Category: 

What Is a Forensic Investigator?

Photographing evidence at the scene of the crime helps the forensics investigator put together a sketch of the crime.
Recreating the crime scene and collecting evidence is the job of an forensic investigator.
A forensic investigator analyzes the clues of the crime.
Experts in forensics, including forensic investigators, may be required to testify in court.
Forensic investigators can discover many clues about the type of gun and bullets used in a crime as well as the position of the shooter.
Article Details
  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The world’s first dog ate reindeer and horse meat.  more...

October 30 ,  1938 :  Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" was broadcast on radio, causing a panic among some   more...

A forensic investigator works with police departments to solve crimes. Becoming one usually requires a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field, although having several years of education and some experience may also be enough to get a position in this field.

The first thing that a forensic investigator does at a crime scene is to create a sketch of the scene, including the victims, evidence, and anything else crucial to the set-up. This process requires an investigator to determine what the crime was, and then create a drawing of the crime scene as close to scale as possible. This drawing, in addition to the crime scene photographs, is used to help record the original state of the crime scene for investigative and court purposes.

After determining the crime and drawing a sketch, the next step is for the investigator to collect any evidence that may be a part of the crime scene. This can be a complicated process, and some crimes have evidence spread over a wide range of territory. Other crimes involve microscopic evidence, such as DNA or clothing fibers.

Ad

Once a forensic investigator collects the evidence, it is carefully bagged, sealed, and recorded. This starts the chain of custody, which is used to keep a record of where the evidence is at all times. The investigator then begins to formulate a hypothesis about how the crime took place and how the evidence points to that theory. This will help lead investigators to a suspect, or group of suspects, and will eventually solve most crimes.

People employed in this job work in a very physically, emotionally, and mentally draining field. There is a lot of heavy lifting and potential danger. They need to pay very close attention to even the smallest detail of a crime scene, and investigators use advanced technology to find and recover the tiniest pieces of evidence, including fingerprints, blood and other bodily fluids, and trace evidence. They will use trajectory analysis to determine the path of a bullet, along with where and what the bullet was shot from. Investigators will also need to make castings out of impressions, such as footprints or tire marks, left at the scene of the crime.

When a forensic investigator is not investigating crime scenes, she may be found filling out paperwork or testifying in court. Her work is often done as part of a team, especially in larger police departments. Smaller departments might share one or two investigators amongst themselves.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon244184
Post 4

This article gave me a lot of information for a school assignment.

icecream17
Post 3

BrickBack-I agree that is the only aspect of this field that I am not comfortable with. But for those that do this job, they are doing a great service to society by solving these crimes the way that they do.

I agree that I would rather be a computer forensic investigator and solve crimes using the computer.

I know the forensic investigator salary could be high. Some earn anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000. Forensic investigator careers are in high demand and those interested in the field should seek a forensic investigator education in college.

A degree in criminology with an internship and possible work as a police officer could give you the footing to enter this field. In addition, you can obtain a private investigator’s license especially if you are interested in conducting computer forensic investigations.

Although it is not a requirement, having additional investigative credentials can only help your career prospects.

BrickBack
Post 2

Latte31-A forensic computer investigator focuses on cases of employees disclosing trade secrets, fraud, and other cases of employee abusing the internet.

The computer forensic investigator copies the hard drive and identifies all of the files and applications which include all deleted files and areas with hidden passwords.

Computer Forensics World has a forum for people interested in this exciting field. I think the area of forensics is fascinating, but for me the area of computer forensics is the most exciting because you get to solve computer crimes and you don’t necessarily come in contact with the dead body.

latte31
Post 1

A forensic science investigation involves the collection of evidence left at the crime scene. This could be hair sample, fingerprints, blood samples, articles of clothing or other artifacts that many provide DNA evidence.

DNA is critical because it often links the killer and the victim together which is often very definitive. DNA evidence is usually 99.9% accurate.

Sometimes a computer forensic investigation takes place. Usually the victim's computer is seized to determine how the victim may have known the killer and where they might be.

Also, a computer is seized from the suspect as well because it will give information as to the suspect's intentions and motives. This is especially true when the victim is recovered after being missing for a while.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email