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CSI Class Resumes - for the Pros

by Paul Saulnier
July 18, 2010

CSI Class Resumes - for the Pros

Boston University's Forensic Anthropology Program hosted FBI agents and staff for four days of training and R&D at their Outdoor Research Facility on Woodland Street.

About sixteen professionals took part in the training which also was designed to develop effective "quick" crime scene investigation techniques.

Dr. Debra Prince-Zinni, third from the left, leads the investigation of a site with scattered remains.

A typical investigation of a high profile crime scene can take days to document, according to Dr. Tara Moore, director of the program. Part of this week's effort is to develop standardized methods for documenting a scene in eight hours or less without jeapordizing the scene or a legal case. When remains are discovered on a site such as these, an approaching weather event may destroy evidence. The work will lead to standard protocols for collecting and documenting forestic evidence in shallow grave sites and for "scattered remains" sites.

Students were divided into groups of four and included an experienced forensic anthropologist to lead them through the process. These pictures are of a scattered remains site. Students walked the site in line and marked anything of potential interest, from the small pieces of plastic bones above,

to parts even a novice CSI cadet like Yours Truly would be able to flag. 

These folks are documenting a burial site. The removable plastic grid is part of the stardard system being developed for such cases. Plans are for every CSI team to have a standard grid in their inventory and be trained on its use.

Sloped sites are partcularly difficult to record and document. Here students are establishing a level baseline before placing the grid, using a laser system. Jack Drawec, from Western New England University, holds his hand up to direct the laser point, below.

According to Professor Drawec, Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, is rapidly becoming the place to go for a degree in CSI. 

Another scattered remains site is documented by students. This site is overseen by Joanne Devlin, of the Forensic Archeological Facility at the University of Tennessee.

Boston University hopes to develop this site as a training facility for the forensic sciences. With thirty-two acres at its disposal, BU could develop this site into a nationally recognized forensic research facility. Better than a neighbor to casinos, don't you agree?

Demonstating the proper attire for this event, Dr. Moore's ensemble included an umbrella for shade and rain, a cup of Dunk's iced coffee, and high water boots, preferrably with a seafaring motif.

 

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