What is the Golden Rule of Crime Scene Investigation?

What is the golden rule? Your grandmother probably told you that it is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Following this rule will get you far in life! What about the golden rule of crime scene investigation?

The Golden Rule in Criminal Investigation

A golden rule simply means it is a rule you absolutely adhere to, every single time. There is no time or occasion where one would go against this important rule. When it comes to crime scenes, the golden rule is “Do not touch, alter, move, or transfer any object at the crime scene unless it is properly marked, measured, sketched and/or photographed.” This rule is to be followed every day, in every scene. 

Why is it Important?

Crime scene preservation is absolutely essential to not only finding the person responsible for the crime, but also ensuring he or she faces justice and is held accountable for their crime. Let’s say the crime in question is an officer related shooting. Can you imagine what would happen if the defense attorney found out that the crime scene investigator moved the body of the deceased before photographs were taken? They would surely say in court that the victim was running towards the police officer, not away. No one could prove otherwise since the initial position of the body was compromised before it was photographed. This is why the golden rule of crime scene investigation is in place.

Beyond Accidents and Errors

It isn’t just about human error. Environmental conditions play a major role in the contamination of crime scene evidence. Wind, sun, rain, snow, and temperature can play key roles in the destruction of the evidence at a crime scene. If there is blood at an outdoor crime scene and it rains, the blood may wash away. This is one reason we take care to also include the weather in our crime scene reconstructions. If a tree was blocking the driver’s view, but now that tree isn’t there, the judge and jury should know that a big storm knocked it over the next day. Did it snow the day after a shooting? Was it extremely windy when a shooting took place, and did that strong wind have an effect on the bullet trajectory? We don’t reconstruct our scenes with how the area looks today; we reconstruct the scenes with what the area was like on the day and time in question. 

Contact the Evidence Room

The crime scene reconstruction experts you’re looking for are at The Evidence Room.  For over 17 years, our experts have worked with the golden rule of crime scene investigation. Our shooting and crime scene reconstruction services are performed by crime scene investigators who make the pieces of the puzzle fit together. There’s no scene too complicated or complex for our professional experts!

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(216) 502-0400

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