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In one year or less. This certificate is ideal if you: have a different undergraduate degree and are interested in changing your career path are currently a crime scene investigator but lack the academic credentials and require continuing education don't have a science degree and are looking for an alternative path to becoming a crime scene investigator. You'll learn: how to protect and secure a crime scene how to fully document the crime scene using text and photography how to record and collect evidence, maintaining the scientific integrity of the evidence in addition to the legal chain of custody how to present and defend the findings of the investigation within a legal framework, either in courts or in deposition.

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By the time Bertillon began photographing crime scenes, his reputation was well-established. In , he had been appointed head of the newly created Department of Judicial Identity in the Paris police prefecture. Some of the victims, like Madame Debeinche, were found in their bedrooms.

Others lay in kitchens or living rooms. Some bodies had been abandoned in warehouses or left lying among garbage on a crumbling tile floor. The album shows ransacked rooms, chillingly exposed nude cadavers and close-ups of their ghastly head wounds. In some cases, the album jarringly juxtaposes images of the dead with photos of when they were still alive.

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On one page, women are rendered in lovely carte-de-visites lateth-century photographic calling cards , depicted as daughters or sisters, as glamorous women once flattered by the beneficial lighting of a portrait photographer. On the next page, their human value is gone; they become corpses, bloody and harshly lit. Bertillon sometimes juxtaposed photos of murder victims with images of them when they were living.

Like the criminals whose bodies were subjected to detailed documentation, victims were recorded with similarly exacting methods at the crime scene. Bertillon developed a system that could indefinitely preserve the scene while teasing out pertinent details that might be used more effectively in court than less scientifically conceived photographs of previous decades.

Using his metric photography grids and hand-drawn diagrams, Bertillon helped clarified the scale of crime scenes and the distance between objects, often allowing inspectors to reconstruct a scene in three dimensions. In one compelling example from , Bertillon mapped three rooms of a Parisian home that was the site of a double murder. In , he constructed a custom tripod with long legs designed for placing the camera directly over a body.

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As part of his scientific system of documenting crime scenes, Alphonse Bertillon developed a tripod from which dead bodies could be photographed from above. The unnamed victim has been propped up to be photographed according to the guidelines of biometric measurement system. Three of the photographs show the anonymous body, one with his hat perched on his head, and three are of objects in his possession: a pair of boots and a pocket watch.

Evident, too, is that the Madame had been dead for several hours before she was photographed, her hands and feet both having begun the unmistakable process of post-mortem darkening. The primary responsibility of crime scene investigators CSIs is to investigate crimes by carefully collecting and analyzing physical evidence.

They may collect hair, tissue, and body fluids from a crime victim, or perform tests on items found at a crime scene. In short, they analyze all of the evidence in the interest of providing accurate information that may help to acquit or to convict a person of a crime.


CSIs must be meticulous about details, as well as know how to properly collect and store the evidence they collect. They must be able to prepare forms, reports, and other written documentation about their findings. CSIs are often asked to testify at criminal trials, giving testimony about the physical evidence collected and offering their general expertise about forensic evidence. Real-life and fictionalized crime shows on television have led to an increased interest in forensic science, which can be expected to lead to a more competitive job market for crime scene investigators.

Many types of organizations hire crime scene investigators, including coroner's offices, crime laboratories, and police departments.

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Crime scene investigators work at crime scenes, collecting and processing evidence then analyzing it and sharing the results in a written report. CSIs complete a variety of tasks, including deciding what evidence should be collected, gathering physical evidence, and securing the evidence for the crime laboratory. In addition, a CSI may photograph evidence, create a drawing of the crime scene, and write down detailed information about the crime scene itself.