Investigating Fire and Homicide

You are called to investigate a crime scene consisting of a house and detached garage. Inside the house, the first responder discovered two dead victims: a man and a woman. Both appear to have died from gunshot wounds to the head, and one handgun is visible at the scene. It is unknown whether they were both victims of a homicide. The witness who called the police reports that the victims were known to have been in a romantic relationship until recently breaking up.

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Create a 5- to 7-page Microsoft Word report that covers the questions listed below:

  • Identify a list of all possible trace, biological, and fingerprint evidence you would expect to find at the scene and explain the key locations where the evidence is most likely to be found.
  • Describe the precautions that should be taken when collecting and preserving the evidence at the scene.
  • Explain the importance of DNA evidence in this case, and where that evidence might be found.
  • Describe the role of note taking, photography, and crime scene sketches and the importance of creating an accurate visual record of this crime scene.
  • Describe the size and scope of the crime scene. What area or areas need to be protected so that the case can be properly investigated?

After processing the scene inside the house, you are asked to assist in the garage, where a fire has caused considerable damage. The other investigators on the scene believe the fire was deliberately set. You will supplement their report by providing some general background regarding arson. For this part of your report, address the questions below:

  • Describe the process of combustion. How do flammable materials ignite?
  • Describe the three methods by which heat moves from one object or area to another.
  • Explain why it is important for an arson investigator to understand these concepts.