Crime Scenes by Geoff SymonCrime Scenes by Geoff Symon

Crime Scenes

byGeoff Symon

Paperback | March 22, 2017

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Want to create believable crime scenes and establish the facts that crack your case? Too many authors cut corners or ignore procedure when finding the evidence in their stories. This guide offers an accurate and accessible overview of crime scenes and the investigative process.

Written as a practical reference for authors in any genre, this helpful “Forensics for Fiction” title unpacks a range of authentic details:

  • Terms and techniques associated with crime scenes.
  • Methods used to search and document types of scene.
  • The various on-scene professionals and their duties.
  • Case studies in which crime scenes decide the outcome.
  • Laws and jurisdictions that regulate investigations.
  • Ways to incorporate crime scenes in any popular genre.

Whether you’re writing CSIs or private eyes, this illustrated guidebook offers a comprehensive, user-friendly reference to cracking the scene of your crime.

Geoff Symon is a 20-year Federal Forensic Investigator and Polygraph Examiner. His participation in high-profile cases includes the attacks on September 11, 2001, the War in Iraq, the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, the 2002 bombings in Bali and the Chandra Levy investigation, among countless other cases. He has direct, first-hand e...
Title:Crime ScenesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:204 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.43 inPublished:March 22, 2017Publisher:Evil Mastermind, LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:194504313X

ISBN - 13:9781945043130


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
Preface xiii

Chapter 1: Introduction and Legal Concepts 1

  • Constitutional Law 6
  • Legal Searches 10
  • Legal Search Exceptions 13
  • Legal Punishments for Illegal Searches 16
  • Jurisdiction 18
  • The Law and Your Story 20

Chapter 2: First Responders 23

  • Types of Scenes 23
  • Emergency Personnel 25
  • Perimeter 29

Chapter 3: Crime Scene Processing 35

  • The Lead Investigator 35
  • Scene Integrity 39
  • Crime Scene Pathway 43
  • Crime Scene Equipment 44
  • Search Patterns 51
  • Searching Pitfalls 58
  • Death Scenes 59

Case Study #1: JonBenét Ramsey – Chaotic Scenes Beget Chaotic Cases 63

Chapter 4: Crime Scene Documentation 77

  • Sketches 77
  • Photographs 86
  • Film vs. Digital 88
  • Camera Settings 90
  • Photographing the Scene 92
  • Crime Scene Photography Techniques 95
  • Photo Scales 96
  • Exposure Bracketing 97
  • Black and White 98
  • Painting with Light 99
  • Photo Log 103
  • Videography 106

Chapter 5: Crime Scene Complications 109

  • Private Investigators 109
  • Outdoor Scenes 112
  • Water Scenes 113
  • Multiple Scenes 115
  • False Scenes 120
  • Crime Scene Cleaners 122

Case Study #2: O.J. Simpson – How Cross-Contamination Can Topple a Mountain of Evidence 125

Chapter 6: Writing Your Crime Scene 135

  • Solve Your Crime First 135
  • Crime Scene Menu 137
  • Complicating Your Evidence 141
  • Considerations for Fictional Crime Scenes 144
  • Crime Scene by Genre 149
  • Cracking the Cozy Mystery 154
  • Quick References 156
  • Closing Thoughts 159

Glossary 163
Bibliography 179
Index 181
About the Author 185

Editorial Reviews

“If you haven’t heard Geoff Symon’s class on forensics and crime scene investigation, hurry. Fascinating, weirdly fun and totally accessible. A must for crime and suspense writers.” – Kristan Higgins, New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author“Shout out to Geoff Symon, whose forensic advice is helping to make my current work in progress bloodybelievable.” – Christopher Rice, New York Times bestselling author“When I have to write forensics scenes in my stories, my go-to source to get all the details right is GeoffSymon. His first-hand experience, as well as his ability to explain the world of crime scene investigations, have been invaluable resources. It’s been a mystery to me why Geoff hasn’t been writing this down. Now, thankfully, he is.” – Ron Marz, award winning comic book and graphic novel author