A Practical Guide to the Forensic Examination of Hair: From Crime Scene to Court

James Robertson, Elizabeth Mary Brooks

Research output: Book/ReportOther

Abstract

A Practical Guide to the Forensic Examination of Hair: From Crime Scene to Court presents current best practices and methodologies for forensic microscopists and trace evidence analysts, in addition to lawyers and judges, to detail the utilisation of hair evidence in court cases.

The 30-year evolution and development of forensic DNA analysis has placed very heavy focus on its value in identifying the source of biological materials in other evidence. In addition to some recent controversies over the reliability of hair evidence and analysis, the question arises: what to do with hairs and hair evidence presented in court cases? The reality is that this is a fairly common form of evidence present at, and relevant in, many types of crime scenes and scenarios. Are we to simply ignore hairs as an evidence type?

This book outlines the case for hair evidence’s continued relevance as a valuable biological source that can contribute to assisting in answering questions of identity and questions of what happened or the criminalistic potential of hairs. The authors present a four-level approach to the case management of recovered hairs. This system, which can be incorporated into contemporary forensic practice, stresses the need for thorough and systematic recording of hairs and their microscopic features and on the need to focus on differences to effectively triage recovered hairs. The approach focuses on the efficient and accurate selection of hairs for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis while addressing the criminalistic potential of hairs.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFlorida
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages237
ISBN (Electronic)9781315210650
ISBN (Print)9781138628618, 9781032108612
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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