from the nose, mouth, or a wound as a result of air pressure and/or air flow.

Impact spatter—bloodstain pattern created when blood receives a blow or force resulting in the random dispersion of smaller drops.

Medium velocity impact spatter—bloodstains produced when a blood source has been subjected to a medium velocity force (5-25 feet per second); beating usually produces this type of spatter .

Skeleton bloodstain—bloodstain consisting only of an outer periphery after the central  area is removed by wiping when the liquid was partially dry.

Junk DNA—the discovery that much of the DNA in every cell was repeated sequence DNA that doesn’t code for proteins and led to speculation that the repeat sequence DNA had no function.

Incendiary fire—fire intentionally caused by human activity.

Exsanguination—bleeding to death 

High velocity impact spatter—bloodstain pattern caused by a high velocity force or impact of approximately 100 feet or more per second, such as the force produced by a gunshot; the spatter is characterized by a mist-like dispersion; most mist-like droplets are usually 0.1 mm or smaller.

Direct evidence—information that established fact, for example, an eyewitness’ testimony that the defendant fired the fatal shot.

Blow flies—large metallic looking flies often attracted to a dead body immediately after death.

Maggots - The larvae of flies and other insects that live on rotting food.

Rigor mortis - The stiffening of the body muscles after death.

Algor Mortis – The reduction in body temperature after death.

Hypostasis (Livor Mortis) – Also known as lividity. The pooling of blood at the lowest parts of the body. Usually commences between six and eight hours after death has occurred.

Chain of Custody/Evidence- A continuous succession of persons responsible for the evidence with the purpose to ensure there is neither alteration nor loss of evidence: the documentation of the chain of custody is a record of times, places, and persons who have been responsible for the evidence. Transfers should be kept to a minimum and when transfers are made, they should be documented carefully. All transfers of custody of evidence must be logged with: the name of the persons transferring custody-the name of the persons receiving custody-and the date and time of each transfer: the documentation may be attached to the evidence envelope. 

Strangulation - The condition of having respiration stopped by compression of the air passage.

Strangling is compression of the neck that may lead to unconsciousness or death by causing an increasingly hypoxic state in the brain.

Hanging—Suspension from a cord wound around the neck.

Ligature strangulation—Strangulation without suspension using some form of cord-like object called a garrote.

Manual strangulation—Strangulation using the fingers or other extremity

Asphyxia – Death caused by suffocation as a result of the lack of oxygen and increase of carbon dioxide in the blood. Also known as apnoea.

Electrocution - Death brought about by electricity.

Hypothermia - This situation occurs when the core temperature of one's body falls below normal. It is the failure of the body to maintain adequate production of heat under conditions of extreme cold.

Abrasion – An injury to the skin that removes the epithelial layer.

Contusion – A soft hemorrhage from a blunt trauma.

Laceration – The splitting or tearing of the skin.

Manner of Death – The way in which death was caused; homicide, suicide, accidental, natural, or undetermined.

Homicide – Murder, a death caused by another person.

Suicide – a death caused by same person (killing of self).

Hypoxia – Decrease in oxygen to the brain.

Equivocal death—manner of death (homicide, suicide, accident) remains undetermined after a complete investigation.

Cadaveric Spasm – The sudden rigidity of the muscles immediately after death.

Mechanism of death—abnormality produced by the cause of death which is incompatible with life.

Facial Reconstruction - Reconstruction of unidentified human remains is done by modeling clay, representing muscle, tissue and skin, over the skull. On the forehead, margins of the eyes, cheekbones, bridge of the nose, above the lips, and the chin, facial shape is closely related to skull contour. However, the shape of the eyes and eyelids, the tip of the nose, and the lips cannot be predicted from the skull, and these are important features in facial recognition. Advances in 3-D computer modeling are aiding in and may soon replace a sculpted facial reconstruction. 


  1. This information is meaningful and magnificent which you have shared here. I am amazed by the way you have explained things in this article. I am impressed by the details that you have shared in this post and It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. I would like to thank you for sharing this article here. Cyber forensic investigator India

  2. I generally check this kind of article and I found your article which is related to my interest. Genuinely, it is good and instructive information about...... Thanks for sharing an amazing article here. Computer Forensic Investigator in london

  3. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have an excellent knowledge about this topic. Thanks for sharing such a great blogs to us. immigration lawyer san antonio tx

  4. A very delightful article that you have shared here. Your blog is a valuable and engaging article for us, and also I will share it with my companions who need this info. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this. IT Cyber Security Course In Canada

  5. I got some valuable points through this blog. Switch to NBN

  6. معلومات رائعة ، لقد قدمت لنا بيانات مهمة وضرورية للغاية. إنها قيمة ومفيدة للجميع. استمر في النشر دائمًا. أنا ممتن جدا لك. شكرا مرة أخرى لتقاسمها. الرجاء زيارة موقعنا على الويب الكلمة الرئيسية

  7. I found decent information in your article. I am impressed with how nicely you described this subject, It is a gainful article for us,Criminal lawyers New Orleans Thanks for share it.

  8. Extremely useful information which you have shared here. This is a great way to enhance knowledge for us, and also helpful for us. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this. Aggravated Assault Lawyer.

  9. While getting the certificate is a goal in and of itself, don't make that the only focus of your education here. Network Security Architect Career Overview

  10. I prefer high-quality content, which I discovered in your article. The information you've provided is useful and important to us. Continue Hilton Head Immigration Lawyer to post articles like these. Thank you very much.

  11. Apart from this, it allows mobile phone users to use their cell phones to make calls during their stay a in a foreign country. how to spy on iphone without access to phone


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Crime Scene Search Methods

The Crime Scene is search for the physical evidences (visible or invisible). There are various types of search methods employed by the investigating officers and the forensic scientists at the scene of crime. The searching methods mainly depends on: Type of Crime (Rape, murder, burglary, theft, etc.) Nature of Crime (Homicide, suicide, or accident) Size of the crime scene (macroscopic or microscopic) Location of the crime scene (indoor, outdoor, combination of indoor or outdoor, or any remote area like underwater, desert, etc.) Complexity of the crime scene  Before deciding the search method, all the investigators and the forensic experts must follow the general guidelines (check list) to observe the crime scene after due recording: 1. Are the doors and windows locked or unlocked? Open or shut?  2. Are there signs of forced entry, such as tool marks or broken locks? 3. Is the house or the crime scene is in good order? If not, do

Introduction to Forensic Ballistics

By Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma Forensic Expert & Associate Professor Introduction to Ballistics: The term ballistics refers to the science of study of the action, motion and  behaviour  of a projectile during its flight in any given medium. The flight path of a bullet includes:  • Travel down the barrel  (Internal Ballistics), • Path through the air  (External Ballistics),  and  • Path through a target  (Terminal Ballistics) Forensic Ballistics: Is that branch of forensic science which deals with the examination of the firearm and related evidences encountered at the scene of crime in a shooting incident, and their linkage to the firearm, and Identification of the shooter. A ballistic expert need to answer the following questions: 1. Type of The Firearms used 2. Identification of the Firearm 3. Individual Characteristics of Firearm 4. Range of Firing 5. Direction of Firing 6. Identification of the Shooter 7. Medico legal aspects: - Suic

How to Write a Forensic Report/Analysis Report/Forensic Opinion?

By, Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma Forensic Expert & Associate Professor In terms of the participation of the forensic practitioner in the case, the forensic examination report is a critical and primary element. Whether you're writing for a client, a lawyer, or your supervisor, most of us need some scientific way to communicate our results. Forensic Reports/Opinions are needed: In Criminal and civil investigations The forensic science acts as an aid to guide the investigator or jury to reach to a conclusion   To provides  decision-makers with facts needed to decide the matter  and to ensure a successful investigation. To link the evidences with the crime and the criminal (or suspect) T o prove or disprove the fact in issue T o exonerate the innocent from the case General  Structure of a Forensic Report      Title of the Examination report- It means whether it is toxicological/handwriting  opinion/ballistics etc. with proper legal section of the evid