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testimonial evidence

a statement made under oath

physical evidence

any object or material that is relevant in a crime

individual evidence

can be identified with a particular person or single source

class evidence

common to a group of objects or persons

indirect evidence

provides only a basis for inference about the disputed fact

circumstantial evidence

based on suggestion rather than personal knowledge or observation

unknown sample

material that has been collected from a known location but an unknown origin

known sample

material that's been collected from a known source

control sample

material that is similar to unknown and known samples, and is used to validate the test method and procedure

crime scene

only place where evidence may be located and gathered to help explain events

modus operandi

the characteristic method of operation of a criminal; aka MO


used to start a fire

chain of custody

a written record of all people who have had possession of an item of evidence


characteristics of ridge patterns


has friction ridges that enter on one side of the finger and cross to the other side while rising upward in the middle


must have 1 or more ridges entering and exiting from the same side


pattern with at least two deltas and a core

latent fingerprints

prints that are not visible to the naked eye; consist of the natural secretions of human skin and require development for them to be visible


reacts with amino acids to produce a purple color


imprint made by ridge patterns on the tip of a finger; also used to describe the characteristic pattern of DNA fragments


one millionth of a meter


study of fingerprints


study of human body measurements


triangular area found near the center of all loops and whorls


area found near the center of all loops and whorls

plastic print

3-D print made as indentations in soft material such as fresh pain, putty or wax

visible print

left by a finger that has touched blood, paint, ink, or the like


common minutiae; shaped like a two-pronged fork

rigor mortis

stiffness in the muscles that occurs shortly after death

livor mortis

the settling of blood, resulting in a reddish or purplish color pattern

algor mortis

the cooling rate of the body after death


cadaver appears fresh externally but is decomposing internally due to activities of bacteria present before death


cadaver is swollen by gas produced internally, accompanied by the odor of decaying flesh


cadaver is almost dry; slow rate of decay; may mummify


study of insects


developmental stage of arthopods, generally referring to changes in the size of larvae


immovable joints where bones are joined together


place where two bones meet and may rub together


the examination and analysis of body fluids

ABO classification system

system for blood types based upon the reaction of antigens and antibodies

Rh factor

basic blood factor; + or -


substance that can stimulate the body to make antibodies


substance that reacts with an antigen


clumping of red blood cells; will result if blood types with different antigens are mixed

angle of impact

angle at which blood strikes a target surface

blood stain transfer

when a bloody object comes into contact with a surface and leaves a patterned blood image on the surface


blood that is directed back toward the source of energy

cast off

blood that is thrown from and object in motion

contact stain

bloodstains caused by contact between a wet blood-bearing surface and a second surface that may or may not have blood on it


relates to the direction a drop of blood travels in space from its point of origin

terminal velocity

the greatest speed to which a free-falling drop of blood can accelerate in air (25.1 ft./sec)

high velocity

greater than 25 ft/sec

medium velocity

5-25 ft/sec

low velocity

5 ft/sec or less

area of convergence

the pint of origin (spot where blow occurred)

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