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Practical Homicide Investigation
Checklist and Field Guide, 2nd Edition

Author: Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S., B.B.A., FBINA
Lieutenant Commander (Retired), New York City Police Department

A Volume in the Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations Series, Edited by Vernon J. Geberth

How to Investigate a Death Scene When You Can't Afford to Wait


Practical Homicide Investigation, Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques Fourth Edition has long been considered the "Bible of Homicide Investigation" This practical "how-to" guide has been designed to accompany this best selling work. Practical Homicide Investigation Checklist & Field Guide, Second Edition provides first responders, police personnel and medical examiners and coroners with essential checklists from that lead you step-by-step through procedures, tactics, and forensic techniques that are mandatory in sudden and violent death investigations. Using these checklists will ensure that a proper and complete investigation is undertaken at the death scene.

This new edition contains twice the material of the first edition, yet maintains its concise and practical format.

Supplemented by color anatomical diagrams and indexed by type of crime or incident for quick and easy reference, this second edition has been newly revised with the most current information and updates in technology.

The appendix contains collection procedures for specific types of evidence, ensuring that a proper and complete investigation can be undertaken in all cases.

Many times, officers in the field come across evidence that they don't know how to collect properly. This versatile field guide contains an important appendix that provides collection of evidence procedures for field personnel, indicating specific types of evidence and how to collect it.

With the help of this book, no matter when you come into an investigation you are on-line and ready to go. Indexed by type of crime for quick and easy reference, this guide is a must-have for anyone responding to a death investigation.

Forensic professionals who master the material in this guide can be assured that death scenes are handled professionally and expeditiously and no evidence is overlooked.

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  • Compact and light weight
  • Can be brought to the field
  • Laminated for use in inclement weather
  • Strong wire binding for durability
  • Indexed by type of crime for quick and easy reference
  • Appendix provides collection of evidence procedures for field personnel
  • Checklists have been improved for use in field work

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  • First responders
  • Police officers
  • Investigators
  • Police supervisors
  • Medical Investigators and Coroners

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  • Checklist Approach to Homicide Investigation
  • The Homicide Crime Scene
  • Introduction
  • The Patrol Officer's Duties
  • First Officer's Duties Upon Arrival
  • Patrol Officer Establishing the Crime Scene
  • The First Officer Initiates the Homicide Investigation
  • The Patrol Officer's Checklist
  • The Preliminary Investigation at the Scene
  • The Detectives
  • The Investigative Checklist
  • Documentation
  • Duties of the Detective Supervisor on Arrival at the Scene
  • Specific Investigative Duties at the Scene
  • The Suspect in Custody
  • Suicide Investigation
  • Evaluation of the Suspect's Demeanor and Mental Capacity
  • Obtaining a Dying Declaration
  • Suicide Investigation
  • Investigative Considerations
  • Suicide Notes
  • Suicide Checklist
  • Final Exit Suicides
  • Suicide-by-Cop Scenarios
  • Some Suicide Indicators Are...
  • Autoerotic Fatalities (Accidental Sexual Asphyxia)
  • Investigative Considerations
  • Autoerotic Checklist
  • Investigating Fatal Fires Checklist
  • The Investigative Considerations
  • The Fire Incident
  • Suspicious Designation: General Determination
  • Factors
  • Maintenance of the Fire Crime Scene
  • Investigation at the Scene
  • Determination of Arson
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Investigative Checklist
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP)
  • Warning Signs
  • Crime Scene Documentation
  • Documentation of Crime Scene Photographs
  • Recommended Crime Scene Photographs
  • Videotape Protocol
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  • Taping Protocol Checklist
  • Documentation of the Crime Scene Sketch
  • The Title Block
  • The Homicide Crime Scene Search
  • Formulating the Search
  • Examination of the Body at the Scene
  • Examination of the Outdoor Crime Scene
  • Recommendations and Guidelines for Effecting Proper Death Notifications to Surviving Family Members
  • Sex-Related Homicide Investigation
  • The Crime Scene Investigation
  • Sex-Related Crime Scene Checklist
  • The Medicolegal Considerations
  • Examination of the Crime Scene
  • Anatomical Figures
  • Supervisor's Homicide Checklist
  • Supervising the Preliminary Investigation at the Scene
  • Directing Specific Investigative Duties
  • Supervising Homicide Crime Scene Search
  • The Investigation of Police-Related Shootings
  • Police-Related Shooting Report
  • Appendix
  • Procedures for the Collection of Evidence
  • Collection of Specific Types of Evidence
  • Body Materials
  • Objects
  • Firearms
  • Fibers
  • Fabric
  • Cigarette/Cigar Butts
  • Displaced Furniture
  • Soil
  • Tools
  • Vehicles
  • Clothing
  • Documents (Letters, Notes, Papers)
  • Glass
  • Impressions
  • Tool Marks
  • Newly Damaged Areas
  • Collection of Bite-Mark Evidence at the Scene
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Crime Scene Collection Electronic and Digital Evidence
  • Cellular phones
  • Computers
  • Notes
Publication & Pricing

You can order this publication directly from CRC Press:

Telephone: 800-272-7737
Telephone: 561-994-0555 from within Florida and outside the continental U.S.

Purchase directly from CRC Press and save 10% using Promo Code CWM17 at checkout

Catalog number K20535, ISBN: 13:978-1-4665-9188-2 U,S, $49.95
September 2013, 158 pp., 5.5x8.5, paperback, spiral bound

or call PHI at (845) 429-0205 to order the Book or the Field Guide at a special price.
Discounts are available for law enforcement personnel.

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