Research the Malcolm Fairley Case from the perspective of a forensic or a crime scene investigator describing what you feel is relevant in this case as to the techniques and methodologies of crime scene investigation
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||7||Style||APA|
Malcolm Farley Case
The focus of this paper is the Malcolm Farley Case from the perspective of a crime scene or forensic investigator. Malcolm Fairley, also referred to as “The Fox,” was a run-way criminal who committed heinous night-time crimes including rape, armed burglaries, and indecent assault in various places including Edlesborough, Tring, Leighton Buzzards, Milton Keynes, Cheddington, and Dunstable in 1984 (Wyatt et al., 2011). The evidence that linked Malcolm Farley to numerous series of crimes include the harvest yellow paint left on the bush branches, a psychological profile, tire marks, foot prints, and physical evidence including mask, gun, a pair of overalls with a leg missing, gloves, and British Leyland car with scratches on the boot. Besides, a computer was used in the case, but only to ease retrieval of records and information at the time (Malcolm Fairley, 2019). The scope of this paper is, therefore, to provide a description of relevant evidence as far as methodologies and techniques of crime scene investigation is concerned, from the perspective of a forensic or a crime scene investigator.
Review of Methodologies and Techniques Used in Analysis of the Evidence
Analysis of car paint left on the broken branches after the suspect perhaps reversed the car is relevant evidence to the case. Paint analysis identified that the paint was ‘harvest yellow’ color, which by then was used exclusively for painting the British Leyland, specifically the yellow Austin Allegro car (Malcolm Fairley, 2019; Wyatt et al., 2011). Statistical techniques for interpreting chemical information can discriminate between different types of car paints (Thomas, 2013). Paint analysis techniques such as Raman microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy can identify the composition of paint constituents such as Pb, Cu, Fe, Cr, and Ti, which can differ from one type of paint to another, thus, helping in discrimination of paint evidence and tracking it down to a particular source. Analysis of automotive coatings is hence useful for forensic scientists and for resolving court cases (Lv et al., 2016). In addition, visible microspectrometry is another technique useful in forensic science as it allows objective measurement of paint or color since it can tell the number, kind, quantity, and morphology of the paint resins (Trzcińska, Zięba-Palus, & Kościelniak, 2013). Paint analysis was the most useful approach that made other types of support evidence described below relevant to this case.
Psychological profile is also a relevant technique used in crime scene and forensic investigation. Psychological profiling is an investigative approach in which the offender’s characteristics are inferred from the manner in which the offender acts or behaves in the crime scene (Wyatt et al., 2011). The police had described the suspect as about 20 to 30 years, usually masked, athletic and slim build, about 10 to 11 stones in weight, having long and smooth fingers, and speaking with a Northern accent (Malcolm Fairley, 2019). However, the psychological profile could have matched anyone. What was of significance is the Northern accent that informed the police on promising regions to hunt for the suspect (Malcolm Fairley, 2019). As it later turned out, Malcolm was a northerner coming from Durham County (Wyatt et al., 2011). In addition, Malcolm’s victims had described him as left-handed man and wearing a watch on his right wrist. This matched with Malcolm’s act of wearing a wrist watch when he was asked to do so by the police at his home (Wyatt et al., 2011). Psychological profiling method may be associated with drawbacks such as cross-contamination of the crime scene to fit a given profile and contextual bias (Edmond et al., 2015). Criminal profiling is considered as part of expert evidence in various criminal trials, although it is characterized by lack of objective evidence, thus its validity may be questionable (Chifflet, 2014). The validity of a psychological profile cannot be determined, thus it cannot be a stand-alone approach for identifying suspects.
Tire marks and foot print analysis is another relevant technique in this this case. Tire marks left at the crime scenes could be tracked down to the tires on Austin Allegro belonging to Malcolm. Besides, the foot print impressions left on the crime scene could be tracked down to Malcolm’s shoes (Wyatt et al., 2011). A good photo of the tire impression taken from the crime scene is searched against a tire book manual or a tire database to identify the type of car, for instance, a passenger car tire, industrial tires, agricultural ties, SUVs or a light truck to streamline the search to a given type of car (Lux, 2013). Footprints are one of the impression evidence that is admissible in the court of law. Forensic photography, which entails documentation of impression evidence, is an indispensible tool that provides objective evidence that can help supplement medico-legal issues in the court (Gouse et al., 2018). Footprint evidence is unintentionally left by a suspect at the crime scene. Careful analysis of footprints can give useful information that can be used for establishing personal identity (Moorthy & Sulaiman, 2015). It is important to note the tire impressions and footprints are part of physical evidence.
Physical evidence also is vital in crime scene and/or forensic investigation since it enables the investigation team to place as potential suspect in the crime scene (Wyatt et al., 2011). The cut out masks left at the crime scene were once part of the missing leg of a pair of overall found at Malcolm’s home. The ‘harvest yellow’ paint found on the broken branches at the crime scene were traced as belonging to Austin Allegro car, but it was streamlined down further to Malcolm’s Austin Allegro since it had scratch marks on its boot. Besides, the sawn-off shot gun found at the crime scene was identical to the one that had been described by multiple victims of assault, rapes, and burglaries. Hence, it was clear that all reported crimes had been committed by a single person – Malcolm. Besides, the gloves were some of the physical evidence that were important in the case (Malcolm Fairley, 2019). Physical evidence is vital piece of evidence for identifying suspects. Besides, physical evidence is admissible in the court of law (Wyatt et al., 2011).
The use of a computer was then a relevant tool for supporting storage and retrieval of information about the case to support the investigation team (Malcolm Fairley, 2019). Computers and associated technologies are now key tools used in forensic and crime investigation (Wyatt et al., 2011). Computer is a critical support tool in crime investigation and forensic science. For instance, it can help search a tire impression mark taken from a crime scene against tire database. Besides, fingerprints from the crime scene can be searched against a database using a computer to identify a suspect (Gouse et al., 2018). The introduction of computers into crime investigation and forensics has resulted into the birth of digital forensics. Computers increase the efficiency of digital evidence processing by making it fast and objective as much as possible (Mazurczyk, Caviglione, & Wendzel, 2017). Computer is a tool that can facilitate forensic or crime investigation process.
In Malcolm Fairley case, paint analysis produced the most reliable source of evidence given that the paint matched Malcolm’s type of car and that Malcolm’s car had scratch marks on the boot to match with the thought course of action as a he reversed and broke some tree branches. Paint analysis evidence made other types of evidence valid and relevant to this case. These other type of evidences included an established psychological profile, tire marks, foot prints, a mask, a sawn-of shotgun, a pair of overalls with a leg missing, gloves, British Leyland car with scratches on the boot. The computer was used in the case as a supportive tool for storage and ease of retrieval of case-related information.
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Trzcińska, B, Zięba-Palus, J., & Kościelniak, P. (2013). Examination of car paint samples using visible microspectrometry for forensic purposes. Analytical Letters, 46(8), 1267-1277. https://doi.org/10.1080/00032719.2012.760099
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