Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
Detective Michael S. Anderson 
Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake County 
Of...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• Measuring methods 
• A discussion about the methods 
• Scene considerations...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Measuring methods 
• There are several ways to document any crime 
scene for ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Measuring methods 
• Since you will not be utilizing modern 
technology in th...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• Example of Triangulation method
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• The triangulation method simply works by 
taking two measurements of any on...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• The other option for hand measuring a scene 
is the Coordinate method.
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• The Coordinate method for many is a little 
easier to deal with, and use. T...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• To measure using the Coordinate system you 
will measure off of two locatio...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• The next method, and at one time a very 
common way of diagramming a scene ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• A simple explanation of Photogrammetry is 
that by way of taking a particul...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• One of the most accurate and common ways 
to survey any scene to date is th...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• Also like any of the previously mentioned 
method this is as accurate as th...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• There are many types of Total Stations on the 
market. 
• Sokkia 
• Leica 
...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• There are a couple ways to survey using a total 
station 
• One is direct s...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• From a law enforcement perspective its my 
belief that surveying by way of ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• The fact of the matter is this method gives us 
the best chance at good res...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• Having the ability to see your scene as it is 
measured gives you the advan...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• And one of the newer methods to all of us is 
the use of 3D laser scanners....
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• And the other is the FARO 3D laser scanner.
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• This method of measuring is not only the 
future, but it is our present. 
•...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• And it’s the best way to preserve a scene for 
life. 
• The laser scanner t...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• As you look at these images realize that the 
images are produced by laser ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• Laser scanning can be set up to take millions 
of points per minute. 
• How...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction 
• reference points ahead of us so that scans can 
be merged together to creat...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatev...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• When we are just entering or we have been in 
...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Every time we become complacent in a crime 
sc...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Before measuring of the crime scene begins, th...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• In cases where something needs to be moved 
it...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Sometimes we just need to be flexible in how 
...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Much of this process is going to be dictated b...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Once the scene has been processed and evidence...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• This process helps to validate that the scene ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• From here the process really depends on what 
...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• By measuring a scene without the evidence stil...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Again individual agency policies will have the...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Crime scene 
considerations 
• Remember two of our current methods of 
scene ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• There are a few things to consider when 
reco...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Or they are used to show an overhead view of ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Either way the source of the data really 
doe...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• To an elaborate depiction using colors and 
t...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Elaborate scene drawing
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Simple scene drawing example
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• To create these drawing you will need some 
type of soft...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• There is no reason to spend thousands and 
thousands on ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• However it does no good to not be able to 
conduct your ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• So what is out there? 
• Many of us are users already of...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• ARAS 360
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• Visual Statements FX3
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• EDGE FX
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Software options. 
• Autocad
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• You also may have a need to have something a ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• 3D drawing views or videos can allow you to 
...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Bullet trajectory example from FARO scan data
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Some reconstruction 
methods 
• Scene fly through examples 
• These examples ...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Court Testimony. 
• At the end of the day what we are after is a 
suspect con...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Court Testimony. 
• So as the documenter of the scene, it is our job to 
do a...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Court Testimony. 
• The validity of the data is going to be the first 
line o...
Crime scene diagramming and 
reconstruction. Court Testimony. 
• And always remember you only know what you 
know. 
• Alwa...
The End
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Crime Scene Diagramming and Reconstruction by Det. Mike Anderson

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From the 3D Laser Scanning for Forensic Scene Mapping Seminar 2014 in Portland and Seattle hosted by The PPI Group and co-sponsored by FARO Technologies. Presentation by Detective Mike Anderson of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake Utah.

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  • Good time reference the amount of time and man power we used to survey crime scenes compared to the faro
  • Good time here to speak about our experiences and how we have changed in this process
  • Crime Scene Diagramming and Reconstruction by Det. Mike Anderson

    1. 1. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction Detective Michael S. Anderson Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake County Office 385-468-9821 Cell 801-884-9398
    2. 2. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • Measuring methods • A discussion about the methods • Scene considerations • Reconstruction methods • Software's to be used & Equipment calibration • Court testimony
    3. 3. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Measuring methods • There are several ways to document any crime scene for purposes of preservation and reconstruction. • The first method has been around for all of us the longest and that simply is hand measuring. • This can be an effective way to produce a scale scene diagram, however this method needs careful consideration in the measuring process
    4. 4. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Measuring methods • Since you will not be utilizing modern technology in this process you will need to measure on the X, Y, and Z axis yourself. Careful recording of these measurements will be crucial in the event you have a need to produce a 3D scale diagram later. • Processing this scene using the triangulation or Coordinate method will produce the results you are desiring.
    5. 5. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • Example of Triangulation method
    6. 6. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • The triangulation method simply works by taking two measurements of any one point from two known locations.
    7. 7. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • The other option for hand measuring a scene is the Coordinate method.
    8. 8. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • The Coordinate method for many is a little easier to deal with, and use. This method is in some opinions easier if you aren't use to measuring by hand. • This method is just as accurate, so long as you are accurate in the execution of the measurements.
    9. 9. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • To measure using the Coordinate system you will measure off of two locations known as the RP and the Baseline. • Always a good idea when measuring by hand or any other method for that matter to have good scene pictures to help verify locations of items identified for your diagram and eventual reconstruction.
    10. 10. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • The next method, and at one time a very common way of diagramming a scene is the use of Photogrammetry. • Photogrammetry is a relatively inexpensive way to diagram or measure anything by way of using digital pictures.
    11. 11. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • A simple explanation of Photogrammetry is that by way of taking a particular set of pictures of anything can result in a 3D rendering of that item or scene, However these pictures are very specific in nature, but extremely effective.
    12. 12. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • One of the most accurate and common ways to survey any scene to date is the use of a total station, or a series of total stations for any scene which needs to be accurately measured. • Just like in Photogrammetry every point recorded by the operator has the X, Y and Z coordinate registered.
    13. 13. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • Also like any of the previously mentioned method this is as accurate as the user is. • And is as detailed as the user wants to make it be • Any scene by way of this method can be reconstructed in 2D, or 3D. Depending on the needs of the case.
    14. 14. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • There are many types of Total Stations on the market. • Sokkia • Leica • Trimble • Nikon • etc
    15. 15. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • There are a couple ways to survey using a total station • One is direct shooting and logging the data you survey directly into the gun itself • The other is to survey into a data collector using collection software which is similar to the drawing software you already use.
    16. 16. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • From a law enforcement perspective its my belief that surveying by way of a data collector is the best practice • For the most part law enforcement officers aren't professional surveyors, and therefore the likely hood of a costly mistake can, and will increase.
    17. 17. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • The fact of the matter is this method gives us the best chance at good results. • By using a data collector you have the advantage to see the collected data as you go.
    18. 18. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • Having the ability to see your scene as it is measured gives you the advantage of seeing where things are missing, as well as a major advantage by increasing the overall accuracy. • If you are already surveying without a data collector and you are comfortable doing it this way then no worries • Do what is familiar, and what you are comfortable with
    19. 19. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • And one of the newer methods to all of us is the use of 3D laser scanners. • There are several scanners available now • The two most commonly known and used at this time are the Leica scan station.
    20. 20. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • And the other is the FARO 3D laser scanner.
    21. 21. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • This method of measuring is not only the future, but it is our present. • There are numerous Law Enforcement agencies from coast to coast that have embraced 3D scan technology. • This is the most accurate method available right now for us to measure a scene.
    22. 22. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • And it’s the best way to preserve a scene for life. • The laser scanner to explain it simply is mapping and measuring everything that your eye sees.
    23. 23. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • As you look at these images realize that the images are produced by laser mapping data.
    24. 24. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • Laser scanning can be set up to take millions of points per minute. • How long would it take us to survey a million points by hand measuring, Photogrammetry, or even our total station’s? • Laser scanning works much in the same way as a total station does. We set up and we scan. When we do this we have known common
    25. 25. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction • reference points ahead of us so that scans can be merged together to create a single scan or survey product. • No matter how you are mapping and diagramming your scene . • The most important thing is that you know how to explain the work that is done. • And that the work done is accurate and correct.
    26. 26. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as silent evidence against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects - all these and more bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong; it cannot perjure itself; it cannot be wholly absent. Only its interpretation can error. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value. • Kirk, Paul, • Crime investigation, • John Wiley & Sons Canada, Limited, 1953
    27. 27. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • When we are just entering or we have been in the scene for a time, we need to always be mindful of the situation • What is at our feet at all times, how many evidentiary, or potential evidentiary items have we stepped on, kicked, or destroyed while we were present in a scene.
    28. 28. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Every time we become complacent in a crime scene the potential to contaminate a key piece of evidence increases • Losing a case to a situation such as this is not likely something any of us want to face. • So what are the proper steps and considerations we should make while the crime scene is processed and the scene is measured or surveyed
    29. 29. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Before measuring of the crime scene begins, the scene as it sits should be documented. • The best way for this is good proper overall pictures, as well as a good walk through and surrounding video. • The simple reason for this is to have record of the location of everything in the scene in the event something does get moved, or even needs to be moved intentionally for any reason
    30. 30. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • In cases where something needs to be moved it is a good idea when possible to mark the location of the item to be moved as well as pictures and video of the item prior to movement • When possible an actual survey measurement of an item being moved should be taken prior to any movement, but that isn't always possible
    31. 31. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Sometimes we just need to be flexible in how things are done, but we should never veer from what needs to be done • Corner cutting and unwillingness to do the work is never excused in these matters
    32. 32. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Much of this process is going to be dictated by the individual agencies policies and procedures. • However minimizing any scene to outside influence will always be the best practice. • Limiting the possibility for evidence to be spoiled or tampered with is a desired result. • Having control of the scene is also important. simply because a ranking officer shows up on scene and wants to go inside and look around isn't a good enough reason to enter. Remember it is you who has to testify to this scene and its validity not the lookie loo administrator etc.
    33. 33. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Once the scene has been processed and evidence has been identified, the scene should then be marked. • This can be done by way of yellow evidentiary markers, or what ever marking process your agency has adopted. • At this time the scene should now be re documented by way of pictures and video • It is also a good idea to complete a field sketch of the scene.
    34. 34. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • This process helps to validate that the scene has not been changed from first entry. • Once the pictures and video process has been completed for the second time, you have now reached the time to document the scene.
    35. 35. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • From here the process really depends on what your method of documentation is going to be. • For instance does your agency prefer to collect all the identified evidence within the scene prior to the measuring and documentation process? • If so there are some things to really consider here.
    36. 36. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • By measuring a scene without the evidence still in place, all your measuring is the location of the evidence markers now. • And is not necessarily the actual location of the identified evidence. • So does this matter? • Well it may. Again the fact is you are the collector of this data, and it will be you who has to testify to the validity of the measured data regardless of how the measurements were taken.
    37. 37. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Again individual agency policies will have the final say in how this is completed, however it is a good idea to always measure with the placards or markers and the evidence still in place.
    38. 38. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Crime scene considerations • Remember two of our current methods of scene measuring are depicting the scene in a photo type manner such as 3D scanning and Photogrammetry. From these two methods alone anyone can see that evidence itself is missing during the measuring process.
    39. 39. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • There are a few things to consider when reconstructing a crime scene. • First is what are you wanting, or needing to show in this reconstruction? • Many times simply showing the scene in a top down 2D format, or view is all that is needed. • Many times these diagrams are simply being used to take measurements of evidence of location, and items.
    40. 40. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Or they are used to show an overhead view of the scene and it’s evidence. • If a 2D drawing is all that is necessary or needed then we simply need to plug our measurements into our drawing software. • Rather this is done by inputting hand measurements, or we are inputting that data through a hand held device such as data collector from a total station survey, or point cloud data downloaded from a 3D scanner.
    41. 41. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Either way the source of the data really doesn’t matter. • Once this data is in place a simple 2D drawing can now be completed by way of connecting the line points, and dropping in place the evidence and the related placard numbers. • These 2D drawings can be as simple as a black and white line rendering.
    42. 42. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • To an elaborate depiction using colors and textures. • No matter how detailed you want to be the most important thing in any drawing is going to be the accuracy, and reliability of the producing data.
    43. 43. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Elaborate scene drawing
    44. 44. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Simple scene drawing example
    45. 45. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • To create these drawing you will need some type of software to achieve this. • So what software to use? • The fact is there are many choices, and the best one for you, is for you to decide. • Do your research when it comes to software. What are your needs going to be, and what are your capabilities to collect and use this software?
    46. 46. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • There is no reason to spend thousands and thousands on a software that does many things that you don’t have the capability to utilize. • You also don’t want to buy an inexpensive lesser software that doesn’t take care of your needs based on your capabilities. • Too many times especially in law enforcement we get stuck in the mind set that if we can do it cheaper then that is our route.
    47. 47. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • However it does no good to not be able to conduct your business as needed. • So spending the extra to do what is necessary is the best option even though it will cost more.
    48. 48. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • So what is out there? • Many of us are users already of this company’s product, crime zone crash zone has been around a long time.
    49. 49. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • ARAS 360
    50. 50. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • Visual Statements FX3
    51. 51. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • EDGE FX
    52. 52. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Software options. • Autocad
    53. 53. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • You also may have a need to have something a little more elaborate. • Such as representations in 3D • Or scene fly through representations etc.
    54. 54. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • 3D drawing views or videos can allow you to place a judge or jury in the scene. • even if the scene no longer exists. • These views can also be extremely helpful in an investigation • They can help an investigator see what the actual view would have been for a witness or victim etc.
    55. 55. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Bullet trajectory example from FARO scan data
    56. 56. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Some reconstruction methods • Scene fly through examples • These examples were created in the SCENE software. This is the FARO cloud managing software specific to FARO.
    57. 57. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Court Testimony. • At the end of the day what we are after is a suspect conviction. • All the work done by the investigators, the crime scene personnel, and the prosecutors is to build a strong prosecutable case.
    58. 58. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Court Testimony. • So as the documenter of the scene, it is our job to do a good and accurate rendering of the scene, the evidence, and anything else that needs to be captured. • Making sure that all of your measuring equipment which you rely on is at a minimum annually cleaned inspected and calibrated. • It doesn’t matter if you are using a rolling tape measure to a laser scanner. This cannot be skipped.
    59. 59. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Court Testimony. • The validity of the data is going to be the first line of attack for a defense attorney. • Always have on hand with you in any court proceeding the documentation of your measuring instrument and its calibration. • Do not find yourself trying to explain this on the stand without being able to produce it when asked to.
    60. 60. Crime scene diagramming and reconstruction. Court Testimony. • And always remember you only know what you know. • Always stick to the facts as you know them to be. • If you don’t know something that is ok, never assume to know facts when you don’t. • And always tell the truth even though a truthful answer may be hurtful to the case. • Your career, family, credibility and livelihood are far more important than this case.
    61. 61. The End

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