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Petroglyph
05-24-2007, 04:00 AM
Hi all,
I have a crime scene in my novel. The bad guy goes through a door, does his dastardly deed, and then leaves through the door. My hero then goes through the door and discovers the deed. Currently, I have police officers going in and out of the door, which suddenly occured to me to be idiotic. Would there be efforts to avoid handling the door and the doorknob to preserve fingerprints and other evidence? Would they prop the door open?

Thanks.

rugcat
05-24-2007, 04:53 AM
One of the first things every rookie cop learns is protect the scene! Assuming there's a victim, the paramedics would have to come in, unless the victim was very obviously dead. (Like as in a decapitation.) But the basic rule of all crime scenes is to keep the number of people contaminating it to a minimum.

The forensic people would process the scene, and they would not be happy to learn that officers had been traipsing in and out, carrying evidence away on the bottom of their shoes and bringing in extraneous matter the same way. An officer would be stationed at the door to prevent just that--including barring other officers that had no valid reason to be there. That officer, ideally, would keep a log of everyone who entered.

Even if a captain stops by to look at the scene, he or she would be advised to stay out. (Of course, if the captain insists, it would be a bold rookie indeed who would stop him/her even though it would technically be the proper thing to do.)

Petroglyph
05-24-2007, 07:01 AM
Thanks, Rugcat! If I may ask for more clarification then, my MC calls 911 to report a murder. Would uniformed cops be the first on the scene? Would they then escort my MC out of the murder area? When would forensics come? If my MC had to leave the scene (to deliver a baby), would they let her walk away or would they want her to stick around for a little bit?

I just don't want a cop to laugh at my book in a bad way, y'know?

Thanks so much. : )

rugcat
05-24-2007, 07:55 AM
Would uniformed cops be the first on the scene? Would they then escort my MC out of the murder area? Yes and yes.
When would forensics come? Depends. Usually pretty quickly, at least the crime lab photographer and fingerprint guy. More extensive investigation might be done later, depending on the size of the dept and, unfortunately, the importance of the victim.
If my MC had to leave the scene (to deliver a baby), would they let her walk away or would they want her to stick around for a little bit? Again, it depends. Is she a person of interest, like girlfriend of the victim? They'd want to question her before they let her walk away. If she had no obvious connection to the victim and had a legitimate and compelling reason that could be checked (like delivering a baby) they wouldn't like it but they would most likely let her leave.

Petroglyph
05-24-2007, 03:39 PM
Again, it depends. Is she a person of interest, like girlfriend of the victim? They'd want to question her before they let her walk away. If she had no obvious connection to the victim and had a legitimate and compelling reason that could be checked (like delivering a baby) they wouldn't like it but they would most likely let her leave.


The victim is her business partner, so perhaps I could play it either way. I admit I want one of the cops to try to stop her from leaving, just cause it begins many problems between her and this cop. :) So I suppose it might be possible that one of the cops might feel that she should stick around for a couple of minutes and give her a hard time for leaving?

Maybe the cop in question could be the guy protecting the door. The victim was killed in her office and my MC is trying to leave by the main door out of the lobby. Would just the victim's office be the crime scene or would the entire medical office (lobby, exam rooms, other people's offices)? There are drops of blood leading from the lobby to the victim's office.

Thanks again for letting me pick your brain.

rugcat
05-24-2007, 07:46 PM
The office is the crime scene. If there were visible drops of blood leading to the lobby, the area with the blood evidence would be closed off with that famous yellow tape.

As a business partner, sharing an office, she would definitely be a person of interest. They would certainly not let her leave without talking to her. The only question is how long they would detain her. Since they know who she is, and she has a legitimate reason to leave, (the baby) it's possible they would allow her to leave after a short while, but in the scenario you describe, I wouldn't count on it. A lot would depend on her answers. If you want the cops to keep her there, that's certainly not a problem.

Petroglyph
05-24-2007, 08:30 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts. : ) It is very nice to have your input.

Can I continue to take advantage of you?

If my MC tries to walk out the door and one of the cops wants her to stay, and she leaves anyway, what kind of intervention would the cop do? I'm guessing that ignoring a request from a cop is a bad thing?

I don't suppose you would be interested in reading the scene and letting me know if it is plausible? <insert angelic smile here>

rugcat
05-25-2007, 12:45 AM
If my MC tries to walk out the door and one of the cops wants her to stay, and she leaves anyway, what kind of intervention would the cop do? I'm guessing that ignoring a request from a cop is a bad thing?
Now you're entering a gray area. It all depends on the totality of the situation.

I don't suppose you would be interested in reading the scene and letting me know if it is plausible? <insert angelic smile here> Sure, PM me or use the email link.

Petroglyph
05-25-2007, 04:33 AM
Thanks! I sent an email.