Revealing the Fingerprints of God – Part 2


 

Revealing God’s Presence 

In the book of Exodus, God punished ancient Egypt with ten plagues because Pharaoh refused to free the Hebrew slaves. Pharaoh’s magicians tried to counter God’s power. They failed but realized real power when they saw it and proclaimed God’s presence to Pharaoh. He refused to acknowledge the warning.

As explained in part one of this post, a CSI visually inspects a surface for patent or plastic prints. If none are observed the surface is processed with powders and/or UV light to enhance latent prints into the visible range. Comparing prints from the scene to known suspect prints establish their presence there.

Physical evidence, tying a suspect to a scene, greatly aids an investigation. A suspect’s print on a murder weapon or victim’s body, is hard to defend in court. It proves the accused—pun intended—had a hand in it. Egypt might have been spared the plagues had Pharaoh admitted and yielded to God’s hand.

Parallels between Spiritual vs. Physical Processing 

First, the influence of the Holy Spirit on a person’s heart and mind is the basis for all conversions to Christianity regardless of their life history. It is expected of Christians to help the process by telling people about that influence, the presence of God’s hand—His fingerprints—in life. Some do not know how to see them. Others, like the Pharaoh, are unwilling to acknowledge them.

Knowing how a CSI locates prints can aid revelation of God’s presence in a person’s life. Please consider the following parallels that I have noticed between latent print processing and conversing with non-believers

  • God’s Word = fingerprint powder
  • The history of the person = surface to be processed
    • A calm life = a smooth surface
    • A rough life by circumstance = a rough surface
    • A rough life by circumstance and/or choice = a rough and/or multicolored surface
  • Counseling a person = the type of brush and powder to be used
  • The Holy Spirit = UV light

Latent print dusting always starts with visual examination of the surface and then light application of powder. As latents develop additional powder can be applied or different technique can be used. Few things, however, ruin good latent development like dumping a large amount of powder on a surface and hoping for good results.

If a CSI processes a smooth, monochromatic surface they will most likely apply a standard powder with a brush. Ample amounts of powder can be used without great risk of clogging the details of the print. Speaking with someone who has a relatively easy life allows a greater amount of scripture in the conversation and personal encouragement. These people are least likely to feel threatened and pull away from proactive interaction.

If a CSI processes a rough textured and/or dirty surface a magnetic wand and powder might be a better option. Brush bristles will have too much contact and likely wipe away the latent or clog the clarity of it. Persons who have rough lives by coincidence or circumstances tend to not trust abrupt fellowship and goodwill from others. A nominal exposure to scripture based around specific rather than general areas of their life (e.g. confidence, abandonment, loss of material) and reactive fellowship will work better. Dumping a large amount of scripture and personal attention can push untrusting people away.

If a CSI processes a rough and/or multicolored surface he knows that clogging of details and contrast between powder and surface will be an issue. A magnetic wand and fluorescent powder works best in this instance. Application of UV light to the dusted latent draws the light of the print out. This light from the print provides contrast with the texture and opposing colors of the surface. Someone who made bad choices and suffered consequences for them is quite often prideful. I speak from my personal history in this. Similar to those who have hard lives because of circumstance, God’s word is best applied to specific parts of their life (e.g. envy, lust, desire for material). Pride often obscures the difference between what the world trained them to see and reality. Only the intervention of the Holy Spirit can provide illumination and the contrast needed to see. The only option Christians have to affect this is steadfast prayer.

A Word to the Wise 

Before any scriptural counsel, or interactive fellowship, Christians must listen to people and understand their history, fears, needs, and dreams. Knowing this (their surface type) we can better offer scripture in conversation and fellowship. I have seen some amazingly clear fingerprints developed (as a CSI and as a Christian) by following these techniques. I hope you will too.

Revealing the Fingerprints of God – Part 1


Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.  – Exodus 8:19

 

Fingerprints are the most widely used method of identification in crime scene investigation. Fingerprints left at a crime scene do not prove guilt, or innocence. They prove the presence of the person who left them.  Before any benefit can be gained though a print must first be collected from the scene. 

Fingerprints in Three Forms

  • Patent – visible to the eye on a surface (e.g. ink, paint, blood)
  • Plastic – visible to the eye imbedded in a surface (e.g. putty, grease, or dust) as in the photo above
  • Latent – invisible to the human eye and must be enhanced to add contrast between the surface and the print so it can be seen.

Latents are hardest for a criminal to see and clean up. They are also the most difficult for the CSI to find and use. These prints must be enhanced to the visible range. One of the oldest and most common techniques to develop latent prints is called dusting. When the print is made visible it can be used to prove the presence of a person at the scene.

Powders Used for Dusting

  • Standard non-magnetic and magnetic
  • Fluorescent non-magnetic and magnetic

Standard Powders

Fingerprint powders come in a wide variety of colors that provide contrast between the print and its background. Powder is gently applied to a surface using either a brush (feather, camelhair, or fiberglass) or magnetic wand. Too much pressure from a brush can wipe the print away so a light touch is needed. Too much powder clogs the latent and destroys definition. So a minimal application of powder is advised. The surface to be processed determines the brush, wand, and powder is used.

Brushes hold powder in bristles. The bristles contact the surface and transfer powder to the latent. A smooth, clean, and hard surface (e.g. glass and plastic) is ideal for a standard powder.

The small magnetic field produced by the wand tip forms a brush out of the powder itself. Only the powder actually touches the latent thus minimizing the risk of damage to the latent. Magnetic powder can be used on the same surfaces as non-magnetic but is preferred for rougher surfaces (e.g. unfinished wood and dusty). The size of its “brush” limits use to processing smaller areas.

Fiber Brush                                                                          Magnetic Wand

Image

Fluorescent powders

Fluorescent powders have two advantages over standard powders. The production of the fluorescent powders is more refined. The particles of the powder are smaller and spherical in shape. These particles resist clogging in surface grooves of textured surfaces for cleaner definition. Secondly, these powders provide vivid contrast when viewed under an ultraviolet light. This helps when processing multi-colored surfaces as well. Application of ultraviolet (UV) light induces the dusted print to shed its own light. It is visible regardless of the background color. The necessity of a UV source is the drawback to this powder.

fluoresced latent

The Evidence Cascade


Elkton house burglars leave clues at crime scene – Cecil Daily: Local News.

 

 The one condemned to die is to be executed on the testimony of two or three witnesses. No one is to be executed on the testimony of a single witness.         –Deuteronomy 17:6

I believe an acceptable punishment for certain crimes—after a swift, just, and objective judicial process—is death. I also firmly agree with Deuteronomy 17:6 regarding the testimony of a single witness.

The Silent Witness

Truth-be-told, cases with only one witness are extremely rare because there are many kinds of witnesses. Eyewitnesses are good but the silent witnesses are better. Evidence, physical and otherwise, has often been called the silent witness.  These can be:

  • Documentary – photo/video, digital (computer), actual documents
  • Physical – fingerprint, DNA, ballistic, hair & fiber, fracture, etc…
  • Circumstantial – logical conclusions drawn from known facts surrounding an event

Witnesses to any crime add up if the investigators can find them.

My realm of expertise lies in physical evidence. But all evidence must be studied under the same standards.

  • Evidence must be scrutinized through an impartial lens.
  • All evidence, laid side-by-side, should draw the same conclusion.
  • Any differences must be considered and form a logical explanation.
  • The intent of such an examination is not to determine guilt or innocence, but fact (truth).

The Evidence Cascade

I affirm the testimony of a single witness should not justify a conviction. However, one piece of evidence of seeming minimal value can start what I call an evidence cascade. In the news story linked above, a single piece of evidence (store receipt) found in the crime scene did just that.

Having worked similar cases, I can make an educated guess about the possible cascade of evidence that followed:

  • The receipt at the scene bore a store location, date, and time.
    • Provides the suspect location at a date and time
    • Provides DNA and fingerprints (of suspect or story employee)
  • The store security video at the location identified on the receipt
    • Provides documentary evidence (one suspect wearing the t-shirt at a specific location, date, and time)
    • Provides documentary evidence (second suspect associated with the first in the eyewitness testimony)
  •  An item handled by the suspects at the store provides physical evidence (fingerprints, DNA, etc…).
  • DNA or fingerprints on receipt of store employee who gave suspect the receipt.
    • Provides additional eyewitness by store employee.
  • The t-shirt left at the scene, and evidence from it enters the cascade.
    • Matches physical description of eyewitnesses
    • Hairs and fibers
    • DNA
  • Locating the suspects by examining evidence above lead to an arrest.
  • Additional evidence is provided by the arrested suspects.
    • The suspect wearing or in possession of victim’s clothing provides physical evidence
    • A knife in possession of the suspects provides physical evidence (fibers from the cut screen at the crime scene).
    • Other items stolen from victim in suspect’s possession provide physical and documentary evidence.
    • Testimonial and documentary (verbal and written confession)

I am not privy to the investigative details of this case. I do know that if the knowledge, time, and equipment are available, the smallest piece can spearhead an overwhelming case against a criminal. Then the future of the suspect lies solely in the hands and mercy of the court.

The Burden of Proof

As is my tendency, I evaluate what I know about a particular crime scene investigation, my knowledge of physical evidence, and what I read in biblical scripture. Then I form a conclusion based on them.

  • First, I have objectively examined evidences that prove to me biblical scripture teaches truth about the spiritual and behavioral nature of humans.
    • I am human.
  • Second, if the first is true—and I use the same examination standards—do I see any other teachings in the bible that I cannot logically accept as true?
    • I do not.
  • Third, would the smallest piece of evidence I have left behind in my life cascade to prove my innocence or guilt before God?
    • After considering this question I can only conclude:
      • I am guilty.
      • Being guilty, my future lies solely in the hands and mercy of God.
  • Fourth, if the first and second are true
    • God has already deliberated my case and ruled on it.
      • See John 3:16
      • Jesus Christ has taken my punishment for me.

I greatly encourage everyone to undertake the same investigation I did. Determine the validity of the first and second points. If you come to the same conclusion you must ask yourself:

  • Would an evidence cascade of your life prove guilt or innocence?
  • How many witnesses would testify against you?
  • What hope do you have?


For Goodness’ Sake – Don’t Forget – You Are Being Watched


Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…     Hebrews 12:1

The intent of the video highlighted above was prankish at worst; but the story makes a good point. In today’s world of Internet video-voyeurism, anyone with a smart phone is a potential video journalist. The video would rack up more views had the officer made an ethical, rather than physical misstep. This should serve as a warning for anyone who seeks a career in law enforcement or public service.

Mainstream media provides a feeding tube for the world’s footage-hungry appetite. Now, more than ever, the greater the perceived uprightness, the greater the world expects failure. People who actually live the life they preach actually impress most people. Others relish the sight of a hero figure ousted from public favor as a hypocrite.

The once common tendency to hold a higher view of good (even if only perceived) for goodness’ sake and mourn its loss has faded. As a people we have grown to love when the mighty fall, particularly when we feel they deserve it. I do not claim superior knowledge of the goings-on in heaven but I cannot imagine the angels rejoiced when Lucifer fell. I envisage mourning among them that day though the punishment fair. One who held an exceedingly upright status chose rebellion; and for goodness’ sake had justly been cast out.

Law enforcers and public officials should strive for—and hang onto—an upright status. The dark desire to see good proven evil makes them popular targets. I will not lie and say we automatically deserve a righteous status. We share the common flaws all humans have. However, a life in law enforcement or public office demands a higher standard and rightly so. Positions of authority lie under a higher standard of judgment as well. Anyone in law enforcement who knowingly fails the trust placed in his or her position deserves just and swift punishment. We should all—for goodness’ sake—mourn when this happens as well.

A Crime Scene Investigator’s actions will be recorded, questioned, and critiqued by supervisors, judges, juries, media, and public opinion. They will suffer malice for making a mistake and extreme retribution for negligence. But if you desire a career in C.S.I. do not give up hope.

I teach investigators four practices, which can sustain them throughout their career.

      1. Always feel like you are being watched.

          – This tends to keep you honest and attentive to do your job right.

       2. Your professional and ethical reputation leads to success.

          – A good reputation makes you a trusted adviser and associate.

           - A bad reputation makes you a distrusted outsider.

       3. A task properly done, and documented, will stand up against any objective scrutiny.

           - Truth will eventually prove itself.

        4. The decision to do the job properly lies in your hands.

            - No one can make you do a good job. You reap what you sew.

I try molding my instruction in the style of Hebrews’ author. He taught people the way in a kind and caring manner. In truth, he taught the bad and the good of life. He gave them the knowledge to do well and warned them of the consequences otherwise.

The four practices I teach investigators can greatly help them become the best C.S.I. or Christian (or both) you can. After all, both jobs have the common goal of revealing the truth.

Let the video also serve as warning for Christians. The writer of Hebrews 12:1 accurately stated, there is a great cloud of witnesses watching us. Many hope you will stumble and fail at living out what you speak. This empowers their denial of God. If you make a mistake they will deride you. Intentionally not living what you preach will cause you to be raked-over-the-coals as a hypocrite. Others do yearn (albeit secretly) for your success. It strengthens those who already believe and lends others hope that what you represent just might hold truth. They will listen more intently to what you say.

Society quakes at news reports about government surveillance and documentation of our lives. We fear because the world’s authorities have not always proven trustworthy with the information they gather. Remember—the world always watches, waiting to discredit you and what you believe. Sounds dire, but still true. In contrast God watches over you, ready to guide your every step for your goodness’ sake. This surveillance we should really have no problem with.

 

 

 

Don’t Be So Quick To Crown Him King


And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” Luke 7: 22-23

Yorkist king Richard III grew up at Middleham....

Yorkist king Richard III grew up at Middleham. “Middleham Castle”. RichardIII.com . . Retrieved 2007-10-24 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tale of Richard III’s skeleton is filled with drama â�� and it’s not over yet.

A few months ago a skeleton was found buried beneath a parking lot in England. Excavation and DNA tests indicated that this skeleton might be the remains of Richard III (the English king vilified in the Shakespearean play). As is usual in a case such as this much has been made of the find’s historical value. Legal battles over the eventual interment of the skeleton (if he is indeed Richard III) are also bound to follow. The linked article above covers this investigation, it’s hazards, and rewards.

The fact is: people want to know now. The problem  is: a good forensic investigation, must be timely yet thorough. Hasty investigations tend to bring a blight of error and regret which no investigator wants associated with their professionalism. I have written about this problem in previous posts. So to those who want this investigation rapped up, I have one thing to say: Don’t be so quick to crown him king. The royalty of the person who belonged to that skeleton must be proven with the proper time and analysis. Otherwise a false kingship might be declared and later discounted. It would be embarrassing I think to dig the fellow up again, from Leicester or York,  and move him because a hasty decision was made. The truth always eventually comes out.

Another man claimed to be king, about 2,000 years ago, in what is now the Middle East. His claim was greatly disputed by those who opposed him. Many of his followers fell prey to the hasty desire of wanting him to be crowned king immediately. That man of course was Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Christ and Savior. His refusal to claim his thrown, overthrow Rome, or even defend his own life, caused many to either doubt or turn against him. The disciples who followed him should not have been so hasty. Their familiar scriptures and Jesus’ own words told them a time must pass before his proof would be revealed. He advised an objective look at all he did. Those who opposed him killed him. Those who followed him fell fearful. On the third day He proved himself to be who He said He was: Sovereign Lord and King.

There is ample historical evidence (biblical and secular) to prove that the happenings chronicled in the Bible did indeed happen. I looked into them myself in a personal, objective investigation. Between this investigation of fact and the occurrences in my personal life I have indeed crowned Jesus Christ,  my King. I urge you to make this investigation yourself, steadily–objectively, not hastily and subjectively. I would also suggest that you read the Bible for yourself. I also suggest you read two, investigative books on the subject: Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace, and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. I have listed the last two books because I found them meticulous, truthful, and congruent to my personal investigation.

It may, or may not be, the skeleton found beneath a Leicester parking lot is King Richard III. It may be Much Ado About Nothing. A bit of time and objective investigation will determine it and many historical, legal, and academic questions might be answered. An objective investigation on your part just might lead you to the same conclusion that I made about Jesus of Nazareth. Don’t  be so quick to crown Him King, look in to it for yourself. Being wrong about this investigation might be very important to you in the end. The truth always eventually comes out.

Have you performed an investigation of your own?  I would like to hear about your investigation.

Boston Bombing Response


Boston Marathon Explosions

This link is to a very good article in Forbes on the law enforcement response to a crime scene such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

A lot of good people will work long hours to determine the facts, piece together the evidence, generate suspects, and apprehend the guilty parties.

My prayers are for the victims (physical and emotional) of this cowardly act and to those law enforcement personnel working the case.  If you are reading this, yours’ should be too.

God bless ya.

A New Forensic Resource Website for Writers!


J.S. Rogers:

My friend at Forensics4Fiction blogged this excellent resource.

Originally posted on forensics4fiction:

I was just informed about a new resource site for basic information about the forensic sciences. I’ve looked it over a bit and it seems well done. I think the real benefit will be for those non-scientists needing a starting point to understand a particular forensic discipline. The site is called forensicsciencesimplified.org and is run by the National Forensic Science Resource Center in Florida.  The home page is very well organized. You simply find the tab for the discipline you want to explore and click on it. Once inside you’ll have options to read about the basics of the science, frequently asked questions, common terms, and common misconceptions, among other topics. They even have additional references you can link to for more information. There doesn’t seem to be a place to ask questions but I suppose you have me for that. In any event, I think it would be wise…

View original 61 more words

Angle of Impact


angleimpactillustration 

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to talk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.     - Ephesians 4:1-3

To perform trajectory or blood spatter analysis, the angle of impact (angles which a bullet or drop of blood impacts a surface) must be determined. This angle helps shows the investigator a point of origin (a point in three dimensional space the bullet or blood came from). Using this knowledge the investigator deducts physical actions of the crime. It also aids in proving or disproving witness testimony.

After measuring the width and length of the spatter or hole, a trigonometric calculation provides the angle of impact. The angle of impact = sin-1 (w/l), or the arc sine of the hole or spatter width divided by its’ length. The blood spatter in the photo has an approximate 13.7° angle of impact. Basically, longer spatter or bullet holes equal lower angles of impact. A 90° impact, almost perfectly round, and has minimal surface contact. The lower angle impact is longer and incurs greater surface contact. Additional data must be collected for complete trajectory or spatter analysis but establishing angles of impact remains essential.

Examining bullet holes and blood spatter can tell me what happened at a crime scene. These same bullet holes taught me the equal importance of determining angles of impact in living as a Christian. A bullet entering a body at 90° incurs greater risk of deep tissue/organ injury or fatality than a lower-angle grazing wound. Grazing wounds leave a larger, more noticeable mark but allow greater chance of survival and healing (these being key). The nation of Israel prayed a 90° bullet would come from heaven straight into the heart of their enemy, the gentiles and the oppressive Roman Empire. God, the Master Marksman, took a lower angle shot at the real enemy—the darkness in the heart of all men. His blessed bullet was Jesus Christ.

Too often I observe Christians in head-to-head heated debate with those of different beliefs. These confrontations usually end up injuring or killing relationships, and/or any hope of productive dialogue. The cowboy philosopher Will Rogers once said, “People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” I agree with Will.

The Apostle Paul gave us guidelines for Christian living in Ephesians 4:1-3. If we want to successfully share the Gospel message

  • We must be confident yet humble in our daily life.
  • We must be strong but kind when dealing with conflict.
  • We must hold our beliefs firmly yet display patience with those who do not share them.
  • We must not desire what the world offers but remain understanding of those who do.
  • We must be eager to bring others into the body of Christ but not accept worldly standards.
  • All must be done with loving intent in word and action.

Jesus Christ, the bullet from heaven, did all these. He walked, worked, dined, laughed, cried, praised, and mourned with those beside Him. He could have come straight down from heaven with both barrels blazing and snuffed non-believers out of existence. He did not.

As in all things Christians should imitate Christ. Whenever we speak with those outside, or inside the faith, we must come from a position, not above or below, but from beside. We should in turn walk, work, dine, laugh, cry, praise, and mourn with them while following the guidelines Paul wrote down. Living this way impacts the minds of those we meet in a greater way. The message of the Gospel we share with the hearer might still sting a bit. But the chances of killing any relationship or further dialogue will be significantly diminished. The survival of the relationship and healing it allows is once again, key.

So what angle do you take when you share the Gospel with others? Have you experienced the difference?

 

CSIG Book Review: The Blondelle Arms Murder


A CSI guy (CSIG) review:  (4 out of 5 thumbs up)

Image

The Blondelle Arms Murder by: Kathryn Thomas

November 22, 1963 was a bad day for America. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy grabbed the free world by the throat and squeezed. In August 2005, college freshman Nora Adele Platt attended the first class of an experimental forensics course. She did not know a tape-sealed box in the classroom held evidence of a dark secret from her own family history. Nor did she comprehend the web of treachery and betrayal, which bound her inextricably to the day in 1963. It was a bad day for Nora Platt.

The Blondelle Arms Murder is a who-dun-nit novel by author Kathryn Thomas. I would call it a romantic crime-fiction, coming-of-age mystery, with a local history/travel guide included. It also contains a good sampling of sports, humor, and Christian inspiration. Kathryn has polished the many facets of this tale to a fine sheen and crafted a smooth flowing and enjoyable narrative. The mix of genres it turns out is representative of real life.

The CSI aspects included are reasonably accurate. A few deviate from reality (such as the number of whacks to the head necessary to produce blood spatter). But none diverge to such a degree they overpowered my enjoyment of the story. And to be fair, the number of whacks necessary is relative to the force applied in said whacks.

During my career as a Crime Scene Investigator I have mentored many college interns hoping to break into the field of CSI. I have also trained many novice investigators already there. Kathryn accurately reflects the attitudes, worries, foibles, and quirks in her characters that I have seen in those I have taught.

The realism of the characters response to plot devices is believable. Kathryn describes their reactions (internal and exterior) very well.  I could relate to Nora’s feelings about dried blood on the victim’s clothing. I found it particularly intriguing.

The interaction between characters is one of this novel’s strong points. I found it especially notable in the relationship portrayed between Nora, her grandfather, and her great-grandfather, and with saveur-locale the Dallas Cowboys.

I cannot easily relate to the emotions of a young woman (since I have never been one). However, I was drawn quickly into the story and found myself empathizing with Nora; rooting for her to overcome the situations she found herself in.

In reading The Blondelle Arms Murder it sometimes seemed I was on a smooth, leisurely bus tour taking in the sights and sounds of Dallas’ present and past. At other times I was in a bone-jarring, body-slamming Hummer on a suicide run through a young woman’s life. This book has a little bit of everything and is well worth reading. I give this novel 4 out of 5 CSIG thumbs up. The slight deviation from CSI reality weakened my rating but the crafting of the tale certainly makes it an enjoyable read.

 

Crime Scene: Hyderabad


beforeandafter

Two bombs explode among the crowds of Hyderabad, India on February 21, 2013, killing many and injuring  more.  Immediately after, hundreds of people rush in.  Emergency services arrive and investigate the scene. Government officials view the devastation. For many at the scene, the explosion is a nightmare realized at the hands of those who have lost respect for human life.

The story relayed in this link describes a nightmare for a crime scene investigator (CSI). Documenting the scene, as the crime left it, is one of the primary duties of a CSI. These nightmare scenes are no longer as the crime left it, but as the crowd left it.

I agree with the writer that the loss of evidence is a blow to the investigation of the crime. Steps can be taken to ensure evidence protection at most scenes. I disagree that it could easily have been avoided at this one. The crime happened in a crowd.  Unless a crowd is composed of trained law enforcement personnel, evidence from the crime happening in it will be lost. Sometimes investigators must remain content with the evidence found and objectively proceed as best they can.

Whether as individuals, or in a crowd, people react like water. If you step in a rain puddle, the water flees your foot. It rushes back in when you step out. Likewise, a crowd pushed out by a violent force will rush back into the void as the force vacates. The intent of the individuals in the crowd varies. Most help victims (a good sign for humanity) others step in, voyeurs. A small number take advantage of the situation for personal gain.

The persons seeking to help are citizens on the street, responding officers and EMT’s, CSI’s and detectives. The voyeurs range from morbidly curious bystanders to naïve government officials. Those who desire personal gains act under a wide range of agendas.

I have worked crime scenes of similarity in my career. The safety of victims and responding officers at the scene takes first priority. Evidence lost, while protecting a life, is unfortunate but acceptable. Interagency training and communication aids greatly in limiting the loss of either. Once immediate safety concerns are taken care of the scene is secured for evidence collection and analysis.

On occasion I have looked up from evidence to see unauthorized persons step under the tape into my secured crime scene.  I usually respond by telling them, “Get out of my crime scene! You’re stomping all over my evidence!” My challenge, with the offender apologetic or offended, is usually heeded. The reasons they enter my scenes do not differ from those who entered the scene in Hyderabad because, once again, they remain people.

In this post, as in others on my blog, I associate my observations in crime scene investigation and spiritual truth (i.e. Christianity). A more thorough look at this aspect of CSI resides in Chapter 17 of my book Blood and Light – Evidence of Truth.

Before evidence, or any truth, is sought the persons investigating must be considered.  Certain types of people populate crime scene investigations.  Their presence either enhances or hinders an investigation and usually falls into one of four types.

  1. Those who need to enter:
  • Objectively examine evidence in order to honor and reveal truth as truth
    •  CSI – Truths revealed by these solves cases.
    • Spiritual – Truths revealed by these change lives.
  1. Those who wish to enter for selfish gain:
  • Desire evidence supporting an agenda of personal, monetary, or positional gain in a social or political group.
    • CSI – Findings tend to be subjective and biased and fail in court or bring wrongful convictions.
    • Spiritual – These bring confusion, contention, and greater distance from truth.
  1. Those who do not to want enter:
  • Are content with letting others determine what is true and what is not.
    • CSI – Doesn’t matter if the case goes unsolved as long as it does not directly affect them
      • Happy outside the investigation.
      • Spiritual – Accept truth that appeals to their personal likes and dislikes.
  1. Those who do not want to, but should enter:
  • Are not content and wish for something more.
    • CSI – Look for objective truth but hesitate because of doubt in their personal ability.
    • Spiritual – Look for an objective truth but hesitate because of doubt in their personal worth or value.

The crime scene at Hyderabad apparently contained many of each type.  The conditions surrounding any crime scene directly affect the evidence that can be gathered.  Fragile evidence (e.g. DNA) will unavoidably be lost.  Thankfully that is not the only evidence that can be used.

How do you investigate unknowns in your life?  Which of the four types do you tend to be?

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