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

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Wavelet Scalar Quantization. A fingerprint image compression algorithm.

Walker, Michael David (1937-present)
Written by John Berry.
Michael David Walker was born in 1937 at Stroud, Gloucestershire, England 
and joined the New Scotland Yard Fingerprint Bureau in 1960, duly obtaining 
his expert status.  Later he transferred to the Hertfordshire Constabulary 
Fingerprint Bureau, thence to the Cambridgeshire Bureau, where he is 
presently employed.  I was an amazed witness to an absolutely outstanding 
memory identification in the eighties.  In Hertfordshire, fingerprints of 
persons likely to commit crimes were filed in separate bundles, right hand, 
left hand, and plain impressions held together with elastic bands.  One day 
I concluded a search and was about to put the fingerprint bundle in a drawer 
and I stopped to talk to Mike.  My elastic band snapped and fingerprint forms 
cascaded to the floor.  Mike instinctively grabbed one, looked at it and did 
a double take.  He rushed to the Scenes of Crime Collection, flipped through 
the cards and with a wide smile handed me the crime scene imprint and the 
fingerprint slip.  It was an identification in the brief flash of time as 
the form fell to the ground and he grabbed it, his mind, computer-like, 
recognized the crime scene imprint.  Mike Walker has also made many Ridge 
Detail in Nature discoveries, via photograph or report, duly published in 
STRABISMUS. – John Berry, Jan. 2005

Watling, William
William Watling of the Internal Revenue Service was one of the first people to 
use imaging technology in forensics.  Bill Watling was involved in the first 
Kelly-Frye hearing on this kind of technology, VA vs. Robert Douglas Knight 1991.
Personal Correspondence with George Reis 05-2005

Mr. Watling began his career in law enforcement with the Arizona Highway Patrol 
in 1969.  He was assigned to the newly formed Latent Print Section of the newly 
created Department of Public Safety in 1970.  Much of his fingerprint training 
was from various classes and workshops at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.  In 
1976 he was promoted to head the section.  He expanded the Latent Print Section 
and oversaw the design and construction of three latent print laboratories for 
the State of Arizona.  He went to work for the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, 
National Forensic Laboratory in 1987 as a Forensic Investigator, where he headed 
up their Latent Print Section.  He went into private practice in late 1996. Coming 
out of private practice he went to work at the US Department of Homeland Security 
Fingerprint Identification Center in San Diego, California in 2003 as a latent 
print examiner supervisor. He has received many commendations and accolades from 
various organizations, prosecutors and others including a special commendation from 
the Governor of The State of Arizona.
He has authored and had published in various scientific journals many papers 
related to latent print development, identification and forensic image enhancement.  
He has given presentations related to fingerprints, forensic handwriting and 
forensic image enhancement to conferences/meetings and workshops of the IAI, various 
divisions of the IAI, the American Academy of Forensic Science and other symposiums 
throughout the US, Canada and Great Britain.  He has also instructed workshops 
related to latent print development, evidence/crime scene photography and digital 
image enhancement for a number of law enforcement agencies though out North America.  
He was an instructor at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona for both day 
and evening classes related to evidence technology for several years.  He also served 
on the Curriculum Advisory Board for Community Colleges in Arizona.

He was one of the pioneers in using computerized image enhancement on both fingerprint 
and document evidence.  He is one of the three co-founders of the Arizona Identification 
Council, which is a division of the IAI.  He is a life member of the AIC and the IAI 
and has served in various positions for both organizations.  He served several terms on 
the AIC Latent Finger Print Certification Committee in addition to being President and 
on the Board of Directors several times. He is a distinguished member of the IAI and has 
served several terms on the Board of Directors as well as various committees. He has also 
been a member of several other divisions of the IAI and several other forensic related 
While at the Arizona DPS, Mr. Watling along with Kenneth O. Smith, Jr. (now in charge of 
the USPIS Latent Print Section, Dulles, VA.) experimented with and developed several 
different formulas for developing latent fingerprints on various surfaces.  They were the 
first to publish a paper on a HEPTANE based carrier for developing latent fingerprints on 
porous surfaces to keep inks from bleeding or running.  Mr. Watling has also specialized 
in detecting fabricated latent fingerprint evidence and/or fabricated enhancement of such 
evidence.  He has been successful in discovering a number of fabrications as well as 
erroneous fingerprint identifications - some by renowned fingerprint experts.
Mr. Watling testified to the validity of digital image enhancement used to enhance 
fingerprints in the first Kelly-Frye Hearing in the United States (VA vs. Robert Douglas 
Knight 1991.)  He also provided testimony in the first similar type hearing in Canada also 
in 1991 and in San Diego, California (People vs. Jackson 1991).  He has consulted with many 
latent print examiners and prosecutors when they prepare(d) cases involving digital image 
enhancement for trial.  He also consults with defense attorneys in cases where it is 
believed image enhancement has been mis-used or to validate the identification.

Weaver, David (Nov. 20, 1956-Sept. 19, 2010)
In 1990 David Weaver invented the CA fuming wand.  3M patented this as the Cyanowand ™ 
and in 1993 they launched the new product. In 2005, David patented the Fuma-Dome ™ and 
the Press & Fume ™.  In 2006, Mountain State University  received an NIJ grant that, under the 
guidance of David Weaver, will research dyed superglue for better visualization.

Web Area
The area of the hand that consists of the loose skin between the thumb and the index finger.

Webbed Fingers
Two or more fingers connected along the sides by skin.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

See Syndactyly.

Wentworth, Bert (1857-1938)
Born George Herbert (or Hebert) Wentworth.  An early researcher 
in the field of friction skin identification.  Wentworth was a 
police commissioner for Dover, New Hampshire in the early 1900's.  
In 1918 he co-authored the book "Personal Identification" with Dr. 
Harris Hawthorne Wilder.  Wentworth went on to become a board 
member of the Institute of Applied Science in the 1930's.

Wertheim, Kasey (June 11, 1973-present)
Kasey Wertheim began looking at fingerprints with his father, Pat, while 
in grade school.  During his undergraduate studies in chemistry and 
criminal justice at Northern Arizona University, he volunteered in the 
fingerprint section of the Arizona DPS Crime Laboratory, and successfully 
completed two summer internships with the Forensic Services Unit of 
the United States Secret Service in Washington DC.  From 1997 to 2003, 
he worked as Forensic Scientist for the Mississippi Crime Laboratory, 
followed by a one-yea r effort with a small forensic technology company, 
LumenIQ, as their Director of Forensic Services.  In 2004, Kasey was hired 
by Lockheed Martin to develop an examination services team for the 
federal government.  2 years and 11 new employees later, Kasey had 
established the DoD Biometric Examination Services Team and earned 
his Masters in Business Administration, Technology Management.  In 2007, 
he accepted a broader scale position with Harding Security Associates 
as a Senior Principal Analyst to continue DoD work on multiple forensic 
projects in different parts of the world.  Concurrently, in 2004, Kasey 
Wertheim formed Complete Consultants Worldwide with a vision to bring 
examination services from non-centralized but incorporated experts in 
their home-offices to government clients who need superior skills to 
accurately and efficiently contribute to national security.  By 2008, 
CCW provided the services of qualified, educated, and experienced 
scientific research and Subject Matter Expertise to the Department 
of Defense (DoD) biometric centers of excellence. It was in 2008 that 
Kasey Wertheim resigned his position with Harding Security Associates 
and exclusively worked as the President and Chief Executive Officer 
of Complete Consultants Worldwide. 

Kasey has lectured, conducted workshops, published papers, and enhanced 
government and coalition forensic operations internationally.  He earned 
"Distinguished Member" status with the International Association for 
Identification (IAI), served as the Chair of the Latent Print Subcommittee 
of the IAI for 2 years, was an IAI Certified Crime Scene Analyst for 5 years, 
served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Identification (JFI), 
and is a "re-tested" IAI Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE).

Kasey Wertheim is also known for co-writing “Friction Ridge & Pattern 
Formation During the Critical Stage” with Alice Maceo, JFI, Jan/Feb 2002, 
Vol 52, No. 1.  This article is one of the most comprehensive papers on 
this subject available to friction ridge practitioners. 

Wertheim, Pat A. (March 23, 1948-present)
Pat Wertheim is one of the most prominent and influential latent print 
examiners in the latent print community. He began his career as a patrol 
officer in 1973 and has since been involved in every aspect of latent print 
work. He has been a distinguished representative of the IAI holding various 
positions such as Librarian, a member of the editorial review board, a 
board member for several years, and served in different Vice President 
positions. He worked for Lightning Powder as an instructor of identification 
and crime scene courses, as well as being their Vice President.  In 1999, 
Mr. Wertheim founded "Forensic Identification Training Seminars" and has 
taught over 100 forensic courses. He has written and presented over 40 
educational papers and articles. He has been active in setting industry 
standards and was a member of SWGFAST since 1996. Among his long list of 
noteworthy cases, he worked in Scotland with David Grieve in exposing the 
erroneous identification in the Shirley McKie case, he worked with Allen 
Bayle in England exposing mistakes made in the Alan McNamara case and he 
was a key witness for the United States Daubert hearings. In 2007 he 
testified to fabricated fingerprint evidence in the murder of Inge Lotz 
in South Africa. This is just a brief summary of the contributions and 
accomplishments Pat Wertheim has brought to the latent print community.   

West, Will and William
To some, the Will West / William West case in 1903 is noted as the demise 
of the Bertillon Method of Identification.  Two men had the exact same 
measurements but different fingerprints.  This incident happened at 
Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas.  
Others claim that this case was not the demise of the Bertillon System.  
Fingerprints replaced the Bertillon System following the fingerprint 
exhibit at the 1904 Worlds Fair.  Fingerprints were found to be more 
convenient to use and could be used to identify latent prints found at 
crime scenes.  The West case did establish that fingerprints were more 
reliable than anthropometry or photographs.

Wet Print™
A premade solution of small particle reagent that can be purchased through 
the Lynn Peavey Company. This solution can be sprayed on wet items to 
develop latent fingerprints.

Kjell Carlsson of Sweden developed this product to develop friction 
ridge detail on adhesive surfaces and/or tapes.  It is a power 
suspension mixture that has been found to work better than other 
staining methods and better than sticky side powder.

Whipple, Inez Luanne (1871-1929) (AKA Whipple-Wilder)
Inez Whipple-Wilder is noted for her research with the evolutionary 
development of volar pads in mammals, the evolutionary development of 
friction ridges, and ridge patterns.  She found that these patterns are 
affected by internal and external forces on a fetus during development.  
She wrote, "The Ventral Surface of the Mammalian Chiridium, with special
reference to the conditions found in man" in 1904.  She is also 
noted as being an assistant to Harold Wilder and later becoming his 

White Box
A testing method to assess a complex system by evaluating the internal system 
of how a conclusion was arrived at instead of simply evaluating the end results.

See Black Box.

White Light
White light is a combination of all the colors in the visible light spectrum.  
Visible light is sometimes referred to as white light. 

White Lines
Creases which are not formed with other friction ridge detail.  
Usually associated with age.  According to David Ashbaugh's book 
"Quantitative-Qualitative Friction Ridge Analysis, "white lines 
disrupts the stratum corneum (horny layer) of the epidermis.  
These creases do have ridge detail with-in the crease.  They are 
usually permanent but do have the ability to shrink and grow.  
Also known as tension creases.

See Creases, Tension Creases and Flexion Creases.

WhitePrint © Titanium Dioxide
A processing technique used to develop friction ridge detail on both 
sides of electrical tape, the non-adhesive side of duct tape, plastic 
bags, cellophane, and other non-porous surfaces.  Developed by Dave 
Wade in 2001-2002.

Whorl - Accidental
The accidental whorl is a pattern consisting of a combination of two different types 
of pattern, with the exception of the plain arch, with two or more deltas; or a 
pattern which possesses some of the requirements for two or more different types; or 
a pattern which conforms to none of the definitions.
The Science of Fingerprints, United State Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of 

1. A pattern type consisting of the combination of two different types of patterns 
(excluding the plain arch) with two or more deltas.
2. A pattern type that possesses some of the requirements for two or more different 
types of patterns.
3. A pattern type that conforms to none of the definitions of a pattern.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Whorl - Central Pocket Loop
A pattern type that has two deltas and at least one friction ridge that makes, or tends 
to make, one complete circuit, which may be spiral, oval, circular, or any variant of a 
circle. An imaginary line drawn between the two deltas must not touch or cross any 
recurving friction ridges within the inner pattern area.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Whorl - Double Loop
A pattern type that consists of two separate loop formations with two separate and 
distinct sets of shoulders and two deltas.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Whorl - Plain
A fingerprint pattern type that consists of one or more friction ridges that make, or 
tends to make, a complete circuit, with two deltas, between which, when an imaginary 
line is drawn, at least one recurving friction ridge within the inner pattern area is 
cut or touched.
SWGFAST, Standard Terminology of Friction Ridge Examination 3-23-11 ver. 3.0

Wilder, Dr. Harris Hawthorne (April 7, 1864-Feb. 27, 1928)
A fingerprint pioneer associated with his research into what is now known 
as differential growth.  Dr. Wilder claims to be the first person to recognize 
that the 'center of disturbance', center of a ridge pattern, is always where 
a volar pad exists.  He also claims to have proved that the large cats volar 
pad is really three pads fused together.  This point was stated by Klaatsch 
earlier but Wilder claims that Klaatsch offered no proof.    Wilder is also 
noted for the idea that ridges are ridge units fused together, a hypothesis 
which still remains unproven.  He wrote numerous articles and published the 
book "Personal Identification" with Bert Wentworth in 1918.

First American to study dermatoglyphics. Named the A, B, C, D 
triradii points, invented the Main Line Index, studied thenar 
hypothenar eminencies, zones II, III, IV.
http://www.handanalysis.net/library/derm_history.htm 03-08-2003 

Working Solution
Solution at the proper dilution for processing.
SWGFAST, Glossary - Consolidated 09-09-03 ver. 1.0

Writer’s Palm
The outer edge of a palm print typically left on a document when people 
write.  This includes the outer portion of the hypothenar and may include 
the outer edge of interdigital section and the outer edge of the little finger.

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