An Introduction to the Forensic Investigation and Analysis of Trace Evidence

On Wednesday, 16 November 2022, Microtrace founder Skip Palenik will be giving a keynote presentation for the Wiley/AAFS Forensic Lab Talks seminar. His talk is entitled, “An Introduction to the Forensic Investigation and Analysis of Trace Evidence.” His presentation is intended for anyone who is curious and interested in how the forensic scientist is able to examine minute traces and by means of microscopical and microscopical examination, coupled with logical reasoning determine their identity, compare them to known sources and establish their relationship with the case under investigation. The viewer will learn about the scientific instruments and techniques that aid the scientist in their quest for the truth, and how they use the faculty of logical reasoning to help investigators in their investigations and the courts by providing facts and testimony to help judge and jury make wise and informed decisions during their deliberations.

The presentation begins at 1:00 EST/12:00 CST on 16 November 2022, and will last one hour. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A and is open to the general public.

To register for this presentation, please click here.

Abstract

This seminar is intended for anyone who is curious and interested in how the forensic scientist is able to examine minute traces and by means of microscopical and microchemical examination, coupled with logical reasoning determine their identity, compare them to known sources and establish their relationship with the case under investigation. The viewer will learn about the scientific instruments and techniques that aid the scientist in their quest for the truth and how they use the faculty of logical reasoning to help investigators in their investigations and the courts in the providing facts as well as testimony based on them to help judge and jury make wise and informed decisions during their deliberations.

The descriptions of the laboratory analyses performed on the evidence in the Green Rivers Serial Murder case will serve as a background to introduce forensic microscopy; the science of locating, isolating, analyzing, comparing, and interpreting microscopic traces such as fibers, paint, soil, hairs, building materials, wood, pollen, and unidentified particles and substances, that may be encountered as evidence to help solve a crime.

Forensic microscopy includes the use of the polarizing microscope, the fluorescence microscope, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV/visible microspectrophotometry, and other instruments and techniques – each of which provides different information. These analytical instruments and techniques employed by the forensic microscopist will be shown and explained.

The presentation will conclude with a case in which trace evidence was utilized to provide the investigative lead that led to the arrest of a serial rapist. His DNA was recovered from every one of his victims; however, his profile was not in CODIS. How was it done?

How May We Help You?

Contact us

to discuss your project in more detail.