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How I Became An Expert on Fingerprinting

Fingerprints – The Way Fingerprints Solve Crime

Fingerprints are something that never crosses peoples’ minds daily. In fact, the average person only thinks of fingerprints when trying to wipe off fingerprints from mirrors or furniture.

However, for some people, its an important part of their jobs. Law enforcement officers and forensic experts spend hours thinking about how fingerprints solve crimes as they try to find, collect, document and compare those special identifiers that can link someone to a particular crime. These people understand that a fundamental human feature is one of the most effective instruments in crime solution.

Each person is born with unique fingerprints. No two fingerprints are alike; not on identical twins or even on a individual’s own hand. The formation of these unique whorls and lines that constitute an individual’s fingerprints happen at the fetal period and stay the same during one’s lifetime. This makes an exceptional mark which can positively identify one individual against another, especially helpful when the individual of interest already has a recorded listed set of fingerprints on record with authorities, military or other government bodies.

Fingerprints are composed of a set of swirling lines. These lines shape and pattern themselves in a way that makes each fingerprint unique. Regardless of the incredible variety of unique fingerprints, there are only seven distinct kinds of lines which make up fingerprints. These lines can begin, stop or divide at any location within the print. The shapes, angles, and lengths create billions of unique prints.

Using their unique attributes, it becomes simple to see precisely how fingerprints can help solve crimes. Leaving a fingerprint is similar to leaving a calling card at the crime scene. There are a few unique ways fingerprints get left behind by careless crooks. The most common way is by oil or fat transferred by the finger to an object like a doorframe. Amino acids in the finger might also leave a discernable mark. Detection of fingerprints can also be detected as an impressing on a soft substance. Finally, they are sometimes drawn up by substances on the finger such as paint or blood.

Uncovering fingerprints help solve a crime could be accomplished in a few ways. Adhering powders onto new fingerprints will make the powder adhere to the grease making the fingerprint visible. Another technique is using a few drops of cyanoacrylate. When these drops are heated, they vaporize, and their smoke attaches to the fingerprint leaving a white print. Specialised crime scene laboratory equipment can also find fingerprints.

Fingerprints can be stored for further investigation in many of ways, such as: taking photographs of the print and storing them on a tape or rubber lifter.

Hopefully, the interconnected nature of our society will eventually lead to having all of the fingerprint databases connected for easy cross-reference.

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