D/Cst Rob FELSKE

Halton Police Service
Forensic Identification Services

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Halton Police-Forensic Identification Unit
• Scene Examination/Photography
• Fingerprints
• DNA
• Scene mapping and measurement
2

Fingerprints
• Since 2012 I have compared over 35,000
fingerprints and Identified 211 individual
impressions.

• Teaching at the Ontario Police
College/Halton Police

3

Friction Ridge Skin
• Friction skin is found on
the underside of your
hands and feet

• Evolutionary adaptation to
allow gripping.
• Skin grows around
individual pore openings
to create a ridge unit.
Ridge units fuse together
to form ridges.
4

Development Timeline for Friction Ridge Skin
• Between 12-24 Weeks
– Ridges become visible spreading across fingers
– Convergence of the 3 fields at delta area
– The position of volar pad regression determines final pattern

12 weeks

24 weeks

5
Wertheim and Maceo, 2002

Three Basic Pattern Types

Arch

Loop

Whorl
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Twin Study - Uniqueness

After comparison of 3,920 fingers of twins, no two fingers were
found to be the same.
7
Lin et. al., 1982

Premises of Identification
Friction Ridges are developed on the fetus
in their definitive form before birth;

Friction Ridges are permanent and never
change except through scarring and
disease;
Friction Ridge formations are unique and
never repeated;
8

Reliability of Fingerprints for
Identification
Used for identification since ancient times
Basis for the Identification of Criminals Act

AFIS searches millions of impressions

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Reliability of Fingerprints for
Identification
Every day AFIS (Automated Fingerprint
Identification System) continually searches
millions of fingerprints and no two
fingerprints have ever been found to be the
same.

10

Analysis
C
omparison
ACE-V
Evaluation
Verification
11

Analysis-Step #1

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Methodology for Comparison
Scene impression analyzed to determine
suitability to compare
If the impression is too poor in quality it is
not compared to known prints

13

How a fingerprint is analyzed
Substrate (the surface the print is on)
Matrix (the fingerprint substance)
Development Medium (process to develop)
Deposition Pressure (force used to deposit)
Lateral Pressure (slipping/twisting)
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Substrate
Substrate is the surface on which the
impression was deposited. Substrate can
cause distortion if the surface is textured,
reflective, multi-coloured, dirty etc.

15

Matrix
Matrix is the substance that is on the finger
and is eventually deposited onto the surface,
thus creating the fingerprint. In most cases
this is a combination of sweat and oil, but
can be other contaminants such as blood or
food grease etc.

16

Development Medium

The development medium is the process or
chemical used to help enhance the
impression by making the impression visible.
Development medium can range from white
light to dye stains that fluoresce the
impression at various wavelengths.

17

Deposition Pressure
Deposition pressure refers to the amount of
pressure used when the finger makes
contact with a surface. The amount of
pressure used can dramatically change the
way an impression looks after it is
deposited.

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Deposition Pressure

Light

Medium

Heavy

Extreme

Amount of pressure exerted when print is deposited
19

Lateral Distortion (Movement)
Lateral Distortion refers to the movement
that occurs at the moment the finger makes
contact with the surface of the item being
touched.

20

Methodology for Comparison
Anatomical Aspects
Anatomical aspects relate to the shape/patterns
present in the impression and takes into account
the most likely way an item was handled.

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Anatomical Aspects

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Clarity
Clarity refers to the quality of the detail in the
impression.

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Levels of Friction Ridge Detail
• Level 1 - Overall
ridge flow
– Orientation
– Pattern Type
– Focal Points



Core
Deltas
Scars
Creases

Identifications cannot occur at this level of information,
however exclusions can occur.

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Levels of Friction Ridge Detail
• Level 2 - Ridge path
– Characteristics



Type
Location
Direction
Spatial Relationship

– Continuous Ridges
Identifications and exclusions can occur at this level of
information.

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Three Types of Level 2 Characteristics

Ending Ridge

Bifurcating Ridge

Dot
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Level 2 Information - Ridge Paths

Continuous Ridges
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Levels of Friction Ridge Detail
• Level 3
– Size and shape of
pores and ridges



Pores
End shapes and angles
Edge shapes
Width

Identification and exclusion decisions can be supported at
this level of information.
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Translation of Information

Knowledge
Experience

Education
Training
3 Dimensional

2 Dimensional

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Transfer from 3 D ridge to 2 D print
When a 3 Dimensional ridge touches a
surface it creates a 2 Dimensional
fingerprint.
The skin on the finger is pliable and moves
easily with pressure.

No two impressions are ever deposited
exactly the same way.
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Transfer from 3 D ridge to 2 D print
The Impression found at a scene can vary in its
appearance due to the innumerable ways the
finger can touch an object.
The amount of pressure (force) used to touch a
surface affects how the fingerprint will look (i.e.
thick vs thin ridges)
Twisting during touch can cause ridges to fold into
neighbouring ridges and distort the impression.
31

Methodology for Comparison
Analysis
At the conclusion of the analysis stage, the
examiner must determine if the impression
is of value to proceed to the comparison
stage. If the impression is determined to be
of value, a comparison will occur. If the
impression is too poor in quality, the process
will stop at this stage.
32

Comparison
Step #2

• It is at this stage that the unknown scene
impression is compared to the known
impression.

• The unknown impression is typically
compared to the known rolled or flat
impressions. Rolled impressions look
dramatically different than impressions
deposited during normal touching.

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Impressions taken from Dellen MILLARD
August 1, 2013

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Comparison
The ridge formations located in the unknown
impression during the analysis stage are
searched for in the known impression.
If a ridge formation from the unknown
impression is not located in sequence in the
known impression, the process ends and the
known print is eliminated as the source.
35

Comparison

.

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Three Conclusions in Evaluation
• Identification
– “The determination of an examiner that there is sufficient quality
and quantity of detail in agreement and sequence to conclude
that two friction ridge impressions originated from the same
source.”

• Exclusion
– “The determination by an examiner that there is sufficient quality
and quantity of detail in disagreement to conclude that two areas
of friction ridge impressions did not originate from the same
source.”

• Inconclusive
– “During Evaluation, the conclusion reached that neither sufficient
agreement exists to individualize nor sufficient disagreement
exists to exclude.”
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SWGFAST Glossary (5/8/09 ver 2.0)

Evaluation
At the Evaluation stage, the examiner must
answer two questions.
1. Is there agreement, in sequence,
between the unknown and known
impression?

1. Is there sufficient uniqueness to
individualize?
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Present Case

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40

Analysis of R1143-1
Substrate Distortion

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Substrate
Distortion
The substrate in this
case is a rear view
mirror. The mirror
causes a blurring
effect due to the
reflective nature of the
mirror.

42

Matrix
Distortion
In this case
there is no
matrix, as the
ridges took dirt
away from the
surface.

43

Development
Medium
The development
Medium used is
Rhodamine 6G Dye
Stain after Cyanoacrylate
(superglue). There is no
major Development
Medium distortion. The
dye viewed at 532 NM
with an orange filter
causes the yellow
appearance.
44

Deposition
Pressure
The ridges appear
thicker at the top of the
impression, thus
suggesting heavier
deposition pressure.

45

Lateral
Distortion
There is
evidence of
lateral
movement on
the top left and
bottom right of
R1143-1
46

Anatomical
Aspects
The oval/pearlike shape of
this impression
is typically
seen in
thumbs.

47

Level 1 Detail
R1143-1 is a
double loop
whorl. This
pattern is
statistically
more prevalent
on a thumb.
48

R1143-1
Converted to
Black and White

In this image, R11431 was converted to
black and white to
make the viewing of
the ridges easier, as
the ridges in the
known impression are
black.
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Dellen MILLARD (August 2013)

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Plotted Level 2 Detail in R1143-1a

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R 1143-1

Known (Flat) Right Thumb-Dellen MILLARD

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Evaluation
The comparison was evaluated to determine
if there was agreement, in sequence,
between R1143-1 and the known right
thumb print that had been taken from Dellen
MILLARD on August 1, 2013 for the present
charges before the court.

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Evaluation

As a result of this evaluation, I concluded
that the scene print R1143-1, located on the
rear view mirror inside Tim BOSMA’S truck,
was deposited by Dellen MILLARD’S right
thumb.

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Verification

At the conclusion of the ACE (Analysis,
Compare, Evaluate) stage, the impression
was submitted to Det. BANKS for
verification.

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