Chapter 1

Understanding the World of Forensic Science

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Defining forensic science and checking out its origins

Bullet Understanding why the principle of evidence exchange is important

Bullet Unveiling how forensic science is organized

Bullet Revealing what services a crime lab offers

Turn on the TV any night of the week, and you’ll find crime scene investigators, or criminalists, tracking down criminals, crime lab technicians evaluating evidence, and even forensic pathologists conducting autopsies on shows detailing cases real or imagined. I don’t think this newfound interest in all things forensic stems from some macabre fascination with death or a guilty enchantment with the criminal world. If you ask me, people simply are curious by nature and have a strong appetite for scientific knowledge. Remember everyone’s fascination with the space program not too many years ago? The cool tools and magical feats of forensic science, such as making fingerprints appear from nowhere, identifying suspects by their shoeprints, sniffing out a forger by the unique signature of a laser printer, and finding ...

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