Fingerprinting: A Journey From O-R
Especially for you, an O-R guide to fingerprinting … and more.
Oil Gland– Unlike eccrine and apocrine glands, which are sweat glands, the sebaceous gland is considered an oil gland.
Oligodactyly– Having less than the ordinary number of fingers or toes.
Orthodactyly– Fingers and toes cannot be flexed.
Ortho-Tolidine– A dual-purpose chemical that works both as a presumptive test for blood and has also been used to develop fingerprint detail on human skin.
Osborn Grid Method– Superimposing a grid on photographic enlargements of latent prints found at a crime scene as well as the inked fingerprints of a suspect(s). Scientist then painstakingly examine both, square by square looking for matching individualities.
Os calcis– A bone in the foot.
Osmium Tetroxide (Osmic Acid Fuming)– A fuming technique used to process items for latent fingerprints. Due to excessive costs and dangers associated with the product, it is now rarely used, if ever.
PBFE– Probability Based Fingerprint Evidence.
Papillary Ridges– Rows of eccrine glands situated along the trail of fingerprint
Patent Print– Fingerprints that are visible without development. (Latent prints are typically invisible to the naked eye).
Pathology– The study of causes, nature, and effects of diseases, trauma, and other abnormalities, and the changes to the body created by them.
Pattern Formations– Details of fingerprints created as early as the third month of gestation.
Pelmatoscopy– The scientific studies of the friction ridges of the soles of feet.
Pen Pack/Penitentiary Packet– A pen pack is the comprehensive imprisonment record of an inmate that’s supplied by the Department of Corrections. When fingerprints are included in the pen pack, and they are indeed typically found there, they’re used for comparison purposes. Other information found in pen packs are terms of confinement, background intelligence, and other similar details.
Perceptual Set – The tendency to see what we expect to see.
Phalange– Any bone in the fingers or toes.
Phalangeal– Of the bones in the fingers and toes.
Physical Developer– Chemical processing technique to develop latent prints on porous items. The technique was developed in the 1970s to develop fingerprints on porous items.
Pincushion Method– AKA the Constellation Method. This outdated technique was used in the first half of the 20th century to compare prints and to confirm an identification. Investigators pushed pins through each of the ridge characteristics of both latent (prints discovered at a crime scene) and known prints (prints of a known suspect). They then compared the holes (from the reverse sides). If the holes on the latent print matched those of the suspect’s print, well, they had their man, or woman.
If you happen to have a copy of the April 1956 edition of Fingerprint and Identification Magazine, you could read more on the topic since it was featured in the issue.
Plastic Print– Fingerprint left in a malleable substance, such as clay or wax.
Points/ Points of Identification– Fingerprint ridge characteristics.
RAM– Combination of Rhodamine 6G, Ardrox and MBD dyes. The mixture fluoresces when exposed to a special alternate light source, which in turn makes it possible to see prints developed using cyanoacrylate (Superglue) fumes.
RUVIS– Reflective Ultra-Violet imaging system that allows visualization of fingerprint detail in an ultraviolet spectrum. (see below for details and a video)
Redwop ™– A fluorescent fingerprint powder.
Rubber Lifter– A sheet of flexible rubber with adhesive on one side. Rubber lifters are used to “lift” latent prints.
Ruthenium Tetroxide (RTX)– Chemical used to enhance/see fingerprint detail on fabrics and other porous material such as some stones, leather, glass, tape, wood, plastics, and even human skin and wet surfaces.
RUVIS (Reflective Ultraviolet Imaging System), a system of locating latent (invisible) fingerprints) without the use of powders, fumes, or chemicals, was developed by Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories and the U.S. Army. The system focuses on one specific section of shortwave ultraviolet light, the germicidal spectrum of light, which cannot be seen by the naked eye.
A particularly unique feature of RUVIS technology is that it works in both total darkness and in bright sunshine, a must for use by police investigators.
The Krimesite Imager uses RUVIS technology to detect invisible residues from fingerprints. Those residues reflect UV light projected from the device, which immediately captures the reflections with a 60mm UV lens. A built-in scanner then converts the images to visible light, allowing the investigator to see the fingerprint. All this is done instantly, in real time. And, the detective is able to see images from up to fifteen feet away.
Once the print is located, the investigator uses the Imager to photograph it and, with the use of a micro-printer, print a copy of the desired evidence. All this without the messy powders that never seem to wash away. The KS Imager can also be used to greatly enhance prints developed using cyanoacrylate fuming (Super Glue).
Note – I doubt many of you will be picking up one of these devices for your home CSI kit. The price tag is between $9,000 and $22,000, depending the style of devise selected.
Here’s a video shot at the Sirchie compound near Raleigh, N.C. It shows the Krimesite Imager in action.
Those of you attending the Writers’ Police Academy, take note, because you are in for a surprise! Yes, space is available! By the way, the event is open to all (writers, readers, fans, and anyone else who’s interested in participating in a thrilling, hands-on training event) And, it is FUN!.
In the meantime …