Criminalistics Laboratory Manual

The Basics of Forensic Investigation


  • Elizabeth Erickson

Criminalistics Laboratory Manual provides students who have little to no prior knowledge of forensic science with a practical crime scene processing experience. The manual starts with an original crime scene narrative, setting up the crime students are to solve. This narrative is picked up in each of the 17 forensic science lab activities, tying all forensic disciplines together to show the integrated workings of a real crime lab. The lab activities cover fingerprints, blood typing and spatter analysis, hair and fiber, digital forensics and more.

After completing all of the exercises, the student will be able to solve the homicide based on forensic evidence. Each chapter also includes an introduction to the type of forensic evidence covered, and practice exercises and key definitions prepare students for the laboratory exercise. While fitting in with the larger crime scene narrative, the individual chapters are written so that they can be used separately, giving instructors flexibility.

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Undergraduate/community college/career school criminal justice students. Forensic technician certificate programs.


Book information

  • Published: January 2013
  • ISBN: 978-1-4557-3140-4


"Erickson…offers a textbook for an online forensics course, substituting household products and office supplies for the chemicals and equipment used in conventional classroom and laboratory courses. She demonstrates each step of the process from the initial 911 call to the final questions used to qualify an expert witness at trial in 17 laboratory sessions pivoting on an extended fictional murder case."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Crime
Laboratory #1 - Crime Scene
Laboratory #2 - Photography
Laboratory #3 - Evidence Collection
Laboratory #4 - Autopsy /Wound Documentation
Laboratory #5 - Fingerprint Processing
Laboratory #6 - Fingerprint 10-print Card
Laboratory #7 - Questioned Documents
Laboratory #8 - Footwear / Tire Impressions
Laboratory #9 - Tool Marks
Laboratory #10 - Odontology
Laboratory #11 - Blood Typing
Laboratory #12 - Blood Spatter Analysis
Laboratory #13 - Glass
Laboratory #14 - Hair and Fiber
Laboratory #15 - Drugs and Toxicology
Laboratory #16 - Digital Forensics
Laboratory #17 - The Trial
Glossary of Terms
Appendix with Report Forms