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How can incident reconstruction help develop your case?




The foundation of case development is incident reconstruction. Incident reconstruction, not to be confused with accident reconstruction, is used during the preliminary stages of an investigation to identify facts and form a realistic hypothesis. Without it, an investigation can go the wrong direction.


When an investigation does not begin properly, the chances of a good outcome are greatly reduced. As a rule, all investigations should begin with reconstruction. Even cases that are underway can benefit from careful reconstruction.


Reconstruction is essential for:


  • Initiation of new cases—to fully develop the facts and create a successful investigation plan
  • Re-examination and re-investigation—to support or challenge a previously conducted investigation
  • Revival of cold-cases—to bring them back to life


When reconstructing a case, we:


  • Personally inspect and examine the scene
  • Gather facts and thoroughly document all evidence
  • Carefully analyze the information to identify the relevant facts
  • Create an informed hypothesis
  • Determine what essential facts are yet unknown and which strategies are best to uncover them


Our methods include:


  • Documenting conditions and laying out the scene
  • Examining and documenting physical evidence present at the scene
  • Gathering images of the scene:
    • Digital and film photography—color, black & white, or alternative light sources    (ultra-violet, infrared, etc.)
    • Video-recording—to document space-and-time movement
    • 3-D scanning and reconstruction
    • Aerial photography
  • Diagramming the scene to scale with measurements
  • Creating scale models of the scene
  • Developing an incident timeline
  • Using relevant forensic methods including:
    • Digital enhancement of images and video—to help identify people and objects
    • Laboratory testing and analysis



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