Peer-Reviewed News

This information has been subjected to peer review and has been published in a recognized journal or periodical. This information contains relevant cites that pertain to footwear, tire or barefoot impression evidence. Other peer-reviewed information that may be indirectly related to the aforementioned forensic disciplines (e.g., legal or enhancement techniques), may also be posted here.

Comparison of the Individual Characteristics in the Outsoles of Thirty-Nine Pairs of Adidas Supernova Classic Shoes

Wilson, H. Comparison of the Individual Characteristics in the Outsoles of Thirty-Nine Pairs of Adidas Supernova Classic Shoes. Journal of Forensic Identification, 62 (3), pp. 194-203. May/June 2012.


This study was conducted on 39 pairs of running shoes (Adidas Supernova Classic, men's size 12) that were worn by one individual over approximately an 8-year time period, on similar surfaces for a similar number of miles. These shoes were examined for the presence of individual characteristics to determine whether they were able to be individualized. The results of this study support the premise that all individual or accidental characteristics are random and happen by chance, and that by using these characteristics, footwear impressions are able to be identified to a single source.

Bromophenol Blue as a Chemical Enhancement Technique for Latent Shoeprints

McNeil, K. & Knaap, W.. Bromophenol Blue as a Chemical Enhancement Technique for Latent Shoeprints. Journal of Forensic Identification, 62 (2), pp. 143-153. March/April 2012.


The enhancment of two-dimensional shoe impressions, where the matrix is soil, may best be approached using chemistry. Potassium thiocyanate, which reacts with iron particles in soil, is a generally accepted development medium used by forensic investigators. Bromophenol blue, a pH indicator that reacts with carbonates in soil, is used, but with less frequency, particularly in North America. This study compared both chemistries and their ability to enhance two-dimensional shoe impressions deposited from a variety of soil samples on varying substrates. Bromophenol blue, although determined to be an inappropriate enhancement technique for brown paper samples, provided significantly more detailed enhancement than potassium thiocyanate with other tested substrates, including plastic and linoleum.

Reporting on the Comparison and Interpretation of Pattern Evidence: Recommendations for Forensic Specialists

Found, B. & Edmond, G. Reporting on the comparison and interpretation of pattern evidence: recommendations for forensic specialists. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. Available online January 17, 2012.


The structure of expert forensic reports varies widely in the pattern evidence sciences. Since many of the forensic disciplines dealing with pattern evidence have historically evolved outside of the mainstream academic sciences, report writing styles can bear little similarity to traditional scientific report writing norms. This paper outlines a proposal from representatives of both the academic sciences and the academic legal community and aims for a transparent approach to report writing in the pattern evidence disciplines. The adoption of this framework should encourage a reporting environment and form of report that would better allow a pattern evidence specialist's opinion to be assessed when being reviewed by practitioners and others within the wider socio-legal community.

The Use of a 3-D Laser Scanner to Document Ephemeral Evidence at Crime Scenes and Postmortem Examinations

Komar, D. A., Davy-Jow, S. & Decker, S. J. The Use of a 3-D Laser Scanner to Document Ephemeral Evidence at Crime Scenes and Postmortem Examinations. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57 (1), pp. 188–191. January 2012. Available online.


Proper documentation of physical evidence at both crimes scenes and postmortem examination is crucial for downstream analysis, interpretation, and presentation in court. Ephemeral or transient evidence poses particular challenges to investigators, as its very nature renders it difficult or impossible to seize and maintain in its original physical state. The use of a hand-held three-dimensional (3-D) laser scanner is proposed to capture and document such evidence, both in the field and at autopsy. Advantages of the scanner over traditional means of documentation such as photography or casting include the ability to obtain measurements in all dimensions, the ability to reconstruct missing elements, and the ease with which generated images can be interpreted by the jury at trial. Potential scenarios warranting the use of the scanner are identified, and the limitations of its use are discussed.