August 9, 2017
Cyanoacrylate or (Super glue) fuming works by having a high affinity or strong attraction to the amino acids, fatty acids and proteins in a fingerprint and the vapors of the super glue adhere to these components.--Wikipedia
There's only one Super glue. There are at least 20,000-- count 'em, 20,000-- types of glitter. Offered by one company. In New Jersey. There are, no doubt, others!
I was a police technician in Los Angeles for several years. At the time, we had one guy to do most of the Crime Scene Investigating (CSI) stuff... like firing guns to get their ballistic ID, fuming documents and cloth and paper money and materials that fingerprint powders didn't work on, and ID-ing boot prints and tire prints and hair analysis and....
In 1973, LA City had more than 7 million people. In addition to all the LA CSI work, this same one guy occasionally did a courtesy test for the FBI. Their building was across the street. Sometimes they were in a heckuvva hurry.
Our criminalist's name was Lou. He had the only criminalist degree in the department. Police technicians like me didn't need a criminalist degree.
[Author's note: and I simply MUST get this off my chest. Several of the crime labs in movies and on TV are really dark, and they have a HUGE screen up in the lab that is brightly lit, and evidence is often displayed on it. It's like being in a tiny drive-in movie. Every time I see one of these, I pop a capillary. “Turn on the blankety blank LIGHTS, you morons!” I assure you, dear reader, that you want the person who is comparing evidence to catch the dirtbag who robbed you, TO BE ABLE TO SEE IN FRONT OF THEIR BLANKETY-BLANK NOSE! And if the dirtbag killed somebody you love, you want EVERY DETAIL of that evidence to hustle that dirtbag toward his trip to the gas chamber. COME ON, PEOPLE!]
[Glass of water for Ms. Castillo please?]
OK, now that that's done, and I'm glad it's over...it's pretty clear why an ordinary object like Super glue would be a true hero in the crime investigation game. Other ordinary things come to mind that you would not expect the police to raise a glass in celebrating. The German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois, the Belgian Tervuren, sure! But the common ruler?
Thank you, Saint Thomas!
St. Thomas is the patron saint of scientists. He was the man who saw and heard the risen Jesus, who had been told by at least 11 other reliable people that they'd seen Jesus... but he demanded evidence!
Where was I? Oh yeah. Common ruler. A dollar at the dollar store.
The police photographer takes a photo of the shoe print of the creep who's peeping in your daughter's bedroom window. S/he puts a common ruler next to the print for perspective. Then points and clicks!
Stands to reason the crime lab can pretty much deduce the size of the shoe.
But! -- did you know that a person's foot length is approximately 15 percent of his/her height? Yup, so now we know about how TALL Mr. Peepers is.
Okay. I promised you glitter. Here it comes.
In 2004 in Florida, a drunk driver killed a mother and daughter by rear-ending their vehicle. She denied being in the pickup.
Well, glitter from her cosmetics were transferred to the pickup's airbag.
Glitter from the jeans, bedspread, and shirt of other victims have been matched to the creeps who assaulted them. Assault means friction... and friction means glitter transfer.
Imagine the perps going home and spending 92 hours with a whisk brook or duct tape trying to get every flake of glitter off their clothes. Out of their vehicle. And you can shower, buddy, but the trap in the drain is gonna have glitter embedded in it.
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
[The Wikipedia link below will take you to a fascinating bunch of information about glitter. Woo Hoo!]