View Full Version : Chalk one up for the crime scene

06-27-2007, 09:47 PM
You see it in the movies. The dead body is removed leaving the remaining chalk outline.

This is not the way it is supposed to be done because it will contaminate the crime scene.

But was it ever done?

I searched the web for information and found this:


I have a chalk outline in my book that if I were to remove it for authenticity purposes it would steal the emotion from several scenes. I need my outline (or some obvious indication of the body).

Currently I believe the line/tape has been used officially in the past. Can anyone confirm or reject this myth?

Soccer Mom
06-27-2007, 10:06 PM
I've been a prosecutor for about thirteen years and I've never seen a chalk outline. Ever.

I've seen things marked with cards (not paint except for Sokkia markings for accident reconstruction).

And photos. Lots and lots of photos. On murder cases, I've literally sorted through hundreds and hundreds of photos in a single case.

06-27-2007, 11:32 PM
But what about 30 or 40 years ago?

Might a murder victim in Smalltown USA have been chalked in 1975?

Or has it simply never been done? And if never, where did it come from?

Soccer Mom
06-29-2007, 12:30 AM
I'll check with some old time detectives from that period (my father being one of them) and ask if they ever did this.

06-29-2007, 02:48 AM
Thanks Mom.

06-29-2007, 03:50 AM
If chalk doesn't make sense, how about a blood stain? If enough blood was spilled on a porous surface and allowed to dry, it would remain.