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Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, Fifth Edition

NCJ Number
R Saferstein
Date Published
599 pages
This text presents techniques, skills, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory for the reader inexperienced in forensic sciences. The text emphasizes the nature of physical evidence as well as the limitations that technology and knowledge impose on its characterization.
The introductory chapter discusses the history and development of forensic science, the organization of a crime laboratory, and functions of the forensic scientist. Following a discussion of elements of the crime scene and legal considerations of a crime scene investigation, the text reviews common types of physical evidence and their significance. Various types of analyses discussed in separate chapters focus on the physical properties of glass and soil, inorganic analysis, organic analysis, hair/fiber and paint analysis, drugs, forensic toxicology, forensic aspects of arson and explosion investigations, and forensic serology. Innovative and evolving techniques which merit detailed discussions include DNA fingerprinting, fingerprint analysis, firearms and tool marks examination, and document and voice identification. Chapter references and 5 appendixes