Forensics For Dummies
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Crime scene investigators are called to all types of crime scenes and at all hours. Because they need certain tools and equipment to perform their duties, criminalists usually keep a well-stocked toolbox, which contains the items they most often need. The box may literally be a toolbox or tackle box, but can be anything that is easily carried to the scene. Here's what's in it:

  • Crime-scene tape to cordon off the area

  • A flashlight

  • Latex gloves and paper shoe covers

  • A magnifying glass and tweezers for collecting trace evidence

  • A pen, logbook, and sketchpad

  • Measuring tapes and rulers

  • Digital camera, as well as a camera with black and white and color film and several different lenses

  • An assortment of paper, plastic, and glass containers to store collected materials

  • Sealable evidence bags

  • Portable alternative light sources such as laser, ultraviolet, and infrared

  • Basic fingerprint kit with powders and lifting tape

  • Casting kit for three-dimensional shoe and tire impressions

  • Gunshot residue detection kit

  • Chemicals to locate occult bloodstains — such as Luminol

  • Serology kit for sampling blood and other biological fluids

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

D.P. Lyle, MD, is the award-winning author of many nonfiction books and works of fiction. He is the co-host of Crime and Science Radio, and has worked as a forensics consultant with the writers of popular television shows such as> Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Monk, Judging Amy, House, and Pretty Little Liars. Find him online at

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