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Comparing the Alleged Weapon with Damage to Clothing: The Value of Multiple Layers and Fabrics

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 44 Issue: 1 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 205-207
Jane Moira Taupin M.A.
Date Published
January 1999
3 pages
A recent murder case examined by a crime laboratory in Victoria, Australia demonstrated that the examination of damage to multiple layers of clothing of varying types of fabric may produce useful information regarding the possible weapon and that some types of material may better reflect the suspected weapon’s geometry better than others.
The case involved the stabbing of a 92-year-old Melbourne woman by a bank teller who had stolen $6,000 from the woman’s account. The teller stabbed the victim 18 times in the stomach and the back. The victim survived the attack. The police arrested the teller some 8 days later. She partially admitted to stabbing the victim with a boning knife. However, the defense alleged that she was coerced into these admissions and that the police committed improprieties. The crime laboratory examined the victim’s clothing and the boning knife. It examined the damage to the garments macroscopically and microscopically. The laboratory also performed simulation experiments on undamaged areas of two garments. Results revealed that the boning knife could have produced all the damage to the clothing due to its sharpness and its distinctive cuts. Photographs and 5 references