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Home - Disputed Handwriting - Science of Fingerprints

Articles from The Science Of Fingerprints

Essentials Of A Loop

Mechanical Operation

Dispositions

Classification Of Amputations And Fingers Missing At Birth

Latent Fingerprints

Fbi Aid

Permanent Disabilities

General

Filing Sequence

The Loop


Referencing





Too much stress cannot be placed upon the necessity of referencing
questionable patterns, whether it be in the interpretation of the type
of pattern, the ridge count, or the tracing.

The factors which make it necessary are: variation in individual
judgment and eyesight, the amount of ink used, the amount of pressure
used in taking the prints, the difference in width of the rolled
impressions, skin diseases, worn ridges due to age or occupations,
temporary and permanent scars, bandaged fingers, crippled hands, and
amputation.

For the highest degree of accuracy, all rolled impressions should be
checked by the plain impressions, which generally are not distorted
by pressure. This also helps prevent error caused by the reversal or
mixing of the rolled impressions out of their proper order. For the
same reason, as much of the counting and tracing should be done in the
plain impressions as it is possible to do.

If there is any doubt as to which of two or more classifications
should be assigned to a given pattern, it is given the preferred
classification and reference searches are conducted in all other
possible classifications. For example, if on a print with the
preferred classification

1 A
----
1 Aa

it is questionable whether the left middle finger should be a plain
arch, a tented arch, or a radial loop, the print is searched in the

1 A
----
1 Aa

group, and reference searches are conducted in the

1 A
----
1 At

and

1 A
----
1 Ar

groups. For further illustration, a print is given a preferred primary
classification of

1,
-
1

although the ridge detail on the right thumb is so formed as to
resemble a whorl. The search is completed first in the preferred

1
-
1

primary classification and a reference search is then conducted in the

1
--
17

primary.

All ridge counts that are line counts, i.e., when one more or one
less count would change the designation of the loop from I to O or
from S to M, etc., must be searched in both groups. For example, in a
print classified

16 M 1 U III 10,
---------------
M 1 U III

if the ridge count of the right middle finger is 10 and the count in
the right thumb is 16 (as indicated by the key), the print would be
searched first as classified, then reference searches would be
conducted in the following groups:

M 1 U IOI, L 1 U III, L 1 U IOI
--------- --------- and ---------
M 1 U III M 1 U III M 1 U III

When there is doubt concerning the tracing of a whorl, it should be
treated in the same fashion. For example, if in the classification

O 5 U
------
I 17 U

doubt existed as to whether the tracing of the right thumb might not
be a meeting tracing, the print would be searched as classified, and a
reference search would be conducted in

M 5 U.
------
I 17 U

If there is no doubt concerning the ridge count used for the final, it
is enough to search out of the group only those prints containing a
final within 2 ridge counts on each side of the final on the print
being searched. When, however, there is doubt concerning the ridge
count of the final, the print should be searched 2 ridge counts on
each side of the two extremes of possibility. For example, if it were
possible for a final to be 6, 7, 8, or 9 ridge counts, the print
should be searched through that part of the group bearing finals of
from 4 through 11.

The above explanation pertaining to the final also applies to the key.

All prints bearing amputations should be referenced to the necessary
files containing prints other than amputations for reference searches.

In instances where only one finger is amputated, reference searches
are conducted in all possible classifications, including all possible
ridge counts or tracings. For example, a print containing the
classification:

AMP

4 S 1 U III 6
-------------
S 1 U III

with the right index finger amputated, the left index finger being an
ulnar loop, would be searched first in the amputation group for the
classification, then reference searches would be conducted in the
following groups in the nonamputation files:

S 1 U III S 1 T II S 17 W III
--------- --------- ----------
S 1 U III S 1 U III S 1 U III

S 1 U OII S 1 R III S 17 W MII
--------- --------- ----------
S 1 U III S 1 U III S 1 U III

S 1 A II S 1 R OII S 17 W OII
--------- --------- ----------
S 1 U III S 1 U III S 1 U III

All prints bearing unprinted or badly crippled fingers are filed in
the nonamputation files, and reference searches are conducted in the
amputation group.

For the purpose of determining if it is feasible to conduct reference
searches in all possible classifications, the method of referencing
amputations is applied to completely scarred patterns (Chapter titled
Scarred Patterns--Amputations--Missing at Birth). For example, a
print bearing the preferred classification:

13 O 17 W OOO 14
----------------
L 17 U OOI

with the left middle finger completely scarred, the right middle
finger being an ulnar loop with a ridge count of 13, would be searched
first in the group for that classification, then reference searches
would be conducted in the following groups:

O 17 W OOO O 17 W O 19 W OOO
---------- ------- ----------
L 17 U OII L 17 Ur L 17 U OOI

O 17 W O 19 W OOO
------- ----------
L 17 Ua L 17 U OII

O 17 W O 19 W OOO
------- ----------
L 17 Ut L 17 U OMI

The referencing of partial scars is a problem in which many factors
are present. A full explanation of the scars, their preferred
classifications and their references is made in the chapter,
Classification of Scarred Patterns--Amputations--Missing at Birth.

When the age extension is utilized and a Reference group and a
Presumptive Dead file are maintained, it is suggested that a general
allowance of 5 years be considered to allow for a discrepancy in
prints bearing the ages of 50 years or older.

In the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the various age
groups are as follows:

1-54 Regular file.
55-74 Reference file.
75 and over Presumptive Dead file.

Reference searches for the preceding groups are conducted in the
following manner:

50-54 Referenced to Reference file.
70-74 Referenced to Presumptive Dead file and Regular file.
75-79 Referenced to Reference file and Regular file.
80 and older Referenced to Regular file only.

If no age is given, it should be searched first in the regular file
and reference searches should be conducted in the Reference group
and the Presumptive Dead file.

When separate male and female files are maintained, there may be doubt
as to the sex of a subject due to a discrepancy between the sex
indicated and the name and the description and picture. In such case
try to determine the sex from the description and the size of the
prints, then reference the print to the other file. A Photostat copy
can be made and placed in the other file until the true sex can be
determined.





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