What is the Difference Between Crime Scene Reconstruction and Crime Scene Processing?

If you’re unfamiliar with the industry, you may hear the terms crime scene reconstruction and crime scene processing and assume they are interchangable. In fact, these two terms do not describe the same thing. They are both important and work together to solve a crime and bring the perpetrator to justice. As the experts in all things relating to reconstruction and evidence, we can tell you the difference!

What is Crime Scene Processing?

Documentation, collection, and preservation of evidence are crucial steps in crime scene processing. A wide variety of physical evidence can be collected at a scene that is deemed valuable, known as “probative” in the industry, for collection and investigation. This includes:

  • Biological evidence (e.g., blood, body fluids, hair and other tissues)
  • Latent print evidence (e.g., fingerprints, palm prints, foot prints)
  • Trace evidence (e.g., fibers, soil, vegetation, glass fragments)
  • Tool and tool mark evidence
  • Footwear prints 
  • Tire track evidence
  • Drug evidence
  • Firearm evidence

This evidence often provides the basis for effective identification, documentation, prosecution, and conviction of perpetrators.

What is Crime Scene Reconstruction?

By a simple definition, forensic crime scene reconstruction is the process of determining the sequence of events about what occurred during and after a crime. Crime scenes may be reconstructed through the study and interpretation of scene patterns and the examination of physical evidence. Is there blood splatter? Is there evidence of a struggle? Is there a bullet entrance? All of this goes into reconstructing the crime scene. The goal of crime scene reconstruction is to solve the crime and bring justice to the perpetrator. Because of this, evidence must prove the defendant guilty in a criminal trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Difference Between Crime Scene Reconstruction and Crime Scene Processing

When a crime occurs, experts are sent to the scene to collect and document all of the evidence. This includes things like blood, weapons, or fingerprints. Crime scene reconstruction is an analysis of the physical evidence and circumstances of a crime, theorizing how it occurred, and the scientific testing of that theory. Essentially, one team goes to the crime scene to find the evidence. Another team takes all of the evidence found and recreates the scene in order to know what happened and build a convincing case to the judge and/or jury.

Here at The Evidence Room, we handle the latter. We employ a team of specialists with backgrounds in Art, 3D Modeling, Animation, Motion Graphics, Time Based Media, Biomedical Illustration, Architectural Design, Law and Crime, as well as Shooting Scene Reconstruction. Our crime scene reconstructions experts are some of the best in the industry and have been for about 20 years!

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