Introduction to Criminalistics

Introduction to Criminalistics, 1st Edition

The Foundation of Forensic Science

Introduction to Criminalistics, 1st Edition,Barry Fisher,William Tilstone,Catherine Woytowicz,ISBN9780120885916

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Academic Press




235 X 191

Undergraduate level textbook for courses on Criminalistics.

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Key Features

* Uses real cases – recent and historic – to illustrate concepts
* Colorful pedagogy clearly defines chapter elements and sets this text apart from next best
* Presents the basics of forensic sciences in a one-semester or one-year course
* Offers excellent preparation for professional examinations
* Delivers the latest in laboratory technique while acknowledging the limits of technology


Criminalistics is that sub-field of Forensic Science dealing with the collection, preservation, examination, and interpretation of physical evidence. Introduction to Criminalistics: The Foundation of Forensic Science covers the basics of Criminalistics in a textbook for a one or two semester course with the intention of preparing the student for a future in forensic science. The role of the Criminalist is to analyze, compare, identify, and interpret physical evidence in the crime lab. These crime labs, or forensic labs, have two primary functions: identifying evidence, and linking suspect, victim, and crime scene through physical evidence. This new primer introduces the learner to the structure and organization of the crime lab and to the role of the Criminalist. Topics covered include how to process a crime scene and preserve evidence, the basic principles of firearm examination, latent fingerprints, and rudimentary toxicology, or how to determine the presence or absence of drugs and poisons.
Well organized and methodical, this colorful textbook, written by an eminent professional, has the potential to become the standard text for applying techniques of the physical and natural sciences to examining physical evidence.


Students in Forensic Science programs, advanced college undergraduates enrolled in forensic science and graduate students entering forensic science degree programs.

Barry Fisher

Affiliations and Expertise

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles, CA

William Tilstone

William J. Tilstone has more than 35 years of experience in forensic science in academia, case work in biology and toxicology, executive management, and consultancy work in training and quality systems. Foundation Professorship in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Director of Forensic Science Centre, South Australia. First Executive Director of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, Largo, FL.

Affiliations and Expertise

William J. Tilstone, Executive Director (Retired), National Forensic Science Technology Center, Largo, FL Forensic Solutions International, Auchterarder, Scotland

Catherine Woytowicz

Catherine Woytowicz teaches in the Department of Chemistry, the Honors Program, and the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. She also teaches at Georgetown University in the School of Medicine.

Affiliations and Expertise

Part-time Faculty, The George Washington University, Department of Chemistry, Washington, DC

Introduction to Criminalistics, 1st Edition

Section I: Introduction, Field and Laboratory

Chapter 1
Forensic Science – Scope and Perspective from Scene to Laboratory
Barry Fisher

Section II: Pattern Evidence

Chapter 2 Introduction to Pattern Evidence - Tool Marks and Impressions
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 3 Firearms
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 4 Fingerprints
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 5 Documents
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 6 Physical Evidence
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 7 Hair and Fiber
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Section III: Chemical and Instrumental Analytical Evidence

Chapter 8 Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 9 Arson and Explosives
Catherine Woytowicz and Bill Tilstone

Chapter 10 Forensic Toxicology
Bill Tilstone

Section IV: Biological Evidence

Chapter 11 Forensic Biology
Bill Tilstone

Chapter 12 DNA
Bill Tilstone


A. Personal Effects and Identification
B. Digital Evidence
C. Crime Reconstruction
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