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Forensic Investigations - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128006801, 9780128007181

Forensic Investigations

1st Edition

An Introduction

Authors: Brent Turvey Stan Crowder
eBook ISBN: 9780128007181
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128006801
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 5th January 2017
Page Count: 414
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The terms forensic investigator and forensic investigation are part of our cultural identity. They can be found in the news, on television, and in film. They are invoked, generally, to imply that highly trained personnel will be collecting some form of physical evidence with eventual scientific results that cannot be questioned or bargained with. In other words, they are invoked to imply the reliability, certainty, and authority of a scientific inquiry.

Using cases from the authors’ extensive files, Forensic Investigations: An Introduction provides an overview of major subjects related to forensic inquiry and evidence examination. It will prepare Criminal Justice and Criminology students in forensic programs for more specialized courses and provide a valuable resource to newly employed forensic practitioners. Written by practicing and testifying forensic professionals from law enforcement, academia, mental health and the forensic sciences, this work offers a balanced scientific approach, based on the established literature, for broad appeal.

The purpose of this book is to help students and professionals rid themselves of the myths and misconceptions they have accumulated regarding forensic investigators and the subsequent forensic investigations they help to conduct. It will help the reader understand the role of the forensic investigator; the nature and variety of forensic investigations that take place in the justice system; and the mechanisms by which such investigations become worthy as evidence in court. Its goals are no loftier than that. However, they could not be more necessary to our understanding of what justice is, how it is most reliably achieved, and how it can be corrupted by those who are burdened with apathy and alternative motives.

Key Features

  • A primary text for instructors teaching forensic courses related to criminal and forensic investigation
  • Written by forensic professionals, currently in practice and testifying in court
  • Offers applied protocols for a broad range of forensic investigations
  • Augments theoretical constructs with recent, and relevant case studies and forensic reports
  • Based on the most recent scientific research, practice, and protocols related to forensic inquiry


Entry level forensic practitioners, forensic science programs, legal community, sociology / criminology programs, and criminal justice programs

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Forensic Investigations: A Primer

  • Corpus Delicti
  • Forensic Necessity: Everybody Lies
  • The Forensic Investigator
  • Forensic Investigations: The Big Picture
  • Forensic Facts Versus Political Reality
  • Conclusions

Chapter 2. Law and Evidence

  • The Pillars of the Criminal Justice System
  • The Adversarial System
  • Scientific Fact Versus Legal Truth
  • Experts, Evidence, and Admissibility
  • Constitutional Rights
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3. Investigative Ethics

  • Understanding Ethics
  • Duty of Care
  • Bias
  • An Ethical Canon for the Forensic Investigator
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4. Investigators and the Scientific Method

  • Reflection and Metacognition
  • Critical Thinking
  • The Availability Heuristic and the Problem With Experience
  • Science Versus Scientific Method
  • Science as Falsification
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5. Crime Scene Investigation and Analysis

  • The CSI Effect
  • The FBI Effect
  • Crime Scene Investigation, Reconstruction, and Analysis
  • Forensic Relevance

Chapter 6. Crime Scene Processing

  • Crime Scenes
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Crime Scene Processing: A Descriptive Tiered System
  • Crime Scene Processing Protocols
  • Conclusion

Chapter 7. Forensic Victimology

  • Forensic Victimology: Evidence of Context
  • Goals
  • Victim Exposure Analysis
  • Victimology Guidelines
  • Conclusion

Chapter 8. The Sexual Assault Examination

  • The Role of Reconstruction
  • The “Team”
  • Forensic Nursing
  • Sexual Assault Examination Protocols
  • Evidence of Sexual Activity
  • Clothing
  • False Positives: Conditions That Mimic Abuse
  • Toxicology
  • Presentation of Findings

Chapter 9. Medicolegal Death Investigation: Protocols and Practice

  • Terms and Definitions
  • Protocols for Medicolegal Death Investigators
  • Autopsy Protocols
  • The National Association of Medical Examiners Standards
  • Medicolegal Failures: A Top 10 List
  • Conclusion

Chapter 10. Forensic Interviews

  • Terms and Definitions
  • Goals
  • Stakes and Consequences
  • Interview Preparation and Checklists
  • Documentation and Recording
  • Interview Protocols
  • Generic Interview Questions: A Starter Kit
  • Advice and Discussion
  • False Confessions
  • Continuing Education and Professional Development

Chapter 11. The Polygraph: Uses and Misuses

  • The Test
  • Polygraph Research
  • Summary

Chapter 12. Investigating Allegations of Police Torture: Forensic Protocols and Psychological Assessment

  • Prevalence
  • Role of the Forensic Investigator
  • Defining Torture
  • Coercive Interrogation v. Torture
  • Behaviors Constituting Torture
  • Diagnostic Categories Related to Torture
  • The Psychological Effects and Impact of Torture
  • Torture: Forensic Interview Protocols for the Mental Health Professional
  • Conclusion

Chapter 13. Forensic Investigations for Court: Probation, Sentencing, Mitigation Issues in Capital Cases

  • Juvenile Court Probation Systems
  • Adult Probation
  • Capital Murder Mitigation Investigations

Chapter 14. Oklahoma v. Elvis Thacker: Evaluating Victimology, Victim Sexual Assault Evidence, Suspect Torture by Law Enforcement, and the Quality of a Forensic Investigation

  • The Plea and the Confession
  • The Evidence, the Confession, and Suspect Torture
  • The State of the Case


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2017
5th January 2017
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Authors

Brent Turvey

Brent Turvey

Brent E. Turvey spent his first years in college on a pre-med track only to change his course of study once his true interests took hold. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Psychology, with an emphasis on Forensic Psychology, and an additional Bachelor of Science degree in History. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in Forensic Science after studying at the University of New Haven, in West Haven, Connecticut.

Since graduating in 1996, Brent has consulted with many agencies, attorneys, and police departments in the United States, Australia, China, Canada, Barbados and Korea on a range of rapes, homicides, and serial/ multiple rape/ death cases, as a forensic scientist and criminal profiler. He has also been court qualified as an expert in the areas of criminal profiling, forensic science, victimology, and crime reconstruction. In August of 2002, he was invited by the Chinese People's Police Security University (CPPSU) in Beijing to lecture before groups of detectives at the Beijing, Wuhan, Hanzou, and Shanghai police bureaus. In 2005, he was invited back to China again, to lecture at the CPPSU, and to the police in Beijing and Xian - after the translation of the 2nd edition of his text into Chinese for the University. In 2007, he was invited to lecture at the 1st Behavioral Sciences Conference at the Home Team (Police) Academy in Singapore, where he also provided training to their Behavioral Science Unit. In 2012 Brent completed his PhD in Criminology from Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia.

He is the author of Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions (1999, 2002, 2008, 2011); co- author of the Rape Investigation Handbook, 1st and 2nd Editions (2004, 2011), Crime Reconstruction 1st and 2nd Editions (2006, 2011), Forensic Victimology (2008) and Forensic Fraud (2013) - all with Elsevier Science. He is currently a full partner, Forensic Scientist, Criminal Profiler, and Instructor with Forensic Solutions, LLC, and an Adjunct Professor of Justice Studies at Oklahoma City University. He can be contacted via email at:

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Forensic Criminology, The Forensic Criminology Institute, Sitka, AK, USA. Senior Parter, Forensic Criminology, Forensic Solutions, LLC, Sitka, AK, USA

Stan Crowder

Stan Crowder is a retired U.S. Army Military Police Colonel. During his military career, Stan served in numerous positions including: MP Commander, Chief of Investigations for the Inspector General of Georgia, Counterdrug Commander, Battalion Commander, and Chief of Personnel. He served seven years as a civilian police officer; 5 years with Cobb County (GA) PD and 2-years with Marietta (GA) PD. He teaches at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA, where he has been teaching since 1999 and was selected as the 2007 recipient of the Betty Siegel teaching award. His teaching areas include: Criminal Investigations, Serial Offenders, Forensic Victimology, Criminal Profiling, and Ethics in Criminal Justice. Stan has a Ph.D., MBA, and BS. He is the President of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists and the past president of the Cobb County Law Enforcement Association. He has written three textbooks with Dr. Brent Turvey: Ethical Justice: Applied Issues for Criminal Justice Students and Professionals, Anabolic Steroid Abuse in Public Safety Personnel, and Forensic Investigations: An Introduction published by Elsevier. He has contributed chapters to other textbooks. He has published articles on teaching and criminal profiling. In June 2017, Dr. Crowder was appointed to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council as an advisory member. He can be contacted at:

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Sociology, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA


"In summary, I found the work immensely readable; I like the way chapters do not require reading in a chronological order.

I would recommend to students and professionals alike as it provides an excellent and sustainable entry point and foundation to the study practice of criminology law criminal justice, forensic science and forensic investigation." --CSEye

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