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Determining an Optimal Sequence for Chemical Development of Latent Prints on Cartridge Casings and Shotgun Shells

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 54 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2009 Pages: 1327-1331
Kelli E. Edmiston, B.S.; Julianne Johnson, B.A.
Date Published
November 2009
5 pages
This paper describes a two-phase study for determining an optimal sequence for chemical development of latent prints on cartridge casings and shotgun shells.
In Phase I, this study established an optimal chemical sequence for both brass and nickel cartridge casings based on six sequences that involved four chemicals: cyanoacrylate, black powder, rhodamine 6G and acidified hydrogen peroxide. Phase II was a validation study of Phase I and involved a random sample of both brass and nickel cartridge casings. They were processed according to the determined optimal sequences. In addition, ribbed shotgun shells were processed under Phase I results and determined to be dependent upon the use of a CrimeScope at 515 nm. Consideration should be given to the type of cartridge case being examined. There are limitations, and some chemical sequences work better than others; for example, the authors recommend not using the fifth sequence because the best result involved only 15 faint, visible ridge lines with no minutiae. More research can be done to determine why this occurred. The study results indicate that the best "all around" sequence for nickel casings, brass casings, and shot-gun shells is the fourth sequence, cyanoacrylate - rhodamine 6G - acidified hydrogen peroxide - powder. Ideally, one successful method should be found for all types of casing and shells. The description of methods for Phase I encompasses the sample and chemical processing. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 4 references