Crime Scene Investigation, Part 4

An Essay By Jackie West // 6/19/2012

Crime solving can even be aided by a variety of different tools used by criminals to perform crimes. One that we seem to see pretty frequently is the gun. Fortunately, guns used in crimes can be traced to buyers. They can be tested in police labs to see if they had anything to do with the crime-for example, the distance it is shot from can help determine this. This study of gun use is called ballistics. Bullets found at the crime scene can also be matched to guns. Tools, such as pliers, shovels, wire cutters, and crowbars, can also be used to commit crimes, but they give many things away. Tools suspected to be used in crimes can be tested to see if marks match marks found at the crime scene. Toxicology, the study of poisons, is used to determine what poisons were used to kill victims, if poisoning is suspected. Blood and bodily excretions can be tested to see if poison was used. Poisonings may have one perpetrator who is also the victim, however-suicide through use of ordinary medicines or overdoses of illegal drugs can also cause death. People can also be hung, whether by suicide or by a criminal, or strangled. It can be determined if someone was strangled by looking at the neck, because bruises often result there from strangling. Victims of hanging were either dead when they were hung, hung until dead, or, as mentioned before, hung by themselves in suicide. Nearly 90% of all criminals and victims know each other, and, surprisingly, many robbery victims are pretty poor. Excluding murders, there are over 43 million crimes committed yearly. Almost 200,000 motor theft criminals and over 400,000 robbers are arrested every year, with more than 23,000 murderers arrested in the same time period. Fortunately, more than half of these murder cases are solved. An average of about 12 aggravated assaults-attacks with intent to harm- and an average of almost three murders occurring hourly. In the United States, gun and knife murders are the most common. Almost 80% of criminals are men, and many of those are between the ages of 15 and 24. Nearly all police officers are male, with several hundred thousand police officers in the US. However, most police stations don’t have more than 24 officers. There are many kinds of expensive super-technology that help police solve crimes, track down criminals, and arrest them. Computers are probably one of the most common pieces of equipment used in investigating and solving crimes. They hold much important information on criminals, and online sites give data about stolen property and other things that could be useful to investigators. Some kinds of computers are portable and are found in many police cars. Some very, very small computers can be installed in police helmets to give important information, by way of special screens, on the records of certain criminals or something else that the officers may need immediate access to. Special computer programs are also used to create faces of criminals using descriptions given by witnesses and victims. Special lasers can be used to find fingerprints and invisible blood stains at crime scenes. Lie detectors can also be used on suspects to measure differences in heartbeat, breathing rate, sweating, and blood pressure to show if a suspect is telling the truth or not, and night-vision goggles can help law officers track down criminals in the dark. Many unique weapons are used in the line of police work and crime investigation. Special ‘goop guns’ squirt a substance at a criminal which sticks to him, preventing him from resisting or escaping. This goop, however, is expensive and very hard to clean up, and it still being perfected for use by police. A weapon that researchers have tried to make for many years is the smart gun, which recognizes its owner and will only shoot when its owner pulls the trigger. GPS, light, and sound waves can be used to throw off a suspect’s orientation and make his arrest easier. Radio engine disablers use radio waves to disable the cars to prevent car chases, but in the event that car chases are necessary, stop sticks can be thrown out under the tire of a car that is being chased to deflate it. Tiny pellets with radio transmitters in them can also be shot into escaping cars so that policemen can track them. Even nets can be used to capture criminals. Video cameras are also used to help capture criminals. Some stores have mannequins with cameras hidden inside that record crimes. Shadowy and blurry pictures taken by cameras during the crime can be improved using special technology in order to tell investigators who the suspect/criminal is. Some robots have also been invented that can go into dangerous situations to possibly prevent the death of people. They can use stun guns or shotguns, microphones, infrared cameras or cameras with zoom lenses, X-ray devices, and some other useful technological devices to help inspect situations and catch criminals. However, due to expensive maintenance, they are used infrequently. In the case of forgery, X-rays and infrared light are used to see if paintings are genuine or if they were painted over. Writings suspected to be forgeries can also be compared to real pieces of writing and differences between them can be noted to prove that forgeries occurred. A technological grid can be placed over the document and then used to figure out if letters, words, or lines were made by a different machine or added later than when the original document was written. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, most police stations don’t have enough officers, and much advanced technology is expensive to buy and maintain. There also might not be enough evidence at a crime scene to arrest anyone. Due to these reasons, criminals aren’t always caught and crimes aren’t always solved. Crimes happen because of sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, the world was darkened and crimes were one result of their disobedience. In Exodus 20:13, God says, “You shall not murder,” a rule he wants all his children to follow. But because the hearts of many were hardened by sin long ago and still are today, many people do not acknowledge that they need God, ignore the rules he created, and so commit crimes. We, however, are commanded to reach out to the world and if everyone knew and obeyed the Golden Rule-‘do to others as you would have them do to you’- crime rates would drop drastically! Hebrews 4: 13 also says that, ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.’ God sees all the crimes that are being committed, and even the ones that aren’t solved will be revealed and Justice given on the final day.

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