The “Crime Scene” is a place of intense activity where every element, however large or small, must be preserved as potential evidence.
Police teams work closely alongside an extensive network of forensic professionals under the direction of a Crime Scene Manager, drawing on a wide variety of expertise (including photography, entomology, bloodstain analysis and pathology) to scan the scene and retrieve important clues. Every fragment of evidence is individually recorded, packaged and sealed before undergoing the rigours of scientific testing.
However, early visualisations of murder scenes consisted of documentary sketches showing the basic location and position of the body and possibily some suggestion of the surrounding area. The advent of photography enabled much greater levels of detail to be recorded, and in the late 19th century Alphonse Bertillon (French criminologist) was the first to photograph murder scenes using a camera positioned on a very high tripod.
Scale models have also played an important role allowing investigators to reimagine crime scenes in three dimensions and explore alternative lines of enquiry. During the 40s and 50s Frances Glessner Lee, a pioneer of Forensic science, created a series of eighteen miniature crime scene dioramas known as “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death“, which were created as a teaching tool for detectives. The dioramas now are still used as training material by the Baltimore Police Department.
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