Forensic Science Worksheets

User Generated

xvatpnveb9

Science

Description

This set of case notes is different from your previous ones. In it, you will be asked for your opinions. Your opinions must be supported by facts and evidence, but you WILL NOT be able to simply cut and paste answers from the book or paraphrase from your case notes. You will need to use critical thinking skills to draw conclusions from your results, and integrate the data from your evidence with the context provided by witness statements. There are detailed instructions and even some examples provided in the document you will submit for grading. You will also need to download and read the Witness Statements pdf.

Take a look at the rubric and see how this assignment will be graded; the common phrase is "...questions are answered sufficiently, correctly, and appropriately." There may be more than one way to answer the questions posed that meet the standards of sufficient and appropriate; however, correct means exactly that. If you make a statement that is wrong or not "provable" with evidence (for example: Richard dies from a gunshot wound or Ralph and Richard were members of rival gangs) you will lose points. You will have the chance to discuss motive in module 14 (putting the pieces together) after you have made your timeline, so please hold your creative writing until then.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Case Number: [Type case number here] Criminalist: [Type your name here] Date: [Type today’s date] NOTE: Be sure to read the whole assignment document thoroughly to make sure you don’t miss any of the questions being asked or locations where you are being asked to provide information to be graded. You will need to submit this document for grading on Canvas. Do not submit the Witness Statements document. Please type your answers in red text to make it easier for the Assistants to find them. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS This assignment will help us turn results into conclusions. We will employ the segment > event > incident method you read about. The goal of this assignment is to use the data that you have gathered all semester to make sense of the evidence we have analyzed; it is NOT to just reiterate or regurgitate results from modules 1-12. Drawing conclusions requires that we make associations. We need to link items to people, places, and things (source to target) in order to make sense of what happened. At its core, the evidence all shares one major commonality – it is from the same crime scene. We need to look beyond the surface connections in order to link the evidence into smaller, discrete events that help us make sense of what happened during the commission of the crime. Where do we begin to make sense of the evidence that has been examined? Let’s start with gathering some additional context for the evidence by reviewing the statements made by people involved in the case (remember, this involvement can be big or small – it’s up to you to decide what bearing it has on your reconstruction). Remember that an item only becomes evidence in the context of its relationship to a crime that occurred. A bloody knife is only an important piece of evidence in the context of a crime having been committed; if someone accidently cut their hand with a knife while cooking, this is not a crime and the bloody knife is not evidence. If that knife was used to stab somebody to death, then yes, it is now evidence. It is the context of that evidence that helps decide whether it is important to the reconstruction at hand. INSTRUCTIONS FOR SECTION 1 – REVIEW WITNESS STATEMENTS I have pulled (and cited) the relevant passages from the textbook for you to read to provide context to the evidence. The passages are in the other document on the Canvas page for this assignment in the pdf entitled Witness Statements. You will use the passages in conjunction with your case notes, and relevant portions of the textbook, to answer a series of questions that reflect some of the more relevant pieces of the statements needed for your reconstruction. Module 12’s evidence summary should prove helpful to you in remembering what evidence you have examined over the semester. NOTE: Not all of the passages are direct statements, but instead are context-providing reports or material from other people who may have been involved in the case. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 1 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Recall that our textbook tells us we must test our theories of the case against the evidence we gather and examine. Let’s put those theories to the test! Use the statements on the Witness Statements document provided on Canvas, help from your case notes and textbook, and your critical thinking skills to answer the questions posed. I’d highly suggest you read the statements before proceeding with the rest of this assignment. You’ll see there are seven Claims below, each with a set of 2-5 questions for you to answer. Make sure your answer number corresponds to the question number when typing your answer into the boxes below. You can type as much or as little as you feel is necessary to make your point. Be sure to answer each question fully. Failure to fully answer the questions will result in lost points. Most of these questions are NOT asking for you to cut and paste in results from previous documents; they are asking you WHY or WHY NOT some piece of evidence proves or disproves someone’s claim made in their statement. Do not just list the piece of evidence without providing some sort of explanation. The explanation does not need to be long, but it does need to be accurate. You may also need to mention more than one piece of evidence to make a full explanation. Also, evidence items can be used more than once in different claims. The last question for each of the claims asks is there are any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with the witness’s claims or results. If the answer is “no” you can simply write “no.” If there is a statement that does corroborate, refute, or conflict with one of the claims, then you need to identify who made that statement, what they said, and why it corroborates, refutes, or conflicts. If you simply write “yes” and do not provide an explanation, you will get no points. Claim 1: Lisa claims the following happened: • Someone she doesn’t know crashed through the bedroom window from the outside and entered her bedroom • This unknown assailant tied her up with electrical cords. Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about how the window was Questions broken and the intruder entered the house? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim. 2. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about being tied up? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim. 3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with Lisa’s claims? 1. Answers 2. 3. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 2 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Claim 2: Lisa claims the following happened: • She was sexually assaulted by the unknown, masked assailant. Questions Answers Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim of sexual assault? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim. 2. Are there any statements from others corroborate, refute, or conflict with Lisa’s claim? 1. 2. Claim 3: Lisa claims the following happened: • She heard a fight in the other room but did not see it because she was tied up in the bedroom. • She smelled smoke. Questions Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about hearing a fight in the other room? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim. 2. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim of smelling smoke? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim. 3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with Lisa’s claims? 1. Answers 2. 3. Claim 4: The medical examiner found the following during the autopsy: • The fatal wound was caused by more than one blow to the head. • A heavy, blunt object was used as the murder weapon. Questions Discuss all of the following regarding the ME’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports the ME’s claim that more than one blow to the head was delivered during the assault? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 3 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 the evidence that refutes their claim. 2. Is there any evidence that supports the ME’s claim that the murder weapon was a heavy, blunt object? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes their claim. 3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with the ME’s claims? 1. Answers 2. 3. Claim 5: During the autopsy, the medical examiner reported the following: • Small, blue flecks that were embedded in the skull were removed for further examination. Discuss all of the following regarding the ME’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that identifies what those flecks are? If yes, explain in detail. If no, explain what evidence was missing to confirm the identity of the Questions flecks. 2. Is there any evidence that explains how the flecks got embedded in the skull? If yes, explain in detail. If no, explain what evidence was missing to confirm how the flecks ended up in the skull. 3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with the evidence results? 1. Answers 2. 3. Claim 6: Ralph claims the following happened: • He broke in through the bedroom window and entered the house • He raped Lisa • He killed Richard with the crowbar he got from Lisa and Richard’s garage Questions • He washed off the bloody crowbar in the kitchen sink Discuss all of the following regarding Ralph’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim about how he broke the window and entered the house? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 4 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 2. 3. 4. 5. evidence that refutes his claim. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim of raping Lisa? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes his claim. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim of killing Richard with a crowbar? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes his claim. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim of washing the crowbar off in the kitchen sink? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes his claim. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with Ralph’s claims? 1. 2. Answers 3. 4. 5. Claim 7: Ralph confesses to starting a fire with rubbing alcohol and then putting it out with the extinguisher and his feet. Is there any evidence we have examined that supports that statement? If yes, what is it? If no, what refutes his claims? Is there any evidence we might have expected to find that we did not that would support his version of events? Ralph claims the following happened: • He started a fire with rubbing alcohol • He put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and stamping it out with his feet Questions Discuss all of the following regarding Ralph’s statement: 1. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim starting the fire with rubbing alcohol? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes his claim. 2. Is there any evidence that supports Ralph’s claim of putting the fire out with his feet and a fire extinguisher? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes his claim. 3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with Ralph’s claims? 1. Answers 2. 3. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 5 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 INSTRUCTIONS FOR SECTION 2 – DEFINING THE EVENTS Below I have provided a list of events that may or may not have taken place during the commission of this crime depending on who you find to be credible witnesses and what your evidence is telling you. You need to first state whether you believe that the event listed occurred. If you do not believe the event occurred, or that the event had no effect at all on the incident as it occurred, briefly explain why the evidence supports your position. If you do believe the event occurred, then list the segments of the event as you believe they happened. These segments should be in the order you believe they occurred within that single event, and they must be supported by evidence. For example, if the event is me eating a banana, the segments could be peeling the banana, eating the banana from top to bottom, and then throwing away the banana peel in the trashcan. The evidence for this is suggested by a banana peel found in my trashcan, traces of banana starch that were found on my hands, and the statement of a credible witness who saw me eat a banana earlier. You do not need to list specific test results or methods, you just need to justify how you know that piece of evidence was involved. For example, if the event is the breaking of the window, you could state as part of that event that the crowbar was used to break the window. Traces of glass matching the window were found on the crowbar and traces of blue paint that could be from the crowbar were found on the window frame. Notice how I didn’t get into the details of the tests (you’ve already done that for module 12); I simply reference the results and place them in context within the event. The explanations are simple and in laymen’s term – my explanation should be understandable to anyone regardless of their science knowledge. Scientists must often do this for police, lawyers, and jurors. The information I have is useless if I fail to communicate it to others in a way they can understand, and the impetus is on me to make sure they understand – it makes much more sense for me to simplify how I explain something than it does for someone who is not a scientist to try and learn a bunch of science they don’t need just to understand a test result. I need to draw conclusions of what the results mean, and if I get too bogged down in details, we’re going to lose the bigger picture I’m trying to create. If you have no evidence of how an event occurred, say so. For example, at some point before Richard was killed, we know that he drank alcohol and ingested cocaine (more details of that are in your case notes and/or textbook). Do we consider this event part of the incident that occurred? Is this part of the way the crime played out or is it unrelated to what happened? If you think this is unrelated, unimportant, and/or has no bearing on the case, say that you do not consider it an event and explain why. If you think it may have played some role in how the incident played out, say you consider it an event and explain why. There are not many details known about the drinking and drug use of Richard and Lisa, so whether you consider this part of the incident or not, you can’t provide a highly detailed explanation and segments. Sometimes a lack of data means we can’t do more than just say something must have happened because we have evidence that it happened, but we must admit that we have no idea how it happened or any of the details around it. Ethically and legally, admitting you don’t know is Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 6 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 the right thing to do, and when we get to module 14 and arranging our events into a sequential timeline, it may turn out that those details may not even be necessary to our reconstruction. Consider the following as possible events that occurred during the crime incident. Using the boxes provided below, answer the following: 1) Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? 2) Depending on your answer to the previous question, do one of the following: a. If you DO NOT believe the event occurred as part of the incident or that it has no bearing on the case, explain why in the “explanation” section. Use complete sentences in your explanation. b. If you DO believe the event occurred as part of the incident, provide the segments of the event in sequential order and use evidence from the case to support your version of the event. Use complete sentences in your explanation. Be sure to read the paragraphs above for examples. The potential events for you to consider are (these are in no particular order): • • • • • • • • The bedroom window is broken Richard is killed Lisa is tied up Lisa is sexually assaulted A fire is set and put out The crowbar is washed in the kitchen sink Lisa drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Richard drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Potential Event 1: The bedroom window is broken Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 2: Richard is killed Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 7 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 3: Lisa is tied up Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 4: Lisa is sexually assaulted Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 5: A fire is set and put out Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 6: The crowbar is washed in the kitchen sink Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 8 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 7: Lisa drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Potential Event 8: Richard drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Questions Do you consider this an event that impacted the crime incident? Yes or no? Answers Explain your position according to the parameters given in the instructions. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 9 of 9 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 WITNESS STATEMENTS Statements from Lisa Let’s revisit Lisa’s statement to police at the beginning of the case. Our case involves at least three people: two men and a woman. When the police first arrived they found a man dead on the living room sofa and a woman tied up on the bed in the master bedroom. The woman is conscious and understandably upset. She tells police that some guy she didn’t know “crashed through” her bedroom window and grabbed her from behind. He forced her to lie face down on the bed where he tied her hands and feet with some kind of electrical cord. She didn’t get a good look at his face and thought he might have been wearing a ski mask. He then sexually assaulted her as she lay there. He sat on the end of the bed and told her that he was going to wait for her boyfriend to get home. About thirty minutes later her boyfriend arrived and the assailant got up from the bed and went into the living room area, closing the bedroom door. She heard the sounds of a fight followed by the smell of smoke. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity the fire department arrived followed by police. A neighbor had called for help after he had seen smoke coming from the open front door. The female victim is transported immediately to the local hospital to be treated for a small cut on her left wrist, and to have sexual assault evidence collected. Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 224-234). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Lisa also provided a statement (answered questions on the record) at the hospital. The rape kit includes a detailed patient history and examination form completed by the attending nurse or doctor at the hospital. We see that Lisa stated that the assault happened at about 6 p.m. Samples were collected at 8:30 p.m. That’s good, less than three hours. The sooner we can recover this fleeting evidence the better to get meaningful results. The hospital form reports that she did not douche, shower or bathe after the event. In fact, she was released from her bonds and taken to the hospital immediately, heads-up thinking on the part of the detectives. Lisa claimed the last time she had consensual sex was a “couple of days ago.” Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 1049-1053). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Statement from Neighbor The suspect has apparently fled after committing rape and murder and trying to set the crime scene on fire. The neighbor, arriving first, was faced with a very important Page 1 of 3 PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 decision. What should he do? He saw smoke, but the fire had already gone out so he could have entered the residence safely. We have seen cases where well-meaning friends have “cleaned up” the scene, disposing of drugs or pornography, for instance, so as not to embarrass or incriminate the victim, especially in the case of a suicide. This can make a simple case a lot more difficult to interpret. Luckily, the neighbor only called the fire department and didn’t venture inside. Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 238-242). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Statement from First Responders (firefighters and paramedics) Along with the firefighters came paramedics. They checked for signs of life in the male victim and, finding he had “injuries incompatible with life,” they abandoned resuscitation efforts and notified the police and the medical examiner. Generally speaking, the body is not to be moved until the medical examiner or his or her representative arrives. Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 242-245). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Findings of the Medical Examiner The victim’s whole body will be X-rayed to look for bullets and other metallic objects, then his head, chest and abdomen will be opened up for a more thorough exam. Our male victim had a massive wound to the left side of his head. The medical examiner decides that more than one blow was inflicted with a blunt, heavy object and that the scalp and skull show a crushing rather than a cutting type of injury. The number of blows is important to us. It may explain the blood spatters on the blinds near the victim’s head. It may also give us even more confidence that a suspect should have gotten some of the victim’s blood on him. When the skull is closely examined, an officer with extremely sharp eyes spots something of interest. Almost invisible flecks of blue are seen on the edges of fractured bone. They are only about a half a millimeter long. They are left undisturbed on a larger chunk of bone and preserved for us to examine later. The paper sacks covering his hands are removed carefully, and his fingernails clipped down to the quick. It makes us wince even though we know he can’t feel it. Each of these clippings is saved and will be examined under the microscope. The man’s internal organs are examined and found to be normal for an adult male. No other disease processes are noted. An apparent defense wound is present on the heel of his left hand. It makes sense that his arm must have been raised with his hand outstretched, warding off a blow. At least that’s how it appears right now. Page 2 of 3 PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 487-498). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Ralph’s confession to police Ralph wants to plead guilty. Word has come from the district attorney that he admits to the whole thing. He did the crime and wants to do the time. Ralph admits breaking in through the bedroom window, tying up Lisa, raping her, waiting for Richard, and clobbering him to death with the crowbar he got from Richard’s garage. He claims he washed it off at the sink and dried it with the bloody towel we found. He says he set the fire in the living room with rubbing alcohol. Then he got scared and put it out with the fire extinguisher. The extinguisher was practically dead, but it did have enough powder to knock back the flames for him to stamp out. He says he did it because he loves Lisa and wanted Richard to divorce her, something Richard was apparently disinclined to do. Houde, John Neil. Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists (2nd Ed.) (Kindle Locations 3274-3280). Calico Press, LLC. Kindle Edition. Page 3 of 3 PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Case Number: [Type case number here] Criminalist: [Type your name here] Date: [Type today’s date] PART ONE To make your reconstruction timeline, you first identified the events you believe occurred at the crime incident (module 13) and determined the segments that made up those events. Now you need to place those discrete events in the order you believe they occurred during the commission of the crime. Don’t attempt to include times or anything exact; instead, you simply list the sequence in which things must have happened based on what the evidence tells you. Repurposing my banana example from module 13, we have evidence of events that occurred: banana on my hands and a banana peel in the trash. Using that evidence, we can say that at some point I got a banana, peeled it, and threw the peel away. We had a witness who saw me eat a banana. So using all of that information, we could sequence events as: 1) 2) 3) 4) Miss M got a banana Miss M peeled a banana Miss M ate a banana Miss M threw the banana peel away Is it possible that this is not exactly correct? Sure. Maybe the real sequence was: 1) 2) 3) 4) Miss M got a banana Miss M peeled a banana Miss M threw a banana peel away Miss M ate a banana Does it really matter which order is correct? Maybe. But maybe not. Every case is different. This is where the work of detectives and lawyers comes in – they can now question the suspect and witnesses and see if they can determine the order. Maybe that witness who saw me eating a banana will remember seeing the peel in my hand as I ate the banana. Or maybe they’ll remember that they thought I ate my banana oddly because I peeled it completely, cut it into bite-size pieces, and then ate the pieces with a fork. Who knows?! You did your part as the scientist and confirmed the goo on my hands was banana (you can do this with a polarized light microscope), and now you trust that the data you provide to others in the criminal justice system will help them do their part to find the truth and achieve justice. List your events in the box below in the sequence that you believe they occurred. There are 10 lines provided for you, but you are not expected to use them all. Use the events you identified from the list provided to you in the second part of module 13 (also listed below). Only include the events on this list that you believe occurred and/or impacted the crime incident. If you said an event did not happen nor has no bearing on the case, then do not include it in this list. Note: your number of events listed should be between 5 and 10. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 1 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 The events from module 13 are: • • • • • • • • The bedroom window is broken Richard is killed Lisa is tied up Lisa is sexually assaulted A fire is set and put out The crowbar is washed in the kitchen sink Lisa drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Richard drinks alcohol and ingests cocaine Sequence of Events Order 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. 8th. 9th. 10th. Event Now you need to explain WHY you decided you put the events in the order you listed above. As with your last assignment, you do not need to list specific tests and get bogged down in details – focus more on results and simple language. For example, if you think that Richard ingesting drugs and alcohol is the first event and Lisa ingesting drugs and alcohol is the second event, you need to explain why in the box below. An example could be “the toxicology report shows the Richard was tipsy but not legally drunk and the cocaine was mostly out of his system when he died. Lisa also had both things in her system, but she was legally drunk and high in the hospital after Richard died. This means that Richard must have been drinking and doing drugs before Lisa and well before he died. The next event is…” Note: this is simply an example. If you did not include the drinking and drugs as events in this incident in module 13, don’t include them now because you’re worried you were supposed to because I used it as an example. Your explanation must make sense, incorporate facts from the case, and be correct in that the evidence could logically be interpreted the way you did it. If you go off the rails and try to convince us that Richard killed himself by hitting himself in the head with a crowbar three times, you’re not going to get a good score on this part of the assignment… You must also address all of the events that you listed. Do not skip any of them, no matter how obvious you think it might be. Also, if you notice halfway through Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 2 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 your explanation that you can’t explain the order of events in a way that makes sense, you may need to go back and redo your order. Explanation of Sequence of Events PART TWO Part of the critical thinking required for a forensic scientist is taking new information and integrating it into what we already think and know. Remember, we are not on the side of the defense or prosecution – we are on the side of the evidence. Because our loyalty is to the truth, we must be able to take new information or ideas presented and incorporate them into the work we do. Below I have four ideas for you to think about in relation to this case. These are not meant to invalidate your initial sequence from above. DO NOT go back and change your initial version of events. Remember, we must adapt as new information comes in. Your initial sequence in Part One represents your interpretation of the evidence based on the information you had at the time. Now, as you receive new information or new ideas, you can and should adapt your sequence as you see fit. This part of the assignment somewhat mimics a reality of reconstruction (and forensic work in general). Perhaps you are in a deposition being questioned by a defense attorney who is asking you questions you had not yet considered. Or maybe you are told by a detective that one of the suspects was a frequent guest in the home of the victim; this means that evidence of the suspect in the victim’s home – like fingerprints or hairs – could very well not be related to the crime that occurred, and this could significantly change you interpretation of the sequence of events and how the crime occurred. Read each idea given below. Then take a few minutes to think about the information in the idea and decide if any parts of this idea change your opinion of how the incident occurred. Then answer the following in the boxes below: 1) Does this new idea change your sequence of events? Does it make you want to add a new event or remove one of your existing events from the timeline of the incident? Answer those questions in the first (top) box below. 2) Now explain why. If nothing in this idea has made you change your timeline, explain why you think the idea is incorrect or has no bearing on the case. If any part of the idea has made you change your timeline sequence, explain which part(s) and why. Type this explanation in the second (middle) box below. Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 3 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 3) Write your timeline sequence. If your timeline sequence has changed (the order of events has changed or you have added or removed an event), show the new order. If your timeline sequence has NOT changed, just type “no change: in the “1st” line. Answer this question in the third (bottom) box. a. Consider your timeline sequences cumulative. As you move through the four ideas, if you change your sequence after reading Idea 2, then that is the sequence you should use for Idea 3 now. If Idea 3 doesn’t make you change your “new” sequence generated from Idea 2, write “no change.” Idea 1 – The Crowbar: Ralph and Lisa claim that the crime began with the breaking of the window. There is evidence on the crowbar (powdered glass) that the crowbar was used to smash the window. However, while there were two flecks of blue paint (that likely came from the crowbar impacting the bone) found embedded in Richard’s skull, there was no glass found in the wound track or embedded in the skull. If the crowbar was used to break the window before Richard was killed with it, shouldn’t there be glass in the wound along with paint? Also, Ralph said he washed off the crowbar after killing Richard. If he washed the crowbar off well enough that there were no visible traces of blood on it, wouldn’t he have also washed off the glass powder that was easily tape-lifted from the crowbar’s surface? 1) Did you change your sequence order, add, or delete any event(s)? Answer yes or no. If yes, identify which events you want to reorder, add, or delete. If no, move on to the next box. 2) Why? If you said “no” in box 1 above, explain why nothing has changed. If you said “yes,” explain your answer from the box above. 3) If you said “no” in box 1 above, type “no change” into the 1st line in the box below. If you said “yes” in box 1 above, type in your new sequence of events below (include any changes in event order, additions, or deletions). Order 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. Initials: [Type your initials here] Event Page 4 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 8th. 9th. 10th. Idea 2 – The Fire Extinguisher: The fire extinguisher that was found underneath the kitchen sink had both Ralph and Lisa’s fingerprints on it. If Ralph is the one who used it to put out the fire, why are both of their fingerprints on the fire extinguisher? How did Ralph know that the fire extinguisher was under the sink? Is it possible Lisa either brought it to Ralph and/or put it away after he put the fire out? Is it possible that Lisa is the one who put out the fire? Is there another explanation for why Lisa’s fingerprints could be on the fire extinguisher? 1) Did you change your sequence order, add, or delete any event(s)? Answer yes or no. If yes, identify which events you want to reorder, add, or delete. If no, move on to the next box. 2) Why? If you said “no” in box 1 above, explain why nothing has changed. If you said “yes,” explain your answer from the box above. 3) If you said “no” in box 1 above, type “no change” into the 1st line in the box below. If you said “yes” in box 1 above, type in your new sequence of events below (include any changes in event order, additions, or deletions). Order 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. 8th. 9th. 10th. Initials: [Type your initials here] Event Page 5 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Idea 3 – The Bloody Palm Print: The bloody print on the bedroom doorjamb was found to be Lisa’s palm print made in Lisa’s blood. At some point, she had blood on her hand and left that palm print. How did she get enough of her own blood onto her hand to make that print? When was the print made? Also, none of the first responders or hospital staff reported Lisa having a bloody hand. Furthermore, Lisa was found tied up on the bed. We know the sheets and blankets from the bed were examined for the presence of semen, but there is no mention of blood being found. How can any of this be explained? 1) Did you change your sequence order, add, or delete any event(s)? Answer yes or no. If yes, identify which events you want to reorder, add, or delete. If no, move on to the next box. 2) Why? If you said “no” in box 1 above, explain why nothing has changed. If you said “yes,” explain your answer from the box above. 3) If you said “no” in box 1 above, type “no change” into the 1st line in the box below. If you said “yes” in box 1 above, type in your new sequence of events below (include any changes in event order, additions, or deletions). Order 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. 8th. 9th. 10th. Event Idea 4 – No Signs of a Struggle: Lisa and Ralph both state that Lisa was tied up with the lamp cords and then raped. The examination by the hospital staff state that Lisa has a small cut on her wrist, but make no mention of ligature marks, redness, or bruising – all common findings for someone struggling to break free of bonds. What could explain Lisa having no signs of someone struggling to break free of bindings to her wrists and ankles? Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 6 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 Sequence of Events – Idea 4 1) Did you change your sequence order, add, or delete any event(s)? Answer yes or no. If yes, identify which events you want to reorder, add, or delete. If no, move on to the next box. 2) Why? If you said “no” in box 1 above, explain why nothing has changed. If you said “yes,” explain your answer from the box above. 3) If you said “no” in box 1 above, type “no change” into the 1st line in the box below. If you said “yes” in box 1 above, type in your new sequence of events below (include any changes in event order, additions, or deletions). Order 1st. 2nd. 3rd. 4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. 8th. 9th. 10th. Event PART THREE Here’s the moment many of you have been waiting for – tell me the story of what you think happened. This does not have to be formal, but it should be appropriate to a college class. No text language (cuz, OMG), no emojis, no cursing. Use full sentences, including capitalization and punctuation. Do not introduce evidence into the case that does not exist like a gun or a fourth person. No aliens. No fanfic. No conspiracy theories about shadowy government figures or the illuminati. And, yes, I’ve had all of these before. While I find them entertaining, they are not appropriate to this class and will result in a lowered grade. You can approach this as if you were telling a relative, significant other, friend, roommate, etc. the story of this case. If they asked you “So what was the case in FRNSC 100 about?” what would you tell them? Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 7 of 8 Date: [Type current date] PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB 1313 Shaler Way University Park, PA 16802 This part does not have to be more than a solid couple of paragraphs (although you’re welcome to write more than that) and does not have to contain evidence examinations or explanations; however, it should agree with your final sequence of events from above (from Idea 4) and logically make sense. Type your story in the box below. The Story Initials: [Type your initials here] Page 8 of 8 Date: [Type current date]
Purchase answer to see full attachment
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Explanation & Answer

here are the papers

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB
1313 Shaler Way
University Park, PA 16802
Case Number: [Type case number here]
Criminalist: [Type your name here]

Date: [Type today’s date]

NOTE: Be sure to read the whole assignment document thoroughly to make sure you don’t miss any of
the questions being asked or locations where you are being asked to provide information to be graded.
You will need to submit this document for grading on Canvas. Do not submit the Witness Statements
document. Please type your answers in red text to make it easier for the Assistants to find them.
DRAWING CONCLUSIONS
This assignment will help us turn results into conclusions. We will employ the segment > event >
incident method you read about. The goal of this assignment is to use the data that you have gathered
all semester to make sense of the evidence we have analyzed; it is NOT to just reiterate or regurgitate
results from modules 1-12.
Drawing conclusions requires that we make associations. We need to link items to people, places, and
things (source to target) in order to make sense of what happened. At its core, the evidence all shares
one major commonality – it is from the same crime scene. We need to look beyond the surface
connections in order to link the evidence into smaller, discrete events that help us make sense of what
happened during the commission of the crime.
Where do we begin to make sense of the evidence that has been examined? Let’s start with gathering
some additional context for the evidence by reviewing the statements made by people involved in the
case (remember, this involvement can be big or small – it’s up to you to decide what bearing it has on
your reconstruction). Remember that an item only becomes evidence in the context of its relationship to
a crime that occurred. A bloody knife is only an important piece of evidence in the context of a crime
having been committed; if someone accidently cut their hand with a knife while cooking, this is not a
crime and the bloody knife is not evidence. If that knife was used to stab somebody to death, then yes, it
is now evidence. It is the context of that evidence that helps decide whether it is important to the
reconstruction at hand.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SECTION 1 – REVIEW WITNESS STATEMENTS
I have pulled (and cited) the relevant passages from the textbook for you to read to provide context to
the evidence. The passages are in the other document on the Canvas page for this assignment in the pdf
entitled Witness Statements. You will use the passages in conjunction with your case notes, and relevant
portions of the textbook, to answer a series of questions that reflect some of the more relevant pieces
of the statements needed for your reconstruction. Module 12’s evidence summary should prove helpful
to you in remembering what evidence you have examined over the semester.
NOTE: Not all of the passages are direct statements, but instead are context-providing reports or
material from other people who may have been involved in the case.

Initials: [Type your initials here]

Page 1 of 9

Date: [Type current date]

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB
1313 Shaler Way
University Park, PA 16802
Recall that our textbook tells us we must test our theories of the case against the evidence we gather
and examine. Let’s put those theories to the test! Use the statements on the Witness Statements
document provided on Canvas, help from your case notes and textbook, and your critical thinking skills
to answer the questions posed. I’d highly suggest you read the statements before proceeding with the
rest of this assignment.
You’ll see there are seven Claims below, each with a set of 2-5 questions for you to answer. Make sure
your answer number corresponds to the question number when typing your answer into the boxes
below. You can type as much or as little as you feel is necessary to make your point. Be sure to answer
each question fully. Failure to fully answer the questions will result in lost points.
Most of these questions are NOT asking for you to cut and paste in results from previous documents;
they are asking you WHY or WHY NOT some piece of evidence proves or disproves someone’s claim
made in their statement. Do not just list the piece of evidence without providing some sort of
explanation. The explanation does not need to be long, but it does need to be accurate. You may also
need to mention more than one piece of evidence to make a full explanation. Also, evidence items can
be used more than once in different claims.
The last question for each of the claims asks is there are any statements from others that corroborate,
refute, or conflict with the witness’s claims or results. If the answer is “no” you can simply write “no.” If
there is a statement that does corroborate, refute, or conflict with one of the claims, then you need to
identify who made that statement, what they said, and why it corroborates, refutes, or conflicts. If you
simply write “yes” and do not provide an explanation, you will get no points.
Claim 1:
Lisa claims the following happened:
• Someone she doesn’t know crashed through the bedroom window from the
outside and entered her bedroom
• This unknown assailant tied her up with electrical cords.
Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement:
1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about how the window was
Questions
broken and the intruder entered the house? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail
the evidence that refutes her claim.
2. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about being tied up? If yes,
explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim.
3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with
Lisa’s claims?
1. No. the police report does not confirm that the bedroom window was broken.
This is the first the police must have inspected to confirm Linda’s statement.
Answers

2. Yes. The police found Lisa tied up.
3. Yes. Richard, who wants to plead guilty, confirms Lisa’s claim that her bedroom
window was broken into, but this does not count unless the police confirms it.

Initials: [Type your initials here]

Page 2 of 9

Date: [Type current date]

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY CRIME LAB
1313 Shaler Way
University Park, PA 16802

Claim 2:
Lisa claims the following happened:
• She was sexually assaulted by the unknown, masked assailant.

Questions

Answers

Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement:
1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim of sexual assault? If yes, explain
in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim.
2. Are there any statements from others corroborate, refute, or conflict with Lisa’s
claim?
1. No. the doctor’s report is not out yet to confirm that.
2. Yes. Richard confirms having raped Lisa. However, this must concur with the
DNA sample collected at the hospital.

Claim 3:
Lisa claims the following happened:
• She heard a fight in the other room but did not see it because she was tied up in
the bedroom.
• She smelled smoke.
Discuss all of the following regarding Lisa’s statement:
Questions
1. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim about hearing a fight in the other
room? If yes, explain in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim.
2. Is there any evidence that supports Lisa’s claim of smelling smoke? If yes, explain
in detail. If no, detail the evidence that refutes her claim.
3. Are there any statements from others that corroborate, refute, or conflict with
Lisa’s claims?

Answers

1. No. it is not yet clear who killed her husband and if it was before or after she
was tied. It is not yet established if she was in her bedroom or with her husband
when he was attacked.
2. No. the firefighters haven no report regarding the fire
3. Yes. The neighbor argues that the intrud...


Anonymous
Excellent! Definitely coming back for more study materials.

Studypool
4.7
Trustpilot
4.5
Sitejabber
4.4

Related Tags