How Fingerprints Solve Crime
Fingerprints are something that never crosses peoples’ minds daily. In fact, the average person only thinks of fingerprints when trying to wipe off fingerprints from mirrors or furniture.
However, for some people, its an important part of their jobs. 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 look the same; not even on identical twins. The unique whorls and lines which compose an individual’s fingerprints are formed at the fetal period and remain the same during one ‘s 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 are made up of a set of swirling lines. How these lines shape and design themselves is exactly what makes every fingerprint unique. Regardless of the unbelievable number of fingerprints, there are only seven distinct kinds of lines which make up fingerprints. These lines can start, stop or split at any part of the print. The shapes, lengths, angles, heights and widths create billions of different prints.
Using their unique attributes, it becomes simple to see precisely how fingerprints can help solve crimes. Leaving a fingerprint is similar to leaving a calling card at the crime scene. There are a few ways fingerprints become left behind by careless criminals. 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 seen as an impression in a soft material like putty. Finally, they are sometimes drawn up by substances on the finger such as paint or blood.
Uncovering fingerprints help solve a crime could be accomplished in a few ways. Adhering powders onto fresh fingerprints will get the powder to stick to the dirt and make the fingerprint visible. Another way is by utilizing a few drops of cyano-acrylate or superglue. 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 may also find fingerprints, but not all authorities have access to all equipment.
Fingerprints can be stored for further investigation in many of ways, such as: taking photographs of the print and storing them on a tape or rubber lifter.
Hopefully, the interconnected nature of our society will eventually lead to having all of the fingerprint databases connected for easy cross-reference.