Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science eBook (12e) : 9780134477862

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science eBook (12e)

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Title type
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For introductory courses in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation

A clear introduction to the technology of the modern crime laboratory for non-scientists

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science uses clear writing, case stories, and modern technology to capture the pulse and fervor of forensic science investigations. Written for readers with no scientific background, only the most relevant scientific and technological concepts are presented. The nature of physical evidence is defined, and the limitations that technology and current knowledge impose on its individualisation and characterisation are examined. A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence.

Updated throughout, the 12 Edition includes a new chapter on the exciting field of forensic biometrics. With its easy-to-understand writing and straightforward presentation, this text is clear and comprehensible to a wide variety of students.

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Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • The Crime Scene
  • Physical Evidence
  • Crime Scene Reconstruction: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Death Investigation
  • Fingerprints
  • Forensic Biometrics
  • The Microscope
  • Firearms, Tool Marks, and Other Impressions
  • Matter, Light, and Glass Examination
  • Hairs and Fibers
  • Drugs
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Metals, Paint, and Soil
  • Forensic Serology
  • DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool
  • Forensic Aspects Of Fire And Explosion Investigation
  • Document Examination
  • Computer Forensics
  • Mobile Device Forensics
Features & benefits
  • Respected author has vast experience as both an active forensic scientist and college-level instructor of forensic science. Saferstein has served as Chief Forensic Scientist of the NJ State Police Laboratory, taught forensic science courses at the College of New Jersey and Ocean County College, and authored or co-authored more than forty-five technical papers on forensics.
  • Assumes no prior knowledge of scientific principles or techniques when discussing criminalistics. Descriptions of forensics analysis as well as techniques for the proper identification, collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes are presented.
  • Strives to make the technology of the modern crime laboratory clear and understandable to all students—the nature of physical evidence is defined, and the limitations that technology and current knowledge impose on its individualisation and characterisation are examined.
  • Discussions of the scientific topics focus on state-of-the-art technology without delving into extraneous theories that may bore or overwhelm the non-science student—only the most relevant scientific and technological concepts are presented.
  • Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of forensics and its role in criminal investigation
  • Discussion of the relationship between forensics and the criminal investigation illustrates the role of forensic science in criminal investigations and examines the role of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system.
  • Headline News stories at the beginning of each chapter introduce readers to the chapter topics by describing high-profile crimes and the related forensic science techniques used in the investigations.
  • Inside the Science boxes offer students the option of delving into the more difficult technical aspects of the subject.
  • A major portion of the text centres on the role of the crime scene investigator, including preserving, recording, and collecting physical evidence at the crime scene.
  • UPDATED: Case File boxes present brief, real-life case examples that illustrate how the forensic science topics and techniques in the chapter were used in solving crimes of notoriety.
  • NEW: A new Chapter 7, “Forensic Biometrics,” focuses on the application of fingerprint, iris, and facial biometrics used to create biometric databases. The reader is introduced to the new FBI Next Generation Identification System created as a repository for biometric information.
  • UPDATED: Chapter 16, "DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool," is updated to emphasise the proper collection of DNA evidence with the avoidance of contamination.
  • UPDATED: Chapter 17, "Forensic Aspects of Fire and Explosion Investigation," is expanded to cover the discussion of the deviation of fire from normal behaviour and how it impacts burn pattern interpretations at fire scenes.
  • UPDATED: Chapter 20, "Mobile Device Forensics," is updated to discuss the extraction of data embedded in mobile phones to provide investigators with call records, geographical locations, timeline analysis, and other critical information.
  • UPDATED: Throughout the text, information is updated to reflect the most cutting-edge research in the field, and many new figures are included to illustrate concepts discussed in the chapters.
  • End-of-chapter material–including chapter summaries, review questions, application and critical-thinking exercises, and web extras–maximises student learning.
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