Fingerprinting Reference Books: Learn How to Take Fingerprints from a Crime Scene

Fingerprint of a thumb

A fingerprint is an impression of the friction ridges of all or any part of the human finger. Fingerprints are often used as a method of identifying people, especially in forensic science and crime scene investigation, as no two prints are alike. Prints are used by crime scene investigators and coroners to help positively identify a criminal or identify a body when the identity of the individual is unknown. Fingerprints are “lifted” or taken from crime scenes and the results are analyzed and electronically compared to national databases to determine a possible match.

Most people think that fingerprints are the only prints that are left at a crime scene. Other types of prints include: lip prints, handprints, mouth prints, and more.

What do Private Investigators Need to Know?

Private investigators may need to examine and/or lift fingerprint impressions from a crime scene during an investigation, such as while investigating a theft, or when examining stolen property. Private investigators may also need to track down the results of an analysis with the appropriate lab or agency.

Fingerprinting Books

If you’re interested in learning more, the following books provide information on the history, processes involved, and how the techniques are currently being applied to investigate crime scenes. These books will help you learn how to:

  • Understand how fingerprints are lifted from a crime scene and how they are preserved for future evaluation and analysis
  • Learn how prints are analyzed and linked to a person through the use of software and database technology
  • Understand the various types of prints that might be left at a crime scene such as lip prints, hand prints, mouth prints, etc. and how they are used to identify and convict the guilty
  • Learn the types of equipment, technology and software used such as ink, pads, forms and scanners

List of Recommended Books and Guides

  • Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science (Hardcover) – The story of a scientific breakthrough that solved one of the most brutal murders in England’s history and forever changed the criminal justice system. This book tells the  story of how technology found its way into the criminal justice system. Well-researched, this book traces fingerprinting to its present-day applications and explains why the unique tracks we leave with our fingers continue to be one of the most important means of identifying criminals.
  • Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Paperback) – Tells the history of finger prints and how we shouldn’t have blind faith in the technology that defines our individuality.
  • DNA Fingerprinting – This books explains how modern identification techniques are used in the courts to convict the guilty, free the innocent, and even inspire legal treachery.

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