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Identifying and Sharing Class Characteristics of Outsole Impressions

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 56 Issue: 5 Dated: September-October 2006 Pages: 737-743
John M. Brooks Jr.
Date Published
September 2006
7 pages
This case report discusses the importance of identifying characteristics of questioned footwear impressions from a crime scene.
If a shoe outsole pattern is similar to that of an outsole impression found at a crime scene, the manufacturer of the shoe should be contacted and sent information on the crime-scene outsole impression (e.g., crime-scene photographs and rolled impressions). If the shoe manufacturer verifies that it is an impression from their shoe, any information they can provide about the shoe should be requested. These findings and information should be shared with any investigative agency that has a footwear database system. In the case that is the focus of this article the author's observation and the shoe manufacturer's willingness to help with the case yielded data that was entered into two database systems. Although the case remains unsolved, the shoe outsole information has assisted at least one examiner in identifying a questioned footwear impression. The case at issue involved a robbery in which the perpetrator left an outsole impression on a dust-covered desk where he stood to break through the ceiling tiles in accessing an office adjoining the store he initially entered. Subsequently, the author noticed that his son wore a Reebok shoe that appeared to have the same outsole pattern as the shoe worn by the robber. Following the aforementioned procedures, the author was able to determine that this was the type of shoe worn by the robber. 5 figures and 2 references