Investigation Techniques of A Homicide


The O. J. Simpson double murder trial is perhaps the most publicized case this decade. However, before the police can arrest Simpson and prosecute him, they must investigate. The investigation techniques LAPD used are used all over the world.

CRIME SCENE
Patrol officers received a disturbance call at Nicole Simpson’s residence. They arrived on scene and discovered two bodies. They looked around to see if the suspect is anywhere around then they checked to determine the two subjects were dead. The officers immediately contacted the detectives on duty and supervisors and then secured the area to ensure no contamination to the scene. The officers’ duties included making sure that no unauthorized people may enter the scene. They also have to protect all possible evidences left by the suspect.
In the Simpson case, the officers did not do a very good job at securing the scene. They had allowed unauthorized officers the go through the scene, thus causing some contamination to the crime scene. This error had allowed the defense to attack the creditability of the police department.

CAUSE AND TIME OF DEATH
When the officers first arrived the scene, they saw two people lying in a pool of blood. The officers did not know if they were dead and if they were, how and when. After the medical examiner looked at the bodies and the wounds on the victims, he concluded that they were stabbed to death. The time of death was a bit harder to determine. Death caused some changes to the bodies. The investigator looked at the changes and was able to estimate a time of death.
Some of the changes the examiners look for are: lost of body temperature, rigor mortis, and postmortem lividity. The body temperature will start to decrease after death. The body will also start to stiffen after death, this is call rigor mortis. Rigor mortis usually starts to set in two to four hours after death. Time of death can be estimated by the stiffness of the body. Another way to estimate the time of death is postmortem lividity. When the body ceased to function, gravity pulls the blood down and settled at the lowest points of the body. Postmortem lividity may appear on the body between half hour to four hours after death.
The determination of the time of death is important in a homicide investigation. This information can give the police a viable suspect. It can also break the suspect alibi.

EVIDENCES
There were numerous evidences at the residence of Nicole Simpson. There were the bodies of both Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. There was a large amount of blood of both victims. There were also shoe prints and other evidences. These evidences could tell the investigators how the and where the victims were killed. The importance of crime scene security is once again emphasized here. On the bodies and the scene, there may be trace evidence from the suspect. These trace evidences could help the investigators learn about the suspect. There might be hair and clothe fibers transferred on to the victims by the suspect. These trace evidences can tell what sex, age, and race of the suspect. If the scene was not protected well against contamination, some of these trace evidences could be lost.
The main evidences of this case are the bodies, blood, and the questionable bloody glove. The bodies were searched thoroughly and removed. Then the scene was searched for more obvious evidences and processed. Then trace evidences were searched for and collected. Since most of the evidences had blood on them, the were treated with extreme caution. The evidences were also collected in a paper bag to prevent moisture build-up, hence ruining the evidences.

DOCUMENTING THE SCENE
The first officers on the scene had taken some notes regarding the murder case. The investigators made more detailed notes. They also made sketches of the scene. They marked down where Nicole Simpson’s body was and the patterns which the blood splattered. They did the same thing with Ron Goldman’s body. The investigators also wrote down where every thing was found and marked them on their sketches.
On their reports, there were the overall description of the scene, date time and location, victims’ description, and wounds of the victims.