Software-assisted re-examination of unidentified cold case finger/palm prints
John Guzzwell M.Sc., MBA, P.Eng VP Business Development with CSIpix.
In cold cases that include unidentified latent friction ridge evidence (palms, fingers, feet), it may be
appropriate to re-examine the evidence with the assistance of 1:1 and 1:N AFIS matching software. Existing
software can accommodate comprehensive, exhausting 360-degree searching of a latent print image against
one or more other friction ridge images to help find matching minutia patterns that could result in an
identification that was previously undiscovered. This type of searching can be applied in cases where
appropriate friction ridge images (e.g. from persons of interest) are available for comparison to the
unidentified latent prints. These could be tenprints, palm prints, other latents from within the cold case or
from other cases, or any images containing friction ridges that could provide helpful information if matched
to the cold case latent. The presentation will show how latent prints can be automatically searched over 360
degrees on a comprehensive 1:1 basis against one other friction ridge image. This has shown to be
particularly helpful for comparing latents to palm print images where orientation can be problematic. Latent
prints will also be compared to a group of friction ridge images in a 1:N “case AFIS” environment. Latent
images with as few as five minutiae will be searched. Any image can be included in the search directory as
long as it contains friction ridges – tenprint cards, inked images, livescan images, latents, fingers, palms or
feet. The calibration and searching of images that do not contain scale/resolution information will also be
John Guzzwell (M.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.) is an engineer with over 30 years of experience in technology
development/commercialization of software for forensic image enhancement, comparison, and
identification. He is VP of Business Development with CSIpix. He has also provided training sessions in the use
of fingerprint software and presented lectures and workshops at various conferences on topics related to
forensic imaging. He is a member of the IAI and is co-founder and VP of Business Development with CSIpix.
He has been fortunate to receive advice and mentorship from numerous generous fingerprint examiners and
other forensic experts over the years.