Introduction to Criminalistics

Introduction to Criminalistics : The Foundation of Forensic Science

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Introduction to Criminalistics covers the basics of Criminalistics in a textbook for a one or two semester course, with the intention of preparing the student for a future in forensic science.

The role of the Criminalist is to analyze, compare, identify, and interpret physical evidence in the crime lab. These crime labs, or forensic labs, have two primary functions: identifying evidence and linking the suspect, victim, and crime scene through physical evidence.

This new primer introduces the learner to the structure and organization of the crime lab and to the role of the Criminalist. It features real cases - recent and historic - to illustrate concepts. Colorful pedagogy clearly defines chapter elements and sets this text apart from next best. Topics covered include how to process a crime scene and preserve evidence, the basic principles of firearm examination, latent fingerprints, and rudimentary toxicology, or how to determine the presence or absence of drugs and poisons.

Well organized and methodical, this textbook has the potential to become the standard text for applying techniques of the physical and natural sciences to examining physical evidence.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 190.5 x 238.76 x 22.86mm | 884.5g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • col. Illustrations
  • 0120885913
  • 9780120885916
  • 1,561,148

Table of contents

Section I: Introduction, Field and Laboratory

Chapter 1
Forensic Science - Scope and Perspective from Scene to Laboratory
Barry Fisher

Section II: Pattern Evidence

Chapter 2 Introduction to Pattern Evidence - Tool Marks and Impressions
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 3 Firearms
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 4 Fingerprints
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 5 Documents
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 6 Physical Evidence
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 7 Hair and Fiber
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Section III: Chemical and Instrumental Analytical Evidence

Chapter 8 Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 9 Arson and Explosives
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 10 Forensic Toxicology
Bill Tilstone

Section IV: Biological Evidence

Chapter 11 Forensic Biology
Bill Tilstone

Chapter 12 DNA
Bill Tilstone


A. Personal Effects and Identification
B. Digital Evidence
C. Crime Reconstruction
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About Catherine Woytowicz

William J. Tilstone has more than 35 years of experience in forensic science in academia, case work in biology and toxicology, executive management, and consultancy work in training and quality systems. Foundation Professorship in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Director of Forensic Science Centre, South Australia. First Executive Director of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, Largo, FL. Catherine Woytowicz teaches in the Department of Chemistry, the Honors Program, and the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. She also teaches at Georgetown University in the School of Medicine.
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