Fingerprints

Posted by MDM MDM
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I'm just wondering...
You have a family of 5 that has been murdered and there is no sign of forced entry so the family probably knew the perp.  Also there are no signs of a homicide/suicide.  Would it be a waste of time to dust for fingerprints in the bathroom, toilet seat/flush handle and the faucet handles considering there are 5 people that regularly use these items?  I mean it would be possible that the perp. washed their hands or went to the bathroom sometime while in the house right?  Also, should you try to get fingerprints off frequently used items by members of the family throughout the home or would that be a waste of time also?  Just something I was thinking about while studying my Forensis Science textbook.

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Re: Fingerprints

Sure it's something that needs to be done. If you don't do it, you'll be asked why you did not do it. If you do do it (he he he ...."do do"....he he), and you find someone other than a family members prints, then you have someone that you need to talk to. If you do process for prints (that sounded much more professional), you may find that the majority of the prints left were one particular family member's, which could indicate who died last (I am thinking of the scenarios we have seen in the media where one family member kills all the rest, and then eventually kills themself). Of course you may not be able to tell any of this.

They are several different things you can find if you process the scene....the most important thing, in my opinion, would be the abscence of prints that do not belong to family members. That could be just as important as finding someone elses.

Of course the scenario you describe is very cut and dry, but my experience is that it is never that cut and dry in real life. There is always something to make you think that the most logical scenario is wrong.