Dralepsab Botello

May 5, 2019


Solving crimes requires a lot of clues and evidences. One of the methods used in solving crimes is fingerprints. Fingerprints refer to the impressions formed by the hand on a surface. Latent prints refer to the prints formed by sweat and oil (Gardner, 2010). They are invisible to the unaided eye and require specialized equipment to be detected. Fingerprints are crucial in solving crimes owing to their nature of being unique for every person. The federal bureau of investigation ensures that for each crime scene, fingerprints are collected. All fingerprints are run through a database and if a match is found, a suspect can be identified easily. By use of the Integrated Automated Identification System, the Federal Bureau of investigation is able to identify up to 70 million different prints, whether from past or current.

Fingerprint identification have helped to solve many cases. An example is a murder of a pensioner that took place in 1978 (“30-Year-Old Murder Solved,” 2012). The re-investigation caught the eye of investigators. The fingerprints from the bathroom were run against the fingerprint database. The investigators believed that they had found a hit. The investigators were right since they managed to get the culprit, who was about to be released from prison on a lesser charge. The identified prints helped to lay a foundation for a case against the man, who was given a life sentence.

The case proves how important fingerprints are in solving criminal cases. The fingerprint database makes it easier for agencies to follow up on open and closed cases with ease. The investigators did well to have a second look at the case since it had not been resolved. The case is a typical example of how important it is to keep database of all offenders, because they may end up committing one or more crimes which will not be solved because they are already behind bars. Technology has helped to solve cases through easier comparison of prints, unlike the manual methods involved in the past (Shaler, 2011). The ability to identify fingerprints from millions in a database has helped in quick solving of crimes.


30-Year-Old Murder Solved. (2012, September 11). Retrieved from

Gardner, R. (2010). Whose Fingerprints Are These?: Crime-Solving Science Projects. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, LLC.

Shaler, R. C. (2011). Crime Scene Forensics. doi:10.1201/b11595