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The recovery of fingerprints from fired cartridge cases : a comparison of current methods of development with an electrostatic deposition technique

Bhaloo, Zain M. and Yamashita, Brian and Wilkinson, Della and NicDaeid, N., RCMP, Integrated Forensic Identification Services, National Police Service, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R2, Canada (2011) The recovery of fingerprints from fired cartridge cases : a comparison of current methods of development with an electrostatic deposition technique. Identification Canada. ISSN 0826-8142

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Abstract

A comparison of three current methods of fingerprint development on untreated metals (cyanoacrylate fuming with Brilliant Yellow 40 fluorescent dyeing, gun blue solution, and palladium deposition) and an electrostatic deposition technique is described. The conventional methods were successful to varying degrees at developing fingerprints on cartridge cases, with greater success observed when used on unfired cartridge cases. A Mann-Whitney U Test revealed no significant difference in the quality of prints developed by each of the current methods. However, the gun blue solution and the palladium deposition technique both yielded more potentially identifiable prints than the cyanoacrylate with brilliant yellow 40 technique. This work establishes that under specific circumstances, fingerprint residues and ridge detail can survive on the surface of a fired cartridge case. The electrostatic deposition technique failed to give any results using the setup described.