Part 1 – Episode 269

Today, Eric and Glenn start Part 1 of a two-parter on the 2023 Report of the Texas Forensic Science Commission dealing with a latent print case. First, the guys do some catching up and play Where in the Whorld. They also discussed an email from Simon Cole and inquired about the impact of the recent AI paper on fingerprints. Then, they discuss the TFSC report that followed an investigation into a complaint filed against the latent print contractor(s) in the Joseph Webster case. The Webster case was a homicide cold case that eventually broke with a CODIS hit and a subsequent apparent bloody palm print at the scene of the crime. Initially, the palm print was not identified to Webster, but then after the CODIS hit occurred to Webster and a second person, the latent print evidence was re-visited in 2013, and an identification was declared (pursuant to reviewing additional palm print exemplars of Webster). Testimony occurred in 2016 by a project manager but not any of the original examiners. In 2020, a contractor for the defense was hired to review the case and several examiners were unable to verify the identification. This conflict, as well as a review of the testimony, sparked a complaint to the TFSC in the case. The guys review the facts and details of the case in Part 1.

Link to TFSC Report:

Part 2 – Episode 270

In this episode, Eric and Glenn delve deeper into the second segment of their discussion on the 2023 Texas Forensic Science Commission’s report, which addresses a latent print case from the Joseph Webster investigation. This part specifically examines how the complaint against the latent print contractor(s) was handled. Highlighting Glenn’s own analysis, the episode explores the complexities of the Webster palm mark, emphasizing that an examiner’s conclusion depends critically on three factors: the images selected for review, the features deemed significant, and the application of the ACE-V methodology. Wrapping up, the hosts dissect the Commission’s extensive list of over two dozen recommendations aimed at refining the practices of fingerprint examiners throughout Texas in their latent print analyses.