What’s New in Fingerprinting?

Sirchie fingerprint labratories


This Mini Light Brush features a built in high intensity LED—(BLUE) light that illuminates any surface when developing latent fingerprints using fluorescent powders.

These fiberglass brushes are particularly useful for dusting in dark areas, such as under furniture, inside motor vehicles, poorly lighted corners, inside cabinets, etc.


The Forensic Examiner is the name of this new alternate light source used, in the lab, by human forensic examiners. The device makes use of two banks high-powered lights which greatly enhance the probability of locating body fluids, hair, fibers, bone fragments, and faint fingerprint ridge detail.


Brush n Burnish is a newly designed dusting brush that eliminates scratching the ridges on latent fingerprints. The brush is made from gray squirrel hair. The acrylic handle can also be used for removing air bubbles from the lifting tape by using its smooth surface in a manner similar to a squeegee.


Fingerprinting brushes made from blue squirrel hair are practically indestructible.

Oil Red O is a new chemical latent print developer that’s used for developing latent prints on paper products that are wet or have been wet. Other chemicals, such as Ninhydrin are not very effective under these conditions. Oil Red O is a lipid protein stain that does not depend on the presence of amino acids or salts and is for laboratory use only.

(Thanks again to my friends at Sirchie for the images and information).

10 replies
  1. Elena
    Elena says:

    Thanks Lee – helps to know the vocabulary of other worlds. I can’t imagine how someone could know even a fraction of the useful gizmos out there. Makes me admire even more the skills of the crime scene people.

  2. Elena
    Elena says:

    Joyce, what a terrific article – I bet the writer was rolling inside interviewing the clueless County CEO! And, the guy’s only response was to say he was going to figure out a way to deal himself in.

    Lee – I can’t stand it – what is the source for the lighted brush? It doesn’t seem to be on the Sirchie site.

  3. Carla
    Carla says:

    There must be a lot of hairless squirrels running around. How do they get them to stand still while they pluck their hairs?

  4. Terry
    Terry says:

    Just popping in — haven’t had access or time for internet while at the RWA conference, (where I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Gagnon, among countless other authors). There will be a lot of catching up to do, but wanted to say hello. We’re going to be in Oregon for a week, staying with hubby’s sister and her husband, and I’m using the time to decompress after the usual conference chaos. And the wine tasting is very good around here, too.

    My brother in law is recently retired from the BLM and this morning he gave us a demonstration of how easy it is to get out of the plastic/nylon flex-cuffs using a piece of string (or shoelace). They’re now using restraints that look like two shoelaces held together with a piece of plastic, but he vouches for their reliability.

  5. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Joyce – I saw that article.

    I fixed your post. Sometimes, when you add a link close to other text weird things happen. WordPress has a mind of its own.

  6. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Elena – I could probably fill the rest of this week’s blog with an assortment of brushes. Out of the hundreds available, I used only two.

    Thanks for pointing out the mistake I made when rewriting that section. One of my “duh” moments… I can’t get anything by you guys.

  7. Elena
    Elena says:

    As an artist who paints I’m always fascinated by lights and brushes. I must have a use for that wonderful lighted brush, just haven’t thought of it yet.

    Whereas the “Brush n Burnish” tickled me – I have the same thing in several sizes in my brush collection. The handle is used to push paint or collage material around.

    I suspect that Ninhydrin is not very ‘effective’, rather than the double negative. 🙂 Definitely fun to know that Oil Red O exists. Holmes is behind on his little monographs.

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