Digital Media Concepts/Forensic Technology
Forensic technology is a broad topic with many different topics and opinions to be shared. The technology used is something very astounding and will only improve with time. Some of the methods have been used for hundreds of years and are being perfected and refined as time moves forward. Though there are many different types of forensic technology, only few can be considered milestones for investigating. Without these few, many believe that solving crimes would still remain in the dark ages. Forensic technology has altered the way law enforcement solves cases.
Forensic technology is used to evaluate evidence and solve crimes. Some of the technology and techniques used consist of Ballistics, DNA analyzing, Fingerprint Identification, and Facial Reconstruction. There are many other forms of forensic technology, However these are some of the most revolutionary. The advancements in the forensic field have been tremendous, and have caught many criminals that would have proven difficult if not for the new technology.
The history of forensics stretches back as early as the 1800's. According to "How Stuff works"  the first real use of forensic technology was by a man named Henry Goddard. Goddard was one of the first people to match a bullet with the correct firearm. Later in the 1900's, a man by the name of Edmond Locard, is often referred to as the father of Forensic science. In 1910, Locard had started the first laboratory in France, dedicated to helping analyze evidence. The first forensic lab established in the United States, was built at the Police Department of Los Angeles, by August Vollmer in 1924. Overall, Forensic technology has been practiced for hundreds of years, but only recently has made great strides in advancements.
Ballistics is the study of firearms and projectiles. Ballistics is more in depth by analyzing the weapon fired, the casings, and the bullets themselves. According to forensictechnology.com, ballistics have become very advanced and have made incredible progress in comparing and analyzing deadly weapons and projectiles. Every weapon is unique, meaning that when a weapon is fired it leaves very different and specific striations on the casing or cartridge. Being able to match the striations with the bullet and then to the weapon can make or break a case.
DNA Analysis is a tool and technique used by investigators, typically to help identify either the suspect or the victim in a particular case. It was popularized in the 1980's by a man named Alec Jeffrys. DNAtestingchoice.com goes into massive amounts of detail on how for a very long time, all criminals had to do was wear gloves and they could not be connected to the crime. With the discovery of DNA and being able to analyze it, has opened a new door that can't be closed. DNA as revolutionized the way criminals are caught. A serial killer in the Bay Area was recently caught due to DNA analysis. According to the San Fransisco Chronicle a notorious serial killer that plagued the bay area was caught after almost 50 years due to the progression in DNA analysis. DNA analysis has made the it harder for criminals to escape justice, and like they say, a criminal has to get lucky every time, while the investigator has to get lucky only once.
Fingerprint ID, is one of the earliest forms of being able to identify a suspect. Everyones fingerprint is unique, making it very valuable when searching for evidence. It can place someone at the scene of a crime and help the investigators tremendously. Fingerprints are divided into eight categories, Plain arch, Tented arch, Ulnar loop, Radial loop, Plain whorl, Central pocket loop, Double loop whorl, and Accidental loop. All fingerprints are broken up into these categories, but humans have different curves, lines, striations that cause it to be one of one. The process of collecting a fingerprint is as such, finding the print, dusting print with chemical powder, powder reacts with oils from fingerprint, investigator then photographs print and removes print with tape. FBIprint.com and Forensicscienceonline.org both determine how important and detrimental fingerprints can be for a case, and how crucial it has been for advancing in the forensic field.
Facial reconstruction is exactly how it sounds, reconstructing of someones facial features. Facial reconstruction has been around for hundreds of years, mostly for art and decorations. As time went on however, people were able to apply that to crime scenes. The process of facial reconstruction can be rather time consuming and may not even be 100% accurate. A specialist is usually called for this type of evidence, typically investigators may find a skull, and with the help of modern technology they can recreate that persons facial structure. . The results of facial reconstruction can result in new material or evidence that investigators may not have known previously. Such discoveries can uncover, the persons gender, race, and age. The end product is rather astounding, being able to determine very crucial facts that could alter the way a case is perceived.