investigation. Evaluation is a continuous process. It begins with the first
information received or observed concerning the incident or crime; it continues
until the investigation has been concluded or discontinued by proper authority.
In this connection, the following is recommended and advised:
a. Do not base conclusions upon a single item of evidence. Keep an open
Be equally zealous to establish a person's innocence as well as his
b. Examine and restudy photos and sketches of the crime scene.
c. Mentally reconstruct the crime.
Care should be taken not to
underestimate the value of a seemingly unimportant item, remark, or
Such seeming trivia, paired with other like items, may reveal
what actually happened.
from the polygraph examiner, or others. Ask advice from anyone who may provide
leads that would otherwise remain hidden.
e. Take full advantage of the scientific evaluation. Such is given by the
US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL).
A piece of evidence may
hold latent information which may be found by lab technicians. You may greatly
aid the technician, then, in arriving at an accurate conclusion by sending
controlled or standard samples.
Control specimens are samples from an
uncontaminated area where evidence was collected.
Samples are accorded the
same handling and security procedures as collected evidence.
f. Consult with the staff judge advocate (SJA) about legal or technical
aspects in an investigation.
9. Releasing the Scene. A crime scene is not released until all processing
has been completed.
However, the release should occur at the earliest
practical time. This is true particularly in cases where an activity has been
closed or its operation curtailed.
10. General Comments.
a. The USACIL gives scientific aid and service to the investigator in the
field. Consult them if you have a technical problem or need information about
forwarding evidence to them. The technical examination that can be done by the
USACIL are only as good as the condition of the evidence when it arrives there.
Also, such examination is only as good as the data when requested by the lab.
USACILs are located in the US (Fort Gillem, Georgia), Germany, and Japan.
b. Certain conditions will reflect badly upon your ability to properly
process a crime scene. Those conditions are as follows:
(1) You could fail to recognize and find enough evidence.