Forensic supplies help investigators recover and evaluate evidence. From illuminating bloodstains or detecting narcotics to examining and securing findings, here's the latest in forensic products.
1. Bluestar Forensic www.bluestar-forensic.com
Bluestar Forensic Latent Bloodstains Reagent reveals invisible bloodstains with a unique formula the Monaco-based company touts, "qualifies it as the most effective blood revealer available on the market." With a basis in chemiluminescence, in which light results from a chemical reaction, this new reagent can detect bloodstains, such as droplets that have washed away or stains that have been wiped off, to dilutions as small as 1:10,000.
Good quality photos can be taken with an ordinary camera as this reagent does not require total darkness for visibility. Also, the reagent does not alter the DNA of the revealed blood, allowing for DNA and ABO typing. It works just as well on fresh blood as old or altered bloodstains, and the luminol-based chemical formula surpasses others in performance.
The reagent's tablet form, which is free of sodium tetrahydrate perborate, makes it easier and safer to prepare. It does not leave any residues after drying, has a long shelf life, will work for hours after it is mixed, and can be sprayed multiple times over the same bloodstains resulting in the same luminescence. Hexagon OBTI Immunochromatographic Test
This simple-to-use rapid screening test, which complements the Bluestar Forensic latent bloodstains reagent, can typically reveal if there is a human blood trace in two to three minutes. A sample is transferred into a collection bottle with transport medium. Then the mixture is added drop by drop to the test bar, which will reveal two blue lines if human blood is detected. The test helps an investigator to determine whether or not to collect a sample, detecting whole blood up to a dilution of 1:1,000,000, requiring as little as 500 red cells for a positive result. 2. FoxFury www.foxfury.com Scout Narcotics Search Tool
This search light tool helps law enforcement detect traces of street narcotics (such as marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines, PCP and cocaine) on people and property. It has a 20 degree field of vision with a recommended operational distance of 1 to 2 feet. Orange goggles (included) and low light conditions are needed to properly use the search light tool.
The search light tool serves as a presumptive test, so a chemical test is needed for definitive "source identification." The search light tool, weighing 4.3 ounces, is fire resistant, waterproof to 20 feet, and impact resistant. It has two LEDs, a belt clip, comes with three AAA batteries and a warranty of 24 months. 3. Lightning Powder Company
(Forensics Source and Safariland family) www.redwop.com
Zephyr Fiberglass Fingerprint Brush
This long-lasting brush has been the top fiberglass fingerprint dusting brush since 1956. The 6.5-inch brush can pick up large amounts of fingerprint powder, having thousands of fiber bundles, and filament ends that become softer with every use. Lightning Spray Aerosol Fingerprint Powder
As a trusted powder, now in an aerosol spray, application is more clean and convenient for processing fingerprints, with Lightning Powder's latest innovation in forensic latent fingerprinting technology. It is available in white, silver-grey, black and fluorescent, enabling optimal contrast against a background to reveal the clearest latent fingerprint. Lightning Spray Containment Tent
Airborne powders that are sprayed over suspected evidence for fingerprint processing are contained with this portable, dome-shaped tent. Simply unfold the tent to make a dome, place it over the suspected evidence, spray once into the tent, wait 10 seconds, then lift. It is designed for use with Lightning Spray Aerosol Fingerprint Powder and is available in a 10-pack. Breakaway Tamper Evident Tape
This tape protects evidence sealed with it by indicating tampering. Its acetate base makes the tape fragile when adhered, causing it to shred upon attempts to remove. It has serrated edges that make it difficult to reapply without indication of tampering and the ink on the tape will bleed if attempts are made to remove it with chemicals. It comes in a dispenser box and is available in Evidence or Security markings. www.forensicssource.com
Lightning Powder Company, of the Forensics Source and Safariland family of companies, now has a new website, www.forensicssource.com. The site features thousands of forensic products, equipment and supplies. The new website, with updated product descriptions and images, boasts a clean, fresh look, improved search capability, simple order tracking and a quick order feature. 4. Lynn Peavey Company www.lynnpeavey.com HotShot Fingerprint Developer
The self-contained and disposable HotShot develops prints faster, whiter and without a sticky mess. Super-glue fuming takes place in one disposable container, fuming a tank in four minutes or less. The activator solution is absorbed in a few seconds and a chemical reaction occurs, generating heat and a controlled amount of steam. The HotShot begins to vaporize and fill the fuming chamber with print-developing fumes, as the canister heats. Zipr-Weld Evidence Imprint Rolls
The zipper-like edges and adhesive properties of these imprint rolls protect evidence by making tampering evident and removal of the seal nearly impossible. BattleLite Blue Forensic Light
BattleLite is used by governments worldwide to fight terrorism and now it is available to law enforcement. The tactical sized 3-watt, set at 455nm, 5 ¼-inch long light, with the help of orange goggles, will easily illuminate in all lighting conditions bodily fluids, trace, and fluorescent powdered fingerprints. The BattleLite has military-grade rugged construction, with weather, dust and shock resistance. The BattleLite Kit includes the light, goggles, a diffuser lens, two backup lithium batteries, foam insert, and a carrying case. CSIpix Comparator
This software enables comparison of print images and latent images, side by side. Annotation features facilitate the placement of circles, dots, labels, arrows and more that can be used to create a professional courtroom exhibit presentation in print or slideshow. The software is intuitive to use and completely PC driven, with one-click functions like auto contrast, gray-scale optimization and auto scaling. 5. Sirchie www.sirchie.com Ridge Pro 3X Fingerprint Magnifier
The newest of Sirchie's fingerprint magnifiers, the Ridge Pro delivers the "best user experience of any magnifier available," Sirchie boasts. The lightweight but rugged magnifier with an easily maneuvered rubber barrel and soft rubber guard to protect the eye and face, features 3x magnification, a 2-inch wide lens, and a wide base with a large field of view. It has precision-ground glass lenses, a fixed focal distance, and minimal distortion. Advanced Laser Trajectory Finder Kit (LTF 200)
The newly released LTF 200 enables a single investigator to conduct a detailed ballistics or shooting reconstruction using trajectory analysis. It merges advances in lasers and digital measurement, providing the most accurate measurement and tools available. The kit has a multitude of tools including a tripod, trajectory rods, centering cones, grommets, two digital angle finders, a red laser, a new 15 mw green laser, an acrylic photo card, evidence markers, a vinyl photo evidence scale and a backpack, among other items. NARK II MDPV "Bath Salts" Reagent
This narcotic field test is intended as a presumptive test that identifies the synthetic stimulant drug MDPV (typically a white to tan powder, sold as an everyday product like bath salts). The test will turn a distinct yellow to yellow/green color if MDPV is detected. NARK II Mephedrone "Bath Salts" Reagent
This narcotic field test is intended as a presumptive test that identifies the synthetic stimulant drug mephedrone (sold as an everyday product like bath salts). The test will identify mephedrone with an immediate purple color. Mephedrone is the less common "bath salt" drug, so Sirchie recommends conducting the mephedrone test only after a negative test result for MDPV. SirchStand Forensic Photography Stand
This portable, high quality stand makes forensic photography much easier. The 22 lb. stand, with a removable, easy-to-adjust column, can be taken to the crime scene or medical examiner's office. The sturdy unit will support most mid-range to large cameras. It has a matte black finished magnetic base and a 1 cm square grid etched for scaling. The SirchStand has flexible arms at the base and also on the camera mount where the LED forensic lights provided can be used. The SirchStand includes a photography stand, six LEDs, light absorbing material and magnets. 6. Spectronics Corporation www.spectroline.com OFK-450 LED Forensic Inspection Kit
Perfect for crime scene investigation, this kit features a portable and rechargeable blue-light LED flashlight that reveals evidence such as bodily fluids, biological stains, latent fingerprints and bruises.
The LED flashlight supplies 90 minutes of continuous inspection between charges and has a detachable diffusing filter that provides a uniform light source for accurate forensic photography. The inspection kit includes a flashlight, filter, orange contrasting spectacles, AC and DC chargers, a belt holster and a padded carrying case. 7. SPEX Forensics www.spexforensics.comLight Dome Magnifier
Made of optical grade acrylic, this magnifier requires no batteries to scan fingerprint cards and perform comparisons. It is available in three different sizes. Mini-CrimeScope 400
Producing light intensity beyond any other forensic light source on the market, the Mini-CrimeScope 400 has been purchased for use by the FBI and the Italian Carabinieri. It is portable and the only 400W light source that has a 1500+ bulb lifetime. It's brighter than any other handheld light source or portable forensic laser on the market, intensity that helps to spot evidence such as body fluids, fingerprints, bruises and drugs.
The Mini-CrimeScope 400 has a patented filter wheel, is easily upgradeable, and provides multiple wavelength options to maximize contrast. Four pairs of goggles, one or two filter wheels, a 2-meter liquid light guide and a lightweight, padded case with a shoulder strap are included. NIN-PRINT
This quick-evaporating Ninhydrin solution in a spray can is acetic acid free and does not cause inks to run. 8. Tri-Tech Forensics www.tritechforensics.com Swift Lift Latent Print Powder Applicator Mitt
In the newest breakthrough in latent print recovery, latent prints can be recovered in seconds instead of hours with the Swift Lift Mitt. An entire exterior of a car can be dusted with powder in under 90 seconds, instead of perhaps two hours or more with traditional brush methods, providing a cost-effective way to recover latent prints from large surfaces. The soft mitt will not damage ridge detail on a latent print. Swift Lift Mitt is designed to be disposable so that DNA is not transferred between crime scenes. Crime Scene Stepping Plates
These transparent, lightweight and stackable stepping plates allow investigators to walk through a crime scene without causing cross-contamination by touching or disturbing evidence. Interchangeable one-time use rubber pads can be applied to the feet of the stepping plates to pick up trace evidence they come in contact with, which can then be bagged for evidence or disposed of. The transparent plates allow investigators to clearly see what is under each stepping plate. They are easy to clean, durable and are available in a selection of kit package options. Press & Fume Cyanoacrylate Latent Print Developer
Latent prints can be developed within five minutes, at a crime scene, with this disposable fuming device. With a reputation for strong and permanent print development, cyanoacrylate (superglue) helps keep prints from damage when transported to a lab. The 4"L x 1.5" W x .75"H cardboard box comes with glass ampoules containing cyanoacrylate, a high-density cotton pad saturated with a catalyst and accelerant solution. Cyanoacrylate vapors fume from the vents at the top of the box as the prints develop.
Ginger Reilly is a Chicago-based freelance author specializing in law enforcement topics and legal news. A widely published technical writer and former police beat writer, she may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roberta Berkowitz is the president of Prendo Forensics (www.prendoforensics.com), a women-owned business, and supplier of forensics and digital supplies and equipment to federal, state and local governments. She may be reached at email@example.com.