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How Fingerprints Solve Crime

Fingerprints are something people take time to contemplate about on a daily basis. In reality, unless somebody is attempting to eliminate pesky fingerprints out of mirrors or furniture, it is unlikely an ordinary person thinks of fingerprints at all.

But for some, fingerprints are a vital part of their job. Law enforcement officers and forensic specialists spend hours thinking about fingerprints, trying to find, collect, document and compare those unique identifiers that could link a particular person to a particular offense. These individuals understand that a fundamental human characteristic that many people take for granted can be among the best tools in solving crimes.

Each Individual is born with their unique set of fingerprints. No two fingerprints are alike; not on identical twins or even on a individual’s own hand. The one of a kind whorls and lines which compose a person’s fingerprints are formed at the fetal stage and stay the same during their whole lifespan. This creates a unique mark which can single out an individual linked to a particular crime, especially when a person already has their fingerprints in the records of the police or other government institutions.

Fingerprints comprise a set of swirling lines. How these lines shape and design themselves is what makes each fingerprint unique. Regardless of the unbelievable number of fingerprints, there are only seven distinct kinds of lines which make up fingerprints. These lines can begin, stop or divide at any location within the print. The shapes, lengths, angles, heights, and widths create billions and billions of unique prints.

The use of these unique attributes makes it easy to see how fingerprints can help solve crimes. Leaving fingerprints at a crime scene is more like dropping a calling card there. There are a few unique ways fingerprints get left behind by careless crooks. The most common way is by oil or fat that’s transferred by the finger onto an object such as a doorframe or desk. Amino acids from the finger might also leave discernable marks. Fingerprints may also be detected as an impression on a soft substance like putty. Additionally, they can be created by something on the finger like paint or blood.

Revealing fingerprints to help resolve a crime can be achieved in a number of ways. Adhering powders onto new fingerprints will make the powder adhere to the grease making the fingerprint visible. Another technique is using a few drops of cyanoacrylate. Whenever these drops are heated up, they vaporized, and the smoke attaches to the fingerprint leaving a clear white print. Specialised crime scene laboratory equipment can also find fingerprints.

Fingerprints may be stored for further investigation in several of ways, including: taking photos f the printing, saving it on a rubber lifter, keeping the original ground the print was on and copying the print using digital technology.

Hopefully, the interconnected nature of our society will eventually lead to having all of the fingerprint databases connected for easy cross-reference.

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