An introduction to crime reconstruction

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Book Chapter

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Chisum, W. J., & Turvey, B. E. (2011). An introduction to crime reconstruction. In B.E. Turvey (Ed.), Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioural evidence analysis, 253-286. Oxford, United Kingdom: Academic Press, Elsevier.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 160201

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Crime reconstruction is the determination of fire actions and events surrounding the commission of a crime (Chisum and Turvey, 2007). A reconstruction may be accomplished by using the statements of witnesses, the confession of a suspect, the statement of a living victim, or by the examination and interpretation of physical evidence.

Some refer to this process as crime scene reconstruction. A crime scene is any location where criminal activity is known to have taken place. In most reconstruction efforts, the crime scenes are not actually being put back together as they were; only some of the actions and sequences of events are being established (or disproved). At the evidentiary level, this is in no small part due to the natural limits and capabilities of science. Consequently, the term crime scene reconstruction is at best an inaccurate description of what forensic science is actually able to contribute to the cause of justice.

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