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Week 1 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion)
1 Based on this week’s readings, what photographic
techniques do you think provide the most information to an investigator? Why is
it better than another technique suggested by the text or the readings? What
value does photographic evidence have in crime scene investigation? Are images
from the crime scene easily manipulated? How so, and what are some ways this
can be avoided?
2. What educational background is typically required of a
forensic technician or CSI? For a criminalist? For a latent print examiner?
Compare and contrast these requirements.
Are there certifications available for these disciplines? If
so should they be a requirement for the position or a condition of continued
employment if the person is in a trainee status? Why or why not?
3. Define and discuss the importance of the following
photography concepts:
Depth of field
Fill flash
Bounce flash
Normal view
Wide-angle view
Resolution- why is this important in digital photography?
White balance- why is this important in digital photography
4. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read.

Week 2 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. Based on this week’s readings, is sketching still an
important part of the evidence collection process? How does technology play a
part in collecting this type of evidence? As technology and funding are
sometimes connected, is basic sketching valuable in itself as evidence?
Discuss how the core value of Personal Development is a part
of the sketching process.
2. Identify the types of diagrams one might use at a crime
scene and discuss their proper application. How does the Saint Leo core value
of excellence relate to this discussion?
3. Describe and discuss the measurements that are necessary
to accurately depict the location of a body in a crime scene. Define the terms
“to scale” and “not to scale”. Why are these concepts important in crime scene
sketches?
4. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read.

Week 3 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. Based on this week’s readings, it appears that any item
can be reduced to its smallest parts and be defined as trace evidence. However,
what is the underlying reason why paint scrapings from hit and run accidents,
soil collected from death investigations, hairs collected in a sexual assault
kit, and fibers collected from a residential burglary would be considered trace
evidence warranting collection? What does each of these examples demonstrate
that separates them as trace evidence from anything else found at a crime
scene?
2. As a crime scene investigator you may be assigned to
process the scene of a hit and run collision involving a pedestrian. Identify
and discuss the type of trace evidence a crime scene investigator should
attempt to locate on the suspect vehicle.
3. Deductive Reasoning Exercise: The Deadly Picnic.
As a CSI it is important to make thorough observations and
take meticulous notes when you are working on a crime scene. You are to take
the facts of this case and determine who murdered Mr. Brooks. You are to apply
your course materials to this case and discuss the type of information that can
be obtained from the evidence in this case.
Identify and discuss examples of class and individual
characteristics. I will post the solution at the conclusion of Module 1.
The Facts of the Case
Centerville police discovered the body of a 36-year-old
white male (later identified as Gaven Brooks) in a field about twenty miles
north of town. Mr. Brooks’ body was discovered at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October
11. He was found lying face-up on a yellow, queen-size sheet. According to
autopsy reports, one fatal gunshot to the back of the head ended Mr. Brooks’
life. Scientists estimate that death occurred at about 4:20 p.m. As
investigators scanned the crime scene, they made the following notes:
• Paper plates
filled with partially eaten fried chicken, deviled eggs, potato salad, and
chocolate cake were located near Mr. Brooks’ body.
• An open bottle of
red wine and two partially filled glasses of wine were found next to the yellow
sheet.
• A recently smoked
cigarette butt was found near the sheet.
• Shoeprints from
the road to the field were those of a male, size 10, and a female, size 5. The only
shoeprints from the field back to the road were those of a female, size 5.
• Car tracks of the
same wheel base and tread pattern as Mr. Brooks’s automobile were found at the
road. The car was not found at the scene.
• Mr. Brooks’ car
was found abandoned in an empty parking lot in downtown Centerville.
Investigators believe that a female friend of Mr. Brooks was
responsible for his demise. After questioning family and friends, it was
discovered that the deceased had frequent social outings with six women who
live in or near Centerville. The women’s names are Rita, Lauren, Gail, Janice,
Elaine, and Peggy. Investigators gathered the following information about the
six women:
• Janice works
full-time as a caterer.
• Elaine and Gail
are schoolteachers.
• Rita’s babysitter
says Rita arrived home in her own car at about 5 p.m.
• Peggy and Elaine
live together in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Centerville.
• Gail lives in a
nearby town called Jordan.
• Elaine and Janice
are very petite women—they wear size 4 jeans.
• Gail and Peggy are
smokers.
• Rita’s father owns
a gun shop.
• Elaine attends a
5-p.m. step aerobics class in downtown Centerville every Friday afternoon and
has not missed a class in two years.
• Peggy is deathly
allergic to grapes.
• Lauren works at a
chemical supply house.
• Rita lives in a
country house about thirty miles west of Centerville.
• Gail is a vegan
(she eats no animal products).
• Rita is a florist.
• Janice doesn’t know
how to drive.
• Elaine and Gail
hate the color yellow.
• Lauren played
center for a semiprofessional basketball team five years ago. She has red hair
and is six feet, one inch tall.
4. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read. Identify a Saint Leo core value and apply it
to the discussion.

Week 4 discussion
Questions (Select one for discussion)
1.As biological evidence most often is recognized by the
media and the public as “DNA”, what would you argue is the most common form of
biological material collected at a crime scene? Since DNA is technically not
what is collected (instead a swab of a fluid such as blood, saliva, sweat, or
semen) how important is the collection process for biological evidence?
2. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read. Identify a Saint Leo core value and apply it
to the discussion.
3. Biological evidence is extremely important when
investigating the crime of sexual assault. Describe and discuss the unique
procedures that must be used in the investigation of sexual assault. Why are
they important?

Week 5 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. Utilizing light energy and alternate light sources for
collection and visualization of crime scene evidence may seem outdated. Is
there value in using “flashlights with cool colors” to detect, preserve, and
collect evidence? What newer technologies exist in the field of light energy
and/or alternative light sources? Search the web for one new technology,
explaining the benefits and drawbacks to crime scene evidence collection.
2. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read.
3. The use of light is important in forensics. A lens filter
is placed over a lens to change the composition of light that enters the camera
lens. Research, describe, and discuss the most commonly used lens filters in
forensic photography.

Week 6 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. At a crime scene, to prevent contamination and
cross-contamination of evidence, as well as maintain the personal safety of the
investigators, scene access should be limited to people directly involved in
scene processing as well as making certain to follow established entry/exit
routes at the scene. What other protocols for safety of the investigator and
prevention of scene/evidence contamination should be adhered to? What aspects of PPE are the most important
(or are they all important)?
2. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module. Discuss
investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else that may be
related to the article as based on the course materials. In other words, apply
the materials from the book to the article that you read.
3. A crime scene can be anywhere! Some crime scenes may be
very challenging to safely process and collect all of the necessary evidence.
This photograph appeared with a recent news article reporting on a dead body
that was discovered in a port-a-potty outside of a sports stadium.
As you can imagine, this particular crime scene provided
more than one challenge. Identify the specific challenges presented by this
crime scene and discuss how you would safely address them.

Week 7 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. Crime scene units work in tandem with lab analysts to
ensure that evidence is not only collected properly at the crime scene, but
also preserved well enough to guarantee it has not been compromised in the
collection process. However, the urgency of law enforcement to “solve a case”
and the lab analysts’ desire to be objective are sometimes in conflict. Have
ethics fallen to the wayside in an effort to solve a case? If not, how are
ethical values maintained when analysts and investigators have access to money
and controlled substances, not to mention jewelry and other valuables? .
2. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module.
Discuss investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else
that may be related to the article as based on the course materials. In other
words, apply the materials from the book to the article that you read.
3. Research, define, and discuss trace evidence that can be
collected from a crime scene. Explain the proper steps for collecting and
preserving trace evidence.
4. Discuss the importance of properly preserving trace
evidence and the pitfalls that should be avoided in the collection of trace
evidence.

Week 8 discussion
QUESTIONS (select one for discussion):
1. Overall, what three key concepts will you take away from
this course? Is learning about evidence collection and preservation a necessary
component of the CSI protocol? Why or why not? Also, if evidence collection is
an integral part of the process, why does the entertainment industry dismiss it
as something so simple “a caveman can do it” or at the very least, an actor? Is
the scientific process “visible” in evidence collection and preservation?
2. Current Event: Read an article in a LOCAL community or
REGIONAL newspaper or journal regarding one of the topics covered in this
module. Write a synopsis of the article and discuss it in terms of the
materials covered in this module. Discuss
investigative procedures, techniques, methods, or anything else that may be
related to the article as based on the course materials. In other words, apply
the materials from the book to the article that you read.
3. Ethical behavior is imperative in all aspects of
forensics and the criminal justice system. Our system is based on the
adversarial system with each side presenting their evidence. Can “expert
shopping” on either side undermine our system of justice? Read the attached
article and decide. Research the issue and decide. Describe and discuss the
potential negative effects of this practice.
What would you do if the prosecutor attempted to sway your
testimony in favor of his or her case when your findings do not support the
case?

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