There are a variety of ways to document crime scenes, including photo management, crime scene documentation worksheets, and crime scene diagramming. The crime scene documentation worksheet is one of the most versatile and effective items used in crime scene documentation. Many forensic investigators use the worksheet, as well as those who do not have formal training in crime scene documentation but know that it is the backbone of any crime scene investigation. Because of its flexibility, you can use this chart to either enhance your writing skills or to help you with future crime scene investigations.
A good crime scene workbook must be easy to use. One of the most useful of these worksheets is the crime scene documentation worksheet. This worksheet provides a concise list of all the different categories to which the crime scene has been committed. Here, you will list the victim, the suspect, the method of committing the crime, the location of the crime, and other details that you feel are important.
When you begin your crime scene worksheet, list each different category in order of increasing complexity? The final category is typically the category you focus on the most and which requires the most attention. You may want to add in a list of the various items discovered at the scene so that you can see if anything is missing.
The new section for this worksheet should usually include a quick reference to the city, state, and area of the crime scene. Usually, this is a place where you will be able to write down a map of the area that is being investigated. On the map, identify the names of all the departments involved, the district attorney’s office, and the name of the police department.
Remember to also put a brief description of the scene where the crime took place, whether you feel that this should be in your header or footer. You might also list the procedures that were used by authorities and security personnel. You might also provide a few details about what was found at the scene, like the type of clothing found at the scene, the nature of the crime, the type of items that were found at the scene, etc.
Also remember to place a small blurb of your own, such as, “Attention: The presence of body language should be noted. (optional).” Body language, being a basic component of crime scene investigation, is often overlooked. It is important to capture this part of the scene if you are ever required to recount this information to others.
Lastly, add a summary to your crime scene documentation worksheet of what was found at the scene, and what was reported in the police report. This information can be used in the police report, as well as when you prepare your workbook when you write your stories, and when you interview witnesses and other participants in the crime.