Upon being notified about a crime and arriving at the crime scene, one of the first places that the Crime Scene Investigation team looks at and analyzes is the exterior of the crime scene. This is important because sometimes, there are chances that a criminal may still be hiding at the crime scene. In addition, there may be different clues for the investigators in the exterior and surrounding of the crime scene. As soon as the crime scene is secured for processing, the exterior as well as interior should be looked at carefully.
There are many things about the exterior of the crime scene and the interior that need to be considered closely by the Crime Scene Investigator. The bigger the crime scene is and the larger the surrounding area, the more difficult and time consuming it becomes to scan the exterior. This is especially challenging if the exterior of the crime scene is surrounded by a large secluded place. In CSI Crime Scene Investigation, so much importance is given to exterior and surroundings of crime scene because sometimes, pieces of evidence of some other clue related to the crime may be left behind in the surrounding areas.
The Crime Scene Photographer takes different shots of the exterior of the crime scene from different angles. These photos include the structure of the building in which the crime scene is located. In addition, the photo of the parking lot is another important one. Any entrances or exits to the crime scene through windows or doors should also be photographed. The building or structure in front of the window of the crime scene is also photographed so that a vantage point, if any, may be revealed.
All the doors and windows to the crime scene represent entry and exit points. They are counted and documented in the form of photos and notes. When looking at the exterior of the crime scene, it is important to see at which places these doors and windows open. These are the places where one can start looking for clues for the investigation. With regards to this, there is another advantage to looking at the exterior of the crime scene right outside these windows and doors. There may be a chance of finding some kind of impressions or footprints right outside where the criminal stepped and walked away.
Crime Scene Technicians search the exterior and surroundings of the crime scene thoroughly for finding the tool or weapon that was used to do the killing. For example, parking lots and demisters of neighborhoods are searched thoroughly in homicide cases to find out if the criminal discarded the weapon after the killing. In some cases guns have been found from dumpsters. This helps the investigation team in generating some leads and this is a good place to start an interrogation. Searching the parking lot is useful because it may be that the criminal, in a hurry to get away stole someone’s car in which case, surveillance can be put on such a vehicle to track the criminal. In some cases, if the criminal had been wounded, there may also be blood traces outside the crime scene, in the parking lot or outside the entry and exit points. If blood traces are found like this, a DNA sample of the blood is obtained and analyzed and then matched with the DNA results in the DNA databank. This allows the investigation team to identify family of a potential suspect and can call them for interrogation about the whereabouts of the likely offender.
The clues that may be there in the surrounding areas of a crime scene also depend upon the nature of the crime and the kind of criminal who committed a crime. In any Crime Scene Investigation, the way the clues are left behind for the police are part of the way the criminal carries out the crime. This is highly dependent upon the motivations and intentions of the criminal. There are some organized offenders who will not leave a speck of any kind of evidence, neither inside nor outside the crime scene. Then there are the messy kinds of offenders who get out of control in committing their crime. Such criminals apply violence and leave evidence behind, sometimes in the form of their own DNA by leaving fingerprints on the victim or any other kind of DNA evidence. They are also likely to not think things through and throw the weapon or killing tool somewhere nearby. A thorough search of the surroundings can hence, help in discovering the murder weapon, which is a big leap in solving a case.
While searching the exterior of the crime scene and the surroundings, investigators should also look out for any potential witnesses who may have heard or seen anything. Sometimes, there are also chances that a criminal may have hurt someone who witnessed a crime. So, interviewing the witnesses can bring a lot of insight to the investigator in terms of the psychology of the criminal. Getting any account of the criminal’s behavior can help investigators in profiling the criminal and his pattern of crimes.
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