Crime Scene Investigation: Death Investigation
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Crime Scene Investigation: Death Investigation

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Questions and Answers

What is the primary objective of a criminal investigation?

To identify the perpetrator of the crime

What is the main responsibility of a patrol officer at a homicide scene?

To secure the crime scene

What is the purpose of the Medical Examiner in a death investigation?

To determine the cause of death

What types of death require notification by police to the Medical Examiner?

<p>All deaths, including natural causes</p> Signup and view all the answers

Who is responsible for the removal and final disposition of the body at a homicide scene?

<p>The coroner's office</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of identifying the pattern of criminal homicide?

<p>To understand the behavior of the offender</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the importance of protecting the victim's hands in a suicide investigation by firearms?

<p>To preserve fingerprints</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of determining the security of the premise in suicide investigations?

<p>To rule out the possibility of homicide</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary motive behind Revenge/Jealousy killing?

<p>Love or passion</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main characteristic of Triangle Killing?

<p>Motive has a love base</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary difference between a positive and negative GSR test result?

<p>A positive result indicates the suspect was in the presence of a discharged firearm, while a negative result indicates they weren't</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of conducting a GSR test?

<p>To determine if the suspect was in the presence of a discharged firearm</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the most common pattern of homicide?

<p>Anger Killing</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary characteristic of Murder-Suicide?

<p>Often involves an agreement between partners</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary concern when processing a death scene?

<p>Preserving evidence</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary factor that indicates a possible motor vehicle suicide?

<p>All of the above</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary limitation of a GSR test?

<p>It is not 100% reliable, and may not detect gunshot residue in all cases</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of a suicide note in a death investigation?

<p>It may provide insight into the deceased's mindset</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary characteristic of Sex and Sadism killing?

<p>Sexual perversion, sometimes accidental, usually bizarre</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary responsibility of a patrol officer at a homicide scene?

<p>Maintaining the integrity of the crime scene</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of an exhumation order in a death investigation?

<p>It enables the collection of evidence from a buried body</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why is it not necessary to prove motive in a homicide investigation?

<p>Because motive is not a necessary element to obtain a conviction</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of a police report in a homicide investigation?

<p>To document the scene and events</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term for the killing of one human being by another?

<p>Homicide</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of a medical examiner's determination in a death investigation?

<p>It provides a definitive diagnosis of the cause of death</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary concern when handling a suicide note?

<p>Maintaining control of the note</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the term for death resulting from accidental injury or poisoning?

<p>Accident</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of the police in a death investigation?

<p>To investigate and gather evidence</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary reason why a GSR test is not helpful in distinguishing between a suicide and a homicide where the victim is shot from close range?

<p>The victim may have reached for the gun.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the recommended solution used for swabbing the hands of suspects in a GSR test?

<p>A 5 percent solution of nitric acid with distilled or demineralized water.</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why are glass containers or applicators with wooden shafts not used for collecting GSR evidence?

<p>They may interfere with the test results.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the advantage of using SEM/EDX in GSR testing?

<p>It provides a visual image of the residue particles showing size and shape as well as a chemical analysis of their composition.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary role of the investigator in a suicide case?

<p>To provide factual information to assist in deciding whether the death is murder, suicide, or accident.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the best indicator in determining whether a case is one of suicide?

<p>The cause of death.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of the position and awkwardness of the wound in a suicide case?

<p>It can establish the improbability of self-infliction.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the general principle regarding the accessibility of the body in a suicide case?

<p>Any part of the body accessible to the suicide is also accessible to the murderer.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the definition of suicide?

<p>The voluntary and intentional destruction of one's self.</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the historical punishment for suicide by common law?

<p>Ignominious burial and forfeiture of goods.</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which of the following types of wounds is most indicative of murder?

<p>Knife wound in the back</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a characteristic of suicidal behavior when using a knife?

<p>Selecting the throat, wrist, and heart region</p> Signup and view all the answers

A person is found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. What is a possible indication of suicide?

<p>Multiple parallel slashes on the left side of the head and neck</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a characteristic of suicidal behavior when using a firearm?

<p>Selecting the temple, forehead, center of the back of the head, mouth, and heart</p> Signup and view all the answers

A person is found dead with multiple wounds. What is a possible indication of suicide?

<p>A combination of stab wounds and gunshot wounds</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is an indication of a deranged suicide?

<p>Inflicting very severe wounds in great numbers</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why might a suicide choose carbon monoxide or barbiturates as a method of death?

<p>To avoid excessive pain</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a characteristic of female suicides?

<p>Avoiding disfigurement of the face</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a characteristic of suicidal behavior when using a weapon?

<p>Pushing clothing aside to ensure direct contact with the body</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should investigators look for when investigating a death?

<p>The presence of a weapon near the body</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary reason for concealing a weapon in a suicide investigation?

<p>To avoid unfavorable publicity</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the chief cause of suicide according to the text?

<p>Mental uneasiness or worry</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should be emphasized during the investigation of a suicide?

<p>The victim's anxiety over their position or work</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of searching for a diary or un-mailed letters in a suicide investigation?

<p>To discover statements indicating a purpose of self-destruction</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is a common motive for suicide in certain occupations?

<p>Anxiety and tension</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the typical content of a suicide note?

<p>A clear expression of motive and intent</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the recommended way to handle a suicide note?

<p>Use a pair of tongs and place it in a transparent envelope</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why may a weapon be accidentally disappeared in a suicide investigation?

<p>It was stolen by neighborhood boys</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should the investigator do when finding a suicide note?

<p>Regard it with skepticism</p> Signup and view all the answers

What percentage of young suicides leave notes?

<p>Fewer than 30%</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of interviewing the victim's family, business associates, and friends?

<p>To learn factual information about the deceased's state of mind</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why do boys succeed in suicide more often than girls?

<p>Boys use more certain methods</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should be done with the suicide note if it is in a sealed envelope?

<p>Leave it sealed</p> Signup and view all the answers

What may happen to a person fatally shot through the head or heart?

<p>They may travel a significant distance before succumbing</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the recommended way to transport a suicide note?

<p>In a plastic bag or acetate folder</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the purpose of dusting a suicide note for fingerprints?

<p>To determine if the note was written voluntarily</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the main reason attributed to the increase in young suicides?

<p>Inability to communicate and feeling of isolation</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should be done if a fatal accident is not witnessed?

<p>Investigate further to determine the cause</p> Signup and view all the answers

Why are general indexes of investigative suspicion used?

<p>To investigate potential suicide cases</p> Signup and view all the answers

What should be checked in a jump suicide investigation?

<p>All of the above</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of observing red blotches on the skin in a suicide investigation?

<p>It is a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of checking the security of premises in a suicide investigation?

<p>To rule out the possibility of homicide</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of finding a ligature with padding in an auto-erotic death scene?

<p>It is used to prevent ligature marks</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary responsibility of the originating agency in handling a suicide note?

<p>To maintain control and security of the evidence</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of finding evidence of masturbation in an auto-erotic death scene?

<p>It is a sign of sexual pleasure</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of identifying the general index of investigative suspicion in a suicide investigation?

<p>To pay attention to note, past attempts, and mental condition</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of finding a rope with a cut above the knot in a hanging suicide investigation?

<p>It is a sign of the position of the knot</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary purpose of checking the skin tone in a carbon monoxide suicide investigation?

<p>To look for red blotches on the skin</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the significance of finding evidence of fantasy in an auto-erotic death scene?

<p>It is a sign of a diary or pornography</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary concern when handling a suicide note?

<p>To maintain control and security of the evidence</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

Death Scene Investigation

  • A death scene investigation involves determining the type of death, identifying the main objectives and steps, and identifying the patrol officer's major responsibilities.

Types of Death Scenes

  • Homicide: the killing of one human being by another, including murder, manslaughter, and self-defense.
  • Suicide: the act of taking one's own life.
  • Accident: an unintentional death, such as a car accident, fire, or drowning.
  • Natural Causes: death due to disease or medical conditions.

Problems in Death Investigations

  • Removal of the body from the scene: alters the scene and may result in loss of evidence.
  • Embalming: destroys evidentiary value of substances in the body.
  • Burial: may require exhumation order, and passage of time may destroy or reduce the value of body evidence.

Patrol Officer's Responsibilities

  • Proceed safely and promptly.
  • Render assistance.
  • Effect the arrest.
  • Maintain the crime scene.
  • Inform and notify specialized units.
  • Note all conditions, events, and remarks.
  • Arrange for evidence collection.

Marking the Body

  • The body may be marked by photography, sketching, markers, or cones.
  • Silhouette chalking may also be used.

Responsibility for the Body

  • The medical examiner has total authority over the body's disposition.
  • The medical examiner and police work together to investigate the death.

Homicide Investigation Questions

  • What was the cause of death?
  • What were the means that caused the death?
  • Was the homicide excusable or justifiable?
  • Who was responsible for causing the death?

Homicide Patterns

  • Anger Killing: often involves family members or friends, and is the most common pattern.
  • Triangle Killing: involves a love triangle.
  • Revenge/Jelly killing: involves an "eye for an eye" philosophy.
  • Killing for Profit: involves financial gain.
  • Random Killing: involves a random and unprovoked attack.
  • Murder-Suicide: often involves an agreement between partners.
  • Sex and Sadism: involves sexual perversion and sadistic behavior.

Gunshot Primer Residue (GSR) Test

  • The test is used to determine if a suspect has fired a gun.
  • The test involves collecting residue from the hands of the suspect.
  • A positive result indicates that the suspect was in the presence of a discharged firearm.
  • A negative result does not necessarily indicate that the suspect was not involved in the shooting.

Suicide Investigation

  • The investigator must determine whether the death is a suicide, homicide, or accident.

  • The type of injury, presence of a weapon, and existence of a motive must be considered.

  • The position and awkwardness of the wound, as well as the difficulty of self-infliction, must be considered.

  • A combination of methods or a choice of several sites is indicative of suicide.

  • The extent of the wound, direction of the wound, and painfulness of the method must also be considered.

  • Disfigurement considerations, such as the avoidance of facial disfigurement, must be taken into account.

  • The presence of a weapon or instrument, as well as any concealment or accidental disappearance of the weapon, must be considered.

  • Motive and intent, such as a suicide note or oral statements, must be considered.### Investigating Suicide Cases

  • Investigator should interview family, business associates, friends, and acquaintances to determine the state of mind of the deceased.

  • Interviews should focus on factual information, not opinions, and explore domestic, business, or financial troubles.

Importance of Suicide Notes

  • A suicide note can be a crucial piece of evidence in determining the intent of the deceased.
  • Notes should be handled with care and submitted to a qualified document examiner for analysis.
  • Examiner should verify the authenticity of the note and handwriting.

Handling Suicide Notes

  • Note should be picked up with tongs and placed in a transparent envelope.
  • Photograph and transmit the note to the laboratory or agency for analysis.
  • Include a request for comparison of the known writing of the deceased with the writing of the suicide note.
  • Take precautions to avoid contact with fingers during handling.

Young Suicides

  • Estimated 70,000 to 80,000 young people (ages 15-24) attempt suicide annually.
  • About 5,000 succeed, with fewer than 30% leaving notes.
  • Girls attempt suicide more often, but boys are more likely to succeed.

Accidents vs. Suicides

  • Fatal accidents without witnesses can be mistaken for suicides.
  • Injuries should be examined to determine if they are compatible with self-infliction.

Types of Suicide

  • Motor Vehicle Suicide: difficult to determine without a note or background information.
  • Jump Suicide: investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, and building layout.
  • Overdose Suicide: mostly women and young girls; investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, containers, and security of premises.
  • Firearms Suicide: mostly men; investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, gun, bullets, and powder burns.
  • Carbon Monoxide Suicide: investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, vehicle, and skin tone.
  • Poison Suicide: not common; investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, and object used.
  • Incised (cut) Wound Suicides: investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, object used, and security of premises.
  • Hanging Suicides: investigate notes, past attempts, mental condition, ropes, and security of premises.

Auto-erotic Deaths

  • Deaths associated with solo sexual activity, often resembling suicide.
  • May involve family alteration of the scene due to shame or embarrassment.
  • Usually involves males, with methods including neck compression, airway obstruction, chest compression, and oxygen exclusion.

Auto-Erotic Death Scene Evidence

  • Location: secluded area.
  • Nude body.
  • Cross-dressing and evidence of masturbation.
  • Bondage indications, such as ropes, chains, blindfolds, and gags.
  • Protective padding on the neck.
  • Sexually stimulating paraphernalia, such as vibrators and dildos.
  • Mirrors and evidence of fantasy, such as diaries and pornography.
  • Auto-erotic literature and evidence of prior auto-erotic activities.
  • Positioned camera.

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This quiz covers the primary objectives and procedures of a criminal investigation, including steps taken in a preliminary investigation of a death scene.

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