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Chemical Enhancement of Bloody Footwear Impressions from Buried Substrates.

Cullen, S., Otto, A. and Cheetham, P., 2010. Chemical Enhancement of Bloody Footwear Impressions from Buried Substrates. Journal of Forensic Identification, 60 (1), 45-86.

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JFI-2010-01-0045.pdf - Published Version



Footwear impressions are regarded as one of the most common forensic evidence types left at crime scenes. A review of research to date describes previous tests on the survival of footwear impressions in a range of contaminants on a myriad of surfaces. None, however, examined the effects of the burial environment on such impressions. Using human blood as a contaminant, footwear impressions were made on samples of white cotton, newspaper, and black plastic trash bags and were buried for specific time frames, from one to four weeks. The study examines the subsequent development of the surviving impressions postexcavation, using chemical enhancement techniques of ninhydrin, acid black 1, leucocrystal violet (LCV), and Bluestar. The majority of impressions recovered were from the substrates that were in the soil for the shortest period. Poor recovery rates and loss of impressions were observed on substrates buried for more than two weeks. LCV and Bluestar proved most effective for enhancing and retrieving impressions. Impressions were able to be examined by a trained forensic footwear investigator to identify class, individual, and wear characteristics of the impression itself. Potential survival of such identifying features is of paramount importance to an investigation.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:12785
Deposited By: Mr Paul Cheetham
Deposited On:24 Jan 2010 12:37
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:28


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