The Cookie Jar

Fingerprints are used in forensic science to help connect  a person to the crime scene. There are three main patterns, which include Whorls, Loops, and Arches. Within those patterns, there are subcategories. For Whorls, there are also double loop whorls, Loops can be categorized differently into, right loops, left loops, and left/right pocket loop and for Arches, there is also a tentarch.  There are latent, patent, and plastic prints that could be found at a crime scene. Latent prints are usually invisible to the naked eye, the print are impressions left slightly. Plastic prints are visible and can be left imprinted in a substance. Lastly, patent prints are also visible, but there isn’t an imprint on the smooth substance. Minutiae are special markings in a fingerprint, like bifurcations, island ridges, spurs, deltas, etc.

The brush I used was the Fiberglass brush, along with the fluorescent  powder. It was a very simple process to lift the fingerprints. I first carefully grabbed the beaker which had the prints and began to dust the fingerprints with the fluorescent powder. I made sure to coat every visible print and then I put the clear tape over the glass. I then slowly took off the tape with the help of my group. After the tape had the transferred prints, we laid the tape on a note card to examine under the light.


As you can see, there are circles on the diagram. Although the pictures are slightly blurry, you can see the minutiae in each. There are 2 eyes, 2 bifurcations, an island, a spur, and an ending ridge. Those minutiae’s help differ Rodger, C.’s prints to other suspects.  Both pictures of the prints are facing the same way, so that it is easier to tell the fingerprints are alike.

Therefore, with the help of my group, we came to the conclusion that the prints on the beaker match with Rodger, C.’s. Both the prints in the data base, and on the beaker, are indeed the same. Minutiae doesn’t lie, and these two match up nicely.

In the process of helping Mr. Cater find who stole his candy, I learned how to lift fingerprints, and how to find minutiae in prints. Now, if someone steals something of mine, or a relatives, I can watch over the investigators and make sure they are dong the correct and careful process.

Now, you can even lift fingerprints on your own! Just follow the easy steps and you too, can become a fingerprint analyst.


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