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Criminal Investigation

NCJ Number
Ronald F. Becker J.D.
Date Published
447 pages
In addition to covering the conventional topics contained in most criminal investigation texts, this book highlights forensic and legal considerations that apply to specific investigative techniques.
In presenting an introduction to criminal investigation, the first chapter addresses the fundamentals of forensic science; criminal investigation as the application of the scientific method; the importance of forensic evidence; the objectives of an investigation; evidence admissibility; the selection and role of the investigator; and the legal team. A chapter then provides a brief history of criminal investigation, followed by a chapter on the roles of defense lawyers, prosecutors, and investigators in bringing a case to conclusion. Chapter 4 details the responsibilities of the criminal investigator at the crime scene, and chapter 5 contains an overview of the law of search and seizure and its impact on investigative procedures. Chapters pertinent to general investigative procedures discuss investigative tools, suspect identification, sources of information, and blood spatter. Chapters on the investigation of specific types of crime and circumstances address homicide, underwater investigation, assault, robbery, sexual assault, theft and burglary, drug offenses, arson, terrorism, organized crime, and white-collar crime. Attention is given to the procedures, techniques, and types of evidence that will be admissible in court and will most likely produce a guilty verdict. Summaries of real cases are provided to show how the results of criminal investigations play out in court. Each chapter contains review questions, references, and a list of pertinent key legal cases. A subject index and appended information on the direct examination of fingerprint experts, vehicular drownings and vehicle recoveries, and the direct examination of the forensic chemist