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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
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
• 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
• 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.

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