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Swanson, Criminal Investigation 8/e
Criminal Investigation, 8/e
Charles R. Swanson, University of Georgia
Neil C. Chamelin, Assistant State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit
Leonard Territo, University of South Florida- Tampa


AAMVANET  Maintained by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, a computerized network linking state and Canadian province agencies on matters of highway usage and safety.
accelerant  In fire starting, any flammable fluid or compound that speeds the progress of a fire. Also calledbooster.
action stereotyping  Based on typical actions, stereotyping in which an officer expects that a certain type of event will unfold in a particular way; can result in the officer's failure to see the event the way it actually occurs.
active system (theft deterrent)  A type of vehicle antitheft device which requires that the driver do something to activate and deactivate the system every time the vehicle is parked or driven.
administrative log  A written record of the actions taken by the crime scene coordinator, including assignments and release of the scene.
admissibility  A legal criterion used to determine whether an item of evidence can be presented in court; requires that the evidence have relevance, materiality, and competence.
admission  A person's acknowledgment of certain facts or circumstances that tend to incriminate him or her with respect to a crime but are not complete enough to constitute a confession.
affidavit  A sworn, written statement of the information known to an officer that serves as the basis for the issuance of an arrest warrant.
affirmation  The process in which a witness acknowledges that he or she understands and undertakes the obligation of an oath (i.e., to tell the truth with a realization of the penalties for perjury); a means of establishing a witness's competence.
AFIS  *I**see */I**Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
agrichemical  Any of various chemical products used on farms; includes pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.
agroterrorism  The use of biological agents as weapons against the agricultural and food supply industries.
AIDS  *I**see */I**human immunodeficiency virus.
algor mortis  The decrease in body temperature that occurs after death.
alligatoring  The checking of charred wood, which gives it the appearance of alligator skin.
ALS  *I**see */I**alternative light systems.
alternative light systems (ALSs)  Portable lasers and handheld ultraviolet lighting used to locate physical evidence at the crime scene; particularly helpful in locating trace evidence.
amateur burglars  Burglars who operate on the basis of impulse or opportunity, with no planning; often use sheer force to enter, ransack the premises for anything of value, and may become violent if detected and commit secondary crimes (e.g., murder, rape).
ambush  A robbery that involves virtually no planning and depends on surprise and the use of force against victims; usually produces a small score.
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD)  An international society devoted to maintaining the highest standards of practice at crime laboratories; conducts an accreditation program for laboratories and education programs for lab personnel.
amido black  A dye that is sensitive to blood and thus is used in developing fingerprints contaminated with blood.
amphetamines  Stimulants that increase blood pressure and heart, respiratory, and metabolic rates; produce decreased appetite, hyperalert senses, and a general state of stress that last a prolonged period.
anthrax  An acute infectious desease with three forms (cutaneous, intestinal, and inhalation), which differ in means of transmission, symptoms, and lethality; also, a biological agent.
anthropometry  Developed by Alphonse Bertillon in the late nineteenth century, the study and comparison of body measurements as a means of criminal identification.
archaeological looting  The illegal, unscientific removal of archaeological resources from public, tribal, or private land.
arrest  The process of taking a person into legal custody to answer a criminal charge.
arrest warrant  A judicial order commanding that a particular person be arrested and brought before a court to answer a criminal charge.
assignment sheets  Written reports completed by persons assigned tasks at a crime scene that document what they have done and found.
associative evidence  Bidirectional evidence that connects the perpetrator to the scene or victim or connects the scene or victim to the perpetrator.
attack code  A malicious software program intended to impair or destroy the functioning of a computer or a network resource.
autoerotic death  Death from accidental asphyxiation as a result of masochistic activities of the deceased. Also calledsexual asphyxia.
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)  A computerized system, maintained by the FBI, that stores and compares millions of fingerprints and is used to find matches for identification purposes.
autopsy  The medical examination of a body to determine the time of and cause of death; required in all cases of violent or suspicious death.
avionics  The electronic equipment (e.g., radio, navigation) on an aircraft.
back doors  Code breaks used in debugging a computer program that are designed to evade normal security procedures; targeted by exploit programs as a means of illegal access to files.
barbiturates  Short-, intermediate-, and long-lasting depressants (e.g., secobarbital, amobarbital) strongly associated with the tendency for abrupt withdrawal to cause convulsions and death; nicknamed after the capsule or pill color or the manufacturer's name.
basic yellow 40  Used after superglue fuming, a dye that causes latent prints to fluoresce under alternative lighting.
battered-child syndrome  The clinical term for the injuries sustained by a physically abused child.
behavioral evidence analysis (BEA)  A deductive method of criminal profiling in which characteristics of the perpetrator are determined from evidence at the crime scene.
be-on-the-lookout (BOLO)  Part of the preliminary investigation, a notification broadcast to officers that contains detailed information on suspects and their vehicles.
Biggers-Brathwaite Factors Test  A test that balances the reliability of eyewitness identification (as determined by five factors specified by the Supreme Court) with the corrupting effect of any suggestive procedures; enables a highly reliable identification to be used in court even if something jeopardized the fairness of the identification procedure.
biological agents  Certain microorganisms and toxins produced by organisms (e.g., smallpox, anthrax, plague, botulism) that cause human illness or death and could be used as terrorist weapons; typically slower acting than chemical agents.
bobbies  A colloquial term used in reference to British police constables; derived by the public from the first name of Sir Robert Peel, whose efforts led to the creation of the first metropolitan police force in London.
body language  Gestures, demeanor, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signals that convey, usually involuntarily, a person's attitudes, impressions, truthfulness, and so on.
BOLO  see be-on-the-lookout.
bone rustlers  Unauthorized fossil hunters, who loot public and private lands.
booster bag  Used by shoplifters, a large shopping bag lined with an inner bag of tin foil and duct tape; renders useless the electronic security tags on items placed within it.
boosters  seecommercial shoplifters.
bore  The diameter of a gun barrel's interior between its opposing high sides.
Bow Street Runners  Established by Henry Fielding in 1748, a group of volunteer, nonuniformed homeowners who helped catch thieves in London by rushing to crime scenes and beginning investigations, thus acting as the first modern detective force. By 1785, some were paid government detectives.
brands  On livestock, registered combinations of numbers, letters, marks, and shapes that establish unique identifications.
burden of going forward  In a criminal trial, the responsibility of the defense to present enough evidence to create a reasonable doubt of guilt in the jurors' minds; an optional burden, as the defense is not required to present any evidence.
burden of proof  In a criminal trial, the requirement that the prosecution establish the defendant's guilt beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.
burglary  The crime of breaking and entering a house or other building belonging to another with the intent to commit a crime therein.
burglary tools  Tools used in the commission of burglary; often are ordinary household tools, but may be modified for increased effectiveness in breaking and entering.
burn indicators  Any effects of heat or partial burning that indicate a fire's rate of development, points of origin, temperature, duration, and time of occurrence and the presence of flammable liquids.
cadaver dogs  Trained dogs, sensitive to the odor of decomposing human remains, that assist in locating bodies buried in the ground or submerged in water.
cadaveric spasm  The instantaneous tightening of an extremity or other part of the body at the time of death. Also calleddeath grip.
caliber  The diameter of a bullet; somewhat larger than the bore of the weapon from which the bullet is fired.
cargo theft  The theft of items from or in commercial motor vehicles.
carjacking  The crime of taking a motor vehicle from the motorist or passenger, or from his or her immediate presence, by use of force, fear, or threat of force, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of its use.
catalytic combustion detector  A portable device that oxidizes any combustible gases in a sample; used to detect residues of flammable-liquid accelerants at fire scenes. Also calledsniffer, combustible-gas indicator, explosimeter,andvapor detector.
chain of custody  The witnessed, unbroken, written chronological record of everyone who had an item of evidence and when each person had it; also accounts for any changes in the evidence.
charging  The act of formally asserting that a particular person is to be prosecuted for a crime.
charring  The scorching of materials by fire; used to deduce the direction of fire spread by comparing relative depths of char throughout the scene.
check fraud  Any activity involving the creation or use of phony or altered checks (e.g., counterfeiting, identity assumption, payroll-check schemes).
check washing  The process of altering checks by using an acid-based chemical solution to erase amount and payee information.
chemical agents  Rapidly acting substances (e.g., mustard gas, sarin, V agents) that produce a variety of incapacitating symptoms or death; as weapons, can cause mass casualties and devastation.
chemical explosions  Explosions in which the high-pressure gas is produced by reactions that involve changes in the basic chemical nature of the fuel; commonly caused by the burning of hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., natural gas, gasoline, lubricating oils).
child  An individual under the age of 18.
child pornography  The sexually explicit visual depiction of a minor (as defined by statute); includes photographs, negatives, slides, magazines, movies, videotapes, and computerized images.
chop shop  An illegal operation at which stolen cars are disassembled and their traceable parts are altered or disposed of so that untraceable parts can be sold to repair shops, salvage yards, and indiscriminate buyers.
chrystilized methamphetamine  A long-acting stimulant originally in pill or injectable formchrystal meth, speed)but now in a smokable, odorless version (ice);in solid form, resembles an ice chip but liquefies when lighted.
CID  seeCriminal Investigation Department.
clandestine drug laboratories  Illicit operations that produce a variety of illegal drugs for sale and distribution; due to the chemicals, processes used, and workers' inexperience, pose serious danger to police and firefighters, as well as the public.
class characteristics  Characteristics of physical evidence that are common to a group of objects or persons.
cleared by arrest  The classification assigned to an offense when the suspect has been arrested and there is sufficient evidence to file a formal charge.
cloning  The illegal programming of cellular phones by overwriting their access codes with the codes of legitimate cellular customers; done through a personal computer or cloning"black box."
cocaine  A natural stimulant extracted from the leaves of the coca plant; illegally sold as a white, translucent, crystalline powder, which is often adulterated.
codeine  An opiate in tablet, liquid, and injectable forms that produces less analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression than morphine.
CODIS  seeCombined DNA Index System.
cognitive interview technique  An interviewing approach in which a witness is asked to recall events and details in different ways as a means of fostering the witness's recollections.
Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)  Developed by the FBI, a database of convicted-offender and known- and unknown-subject DNA profiles that is used to find matches and to link unsolved crimes in multiple jurisdictions.
commercial shoplifters or boosters  Persons who steal merchandise for the purpose of reselling it.
commercial-vehicle theft  The theft of vehicle tractor units and trailers.
competency (of a witness)  A witness's personal qualification for testifying in court, which depends on circumstances that affect the person's legal ability to function as a sworn witness (e.g., age, mental state).
component swapping  A fraudulent practice in which manufacturers (e.g., of computers) use parts from the lowest-cost supplier but do not inform consumers that the parts are nonstandard.
computer abuse  Any intentional act involving knowledge of computer use or technology in which the perpetrator could have made a gain and the victim could have experienced a loss; includes acts that may not be covered by criminal laws.
computer crime  Any illegal act in which knowledge of computer technology is used to commit the offense.
computer manipulation crime  Any act that involves changing data or creating records in an electronic system for the purpose of facilitating another crime, typically fraud or embezzlement.
computer vandalism  The unauthorized removal of valuable information from a computer system, thereby preventing the legitimate user or owner from having access to that information.
concentric fractures  Lines that roughly circle the point of impact in a glass window.
confabulation  In hypnosis, the subject's fabrication of recollections to fill in gaps in his or her actual memory.
confession  The acknowledgment by a person accused of a crime that he or she is guilty of that crime and committed every element of the offense; must exclude any reasonable doubt about the possibility of innocence.
confidence artists  Individuals who use guile in a person-to-person relationship to swindle the other person by gaining his or her confidence.
confidential VIN  A duplicate vehicle identification number stamped into a vehicle's frame or body in a place known only to the manufacturer and law enforcement specialists in vehicle identification and auto theft investigation.
contact burns  Burns on the skin caused by contact with flames or hot solid objects (e.g., irons, cigarettes).
contaminated/visible prints  Prints created when fingers contaminated with blood, face powder, or a similar material touch a clean surface.
cookie  A small file that some web pages plant within the browser of a visiting computer; can pass its limited data (e.g., user name) back to the web server on subsequent visits but cannot gather additional information.
corpus delicti  Literally,"body of the crime"; consists of all the elements of the crime.
corpus delicti evidence  Evidence that substantiates elements whose commission or omission must be demonstrated to have occurred in order to prove a case.
crack  seerock cocaine.
cracking  seehacking.
credibility (of a witness)  That quality of a witness that renders his or her testimony worthy of belief; established in terms of presence, consciousness, and attentiveness during interviews.
credit card fraud  Any activity involving the creation or use of phony, altered, stolen, or fraudulently acquired credit cards.
crime  The commission of any act that is prohibited or the omission of any act that is required by the penal code of an organized political state.
crime analysis  The use of systematic analytical methods to acquire timely and pertinent information on crime patterns and trend correlations; subdivided into administrative, strategic, and tactical analysis.
crime bulletins  Prepared by crime analysts, publications used to disseminate information on specific topics (e.g., most active criminals, crime series and trends); may be in printed or electronic form.
crime laboratory  A scientific organization that analyzes material collected from crime scenes and suspects to help determine whether a crime was committed and, if so, how, when, and by whom it was committed.
crime scene  The location at which a crime was committed.
crime scene entry log  A written chronological record of all persons who enter and leave the crime scene and the times they do so.
crime scene release  The end of crime scene processing and the return of the premises or area to the owner or another responsible person; determined by the scene coordinator.
Criminal Identification Bureau (Chicago)  Established in 1884, the first municipal organization in the United States devoted specifically to assisting detectives with identifying criminals.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID)  Established in London in 1878, a centralized organization of detectives responsible for investigating crimes; located at Scotland Yard but, to correct internal abuses, kept separate from the Metropolitan Police.
criminal investigative analysis  The process of analyzing crime scene patterns to determine the personality and behavioral characteristics of offenders who commit serial murders or rape and homicide; formerly calledpsychological profiling.
criminalistics  The application of scientific disciplines, such as geology, physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics, to criminal investigation and the study of physical evidence.
criminal profiling  The process of inferring distinctive personality characteristics of individuals who commit crimes.
crimogen  (1) An individually known offender who is responsible for a large number of crimes; (2) one victim who reports a large number of crimes.
cross-contamination  The unwanted transfer of material between two or more sources of physical evidence.
cross-examination  In a trial, the questioning of a witness who was initially called by the opposing party.
cryptanalysis  The process of accessing secured information by breaking encryption; in computers, often done intrusively with cryptanalysis software.
crystal violet  A dye used to develop latent prints on the adhesive side of almost any kind of tape.
CUPPI  Acronym for"circumstances undetermined pending police investigation"; refers to a case on which the medical examiner, after autopsy, wants clarification before signing the death certificate.
cyberstalking  The crime of harassing or threatening victims by means of electronic technologies (e.g., through e-mail and Internet chat rooms or news groups).
cyberterrorism  The use of electronic tools to disrupt or shut down critical infrastructure components, such as energy, transportation, and government operations.
dactylography  The study and comparison of fingerprints as a means of criminal identification; first used systematically for that purpose in England in 1900, but a means of identification since the first century.
date-rape drugs  Drugs that facilitate rape by debilitating the victim; include Rohypnol, GHB, and many depressants and benzodiazapines.
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  A 1993 case in which the Supreme Court held that the admissibility of an expert's testimony or a scientific technique's results depends on a preliminary assessment, made by the trial judge, of the principles and methodology involved.
DEA  seeDrug Enforcement Administration.
deductive reasoning  The thought process that moves from general premises to specific details; e.g., a hypothesis about the crime is developed and then tested against the factual situation to arrive at a conclusion.
defense wounds  Wounds suffered by victims while attempting to protect themselves from an assault; often inflicted by a knife or club.
delay-in-arraignment rule  Based on a 1943 Supreme Court decision, the principle that the failure to take a prisoner before a committing magistrate without unnecessary delay will render his or her confession inadmissible even if it was freely obtained.
delivery vehicles  Software programs used by criminals to implant intrusion codes or attack codes in computer systems.
dental identification  The identification of an individual on the basis of dental records (or, sometimes,"smiling photographs); performed by a forensic dentist, who compares before-death records with after-death findings to see if there is a match.
dental stone  The preferred material for casting tire, footwear, and foot impressions; stronger and faster setting than plaster of paris and provides more detailed impressions.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)  A nucleic acid consisting of the molecules that carry the body's genetic material and establish each person as separate and distinct.
depressants  Drugs that depress the central nervous system, reducing tension and inducing sleep; can cause, in chronic use, loss of balance, faulty judgment, and quick temper and, in overdose, unconsciousness and death.
detention or sedatives  A temporary and limited interference with a person's freedom for investigative purposes. Also calledinvestigative detention, street stop,andfield interrogation.
DFO (diazafluren-9-one)  A very effective chemical for developing latent prints on paper; produces red prints that may be visible to the naked eye and that fluoresce under most laser and alternative lighting.
digital forensic analysis  The process of acquiring, preserving, analyzing, and presenting evidentiary electronic data relevant to an investigation or prosecution.
direct examination  Ina trial, the questioning of a witness bythe party that calls the witness to testify.
disposition (of incident report)  After approval of an incident report, the determination of how the case will be handled (i.e., unfounded, inactivated, retained for investigation by officers, referred to plainclothes investigators); usually made by the supervisor of the officer who wrote the report.
DNA  seedeoxyribonucleic acid.
DNA typing  The process of isolating and reading deoxyribonucleic acid-a genetic blueprint unique to every human (except for identical twins), which can be used as a means of criminal identification. Also calledDNA fingerprinting.
document  Anything on which a mark is made for the purpose of transmitting a message.
documented vessel  A boat that is registered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
domestic terrorism  The use or threatened use of violence against persons or property by a group (or an individual) whose operations are entirely within the victims' nation, without foreign direction, and are done to further political or social objectives.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)  Created in 1973, the federal agency responsible for enforcing laws on illicit drugs and fighting international drug traffic; also trains state and local police in investigative work regarding illegal drugs, surveillance, and use of informants.
due process revolution  An appellation applied to the period from 1961 to 1966, during which a series of Supreme Court decisions established important rights for suspects and defendants regarding search and seizure and legal representation.
ecstacy  seemethylenedioxy methamphetamine.
effective fire temperatures  In structural fires, identifiable temperatures which reflect physical effects that can be defined by specific temperature ranges.
e-mail intercept  An intelligence technique in which e-mail is intercepted and analyzed to obtain information about terrorists, pornographers, hackers, and other criminals and their crimes; requires a showing of reasonable cause.
emotional approach  An interrogation technique in which the interrogator appeals to the suspect's sense of honor, morals, family pride, religion, etc.; works better with women and first-time offenders.
encryption  A means of data security in which the data are scrambled into nonsense for storage or transmission and then unscrambled, as needed, by legitimate users.
Enderby cases  Two rape-murder cases in England that involved the first use of DNA typing, in 1987, in a criminal case. DNA samples recovered from both victims led to the release of an innocent man and the subsequent arrest and conviction of the killer.
evidence  Anything that tends logically to prove or disprove a fact at issue in a judicial case or controversy.
evidence recovery log  A chronological record of each item of evidence, listing who collected it, where and when it was collected, who witnessed the collection, and whether it was documented by photos or diagrams.
evidential intelligence  Factual, precise information that can be presented in court.
evidentiary privileges  Certain matters of communication that defendants and other witnesses have a right to have barred from disclosure in court; classified as professional, political, social, and judicial.
exceptionally cleared  The classification assigned to an offense when a factor external to the investigation results in no charge being filed against a suspect.
exchangeable traces  Particulates, lubricants, and spermicide added to condoms by manufacturers; can help identify particular brands and indicate condom use.
excusable homicide  The killing of a person in which the slayer is to some degree at fault but the degree of fault is not enough to constitute a criminal homicide.
expert witness  A person who is called to testify in court because of his or her special skills or knowledge; permitted to interpret facts and give opinions about their significance to facilitate jurors' understanding of complex or technical matters.
exploits  Software programs written to take advantage of security holes or"back doors" and thereby provide the user with illegal access to computer files.
explosion  A physical reaction characterized by the presence of high-pressure gas, confinement of the pressure, rapid release of the pressure, and change or damage to the confining structure, container, or vessel as a result of the pressure release.
eyewitness identification  The identification of someone or something involved in a crime by a witness who perceives the person or thing through one or more senses.
facial identification systems  Manual kits or computer programs for preparing a likeness of a suspect; creates a composite from individual facial features.
facial recognition software  Any of various computer programs that compare video images of persons' faces (taken by cameras at arenas, airports, hotels, etc.) with mug shots of known offenders for the purpose of identifying and apprehending wanted persons.
false-theft scheme  An insurance fraud in which the owner of a vehicle reports the vehicle stolen but has actually hidden or disposed of it.
false-vehicle scheme  An insurance fraud in which a person insures a vehicle that does not exist, has already been salvaged, or belongs to someone else and later reports the vehicle stolen.
farm equipment  Motorized equipment used on farms and on lawns; usually does not require a title or registration. Also calledoff-road equipment.
FBI  seeFederal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI Crime Laboratory  A comprehensive forensic laboratory that conducts a broad range of scientific analyses of evidence and provides experts to testify in relation to analysis results; provides its services without charge to state and local law enforcement agencies.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  Created in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation and given its current name by Congress in 1935, the primary agency responsible for investigating crimes within the federal jurisdiction; influences law enforcement countrywide through its crime laboratory, training courses, and databanks, all available to state and local police.
federal safety certification label  The sticker certifying a vehicle's safety and including its VIN; usually on the driver's door or doorpost.
felonious assault  An assault committed for the purpose of inflicting severe bodily harm or death; usually involves use of a deadly weapon.
felonious homicides  Killings that are treated and punished as crimes; include murder and manslaughter.
felony  A serious violation of the criminal code; punishable by imprisonment for one or more years or by death.
fences or receivers  Persons who knowingly purchase stolen property at a fraction of its cost and then resell it at a considerable profit, but still at a good price, to a consumer.
field interview/information report  A form on which a patrolling officer notes details about a person or vehicle that seems suspicious but is not connected with any particular offense.
field notes  The shorthand written record made by a police officer from the time he or she arrives at a crime scene until the assignment is completed.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen)  Part of the Department of the Treasury, an agency responsible for investigating major financial crimes (e.g., money laundering); provides assistance to law enforcement agencies.
FinCen  seeFinancial Crimes Enforcement Network.
fingerprint classification  A system used to categorize fingerprints on the basis of their ridge characteristics.
fingerprint patterns  Patterns formed by the ridge detail of fingerprints; primarily loops, whorls, and arches.
fingerprints  Replicas of the friction ridges (on palms, fingers, toes, and soles of the feet) that touched the surfaces on which the prints are found.
firearm identification  The process of identifying a gun, often on the basis of a bullet but also through identification of types of ammunition, knowledge of the design and functioning of firearms, restoration of obliterated serial numbers, and estimation of the distance between a gun and a victim.
firewall  A device or software program that acts as a checkpoint between a network or stand-alone computer and the Internet; blocks any incoming or outgoing data that do not fit specified criteria.
flame ionization detector  A device that produces ionized molecules in proportion to the amount of combustible organic gases in a sample; used to detect residues of accelerants at fire scenes.
fluorescent powders  Powders, dusted on areas being examined, that chemically enhance latent prints viewed under UV, laser, or alternative light illumination.
follow-up investigation  The process of gathering information after the generation of the incident report and until the case is ready for prosecution; undertaken for cases receiving a supervisory disposition for further investigation.
footwear impressions  Impressions that result when footwear, feet, or tires tread on a moldable surface such as earth, clay, or snow.
footwear prints  Prints that result when footwear, feet, or tires contaminated with foreign matter such as mud, grease, or blood are placed on a smooth, firm surface (e.g., a floor, a chair, paper). Also calledresidue prints.
forensic accountants  Accountants who specialize in analyzing financial evidence and testifying as expert witnesses in cases of white-collar crime.
forensic dentistry  A medical specialty that relates dental evidence to investigation.
forensic pathology  The study, by physicians, of how and why people die; can also include examination of the living to determine physical or sexual abuse.
forensic photograph analysis  The comparison of photos from a security surveillance camera with file pictures of suspects to identify a perpetrator or acquire information about him or her.
forensic science  The examination, evaluation, and explanation of physical evidence in terms of law.
forgery  Any falsification or alteration of a document; can be traced, simulated, or freehand.
fracture match  The alignment of the edges of two items of evidence, thereby showing that both items were previously joined together.
free-and-voluntary rule  Based on a number of Supreme Court decisions since 1936, the principle that the exertion of any kind of coercion, physical or psychological, on a suspect to obtain a confession will render the confession inadmissible.
freezer crimes  Thefts of livestock (usually only one or a few animals) in which the motivation is food rather than profit.
Frye v. United States  A 1923 federal case which established that the results of a scientific technique would be admissible only if the technique had gained general acceptance in its field. (PerDaubert,this was superceded by the federal rules of evidence.)
gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)  A central nervous system depressant used to perpetrate sexual attacks; mixed into a victim's food or drink, can induce relaxation or unconsciousness, leaving the victim unaware of the attack; can also cause seizures or death.
gas liquid chromatograph  A portable device that separates a sample gas into measurable components; used to detect residues of accelerants at fire scenes.
geographic profiling or geoprofiling (GP)  An investigative strategy in which the locations of a series of crimes (or, sometimes, the scenes of a single crime) are used to determine the most probable area of the offender's residence.
GHB  seegamma hydroxybutyrate.
glutethimide (Doriden)  A depressant with long-lasting effects that make it very difficult to reverse overdoses, many of which result in death.
GP  seegeographic profiling.
gray-market vehicles  Vehicles purchased abroad and shipped to the United States; may require modifications to meet U.S. emission control and safety standards.
grooves  In a firearm's rifled bore, the low cuts that separate the higher lands.
hacker's dictionary  A software program that provides unauthorized access to computer systems by generating millions of alphanumeric combinations until it finds one that matches a password.
hacking or cracking  The process of gaining unauthorized entry into a computer system.
hallucinogenic drugs  Natural or synthetic drugs that distort perception of objective reality and, in large doses, cause hallucinations; lead to unpredictable effects based on user and environment.
hashish  A natural hallucinogen, derived from resinous secretions of the cannabis plant, that is more potent than marijuana; sold in soft lumps and usually smoked in a small hash pipe.
hashish oil  An extremely potent hallucinogen, derived by distilling THC from marijuana, that produces a high from a single drop; smoked in a cigarette or glass-bowled pipe or ingested in food or wine.
hazardous wastes  Solid, liquid, sludge, and manufacturing by-product wastes that are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and/or toxic; may pose serious threat to human health and the environment if improperly managed.
hearsay  Testimony by a witness that repeats something which he or she heard someone say out of court and which the witness has no personal factual knowledge of; inadmissible in court.
heavy equipment  Heavy construction equipment; usually does not require a title or registration. Also calledoff-road equipment.
Hemident  A reagent used in preliminary or presumptive field tests for the presence of blood.
Henry system  Devised by Edward Henry, the fingerprint classification system that facilitated the use of fingerprints in criminal identification; adopted in England in 1900 and today used in almost every country
hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV)  Viruses present in blood (and, for HBV, other bodily fluids) that attack the liver and can lead to death; a health hazard at scenes where bodily fluids are exposed.
heroin (diacetylmorphine)  An opiate that is much stronger than morphine and often causes death due to its purity or diluents; an odorless, crystalline white powder, which is usually sold diluted and is injected.
HIN  seehull identification number.
HIR  seehome-invasion robbery.
home-invasion robbery (HIR)  A crime in which one or more offenders deliberately enter a home to commit robbery; characterized by gangs who target individuals rather than residences and use violence to terrify and control their victims.
homicide  The killing of a human being by another human being; can be felonious or nonfelonious.
hot spot  A location where various crimes are committed on a regular basis, usually by different offenders. Also called *I**hot dot */I**.
hull identification number (HIN)  The 12-character identification number assigned to every boat in the United States.
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)  The blood-borne pathogen, also present in other bodily fluids, that can progress into AIDS, which reduces the body's defenses against diseases and leaves victims vulnerable to infections from which they die; a health hazard at scenes where bodily fluids are exposed.
hypercompliance  In hypnosis, the situation in which the desire to please the hypnotist or others leads the subject to provide information that does not reflect his or her actual memories.
hypersuggestibility  In hypnosis, the subject's heightened degree of suggestibility, which creates the possibility of the hypnotist's influencing the subject, intentionally or inadvertently, to give false information.
hypnosis  A state of heightened awareness in which subconscious memories may surface that can be of help to an investigation.
IAFIS  seeIntegrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
identity theft  The assumption of another person's identity for use in fraudulent transactions that result in a loss to the victim; accomplished by acquiring personal information about the victim (e.g., date of birth, address, credit card numbers).
immersion burns  Burns on the skin that occur when part or all of the body falls into or is placed into a tub or other container of hot liquid.
impeachment  In a trial, the process of discrediting or contradicting the testimony of a witness to show that he or she is unworthy of belief.
incendiary mechanism  A fire-starting mechanism that consists of an ignition device, possibly a timing device, one or more plants to accelerate the flame, and, often, trailers to spread the fire; can be mechanical or chemical.
incest  Broadly, any sexual abuse of a minor by an adult who is perceived by the minor to be a family member; also, under some statutes, sexual activity between closely related adults.
incident report  The first written investigative record of a crime, usually compiled by the uniformed officer assigned to the call, who conducts the preliminary investigation.
incised wounds  Wounds inflicted with a sharp-edged instrument such as a knife or razor; typically narrow at the ends and gaping at the center, with considerable bleeding. Also calledcutting wounds.
in-custody interrogation  The legal condition under which theMirandawarnings are required, although case decisions vary on the definitions of"custody" and"interrogation."
indicative intelligence  Information pertaining to emerging and new criminal developments; may include fragmentary or unsubstantiated information, as well as hard facts.
individual characteristics  Characteristics of physical evidence that can be identified as coming from a particular person or source.
inductive reasoning  The thought process that moves from specific details to a general view; e.g., the facts of a case are used to arrive at a logical explanation of the crime.
infant abduction  The taking of a child less than 1 year old by a nonfamily member; classified by the FBI as kidnapping, although the motive is usually to possess the child rather than to use the child as a means to something else (e.g., money, sex, revenge).
inflated-theft-loss scheme  An insurance fraud in which the owner of a stolen vehicle reports a greater financial loss, based on alleged current value, damage, or stolen parts, than is the case.
informant  A person who regularly provides information to a particular investigator in return for money, a reduced charge or lenient sentence, or some personal motive such as rivalry or self-aggrandizement.
infrared spectrophotometer  A device that identifies samples by recording the amount of infrared light that passes through them; used to detect residues of flammable-liquid accelerants at fire scenes.
Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS)  Maintained by the FBI, a national online fingerprint and criminal-history database with identification and response capabilities; may be accessed by local law enforcement agencies.
intelligence/analytical cycle  The process of gathering, organizing, and analyzing data requested by a police unit and preparing a report of the findings for that unit.
international terrorism  The use or threatened use of violence against persons or property by a group (or an individual) whose operations transcend national boundaries and are done to further political or social objectives.
interrogation  A conversation between an investigator and a suspect that is designed to match acquired information to the suspect and secure a confession.
interviewing  The process of obtaining information from people who have knowledge that might be helpful in a criminal investigation.
investigation  The process of establishing that a crime was committed, identifying and apprehending the suspect, recovering stolen property if any, and assisting in the prosecution of the person charged with the crime.
investigative psychology  A criminal-profiling approach based on interpersonal coherence, significance of time and place, criminal characteristics, and the offender's criminal career and forensic awareness.
investigator  An official who gathers, documents, and evaluates evidence and information in the investigation of a crime.
iodine  A dye used in developing latent prints on porous (particularly paper) and nonporous surfaces; one of the oldest and most proven means of locating prints.
Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act  A 1994 federal act requiring that states create and maintain registries of sex offenders. See alsoMegan's law.
jail booking report  A document containing complete personal information about a suspect, including a photograph, fingerprints, and a list of the suspect's personal property at the time of booking.
joyriding  The theft and use of a motor vehicle solely to drive it, after which it is abandoned; usually committed by teenagers.
judicial notice  An evidentiary shortcut whereby the necessity of formally proving the truth of a particular matter is eliminated when that truth is not in dispute.
justifiable homicide  The necessary killing of a person in the performance of a legal duty or the exercise of a legal right when the slayer is not at fault.
ketamine  A synthetic hallucinogen that produces hallucinations, excitement, and delirium of less intensity and shorter duration than the effects of PCP and LSD; sold as liquids, tablets, or white powder and injected, smoked, or ingested in a drink.
kinesics  The relationship between body language (limb movements, facial expressions, etc.) and the communication of feelings and attitudes.
known samples  (1) Standard or reference samples from known or verifiable sources; (2) control or blank samples from known sources believed to be uncontaminated by the crime; (3) elimination samples from sources who had lawful access to the crime scene.
lacerations  Wounds inflicted by blunt objects such as clubs, pipes, and pistols; typically open and irregularly shaped, bruised around the edges, and bleeding freely.
lands  The high sides in a firearm's rifled bore.
larceny  The crime of taking and carrying away personal property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use.
laser illumination  A method of developing latent prints in which lasers are used to illuminate a crime scene, causing otherwise-undetectable fingerprints to fluoresce when viewed through a special lens.
latent/invisible prints  Fingerprints created when friction ridges deposit body perspiration and oil on surfaces they touch; typically invisible to the naked eye.
latent fingerprints  (1) Any prints (plastic, contaminated/visible, and latent/invisible) found at the scene of the crime or on items of investigative interest; (2) latent/invisible prints.
Law Enforcement Online (LEO)  Maintained by the FBI, an intranet system through which enforcement officers can communicate, obtain critical information, and participate in educational programs and focused dialogs.
layer-checking technique  In arson investigation, the process of examining the strata of debris, working through to the floor; may indicate the sequence of burning.
left-wing terrorists  Terrorists who, usually, profess a revolutionary socialist doctrine and view themselves as protecting the people against capitalism and imperialism.
LEO  seeLaw Enforcement Online.
lifted-prints log  A written record of lifted- prints evidence that contains the same type of information as that listed in the evidence recovery log.
lifters  Various materials and devices used to"lift" evidence, especially fingerprints and footwear prints, from a surface and preserve it; include flap, electrostatic, rubber-gelatin, and clear-tape lifters.
ligature strangulation  Pressure on the neck applied by a constricting band that is tightened by a force other than body weight; causes death by occluding the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain.
lineup  A procedure in which a number of similar-looking persons, including the suspect, are shown simultaneously or sequentially to a witness who may be able to identify one of them as the perpetrator; can also be conducted with photos.
livestock  Farm and ranch animals raised for profit.
livor mortis  Soon after death, a purplish color that appears under the skin on the portions of the body that are closest to the ground; caused by settling of the blood.
logical approach  An interrogation technique in which the interrogator bases his or her appeals to the suspect on common sense and sound reasoning; works better on men with criminal records, educated persons, and mature adults.
logic bomb  A computer program that uses illegitimate instructions or misuses legitimate instructions to damage data structures; operates at a specific time, periodically, or according to other instructions.
loiding (of a lock)  The act of slipping or shimming, by means of a celluloid strip or credit card, a spring-bolt lock that does not have an antishim device.
lookouts  Accomplices of a robber who watch for police and may provide armed backup for the offender.
LSD  seelysergic acid diethylamide.
lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)  A semisynthetic hallucinogen that produces mental changes lasting up to 12 hours; taken as drops on a sugar lump or blotted paper, was popular in the 1960s and now making a comeback among juveniles.
macroscopic scene  The"large view" of a crime scene, including things such as locations, the victim's body, cars, and buildings.
mail fraud  Any scheme that involves the use of mail to defraud individuals (e.g., chain letters, foreign-lottery scams).
manslaughter  A criminal homicide that is committed under circumstances not severe enough to constitute murder but that cannot be classified as justifiable or excusable.
manual strangulation  Pressure on the neck applied by a hand, forearm, or other limb that compresses the neck's internal structures; causes death by occluding the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain.
marijuana  A natural hallucinogen, derived from certain hemp plants, that produces a dreamy, carefree state and an alteration of sensory perceptions; in the form of crushed dried leaves and flowers, is smoked or eaten in food.
marine theft  The theft of boats, boat trailers, outboard motors, jet skis, and all equipment associated with boating or water activities.
MDMA  seemethylenedioxy methamphetamine.
MDT  seemobile data terminal.
mechanical explosions  Explosions in which the high-pressure gas is produced by purely physical reactions; commonly caused by steam (e.g., the bursting of a steam boiler).
media statement  Information released to the news media; must not prejudice the suspect's right to a fair and impartial trial.
Megan's law  An amendment to the Jacob Wetterling act, legislation requiring that states disclose information about registered sex offenders to the public.
meperidine (pethidine)  A synthetic narcotic that in illicit use is usually injected but can be taken orally; the first synthetic opiate.
meprobamate  A mild tranquilizer and muscle relaxant that is less toxic than barbiturates.
mescaline  A natural hallucinogen, derived from the peyote cactus, that produces hallucinations for up to 12 hours; ground into a powder and taken orally.
methadone  A synthetic narcotic used to maintain a heroin addict at a stable level of opiate use during and after withdrawal from heroin; administered orally, thus reducing dangers from injection.
methaqualone  A strong depressant that can cause poisoning and convulsive comas; removed from the legal U.S. market and usually counterfeit on the street.
methcathinone  A psychomotor stimulant chemically similar to methamphetamine but more potent, often producing extreme paranoia; usually a white or off-white powder that is sold pure and snorted. Also calledcatandgoob.
meth labs  Illegal laboratories that manufacture methamphetamine; range from industrial-size organizations to one-person tweeker labs, with prevalence skyrocketing due to availability of"recipes" and chemicals via the Internet.
methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstacy  A hallucinogen that produces reduced inhibitions, euphoria, light hallucinations and can result in paranoia and psychosis; sold as a white powder, with usage increasing alarmingly.
Metropolitan Police Act (1829)  An act of Parliament that created the London Metropolitan Police, the first centralized, professional police force in Britain, which soon became the international model of professional policing.
microscopic scene  A crime scene viewed in terms of specific objects and pieces of evidence associated with the crime, such as knives, guns, hairs, fibers, and biological fluids.
minutiae  The characteristics of friction ridges on palms, fingers, toes, and soles of the feet.
Miranda v. Arizona  The 1966 case in which the Supreme Court established that law officers must advise a person of his or her constitutional rights before beginning an in-custody interrogation.
mirror  To match a person's words, actions, and mannerisms in order to eliminate communication barriers, foster trust, and create the flow of desired information.
misadventure  A death that occurs during the commission of a lawful or unlawful act when the slayer has no intent to hurt and there is no criminal negligence.
misdemeanor  A violation of the criminal code that is less serious than a felony; punishable by imprisonment for no more than one year and/or a fine of no more than $500.
mission-specific cells  In terrorist organizations, small units put together for the purpose of executing a specific assignment.
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)  DNA found in the mitochondria of a cell; inherited only from the mother and thus serves as an identity marker for maternal relatives.
mobile data terminal (MDT)  An electronic system in a police car that provides features such as secure communication with 911 and among police units, direct access to national and local databases, and computer functions (e.g., e-mail, Internet access, computing, word-processing).
money laundering  The process of making illegally obtained money seem legitimate by filtering it through a business and falsifying the business's accounts and invoices.
morgue  A crime lab that determines cause of death; when the cause is questionable or is other than a known disease, conducts analyses that produce investigative information.
morphine  An opiate in tablet, capsule, and liquid form (but usually injected) that produces euphoria, drowsiness, and relaxation; provides the medical standards by which other narcotics are evaluated.
Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act (1984)  Federal legislation requiring that manufacturers place permanent identification numbers on major parts of certain car lines.
MSBP  seeMunchausen syndrome by proxy.
mugging  seestrong-armed robbery.
Mulberry Street Morning Parade  Instituted by Chief Detective Thomas Byrnes in New York City in the late 1800s, an innovative approach to criminal identification in which all new arrestees were marched each morning before detectives so that the detectives could make notes and later recognize the criminals.
Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP)  A psychological disorder in which a parent or caretaker attempts to elicit medical attention for himself or herself by injuring or inducing illness in a child.
murder  The killing of any human being by another with malice aforethought.
narcotics, synthetic  Narcotics that are chemically related to the opiates but are produced entirely within laboratories; primarily used as painkillers.
narrative style  In incident reports, the officer's written chronological account of events at the crime scene from the time he or she arrived until the assignment is completed.
National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC)  Operated by the FBI, an organization that provides investigative and operational assistance to agencies dealing with violent crimes; consists of the BEA, CASMIRC, and VICAP.
National Crime Information Center (NCIC)  The FBI's online system of extensive databases on criminals and crime; available to federal, state, and local agencies.
National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)  An FBI program for crime reporting that features a detailed report format documenting far more data than does a basic incident report; involves voluntary participation, but made mandatory by some states.
National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)  A joint program of the ATF and the FBI, a computerized database of crime gun information that stores images of ballistic evidence (projectiles and casings), against which new images are compared for identification.
National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)  Under development, a computerized database that will include complete histories of vehicles in all states and will prevent title laundering between states.
NCAVC  seeNational Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.
NCIC  seeNational Crime Information Center.
negative match  In DNA analysis, a lack of a match between a suspect's DNA and that found on evidence at the crime scene.
neighborhood canvass  A systematic approach to interviewing residents, merchants, and others who are in the immediate vicinity of a crime and may have useful information.
neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)  An approach used in interviewing and interrogating that emphasizes establishing rapport, through mirroring, as a means of improving communication and thus obtaining useful information.
NIBRS  seeNational Incident-Based Reporting System.
ninhydrin  A chemical used in developing latent prints on paper and cardboard; produces purplish prints, making it unsuitable for use with money.
NLP  seeneuro-linguistic programming.
NMVTIS  seeNational Motor Vehicle Title Information System.
nonfelonious homicides  Killings that are not treated as crimes; include justifiable and excusable homicides.
nuclear DNA  DNA found in the nucleus of a cell; inherited from both the mother and the father.
oath  A formal attestation in which a witness swears to tell the truth on the basis of his or her belief in a supreme being and acknowledges a realization of the penalties for perjury); a means of establishing a witness's competence.
odometer fraud  The crime of rolling back a vehicle's odometer so that it shows a lower mileage than is the case and obtaining or altering paperwork to support the fraud. Also calledodometer tampering, rollback,andclocking.
off-road equipment  Heavy construction equipment and farm equipment.
opiates  Drugs derived from the opium poppy (e.g., opium, morphine, heroin, codeine).
opium  An opiate in the form of blackish brown, pungent-smelling beads of dried fluid, which are smoked; produces drowsiness and relaxation and is the source of morphine, heroin, and codeine.
organized/disorganized-offender model  A criminal-profiling approach in which offenders are categorized as organized or disorganized on the basis of personal and crime scene characteristics. Mixed organized-disorganized crimes reflect aspects of both patterns.
OxyContin  A powerful narcotic consisting of oxycodone, a morphinelike drug, in a time-release formulation that, when crushed and snorted or injected, produces an intense heroinlike high; the latest drug of choice among addicts and teenage abusers.
packet sniffers  Computer programs designed to monitor network communications and selectively record sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card numbers); used by hackers and, with court order, by the FBI.
palo verde seedpod case  A 1992 murder case in Phoenix, Arizona, in which DNA analysis of plant evidence was used, for the first time in criminal proceedings, to help secure a conviction.
paper vehicle  A vehicle that does not exist but is insured on the basis of a counterfeit title or manufacturer's certificate of origin so that it can later be reported stolen.
paralanguage  Characteristics of speech, such as volume, pitch, tone, and tempo, that communicate, often unconsciously, meanings and attitudes of the speaker that may not be evident in the words themselves.
parts marking  The process, mandated by law, of attaching VIN labels to the major parts of vehicles in high-theft lines.
passive system (theft deterrent)  A type of vehicle antitheft device which activates automatically but may require that the driver do something to deactivate the system.
pattern (crime)  A crime characteristic in which the same crime is committed repeatedly over a short period of time, sometimes by the same offender.
pawnshop databases  Computer databases maintained by state and individual agencies to monitor secondhand-merchandise transactions; include data on the items and the persons pawning (or selling) and buying them.
PCP  seephencyclidine.
PDA  seepersonal digital assistant.
Pennsylvania State Police  Created in 1905, the prototype for modern state police organizations in the United States.
personal digital assistant (PDA)  A handheld device that prints out traffic citations, sends digital copies to the station, and provides communication and other capabilities.
personal protection equipment (PPE)  Equipment and clothing designed to protect individuals at high-risk crime scenes from injury and infection.
phencyclidine (PCP)  A hallucinogen in powder (angel dust),tablet, liquid, leafy mixture, and rock-crystal forms that produces unpleasant effects and can cause extreme violence and strength; as street drug, often adulterated and misrepresented, yet usage increasing notably.
phenmetrazine  A stimulant chemically related to the amphetamines; when abused, produces amphetaminelike effects.
photographic log  A written record listing the photographs taken at a crime scene and detailing who took them, where and when they were taken, and under what conditions.
phreakers  People who misuse telephone systems through a variety of fraudulent methods that make it seem as if long-distance service and airtime are being legitimately purchased.
physical stereotyping  Based on typical appearances, stereotyping in which an officer expects that a certain type of person will fit a particular description; can result in the escape of a suspect or harm to the officer.
picking (of a lock)  The process of manipulating a lock into an unlocked position by using picks.
pilferers  Persons who steal merchandise for the purpose of their own private use.
PILR  see Property Insurance Loss Register.
PIN  see product information number.
Pinkertons  Private detectives in the National Detective Agency, formed in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton and Edward Rucker; the only consistently competent detectives in the United States for over 50 years.
piracy  A term used in reference to intellectual-property violations; in electronic media, the act of stealing or copying data or software and then selling or distributing unauthorized copies.
plaintiff  In a civil case, the party that was allegedly wronged and that files the lawsuit.
planned operation  A robbery that involves careful planning and no planned use of force; has less likelihood of apprehension and generates a large score.
plant  In arson, the material placed around the ignition device to feed the flame.
plastic prints  Prints created when fingers touch moldable material, such as newly painted surfaces, the gum on stamps, putty, and the sticky side of adhesive tape.
poaching  The illegal taking or possessing of game, fish, and other wildlife.
police spies  In early-nineteenth-century England, a derogatory term used in reference to plainclothes detectives; coined by persons who feared that the use of such officers would reduce civil liberties.
polygraph  A mechanical device that records physiological changes that occur in a person while he or she is being questioned, with deviations from normal readings indicating deception; can be used only with subject's voluntary consent. Also called lie detector.
Ponzi sales schemes  see pyramind sales schemes.
positive match  In DNA analysis, an identical match of a suspect's DNA with that found on evidence at the crime scene.
postmortem interval  The period between the time of death and the time that the body is found.
PPE  see personal protection equipment.
preferential child molester  A person who molests children because he or she has a definite sexual preference for children.
preliminary investigation  The process undertaken by the first officer (usually a patrol officer) to arrive at the scene of a crime; includes assessment, emergency care, scene control, BOLO, scene determination, incident report, and, sometimes, evidence procedures.
preponderance of evidence  The burden of proof in civil cases; requires only that the evidence presented by one side be seen by the jury as more believable than the evidence presented by the opposing side.
primary scene  The location at which the initial offense was committed.
probable cause  A condition in which an officer has suspicion about an individual and knowledge of facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed.
product information number (PIN)  The 17-character identification number assigned to every new-model heavy-equipment vehicle manufactured worldwide since 2000.
professional burglars  Burglars who thoroughly plan their crimes; go for big scores, know in advance what they intend to steal, and usually use a ruse if detected to get away without violence.
professional theft (of vehicle)  The theft of a vehicle to fill a specific order or to resell the parts.
proof  The combination of all the evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime.
Property Insurance Loss Register (PILR)  An insurance industry database that lists the insureds in burglary and theft claims and everyone with an insurable interest in fire claims; detects repeated patterns of claim activity.
protective order  A court order prohibiting the defendant from communicating with the victim and from entering the victim's residence, workplace, school, or property and any place the victim frequents.
proximity  The amount of space between the participants, who should be close enough to touch-neither too close, which causes discomfort, nor too far apart, which causes a loss of connectivity.
psilocybin and psilocyn  Natural hallucinogens, derived from certain mushrooms, that produce hallucinations for about 6 hours; taken orally.
psilocyn  see psilocybin.
psychological autopsy  An analysis of a decedent's thoughts, feelings, and behavior, conducted through interviews with persons who knew him or her, to determine whether a death was an accident or suicide.
puncture wounds  Wounds inflicted with piercing instruments such as leather punches, screwdrivers, and ice picks; typically small, with little or no bleeding.
pyramid, or Ponzi, sales schemes  Fraudulent marketing programs in which people buy the right to sell others the right to sell a specified product; based on misrepresentation of investors' ability to recoup their initial investments. Also called chain-referral schemes.
pyromaniacs  Arsonists who lack conscious motivation for their fire setting.
QUAD  see rapid response deployment.
quick action deployment  see rapid response deployment.
quick strip (of vehicle)  The process of removing from a stolen vehicle valuable parts (e.g., seats, stereos, tires) that have no identifying numbers and thus can be easily sold.
Racketeering Records Analysis Unit (RRAU)  Part of the FBI laboratory, the unit that examines documents from suspected money-laundering businesses to establish a link between illegal funds and their original source.
radial fractures  Lines that move away from the point of impact in a glass window.
rape-murder  Murder that results from or is an integral part of the rape of the victim; either unplanned response (of increasing aggression or panic over sense of failure) or planned act (of revenge or sadism).
rape or sexual battery  The crime of having sexual relations with a person against her or his will; with a person who is unconscious or under the influence of alcohol; or with someone who is insane, feeble-minded, or under the age of consent.
rapid response deployment or quick action deployment (QUAD)  An intervention approach in which patrol officers are trained in the principles and tactics of rapid deployment for critical incidents so that responding officers can take action immediately rather than wait for a SWAT team.
rapport  In interviews and interrogations, the harmonious relationship with the witness or suspect that must be established by the investigator to foster trust and meaningful communication.
rebuttal  In a trial, the optional process in which the prosecution, after the defense has closed its case, presents new evidence or calls or recalls a witness; occurs at the discretion of the prosecution.
receivers  see fences.
reconstruction (of crime)  Part of the incident report, a narration of the probable manner in which the crime was committed, based on interviews, evidence, and examination of the scene.
re-cross-examination  In a trial, the requestioning of a witness initially called by the opposing party.
redirect examination  In a trial, the requestioning of a witness by the party that called the witness.
reflected ultraviolet imaging system (RUVIS)  Any lighting and imaging system in which ultraviolet light applied to undetected fingerprints is"bounced" back, highly intensifying the prints.
refurbishment fraud  A practice in which working components from damaged or returned items (e.g., a computer) are used in the construction of new items or are resold as new items.
rhodamine  6G An excellent fluorescing chemical for enhancing developed latent prints and revealing others; used on metal, glass, plastic, wood, and other nonabsorbent surfaces.
rifling  The lands and grooves in the rifled bore of a firearm.
right-wing terrorists  Terrorists who, usually, espouse racial supremacy and antigovernment, antiregulatory beliefs; often hold antiabortion and survivalist views and call for paramilitary training in"militias."
rigor mortis  The increasing rigidity of the body's muscles and joints that begins soon after death; reaches completion in 10 to 15 hours and starts to subside 24 to 36 hours later. Also called postmortem rigidity or rigor.
robbery  The crime of taking and carrying away personal property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use, by means of force, fear, or threat of force.
rock cocaine or crack  The pellet form of cocaine; more concentrated, somewhat purer, and much more potent (though shorter acting) than the powdered form and relatively inexpensive.
rogues gallery  Instituted by the New York City Police Department in 1857, a display in which photographs of known offenders were arranged by criminal specialty and height for detectives to study so that they might recognize criminals on the street.
Rohypnol  A benzodiazapine used to perpetrate sexual attacks; mixed into a victim's food or drink, can induce sedation, memory impairment, or unconsciousness, leaving the victim unaware of the attack. Also called flunitrazepam.
root kits  Exploit packages that enable computer-system intruders to maintain the highest level of access by installing back doors and secret accounts and altering logs and basic system services.
rough sketch  A drawing made at the crime scene; not drawn to scale, but indicates accurate dimensions and distances.
rules of evidence  Federal evidentiary rules which state that scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge is admissible if it will help the trier of fact understand the evidence or determine a fact at issue.
RUVIS  see reflected ultraviolet imaging system.
safes  Locked receptacles for protecting valuables; classified as fire-resistant safes (protection from fire but minimum security) or money chests (security and reasonably good protection from fire).
salami slice  A computerized-theft technique in which dollar amounts are automatically rounded down and the difference is diverted to the perpetrator's special account.
salvage switch  A method of disguising a stolen vehicle whereby the title and VIN plate of a salvage vehicle are transferred to an identical stolen vehicle, which can then be sold in the legitimate market.
salvage title  The title issued to an insurance company after it has paid a total-loss claim; remains with the vehicle until it is destroyed.
salvage vehicle  A vehicle that has been damaged to such an extent that the cost of repairing it is more than its fair market value.
SBS  see shaken-baby syndrome.
scald burns  Burns on the skin caused by contact with hot liquids, either through spills/splashes or immersion; most common type of burn injury to children.
Scotland Yard  The original headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police, so-called because the building formerly housed Scottish royalty. Since 1890, the headquarters have been located elsewhere and known as New Scotland Yard.
search patterns, crime scene  Specific approaches for searching an entire crime scene for evidence; include the spiral, strip/line, grid, zone/quadrant, and pie/wheel patterns.
secondary scenes  The locations of all events subsequent to and connected with the event at the primary scene.
Secret Service, U.S.  The federal agency created by Congress in 1865 to combat counterfeiting; since 1903, responsible for guarding the president.
selective raid  A robbery that involves a minimal amount of casual planning and may be repeated several times in rapid succession; generates a low to moderate score.
semen  A grayish-white fluid produced in the male reproductive organs and ejaculated during orgasm; has a chlorinelike odor and dries to a starchlike consistency.
serial murder  Usually, a series of sexual attacks and resulting deaths of at least three or four persons committed by a killer who tends to follow a distinct physical or psychological pattern.
series (crime)  A crime characteristic in which crimes of the same type are committed over a short period of time, usually by the same offender.
sex offenses  Crimes related to sexual activity; classified as serious (e.g., rape), nuisance (e.g., voyeurism, exhibitionism), and mutual consent (e.g., adultery, prostitution).
sexual battery  see rape.
shaken-baby syndrome (SBS)  Severe intracranial trauma caused by the deliberate application of violent force (shaking) to a child.
Shoeprint Image Capture and Retrieval (SICAR) System  Computer software that classifies, archives, and identifies shoe prints.
shopping cart fraud  A computer crime in which the offender selects purchases at an online store, saves a copy of the purchase page and lowers the prices, and then submits the altered page and continues the checkout process.
SICAR  see Shoeprint Image Capture and Retrieval System.
SIDS  see sudden infant death syndrome.
situational child molester  A person who molests children because the opportunity exists to do so or because of his or her inadequacy, regressed personality, or desire for experimentation; does not have a sexual preference for children.
situational stereotyping  Based on past situations, stereotyping in which an officer expects that the situation at a particular location will always be the same; increases the officer's vulnerability.
sleeper cells  In terrorist organizations, small groups of recruits who are in place in target and other countries, living ordinary lives until activated for the cause; may also perform services for their immediate group (e.g., courier and reconnaissance tasks).
small particle reagent (SPR)  A chemical used in developing latent prints on objects that have been immersed in water, dew- or rain-soaked cars, surfaces covered with a residue such as ocean salt, and waxed materials, plastics, tile, and glass.
smooth bore  A bore without rifling; characteristic of most shotguns.
smooth sketch  A finished sketch of the crime scene, often drawn to scale using information contained in the rough sketch.
Snow Print Wax  An aerosol wax sprayed on footwear impressions in snow to tint the highlights so that the impressions can be photographed before being cast.
spalling  The breakdown in the surface tensile strength of concrete, masonry, or brick that occurs when exposure to high temperatures and rates of heating produces mechanical forces within the material.
speedballing  The simultaneous ingestion of heroin (a depressant) and cocaine (a stimulant); produces a euphoric rush followed by a drowsy or depressing effect and can cause convulsions and death.
sperm  Tadpolelike organisms that are contained in and travel through semen to fertilize the female egg.
spill/splash injuries  Burns on the skin that occur when a hot liquid falls from a height and splashes onto the body.
spontaneous heating  An increase in temperature that results from a natural process; caused by chemical action, fermentation, or oxidation.
spontaneous ignition  The catching afire of materials subjected to spontaneous heating; usually requires several hours to several months of oxidation or fermentation.
SPR  see small particle reagent.
spree (crime)  A crime characteristic in which crimes of the same type are committed at almost the same time by the same offender.
staged crime  A crime that the offender has contrived or altered to mislead investigative efforts.
stalking  Harassing or threatening behavior toward a specific victim that the perpetrator engages in repeatedly (e.g., following a person, making harassing phone calls).
STARsee  */I**Stolen Auto Recovery System.
statement analysis  An examination of a suspect's statement that focuses on how the person expressed things (the words and tenses used, e.g.); aids in understanding the suspect and detecting deception.
stimulants  Drugs that directly stimulate the central nervous system, producing excitation, alertness, wakefulness, and, sometimes, a temporary increase in blood pressure and respiration rate; in overdose, can cause hallucinations, convulsions, and death.
sting operation  In combating fences, a tactic in which undercover officers pose as fences in a"front" business to gain information; effective means of identifying criminals, penetrating criminal organizations, and recovering property.
Stolen Auto Recovery (STAR) System  A method of examining and photographing the contents of shipping containers, by means of gamma rays, while they are being moved onto a vessel; used to identify stolen vehicles being shipped abroad.
strategic intelligence  Information that is gathered and analyzed over time and usually confirms new or recently discovered patterns of criminal activity.
striae  Tiny furrows made by the action of a tool on an object's surface (e.g., marks left on a door's hinge from an attempt to force the door open with a pry bar).
strong-armed robbery  A robbery in which the perpetrator attacks and beats the victim but no weapons are involved.
subpoena  A written order commanding a particular person to appear in court at a specified date and time to testify as a witness.
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)  The sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, usually during sleep, the cause of which has yet to be determined.
superglue fuming  The process of heating cyanoacrylate in a high-humidity chamber so that the condensing of the resultant fumes develops any latent prints.
surrebuttal  In a trial, the process in which the defense, after a rebuttal by the prosecution, presents new evidence or calls or recalls a witness; permitted only if the prosecution conducts a rebuttal.
surreptitious entries  Burglaries in which no apparent force is used and thus a point of entry or exit cannot be established; may indicate loiding, picking, an unlocked door, a perpetrator with authorized access, or an occupant-staged crime.
surveillance  The secretive and continuous observation of persons, places, and things to obtain information concerning the activities and identity of individuals.
suspect  A person who is seen as possibly being guilty of the crime under investigation.
suspect description form  An information-gathering aid for recording details of a suspect's physical description and any vehicle used in the crime.
T/S/D crimes  Any illegal acts involving the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.
tack  The equipment used with horses (e.g., saddles, bridles, horse blankets).
tactical intelligence  Information that implies immediate action and can lead to arrests or the collection of additional information; may be derived from surveillance, informants, and intelligence analysis.
telephone record analysis  An intelligence technique in which telephone records are compiled and analyzed to obtain information on the relationships between the subscriber and the numbers called.
temporary theft (of vehicle)  The theft of a motor vehicle for use in the commission of another crime, after which it is abandoned.
testimony  A witness's oral presentation of facts about which he or she has knowledge.
threat  An expression of the intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something; can be spoken, written, or symbolic.
threat assessment  The process of determining the risk level posed by a threat and whether law enforcement should be called in and a criminal prosecution pursued; includes evaluation of the threatener.
three-strikes laws  State laws mandating that persons convicted repeatedly of serious crimes be sentenced to lengthy imprisonment or to imprisonment without parole.
time-event chart (TEC)  A crime analysis tool that displays the major events relating to a crime or an offender in chronological order.
title fraud  For motor vehicles, any act that involves altering, laundering, or counterfeiting a title or title reassignment form; often engaged in to support and cover up odometer rollbacks.
T-men  Agents of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (which enforced Prohibition), so-called because the bureau was part of the Department of the Treasury.
tool mark  Any impression, cut, gouge, or abrasion made when a tool comes into contact with another object.
totality of the circumstances  In determining the applicability of the Miranda warnings, an approach that takes all the circumstances into consideration, rather than imposing a strict interpretation based on formal procedures.
toxicologist  A scientist who specializes in poisons, their effects, and their antidotes.
trace evidence  Evidence that is extremely small or microscopic in size or is present only in limited amounts.
tracing evidence  Evidence that helps identify and locate the suspect.
traditional powders  The basic powders, available in a number of colors, that have been used for decades for developing latent fingerprints.
trailer  In arson, any substance used to spread the fire from the plant to other parts of a room or building.
trend (crime)  A general tendency in the occurrence of crime across a large geographic area over an extended period of time.
trespassory  Illegal.
Trojan horse  Any computer program that is altered or designed to perform an unwanted or malicious function while appearing to perform a routine or benign function.
Truth in Mileage Act (1986)  Federal legislation that requires more tightly controlled documentation and recording of odometer readings each time ownership of a vehicle changes.
tuberculosis (TB)  A chronic bacterial infection, spread by air, that usually infects the lungs and can lead to death if untreated; a health hazard for anyone in contact with high-risk individuals such as drug addicts and homeless persons.
tumbling  The illegal altering of a cellular phone's microchip so that its access codes change after each call, making it difficult to trace the fraudulent user; done through a personal computer.
ultraviolet fluorescence  A technique in which a darkened fire scene is illuminated with an ultraviolet lamp so that certain substances glow; used to detect residues of accelerants and to locate the point of a fire's origin.
Uniform Crime Reports  Statistics on crime, including numbers of offenses, published annually by the FBI.
unknown or questioned samples  (1) Recovered crime scene samples whose sources are in question; (2) questioned evidence that may have been transferred to an offender during the commission of a crime and been taken away by him or her; (3) questioned evidence recovered at multiple crime scenes that associates a particular tool, weapon, or person with each scene.
vehicle canvass  A systematic approach to documenting every vehicle in the immediate vicinity of a crime as a means of locating the suspect's vehicle.
vehicle fraud  Any fraudulent activity involving motor vehicles; includes theft of vehicles, fraud perpetrated on purchasers of vehicles, and fraud committed by owners (or persons acting on their behalf) against insurance companies.
vehicle identification number (VIN)  The 17-character identification number assigned to every car manufactured or sold in the United States.
victim  A person or an organization that has suffered injury or loss as the result of a crime.
VIN  see vehicle identification number.
VIN plate  The plate that contains the VIN of a vehicle; usually attached to the upper left side of the dashboard so that it is visible through the window.
violation  In some states, a minor transgression of the law; punishable by a fine of no more than $250.
virus  A malicious program that is secretly inserted into normal software or a computer's active memory and runs when the host runs; causes effects ranging from annoying messages and deletion of data to interference with the computer's operation.
walk-through (of crime scene)  The investigator's initial overview of the crime scene, performed by walking through the area, to locate and view the body, identify evidence, and determine procedures for examination and documentation of the scene and body.
washing (of title)  The process a fabricating a vehicle's sale to a purchaser in a jurisdiction that does not issue salvage titles or carry title brands forward and thereby obtaining a clean title on the vehicle.
weight (of evidence)  The amount of believability a jury gives to the testimony of a witness or the presentation of an item of evidence.
West case  A 1903 incident in which two criminals with the same name, identical appearances, and nearly identical measurements were distinguished only by fingerprints, thus significantly advancing the use of fingerprints for identification in the United States.
white-collar crime  Any illegal act committed by concealment or guile, rather than physical means, to obtain money or property, avoid payment or loss of money or property, or obtain business or personal advantage.
witness  A person who has firsthand knowledge regarding a crime or who has expert information regarding some aspect of the crime.
worm  A malicious program that attacks a computer system directly, rather than infecting a host program; spreads rapidly through the Internet or e-mail.