Criminal Investigation Handbook: Strategy, Law, and Science

The Handbook was completely reorganized and rewritten in 2021, informing the reader of the latest procedures and technologies utilized in a forensic investigation of a crime. The annual 2022 edition further updates this information which essentially guides the law enforcement officer through each and every element of a criminal investigation making sure nothing is missed. This latest edition includes: (i) new sections on Ghost Guns and Ghost Gun Kits, (ii) new updated forensic checklists; and (iii) Listing of the new availability of crime statistics from the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer (CDE) which is the digital front door for UCR data.

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ISBN: 9781663347824
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Criminal Investigation Handbook has been written for all those responsible for conducting criminal investigations (including the police, federal special agents and investigators, governmental administration and security agencies, prosecutors, defense attorneys, etc) and those who need to understand the activities of the investigative process. These are the individuals and agencies which use these means and products of such investigations in their daily practice. It provides them with practical advice on how best to prepare cases for ultimate presentation in court and makes them aware of the most likely points at which their evidence is vulnerable and subject to attack.

The Handbook answers not only the basic interrogatives of the investigation field: WHO … WHAT … WHERE … WHEN … and HOW, but, like no other treatise, Criminal Investigation Handbook also further expands and answers the most important question when a criminal investigation is started: WHY?...

•  WHY should the investigative report be all-encompassing?
•  WHY should the investigator consider the actions of the entire criminal justice system and look at the investigation as a process?
•  WHY does the investigator need to understand the value and principles of the forensic sciences and the capabilities of the crime laboratory?
•  WHY should the investigation begin with a strategic view of the end of the judicial process?

This Handbook combines the in-depth analysis of a treatise with the how-to and why-to assistance of a practical guide. It aspires to be both substantive and practical. Suggestions are made herein as to the most effective way to proceed in investigating a criminal case, what evidence is the most probative not only from the perspective of satisfying the essential elements of the crime charged, but also from the point of view of convincing the judge or jury that the accused is guilty of committing, aiding or abetting, or soliciting the commission of that crime.

The Handbook focuses on:
•  Investigative Protocol
•  Collecting, Preparing and Preserving Physical Evidence
•  Interviewing Witnesses
•  Documenting the Investigation and the Investigation Case File
•  Scientific Laboratory Examination Requirements
•  Forensic Interviewing of Suspects
•  Identifying and Eliminating Weaknesses in the Investigative Process
•  Current Uniformed Crime Report (UCR) Statistics
•  Developing a Strategic View of the Whole Investigative Process

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Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Constitutional Aspects of Criminal Investigation
Chapter 3: Crime Scene Investigation
Chapter 4: Interviewing Witnesses at the Crime Scene
Chapter 5: Documenting the Investigation—The Report
Chapter 6: Identification, Collection and Processing of Physical Evidence
Chapter 7: Fingerprints
Chapter 8: Firearms Identification
Chapter 9: Tool Marks and Impressions
Chapter 10: Questioned Document Evidence
Chapter 11: Transfer and Trace Evidence
Chapter 12: Forensic Interviewing and Interrogation
Chapter 13: Computer Forensics
Chapter 14: Property Crimes: Theft and Burglary Investigations
Chapter 15: Rape and Other Sexual Offenses
Chapter 16: Criminal Death Investigations
Chapter 17: Drug Investigations
Chapter 18: Robbery Investigations
Chapter 19: Investigation of White Collar Crimes and Organized Crime
Chapter 20: Terrorism Investigation and Homeland Security
Chapter 21: Arson Investigations
APPENDIX 1: The Simpson–Goldman Murder Investigation—Analysis of the Investigative Issues
APPENDIX 2: The 2002 Washington, D.C. Area Sniper Shootings—A Case Analysis of the Multi-Jurisdictional Investigation