First, you need to make a preliminary examination of the scene. You need to note
items, locations, and conditions that seem to have the greatest importance to the
At this point, you need to observe and record.
Note where everything is
located. It is useful to photograph the scene at this time.
There are four methods that can be used to search a crime scene.
(See Figure 1-1.)
The four methods are--
The zone or sector search.
The circle search.
The strip search.
The grid search.
The method used must always support what the search is intended to accomplish--a
comprehensive and nondestructive accumulation of all available physical evidence.
A systematic circle search is used in rooms, buildings, and small outdoor areas.
In large outdoor areas, a strip search followed by a grid search is more useful.
Zone or sector searches may be used for indoor and outdoor searches. This must be
done within a reasonable period of time. The search should economize on movement
and avoid unnecessary disturbance.
The search for evidence is initially completed when the investigator has returned
to the point where the search began.
PART B - RECORDING THE CRIME SCENE
A detailed record of the crime scene and of the actions taken during the search of
the crime scene help the investigator to accurately recall events and to identify
evidence items later in court.
The notes, photographs, and sketches made by the
investigator also serve as a valuable reference concerning details uncovered during
the search. There are three common means of recording the crime scene. They are--