"Latent" prints are chance or
unintentional impressions found on items of evidence or
at a crime scene. Some prints can be plainly seen.
They are made by a finger coated with a foreign
substance like blood, grease, or dirt. Some prints
are "plastic impressions" imprinted in pliable
substances like butter, candles, putty, and semi-dry
paint. Other prints, invisible or barely visible to
the eye, are ...
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Latent Print evidence can typically be
divided into two categories: Porous and Non-porous.
Porous evidence such as paper, unfinished wood,
cardboard, etc., is normally conducive to the
preservation of prints because latent print residue
can soak into the surface. Non-porous evidence such
as plastic, glass, metal, foil, etc., is much more
fragile because the latent print residue may just be
lying on the surface. Even the slightest
handling can "wipe away" a latent print on
How You Often
Destroy Prints at Crime Scenes
DO wear gloves... but maybe not for the
reasons you think! Wear gloves primarily to
keep your hands clean. Assume that any
relatively smooth area your gloves touch will
destroy identifiable latent prints on non-porous or
semi-porous surfaces. When you are handling
Super Glue Fuming
By NOT superglue fuming nonporous evidence
before you mail it to the lab, you help the bad
guys..... it's about the same as wiping the evidence
clean. Do NOT expect latent finger or palm prints on
a pistol, knife, can, bottle, or credit card to
survive mailing to the lab if you don't either...
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