Forensic Science From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/24/2014
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For courses in crime scene investigation

A Straightforward, Student-Friendly Primer on Forensics

Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab presents forensic science in a straightforward, student-friendly format that’s ideal for students with limited backgrounds in the sciences. Topics are arranged to integrate scientific methodology with actual forensic applications, and discussions are focused on explaining state-of-the-art technology without delving into extraneous theories that may bore or overwhelm non-science students. Only the most relevant scientific and technological concepts are presented, keeping students focused on the practical knowledge they’ll need in the field. The Third Edition is updated to include a brand-new chapter on mobile device forensics, and new revisions to the text reflect the now nearly exclusive use of digital photography at crime scenes.

Author Biography


RICHARD SAFERSTEIN, Ph.D., retired in 1991 after serving for twenty-one years as the chief forensic scientist of the New Jersey State Police Laboratory, one of the largest crime laboratories in the United States. He currently acts as a consultant for attorneys and the media in the area of forensic science. During the O. J. Simpson criminal trial, Dr. Saferstein provided extensive commentary on forensic aspects of the case for the Rivera Live show, the E! television network, ABC radio, and various radio talk shows. Dr. Saferstein holds degrees from the City College of New York and earned his doctorate degree in chemistry in 1970 from the City University of New York. From 1972 to 1991, he taught an introductory forensic science course in the criminal justice programs at the College of New Jersey and Ocean County College. These teaching experiences played an influential role in Dr. Saferstein’s authorship in 1977 of the widely used introductory textbook Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, currently in its eleventh edition. Dr. Saferstein’s basic philosophy in writing Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab, Third Edition, is to make forensic science understandable and meaningful to the non-science reader while giving the reader an appreciation for the scientific principles that underlie the subject.


Dr. Saferstein has authored or coauthored more than forty-five technical papers covering a variety of forensic topics. He authored Basic Laboratory Exercises for Forensic Science, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2011) and coauthored Lab Manual for Criminalistics, Eleventh Edition (Prentice Hall, 2015). He has also edited the widely used professional reference books Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 1, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2002), Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 2, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2005), and Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 3, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2010). Dr. Saferstein is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Canadian Society of Forensic Scientists, International Association for Identification, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and Society of Forensic Toxicologists.


In 2006, Dr. Saferstein received the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Paul L. Kirk award for distinguished service and contributions to the field of criminalistics.




Table of Contents

Brief Contents


1.     Introduction

2.     Securing and Searching the Crime Scene

3.     Recording the Crime Scene

4.     Collection of Crime-Scene Evidence

5.     Physical Evidence

6.     Death Investigation

7.     Crime-Scene Reconstruction

8.     Fingerprints

9.     Firearms, Tool Marks, and Other Impressions

10. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

11. Drugs

12. Forensic Toxicology

13. Trace Evidence I: Hairs and Fibers

14. Trace Evidence II: Paint, Glass, and Soil

15. Biological Stain Analysis: DNA

16. Forensic Aspects of Fire and Explosion Investigation

17. Document Examination

18. Computer Forensics

19. Mobile Device Forensics

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