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An Alternative Chemical Method Utilizing Sodium Hypochlorite



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Gun Shot Residue Pattern Enhancement on Fabric An Alternative Chemical Method Utilizing Sodium Hypochlorite1 James A Bailey Ruby S Casanova and Kim Bufkin Cape Community College Wilmington N C 411 North Front Street Wilmington NC After attending this presentation the participant will understand 1 the application of a sodium hypochlorite solution as an agent for enhancing gun shot residue GSR powder patterns 2 the results of spraying a 5 25 solution of sodium hypochlorite on different types and colors of fabric and 3 the advantages and disadvantages of using a sodium hypochlorite solution to enhance powder patterns The purpose of this presentation is to present the results of an experiment that evaluates the use of a sodium hypochlorite solution for enhancement of GSR powder patterns at specific distances on fabric targets The estimation of distance from the weapon s muzzle to an article of clothing can be an important factor in an investigation or it can be used to reconstruct the events surrounding the shooting The basis for estimating these distances is based on the size and intensity of the powder pattern produced by a weapon with known specifications using specific ammunition The visualization of powder patterns on light colored fabric is obvious however the powder patterns on dark colored or multi patterned fabric is problematic due the carbonaceous residue being dark in color Examining powder patterns is not a test that will establish a precise muzzle to target distance with a high degree of accuracy even when the specific type of weapon and ammunition is known but the investigator can rule out certain ranges based on the GSR pattern characteristic Di Maio has classified gunshot wounds on skin as contact near contact intermediate range and distant based on an examination of the wound and the GSR pattern The GSR principally consist of nitrates and nitrites from burned and partially burned propellant carbon and traces of barium lead and antimony from the use of



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