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Ed German
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2001 - 07:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is easy for experts to develop latent (finger and palm) prints on paper. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions at

Do not handle the letter and/or envelope it came in with your bare hands. Instead, wear clean gloves to keep from adding additional latent prints or other contamination. Some investigators discount the possibility that identifiable latent prints will be on a check (which is also paper, like your threat letter) because they say that the overlapping latent prints of the bank tellers and other employees will have destroyed or otherwise covered-up the suspects' latent prints. That is a mistake. Experts develop latent prints of suspects on forged checks and other documents (like threat letters) everyday despite excessive handling by the victim, other police, etc.

What the police do when they get fingerprints depends on the local police policy:
  • Some would contact the suspect(s) you name, collect record finger and palm prints, and make comparisons.
  • Some would do the step above and if there is no identification, then launch the unidentified latent prints in automated computer searches against local, state-wide and/or the FBI database.
I recommend you contact the detective division of your local police and make a complaint about the threat letter you received.

If an investigation is initiated, the police will probably advise that if you receive another letter you suspect to be a threat letter from just looking at the envelope, do not open it before contacting them. They may want to open it so they can protect and examine the uncontaminated contents.

Also, both the stamp and the adhesive strip on the envelope flap may contain DNA of the suspect (both with your current letter and any future letters) which can positively ID him/her. Unless the threat includes death or serious bodily harm, the offense may not be considered serious enough for extensive forensic science examinations.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2001 - 02:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got a letter by mail with threats. Is there a way to get fingerprints on the envelopp and the letter even if a lot of my friends touched it? Or is it not enough serious for the police to do something? Also, what do the police do when they get fingerprints? Run it in a computer for a match? What if the responsable person does not have a criminal record?


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