Forensic Sciences


Written and Spoken Utterances as Special Evidence Spoken or written threats, suicide notes, confessions, declarations in wills, and a range of other utterances may become part of civil or criminal proceedings or the associated investigations. These reports of what people have said or copies of what people have written may be examined in order to […]


Introduction From time to time incidents of suspicious death occur in which the mental state of deceased persons needs to be assessed. If some evaluation can be made of the sort of person they were, their personality and thought processes, especially as that may throw light on any involvement they themselves had in their death, […]

Procedures and Standards

Short Historical Overview Anatomical dissection The prerequisite for the whole idea of an autopsy or necropsy was the knowledge of human anatomy, and the history of autopsy shows three, partly overlapping, paths of development. The first of them lasted almost 2000 years, from the first known school of anatomy in Alexandria around 320 BC, where […]

Digital Imaging Enhancement

Introduction In the overview article on photography and digital imaging, Lena Klasen stressed the importance that images and imagery have played in forensic science. In recent years the importance of imagery has been underlined by the rapid increase in the number of closed-circuit television security and surveillance systems that have been deployed, not only in […]


History of Images in Forensic Science Images have always played an important role in forensic science and normally we refer to photos or digitally stored images. During the last decade, photography and digital imaging have increased in importance, as computers provide us with the tools to analyze images. An image can be defined as a […]


Introduction There is little question but that the forensic sciences are dynamic and that their dramatic growth parallels current advances in technology and system operation. DNA analysis and the computerization of fingerprints are but two examples. Forensic phonetics also is currently developing. It is defined as a professional specialty based upon the utilization of knowledge […]


Introduction Pharmacology is the study of the effect that a drug has on biological systems. Since ‘forensic’ refers to the application of science to legal issues, ‘forensic pharmacology’ is therefore the study of drugs and their effects as they relate to the law. Examples of the types of case that may involve a forensic pharmacologist […]

Vehicle Tire Marks and Tire Track Measurement

Introduction In today’s highly mobile society, criminals often use vehicles to travel to and from the scenes of the crimes they commit. On many occasions, their vehicles track over surfaces which retain the impressions of one or more of the tires, leaving proof of their vehicles’ presence. These impressions range from a partial impression to […]


Overview Toolmark examinations form part of the physical comparative disciplines within the criminalistics branch of forensic science. The primary objective is to relate one physical object with another, by determining if a toolmark was made by a particular implement. Based on the concept that the implement has transferred a design or pattern to the marked […]

Shotgun Ammunition on a Target

Introduction As a shotgun fires cartridges loaded with pellets, the charge emerges from the muzzle en masse and travels as such for about a couple of meters; then, the pellets begin to disperse, decreasing the number of pellets actually striking the target. The dispersion of the shot is clearly a function of distance, and the […]