fences, streams, buildings, or wood lines.
You must then develop the ability to
assign mentally practical limits to the area that is to be observed. Normally, the
method procedure is to observe the following:
(a) General location and its nearness to such
landmarks as roadways, railways, streams, or shorelines.
(b) Exact location in relation to fixed or semifixed features, such as
buildings, fences, bridges, trees, and pathways.
(c) Outstanding objects or features within the scene.
(d) Details of the scene and details of items of special interest.
Observation of indoor scenes will be simplified by obvious
and definite boundaries, such as the walls of a room, the areas of a hallway or
basement, or the confines of an apartment.
On the other hand, indoor areas may
contain many and various objects which may slow the task of completion observation.
Because of this, it is important in the case of indoor scenes that a pattern of
observation be used. Normal procedure is to determine, in order, the following:
(a) Location of the place to be observed, including section of building
in which located, such as front or rear, floor level.
Relationship to building
entrances and distances to stairways and elevators should be noted.
(b) Room number, or other designation.
(c) Details of immediate entrance(s) to the specific area of interest.
(d) Objects located within the area.
Use a clockwise or other method of
observation from a starting point.
(e) Exact location, in relation to other objects, or items of interest.
d. Observing Events.
In most instances, you will be called to the
scene after an incident has occurred or a crime committed.
Hence, you will
seldom observe the complete event as it is occurring.
However, your observation
of connected actions that may occur subsequent to the event itself may supply
major clues as to that which had already occurred.
Such a small but
significant action or circumstances as a casual remark, a state of excitement,
a furtive gesture or glance, unusual curiosity, interest, disbelief, or an
unlikely lack of knowledge may often provide you with the necessary lead to
develop an important aspect of an investigation.
information may often be deduced from such details as the way a fire burns,
the presence of certain fumes or odors, the pitch of a voice, or the warmth of a
This may aid in the reconstruction of an event in respect to its