Michele Triplett's Fingerprint Terms ©
A collection of over 1000 terms used in the Science of Fingerprint Identification.

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The Spa Murders © (State of Florida v. Stephen William Beattie (1978))
The spa murders occurred on July 23, 1978 in North Miami Beach, Florida.  This 
case was the first case on record where a latent fingerprint developed from a 
homicide victim's skin was identified with an offender and introduced as evidence 
in court. 

Three victims (1 male and 2 females) were found shot to death in the World of 
Health Spas.  One of the victims, a young female, was found nude, posed and her 
clothing strewn about.  It appeared as though she may have been sexually assaulted.  
She was processed for latent print evidence with black magnetic powder and three 
prints were developed on the left ankle area.  One of the prints was determined to 
be identifiable and was identified to the subject.  The other two victims were also 
processed for latent print evidence with KromeKote ® cards, yielding negative results.

There are many misconceptions connected with this case, which have perpetuated over 
the years, resulting in urban legend.  One is that the print was deposited on the 
surface of the victim's skin with sun tan lotion or oil.  This is unsubstantiated 
and unfounded but has contributed to over embellished statements that all prints 
recovered from human skin have been in the state of Florida and are due to sun 
tan oil. 

The causative factor of the print is irrelevant and was definitely not sun tan oil.  
The fact was that a latent print was developed and recovered from the surface of the 
skin of a murder victim and was subsequently accepted in court as evidence.

On January 31, 1979, Stephen William Beattie was found guilty of three counts of 1st 
degree murder.  On February 1, 1979 he was sentenced to three consecutive death 
sentences.  Beattie committed suicide within three years of his sentence in prison 
while awaiting execution.  He maintained his innocence even to the end.
By William C. Sampson and Karen L. Sampson

Sparks from the Anvil
Sparks from the Anvil was the second periodical of the IAI and was 
published from 1933-1937.

Specific Pattern
Pattern or path of the friction ridges used during identification; 
second level detail.
Quantitative-Qualitative Friction Ridge Analysis, David R. Ashbaugh 1999 CRC Press

1) The subjective weight of a feature depending on its rarity in a given location, 
i.e. how specific the feature is.
2) As applied to statistical error rates: Specificity, known as the true negative rate, 
measures the number of negative conclusions determined against the number of actual 
negative conclusions. The mathematical equation is (the number of correct negatives) 
divided by (the number of correct negatives plus the false positives). 

See Sensitivity.

Spinous Layer of Epidermis
See Stratum Spinosum.

Split Thumb
Thumb that has conjoined distal phalanges.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Sprue Marks
Marks that are made when casting metals or plastics.  These marks can resemble 
friction ridge detail by replication ridges with bifurcations and ending ridges.  
These marks typically appear with a wavy motion and have no signs of pores or 
ridge edges.  These marks have been called extrusion marks and/or false ridge 

A bifurcation with one short friction ridge branching off a longer friction ridge.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Resembling a scale or scales; thin and flat like a scale.
The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

A segment of a simultaneous impression that has sufficient value to arrive at a conclusion 
of identity directly from the information within this segment. 

A segment of a simultaneous impression that has sufficient information to arrive at a 
conclusion of individualization independent of other impressions within the aggregate.  
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

1. Acceptable by the majority as what is usual or common.
2. Required by an authoritative source as the minimum requirements of what is necessary; a 
criteria (e.g., certification requirements).
3. Recommended as a best practice (e.g., SWGFAST standards).

Standard (ANSI/NIST-ITL)
See ANSI/NIST-ITL Standard.

Standard of Sufficiency for Conclusions
When a quantifiable criteria cannot be established, the general scientific standard 
is to have enough evidence and justification to eliminate doubt in others.  Some people 
refer to this as general consensus conclusions or conclusions that will stand up to 
scrutiny or stand the test of time. General consensus conclusions are achieved by 
corroboration and not by a democratic vote.

Aka Criteria of Sufficiency for Conclusions.

Another term for known prints or exemplars.

A term popularized by Ron Smith to describe the crease pattern in the top radial 
side of the thenar.  These creases originate from the same area and then explode 
in different directions.

Starrs, Dr. James
A fingerprint critic. A professor of law and forensic science at 
George Washington University.  Predicted the fall of fingerprints 
in 1996.

State of Florida v. Stephen William Beattie (1978)
The first case on record where a latent print was developed on a homicide victim's 
skin, identified to a suspect, and introduced as evidence in court.

See The Spa Murders ©.

State of Florida v. Victor Reyes (2003)
This was the 4th trial in the United States that considered the evidentiary value 
of computer enhancement with regard to latent evidence. In 1996, Victor Reyes was 
charged with a Broward County murder.  Originally latent prints on some tape were 
analyzed as having no value, but in 1999 the latent images were reanalyzed by 
forensic analyst David Knoerlein using a computer enhancement technique known as 
‘dodge and burn’, and identified as prints left by Victor Reyes.  The State of 
Florida found that computer enhanced images did meet the Frye test and the latents 
were admitted as evidence in the trial.  Reyes was acquitted at trial.  The jury 
felt that the latent prints did not prove that Reyes committed the murder.  The 
significance of this case was that defense attorneys realized the importance of 
challenging digitally generated evidence.

State of Illinois v. Jennings (1910)
Aka People v. Jennings.  
See Jennings.  See Jennings, Thomas.

State of Maryland v. Bryan Rose (2007)
The second case to fail a fingerprint Challenge based on the reliability of the conclusion.  
Bryan (Brian) Rose was the suspect in a homicide case.  Stephan Meagher testified for the 
prosecution and Ralph Haber testified for the defense.  On Oct 19, 2007, Judge Souder 
published her decision, “…In conclusion, the proof presented by the State in this case 
regarding the ACE-V methodology of latent fingerprint identification showed that it was 
more likely so, than not so, that ACE-V was the type of procedure Frye was intended to 
banish, that is, a subjective, untested, unverifiable identification procedure that purports 
to be infallible.  After impartial scientific testing, the establishment of an error rate and of 
objective criteria which when applied, are documented and can be verified, it may be 
that latent print identification opinion testimony as offered in this capital case will qualify 
for admission under Frye-Reed.  The State did not meet that burden in this case and, 
consequently, shall not offer testimony that any latent fingerprint in this case is that of 
the Defendant.  In this case, the State did not show by a preponderance of evidence 
that a fingerprint examiner can reliably identify a fingerprint to an individual to the 
exclusion of all others using the ACE-V method.”

In Oct. 2007, the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration.  It was denied on 
Feb. 21, 2008.  On April 1, 2008, a federal grand jury indicted Rose on murder charges 
hoping that this would allow the fingerprint evidence into a trial.  On Sept. 8, 2009, 
Judge Catherine Blake rendered her decision that the fingerprint evidence was 
admissible under the requirements set forth by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. 
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and by Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v. Carmichael.  On Jan. 11, 
2010, Bryan Rose accepted a plea deal.

State of Massachusetts v. Patterson (2005)
In 1995 Terry Patterson was found guilty of a 1993 armed robbery and the 1993 homicide 
of Det. John Milligan.  In 2000, based on inefficient counsel, Patterson won an appeal to 
have new trail.  Prior to the new trial, the defense asked for a Daubert Hearing regarding 
the use of simultaneous impression.
On Dec. 27, 2005, in Commonwealth (of Massachusetts) v. Terry L. Patterson, the 
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court determined “Consistent with the decisions of 
other courts that have considered the issue since Daubert, we conclude that the 
underlying theory and process of latent fingerprint identification, and the ACE-V 
method in particular, are sufficiently reliable to admit expert opinion testimony 
regarding the matching of a latent impression with a full fingerprint. In this case, 
however, the Commonwealth needed to establish more than the general reliability of 
latent fingerprint identification. It needed to establish that the theory, process, and 
method of latent fingerprint identification could be applied reliably to simultaneous 
impressions not capable of being individually matched to any of the fingers that 
supposedly made them. On the record before the judge below, the Commonwealth 
failed to meet its burden.”
The prosecution offered Patterson a plea agreement of pleading guilty to a lesser 
charge with time served instead of risking a new trial and the potential longer 
sentence.  Patterson took the plea agreement. 

State of Michigan v. Les (1934)
In People v. Les, (255 NW 407) the defendant's palm print was recovered from the 
windowsill at the point of entry of a breaking and entering scene. Before trial, 
the defendant contended that palm prints were not sufficient to sustain a 
conviction. The court ruled that the evidence was insufficient to hold the defendant 
for trial, quashed the information, and ordered the discharge of the defendant. The 
Government appealed that the trial court was in error in their ruling regarding the 
palm print evidence, and the Supreme Court of Michigan (1934) agreed that finger-
prints and palm prints are both "considered physical characteristics" and therefore 
were "sufficient evidence to go to trial." The trial judge was directed to reinstate 
the information.
http://www.clpex.com/Articles/TheDetail/TheDetail82.htm 10-20-2004

State of Nevada v. Kuhl (1918)
State vs. Kuhl was a significant court case regarding palm prints identifications.  
This case was an appeal for a conviction of a 1916 murder.  It looked at 1) Was 
the court in error in allowing experts in fingerprint identification to testify 
as experts in palm print identification, 2) Was the court in error in admitting 
photographic enlargements of palm prints, 3) Was the court in error in allowing 
the use of a projectoscope, 4) Was the court in error in admitting photographs 
of palm prints where the experts drew lines upon them, and 5) Was the court in 
error in permitting the expert witness to make a positive statement as to the 
identity of the palm impressions. The Supreme Court of Nevada (1918) held "NO" 
on all counts.

State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill (2007)
The first case to fail a Daubert Challenge based on the reliability of the 
conclusion.  Richard Langill was suspected of burglary.  Lisa Corson was the 
examiner in this case and Prof. James Starrs testified for the defense.  On 
Jan.19, 2007, Judge Coffey granted a motion to exclude the fingerprint evidence 
stating, “Ms. Corson is qualified through training, experience, and proficiency 
testing to provide expert testimony at the defendant’s trial.  However, Ms. 
Corson’s proffered testimony is inadmissible under Rule 702 because her 
application of the ACE-V (Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification) 
methodology to the single latent print in this case was unreliable as a result 
of incomplete documentation and possibly biased verification.”  Contemporaneous 
documentation was required in the NHDSFL Standard Operating Procedures for 
‘examinations’ but not performed in this case. This was most likely because an 
‘examination’ was considered to be the physical processing for latent prints and 
not considered a part of the ACE-V analytical process. Blind verification was 
not a procedure of the NHDSFL and therefore not performed in this case. However, 
during the Daubert hearing the examiner testified that Blind Verification was 
ideal but not practical.

A motion to reconsider was entered and on April 11, 2007. Judge Coffey ruled that 
there was “insufficient information to support a finding that the application of 
the ACE-V methodology to the single latent print in this case was reliable.” 
Judge Coffey affirmed her original decision.  

On Feb 13, 2008, this was argued before the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.  On 
April 4, 2008, the court issued its opinion to reverse and remand.  Langill was 
found guilty during the trial. 

On Nov. 30, 2010, The Supreme Court of New Hampshire reversed and remanded the 
conviction due to hearsay testimony.  The examiner was asked to testify to the 
verification as stated in the report. The government argued that this could be 
testified to because it was a business record and not hearsay testimony.  The 
Supreme Court of New Hampshire disagreed.

State of New York v. Crispi (1911)
Aka People v. Crispi.  Charles Crispi, aka Cesare J. Cella, was the defendant in 
this case, which is noted as being the first case that fingerprint evidence was 
the sole evidence.  Fingerprint expert Joseph Faurot testified to the identification 
process.  After hearing Faurot’s testimony, Crispi pled guilty.  The judge asked 
Crispi for a full confession, ensuring him that no additional charges would be filed.  
The judge wanted to ensure that the scientific evidence that was testified to was 
indeed correct.

State of New York v. Kent (1968)
Aka People v. Kent.  Perhaps the first trial that a defense expert testified that 
although the identification had 12 (some articles say 14) points of similarity, the 
prints were not identical.  Richard Stanley Kent was charged with murdering Joseph 
Murphy, a retired New York City Policeman.  The key evidence against Kent, a latent 
print on a bed board, seemed to be irrefutable.  William J. Ciolko, Dutchess County 
Public Defender, hired Dr. Vassilis C. Morfopoulos, director of the American Standards 
Testing Bureau, to look at the identification.  Dr. Morfopoulos analyzed the 
identification using a 25x microscope.  He testified that he found 3 differences, “One 
distinct and crucial difference destroys the validity of an identification”, he said.  
Richard Kent was found not guilty of the murder.  In 1970, the FBI and the IAI refuted 
Dr. Morfopoulos’s analysis and sided with Wilfred Holick, the original examiner in 
this case.  The defense attorney and the defense expert gave a presentation of this 
case at the 55th IAI Conference.  
There were two significant points to this case.  This was the first time ‘the prints 
are not identical’ was used in court as a defense strategy, and the defense claimed that 
this case broke down the apparent ironclad status of fingerprints.

State of Ohio v. Betts (1917)
The Betts case may have been the first conviction based solely on palm print evidence.  
In 1917, Samual W. Betts was arrested and charged with burglary based on the fact that 
his palm print was found on a windowpane.  George Koestle (one of Ferrier’s students) 
was the person who took and compared the palm prints.
‘Fingerprint and Identification Magazine’, Dec 1942.

Another palm print case that happened around the same time, and also said to be the 
first palm print case to have a conviction, was a murder trial in Nevada.  The defendant 
was Ben Kuhl.

State of Ohio v. Hartman (Hartmann) (1998)
The 3rd court case in the United States ruling on the computer enhancement of 
fingerprint images.  In 1997, Brett X. Hartman was charged with murdering Winda 
Snipes by stabbing her 138 times, slitting her throat, and cutting off her hands.  
Due to numerous pieces of evidence, including latent print images on a chair and 
a bedspread, a jury found Hartman guilty of murder and kidnapping, sentenced him 
to death.  In 2001, Hartman appealed his conviction stating 13 different challenges.  
The challenges dealing with the latent prints were 1) the admission of digitally 
enhanced fingerprint evidence, their reliability and the qualifications of the 
state's fingerprint expert, Patrick Warrick, to testify regarding such evidence 
and 2) the court failed to make a threshold determination concerning Patrick 
Warrick's qualifications stating that "It was error for the trial court to admit 
the opinion of witnesses who had not first been qualified as an expert".  The 
court ruled that "the use of the computer in this instance is no different than 
*** would be the use of an overhead projector, microscope, a magnifying glass or 
anything else like that that would enhance an experts ability to make his 
determination...".  It was ruled that since Warrick had used computer enhancement 
for approx. a year and a half this was not blazing new ground, Warrick's testimony 
was appropriate.  The court also determined that although Warrick was not formally 
tendered as an expert witness, the defense did not challenge Warrick's qualifications 
and the court determined him to be qualified to identify defendants fingerprint on 
Snipes's bedspread.  On Oct. 3, 2001, the appellate court affirmed Hartman's conviction. 
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=oh&vol=981475&invol=1  08-02-2004
Brett Hartman was put to death by means of lethal injection on Nov. 13, 2012.

State of Virginia v. Robert Douglas Knight (1991)
The first (case to establish a precedence for the acceptance of digitally enhanced 
evidence in American criminal proceedings) is Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Robert 
Douglas Knight. This 1991 murder case (murder was March of 1990, trial was in 1991) 
involved the enhancement of a bloody fingerprint found on a pillowcase at the crime 
scene. A company called Hunter Graphics (no longer in business) was contacted by the 
Henrico County Police Department to assist in the enhancement process. Experts from 
Hunter Graphics used a frequency filter known commonly as a Fast Fourier Transform 
(FFT) to subtract the fabric pattern that interfered with the identification of the 
fingerprint. The fingerprint was subsequently identified as belonging to Robert Knight. 
After being charged with the crime, Knight’s attorney moved for a Kelly-Frye Hearing 
to determine the scientific validity and acceptance of the enhancement process. The 
determination of the court was that the techniques used were essentially photographic 
processes. Robert Knight plead guilty and was sentenced to four life terms.
http://www.more-hits.com/forensics/dl/AboutForensicDigitalImaging.pdf  01-25-2005

State of Washington v. Eric Hayden (1998)
The 2nd court case in the United States ruling on the computer enhancement of 
fingerprint images.  In 1995, Eric Hayden was charged with murdering a 27-year-
old female.  Her body was found with a bloody sheet wrapped around her head and 
neck.  The examiner in this case, Dan Holshue, found latent prints on the sheet 
but they were too subtle to identify.  Erik Berg, an expert in enhanced digital 
imaging, used enhancement techniques to filter out the background pattern and 
colors of the sheet.  After enhancement, the latent prints were identified and 
Eric Hayden was found guilty of murder.  His murder conviction was upheld on 
appeal and the court concluded that computer enhancement did meet the Frye 
test, setting new case law in this field.

Statistical Analysis of Error Rates
See Error Rate Studies.

Statistical Models on Fingerprint Individuality, etc.
Galton (1892)		
Henry (1900)		 	
Balthazard (1911)	
Bose (1917)		
Wentworth / Wilder (1918)      
Pearson (1930)
Roxburgh (1933)		
Cummins / Midlo (1943)	 	
Amy (1946-48)	
Trauring (1963)		
Kingston / Kirk (1964)	 	
Gupta (1968)
Osterburg (1977-80)	
Stoney (1985)		 	
Champod (1995-96)
FBI / Lockheed-Martin 50k x 50k study (1999)  
Pankanti / Prabhakar / Jain (2001)
Neumann / Champod Likelihood Ratios (2007) (see PBFE)
Swofford pre-2015 (see DFIQI)
Swofford 2015 (see FRStat)

Steegers, Juan (AKA Steegers y Pereira or Steegers y Perera)(1856-1921)
Juan Steegers was a cuban civil servant honored by his government as a 
fingerprint pioneer.
"Fingerprint Techniques" Andre A. Moenssens, 1971 pg 26.

Sticky Side Powder ™
Product used to develop friction ridge detail on adhesive surfaces 
and/or tapes.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Stimac, Jon T. (1966-present)
Jon Stimac began his career in forensics after earning a Bachelor of Science 
Degree in Criminalistics/Criminal Justice from Weber State University in Ogden, 
Utah.  Immediately after graduation, he began employment with Salt Lake City 
Police Department's Crime Laboratory. 

In 1996, Jon left Salt Lake City to continue his career with the Oregon State 
Police Forensic Services Division.  Since then, he has acted as a latent print 
examiner, temporary lab director, forensic scientist, and as the technical 
leader for the latent print discipline.

Jon supplemented early research on the 3M® solvent HFE-7100 and introduced 
to the forensic community the use of Un-du® as an alternative adhesive separator.  
For the development of latent print impressions on specialty papers (thermal and 
carbonless), he introduced a specialized ninhydrin formulation and the use of 
1,2-Indanedione. Jon has published several technical articles covering these 
and other topics within international forensic identification journals, including 
the Journal of Forensic Identification.  In addition, he has compiled and published 
a monthly newsletter on friction ridge individualization, FP Stuff, since 2001.  
In Feb. 2008, Jon Stimac became the editor of the IAI’s Identification News.

In 2000, Jon became a member of the FBI sponsored Scientific Working Group on 
Friction Skin Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST).  He is also active within 
several regional and international forensic identification organizations.  

Stock Solution
Concentrated solution diluted to prepare a working solution.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Stoney, Dr. David
A mild fingerprint critic.  Directs the McCrone Research Institute in Chicago, 
PhD Forensic Science.  Noted as being the person to state that conclusions of 
absolute certainty are based on a leap of faith.

A journal edited by John Berry (Hertfordshire) from 1979 dealing with the 
appearance of the basic seven ridge characteristics occurring throughout 
nature, the total at the end of 2004 being 1,556.  Originally published 
under the title RIDGE DETAIL IN NATURE until 1998, this reference should 
be used for further information.

Stratify (Stratification)
Arranged in a sequence of grades or ranks.
WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

Stratton Brothers (Alfred and Albert)
The Stratton brothers made legal history in May 1905 when fingerprint 
evidence was used against them in a British Court to convict them of 
murdering Thomas and Ann Furrow.  Dr. Henry Faulds sided with the 
defense in this case due to a bitter controversy over Faulds contribution 
to the science of fingerprints.

Stratum Basale (Basal Layer)
The inner layer of epidermis that contains melanocyte cells, Merkel cells and 
keratinocyte cells.  The layer of the epidermis where new keratinocytes are 
formed.  Known as the germinative or generating layer. 

See Stratum Germinativum.

Stratum Corneum
The outermost layer of the epidermis consisting of cells that are dead and 
desquamating. Also referred to as the horny layer.

Stratum Germinativum
The stratum basale and the stratum spinosum considered as a single layer of 
epidermis. The term is sometimes used to designate only the stratum basale. 
Also referred to as the germinative layer, malpighian layer or rete, mucous 
layer, and s. malpighii.

Stratum Granulosum
The granular layer of epidermis: the layer between the stratum lucidum and 
the stratum spinosum.

Stratum Lucidum
This is an electronlucent skin layer between the stratum granulosum and 
stratum corneum in palmoplantar skin. Predominant in thick skin. Also called 
the Hyalin. 

Stratum Malpighii
See Stratum Germinativum.

Stratum Mucosum
See Stratum Germinativum.

Stratum Spinosum
The spinous layer of epidermis: the layer of the skin between the stratum 
granulosum and the stratum basale characterized by the presence of prickle 
cells. Called also prickle cell layer.

Protein synthesis happens in this layer of the epidermis, producing keratin.

Beneath or introduced beneath the skin.
Quantitative-Qualitative Friction Ridge Analysis, David R. Ashbaugh 1999 CRC Press

Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the 
external world: a subjective decision 
The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=subjective 02-27-03

Influenced by a person's knowledge, state of mind, or ability.
Quantitative-Qualitative Friction Ridge Analysis, David R. Ashbaugh 1999 CRC Press

Subjective Probability 
The user defines the probability of an event happening based on their personal judgment.  
This is useful when quantifiable data not be established (the probability of getting an 
A in a class).

See Classical Probability and Empirical Probability.

An alpha expression derived from the index, middle and ring 
fingers of both hands.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Subsidiary Ridge
A friction ridge not fully developed. A subsidiary ridge may appear thinner than 
fully developed ridges.

Also known as an incipient ridge, a nascent ridge or a rudimentary ridge.

The surface upon which a latent fingerprint is deposited or placed.
Quantitative-Qualitative Friction Ridge Analysis, David R. Ashbaugh 1999 CRC Press

The surface upon which a friction ridge impression is deposited.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Sudan Black
Black dye that stains fats, oils, sebaceous components, and 
contaminants of friction ridge residue; can enhance cyanoacrylate 
fumed friction ridge detail.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

A black dye used to visualize friction ridge detail.  Can be alone or 
in conjunction with the cyanoacrylate process.  Works best on waxy or 
greasy surfaces.

The product of the quality and quantity of the objective data under observation 
(e.g., friction ridge, crease, and scar features).
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

See Sufficient.

Sufficiency for a Conclusion
See  Criteria for Sufficiency for a Conclusion, or Standard for Sufficiency for 
a Conclusion.

Enough or an adequate for a specific function or task (e.g. to do a comparison, to 
test a conclusion, to arrive at a conclusion, to justify a conclusion, to perform an 
AFIS search, to eliminate doubt by others).  This could be a conclusion of value or 
a conclusion of identity.

The determination that there is sufficiency in a comparison to reach a conclusion 
at the evaluation stage.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Sufficient Recurve
The space between the shoulders of a loop, free of any appendages 
that abut upon the recurve at a right angle on the outside.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Suicide Ridges  
A term popularized by Ron Smith to describe the ridge pattern on the 
underside of the distal transverse crease.  Many times these ridges are 
found to be a series of vertically terminating ridges.

The determination that there is sufficiency in an impression to be of value for 
further analysis or comparison.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Sulcus (plural: sulci)
A deep, narrow furrow or groove, as in an organ or tissue.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved

5-Sulfosalicylic Acid
Chemical used in fixative solutions for a variety of blood 
enhancement reagents.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

See Cyanoacrylate Ester.

SuperGlue Girl
For the 2006 California State Science Fair, 13 year old Avery L. Smith 
tried to add different coloring agents to superglue to enhance the 
visibility.  She found that the ink from a pink highlighter produced 
the best results.  Subsequent to the Science Fair, Miss Smith presented 
her conclusions at the 2007 IAI Conference in San Diego, California and 
became known as SuperGlue Girl.  Her research was subsequently 
published in Forensic Magazine and Jan 2007 issue of The Print.

See Colored Superglue.

Superior Region
One of the 3 main areas of the palm.  The area immediately below the fingers.  
In many countries this area is known as the interdigital area but in some 
countries, such as Portugal, this is called the superior region.

Supreme Court of Canada, Her Majesty The Queen v. Chikmaglur Mohan (1994)
(R. v. Mohan)
On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Ontario Court of Appeal, a decision on the 
admissibility of expert evidence and the nature of expert evidence and how it pertains to 
disposition.  A Canadian decision similar to the American Daubert Hearings, the Mohan decision 
has set the parameters and application for the admission of expert in Canada.

Admission of expert evidence depends on the application of the following criteria:
a)  Relevance
b)  Necessity in assisting the trier of fact (judge or jury)
c)  The absence of exclusionary rule
d)  Must be by a properly qualified expert

In R. v. Mohan, four counts of sexual assault on female patients ages 13-16 were laid against a 
practicing paediatrician.  His counsel indicated that he intended to call a psychiatrist who 
would testify that the perpetrator of the alleged offences would be part of a limited and 
unusual group of individuals and that the accused did not fall within that narrow class 
because he did not possess the characteristics of the group (profile) however the evidence 
was ruled inadmissible.

The original conviction was stayed by the Court of Appeals and opened a new hearing.  
At issue was the determination of the circumstances in which expert evidence is admissible 
to show that the character traits of an accused person do not fit the psychological profile 
of the putative perpetrator of the offences charged.  The resolution of the issue involved 
the examination of the rules relating to (i) expert evidence, and (ii) character evidence.

In summary, expert evidence which advances a novel scientific theory or technique is 
subjected to special scrutiny to determine whether it meets a basic threshold of reliability 
and whether it is essential in the sense that the trier of fact will be unable to come to a 
satisfactory conclusion without the assistance of the expert.

The Supreme Court allowed the appeal but decided that the evidence should be excluded 
as nothing in the court record supported a finding that the profile of a paedophile or 
psychopath (as alleged by the psychologist) has been standardized to the extent that it 
could be said that it matched the supposed profile of the offender depicted in the charges.  
The expert’s group profiles were not seen as sufficiently reliable to be considered helpful.
http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1994/1994canlii80/1994canlii80.pdf 8-1-2009
Courtesy of Cst. Jonathan BALTZER and Sgt. Tim Walker, RCMP

Supreme Court of The United States, Bullcoming v New Mexico (2011)
An extension of the US Supreme Court decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009).  The 
Bullcoming decision clarifies that the person testifying to a conclusion must have conducted 
the analysis.

Supreme Court of the United States, Crawford v Washington (2004)
The US Supreme Court Decision which states that under Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause 
“the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”  An 
exception is allowed for business records. The US Supreme Court decision of Melendez-Diaz v. 
Massachusetts (2009) extended the Crawford ruling to indicate that forensic reports are not 
considered business records.  Bullcoming v. New Mexico (2011) clarifies this further by 
stating that a person who conducted the comparison must testify to the conclusions in the 

Supreme Court of the United States, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009)
The US Supreme Court decision that determined that forensic reports were 
not considered business records and therefore subject to confrontation (forensic 
practitioners must make themselves available to court testimony if asked).

Surface-active substance; detergent.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Sweat Glands
Both the eccrine and the apocrine glands are considered as sweat glands, 
as opposed to the sebaceous gland which is an oil gland.

End to end fusion of the phalanges of the fingers or toes.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Another opinion:  Synonymous with syndactyly and webbed fingers 
or toes.
The International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, 
World Health Organization.  
http://www.nber.org/mortality/1995/docs/ch14.txt 06-18-2003

Refers to webbed fingers.  Side-to-side fusion of digits.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Fusion of the fingers or toes.  This may occur with or without 
fusion of the bone.  Synonymous with symphalangy or webbed 
fingers or toes.
The International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, 
World Health Organization.  
http://www.nber.org/mortality/1995/docs/ch14.txt 06-18-2003

Chemical used in the preparation of the detergent solution in 
Physical Developer.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

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