Crime Scene Investigation – Murder

Homicide investigations


How many of you thought murder and homicide were the same? That’s what I thought. Well, they’re not.

Homicide is the killing of one person by another. It can be legal if the killing is in self-defense, in the defense of others, or in the case of court-ordered executions.


Murder is an illegal homicide.


Manslaughter is a criminal homicide without deliberation, malice, or premeditation.

Involuntary Manslaughter is usually where a death occurs as the result of an accident.

The first officer – normally a patrol officer –  to arrive at the scene of a homicide is in charge of the scene until she is relieved by her supervisor, or a detective.  It’s the job of the first responding officer to:

– Assess the scene. Make sure it’s safe to enter – no dangerous fumes, chemicals, or armed subjects.

– Check the victim for signs of life

– Administer first aid, if needed

– Call for emergency medical and fire services, if needed

– call for back up, if needed

– Secure the scene


– Make the scene safe for arriving officers and medical personnel


– Obtain initial information from witnesses


– Call for investigators

– Call for medical examiner or coroner (there is a difference)

– Protect the evidence

– Provide security for investigators

– Keep media and citizens at a safe distance



Tomorrow – Field Training Officer Gary Tabke