Monday, June 24, 2002


How Accurate Is Biometrics?

Well, SECURITY eWeekly has learned that an Australian college student has just found a way to trick fingerprint and iris scan biometrics devices by hacking in and then replicating the templated files. According to SECURITY Magazine research, biometrics approaches are much more attractive today for both physical and computer access control. See the full-text article at:


One of the books noted recently as missing from my library is �MY FATHER�S GUN�.

This subject of this book will be a documentary on Monday, June 24th, on the Histroy Channel beginning at 9 PM.

The author recounts his family history, beginning with a grandfather that was a New York City Policeman in the 20�s, his father who was a Squad Commander of the 41 Squad in the 60�s, and his brother who was a detective during the recent 80-90�s.

It has received some mixed reviews, but certainly looks like it�s worth viewing.



New York�s first police officer was both policeman and prosecutor.

When Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians in 1624, the council established by the Dutch West India Company included a �shout-fiscal� or sheriff-attorney. His duties were to enforce the rules of the company, maintain order, arraign violators before the judge and present the case both for and against the prisoner. He also executed sentence, which generally consisted of hanging the culprit from a gibbet by his waist and keeping him suspended spreadeagle fashion in mid-air for the designated period of time!

As the colony grew, more protection became necessary and a �burger wagt� or citizens guard was established. This was a night watch, with citizens taking their turn. The regulations of 1643 provided fines for watchmen blaspheming, speaking ill of a comrade (imagine that one!!), as well as for being absent from watch, becoming �fuddled� or intoxicated, or discharging a gun or musket while off duty.

By 1652, when the town was incorporated as New Amsterdam, the watch had been equipped with rattles for summoning aid. It was referred to as the �rattle watch�. Fines were added for sleeping on post, loss of musket and being late to duty (some things never change).

In 1658, a paid rattle watch of eight men was established to substitute for the citizens� guard. This might be considered the first police department.


Search Sites, Resources, Services, and Tools that allow you to search for people and personal information. Start your People Search from Net-Trace today.

Questionable Doctors
Database Of Doctors Disciplined by state and federal

Super Snooper
A Great site with many links you will use.

US Federal Government Agency Finder
The Federal Alphabet Soup Starting Place.


Baby Sister, or Babysitter
A bodyguard, usually for a witness under police or federal protection.

Banana Race
A fixed horse race.

An ugly woman.

Big Papa
The Thompson machine gun, c. 1937. A Tommy-Gun.

A vengeance murder involving torture, mutilation and a slow death. Example: "He died buckwheats": he died slowly and painfully.

Button Man
An "official" member of the Mafia, one who has been inducted into a crime family; one who has "made his button."

A meeting of at least two Mafia families for the purposes of settling a dispute.
Also known as �the meets�, or a �sitdown�.

The mistress or girlfriend of a mobster. Also known as: Goumada.


A bearded burglary suspect was shot at by responding cops. The bullet tore through his shirt, but left the crook unharmed. Immediately after, the crook went home, shaved his beard and went to the police station to report his car (which was briefly chased by cops) was stolen.

In his haste, however, he didn�t realize he cut himself shaving, leaving his face a bloody mess. He also forgot to change his shirt that had the bullet hole in it.

A suspect in a string of vending machine thefts was arrested, and tried to post his four hundred dollar bail with quarters. (The court refused, and vouchered the money for investigation!).

A man was sentenced to ninety days in jail for disorderly conduct in Rhode Island. While in jail for this minor offense he decided to plot and execute an escape plan. For eighty-eight days he labored over his plans, and was then finally able to accomplish his feat. On the next-to-last day of his ninety day sentence, he made good his escape � for about five minutes! He was quickly re-arrested, and sentenced to eighteen months in jail!


I've recently acquired a new text for my true-crime library. "MEMOIRS OF A MURDER MAN" written in 1930, recounts the 39-year career in the New York City Police Department of Retired Inspector Arthur A. Carey.

Carey retired in 1928, ending his 39-year career, of which 33 years were spent, almost exclusively, in the investigation of suspicious deaths. For almost a quarter of a century he was chief of the Homicide Bureau, and in his time was known as an innovator in the investigation of murder.

During his tenure Carey was noted as "the world's foremost police expert on murder".

Carey came from a police family. His father was a member of the department, and retired as a Sergeant. Carey joined the force in 1889, retiring in 1928. He notes that two of his sons were also members of the department, one of them a detective at the time.

The early history of the department is best recounted in anecdotal format in a book of this type. It's interesting to note that American police in the early days played a very large part in city government. They also ran the street-cleaning operation, fed and lodged the poor, and conducted elections. "Police pay wasn't high, but it was certain to be forthcoming", notes Carey.

His father's desire to have him become a policeman influenced him early on. He recalls being familiar with the local police station house at an early age, and it was at that age he was bitten by the detective bug or, as he put it, "had the detective bee in his bonnet".

It is also interesting to note that at that time "nearly every policeman wore a beard", which was undoubtedly set in style by Lincoln. Beards lasted until Grant's time, and when John L. Sullivan became popular with his walrus mustache, that became the popular style. "It was possible for even a small boy to judge the status of a policeman by the beard he wore. The rank and file wore long chin whiskers while the higher-ups sported side whiskers".

The very first murder scene he recalls looking upon was not an actuality, but a picture. Old enough to be impressed, it depicted in graphic detail a bedchamber with a dead body on the floor. A veteran precinct detective saw him looking at the picture, and related to Carey that it was the scene of the Nathan case - one of the biggest murder cases in New York at that time. "That's a perfect picture of the scene", the detective stated. "Only one thing wrong with it. You see the uniformed policeman standing at the bedroom door with his nightstick?" Studying the picture, Carey recalls the next words out of the detective's mouth that would influence him from that day on:

"It wasn't a patrolman's job", he said piously. "Murder is a detective's job".


June 26, 1918 Ptl Joseph Nolan, 22 Pct, Assaulted with brick
June 26, 1930 Ptl Wilson Fields, 62 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
June 26, 1937 Ptl George Mahnken, Mcy Unit, Motorcycle accident
June 26, 1977 Det Henry McDevitt, 48 Pct, Assaulted
June 28, 1927 Ptl Andrew Grennan, 46 Pct, Drowned during rescue
June 28, 1931 Det William DeGive, MODD, Shot during GLA Arrest
June 28, 1963 Ptl. William Baumfield, 4 Div, Shot-Robbery
June 28, 1972 PO John Skagen, TD2, Shot chasing felon
June 28, 1986 PO Scott Gadell, 101 Pct, Shot during investigation
July 1, 1911 Ptl Michael Lynch, 22 Pct, Shot by perp

Monday, June 17, 2002


Did you happen to catch the article in the June issue of GQ about "The Body Farm"?

On a two acre patch of land in Tennessee behind the University of Tennessee Medical Center sits a research facility operated by Murray Marks, an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. Marks is a Forensic Anthropologist, and his research facility, dubbed "The Body Farm", studies the decomposition of the human body in order to "help law enforcement catch killers".

This research is enabling forensic scientists answer the question "How long has the victim been dead". The research is geared to determining "Time Since Death", or TSD, by studying the progression of decomposition in a controlled environment.

Professor Marks and his research facility has been helping to train FBI agents and Medical Examiners for several years. Indeed, the first question most investigators will ask the ME at the scene of a "dumped" body will be "How long has he/she been dead"? By studying decomposition in a cadre of environments, Dr. Marks is capable of providing the research information that can determine the TSD in a more accurate manner.

The University of Tennessee's Anthropology Department is nationally renowned in forensic anthropology. Dr. William M. Bass is the forensic anthropologist that started the "Body Farm" at UT. Since retired, he is the mentor to Dr. Marks and all those who study forensic anthropology.

The Body Farm started in 1980. Dr. Bass, already a noted forensic anthropologist, was frustrated over the lack of scientific data available on human decomposition. "He became obsessed with wanting to study the whole postmortem continuum, rather than just glimpsing the snapshots in time that he had been seeing". Since then this research has produced groundbreaking data and technology.

Thanks to the Farm, a pair of specialists invented a device that lifts fingerprints off a corpse, and the FBI has improved a ground-penetrating-radar device that detects buried bodies. The most revolutionary discoveries at the farm have come from studying the bugs and the flies that appear post mortem on a human body. So not only have they advanced the science of forensic anthropology, they have also rapidly advanced the science of forensic entomology - the study of insect science as it relates to human decomposition.


A simple lesson from The Body Farm on the five major stages of human body decomposition, or "decomp", is presented here.

First, there is "Fresh".

The second stage, "Bloat", occurs when gases trapped in the stomach and intestines cause the abdomen to puff.

Third is "Decay". Organs putrefy and the elements wear away or eat away soft tissue.

Fourth is "Dry", when the body is left to Mother Nature and dries up.

Finally, the fifth stage is "Skeletal".

Temperature and other factors affect the rate of decomposition. That is why it is important to take a temperature reading of the environment around the body as well as the body temperature, for the ME to make a proper determination of "Time Since Death", or TSD.

Through the research done in forensic entomology it is possible to time-stamp the decomposition continuum by examining the insects that are on or around a body, which is another example of the importance of preserving this by Crime Scene for Lab analysis.

For example, for flies to find a body and lay their larvae, and the larvae to then hatch into maggots, and the maggots to pupate, it takes at least twenty-one days. This research enables an ME to make a clearer determination on TSD.


Because extremely small samples of DNA can be used as evidence, greater attention to contamination issues is necessary when identifying, collecting, and preserving DNA evidence.

DNA evidence can be contaminated when DNA from another source gets mixed with DNA relevant to the case.

This can happen when someone sneezes or coughs over the evidence or touches his/her mouth, nose, or other part of the face and then touches the area that may contain the DNA to be tested.

With such minute samples of DNA being copied, extra care must be taken to prevent contamination.

To avoid contamination of evidence, always take the following precautions:

Wear gloves, change them often.
Use disposable instruments.
Avoid touching the area where you belive DNA may exist.
Avoid talking, sneezing, and coughing over evidence.
Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth when collecting and packaging evidence.
Air-dry evidence thoroughly before packaging.
Put evidence into new paper bags or envelopes, NOT into plastic bags.
DO NOT use staples.

When transporting and storing evidence that may contain DNA, it is important to keep the evidence dry and at room temperature. Once the evidence has been secured in paper bags or envelopes, it should be sealed, labeled, and transported in a way that ensures proper identification of where it was found and proper chain of custody.

Never place evidence that may contain DNA in plastic bags because plastic bags will retain damaging moisture.

Direct sunlight and warmer conditions also may be harmful to DNA, so avoid keeping evidence in places that may get hot, such as a room or police car without air conditioning.


Prescription drug info

See what current paper money looks like:
It's a link to The U.S. Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


According to AOL � and this is only from AOL � here is a list of the five best pizza parlors on Long Island. (It is noted that my favorite, Vincent�s of Lynbrook and Baldwin, is not on this list).

Blue Moon Pizza, Rockville Centre . I�ve eaten there, it�s good!
Eddies, New Hyde Park.
Emilio�s, Commack.
Mama Lombardi�s, Holbrook.
Umberto�s, New Hyde Park. (Also makes The Minister�s list of favorites!)

I'd like to conduct my own study, of Brooklyn area pizza locations. If you have a nominee for "The Best Pizza" in any of the five boroughs of New York City, especially in Brooklyn, please let me know. Contact me at:


Friday, June 14, 2002


Due to an increase in violence, the Manchester, England Police Force has been arming more of its officers on routine patrol activities. This has been seen as a major variation in the British style of policing.

British police officers usually carry only batons, handcuffs, and a pepper-like spray meant to disorient suspects. The general feeling about armed police officers has been that �violence promotes violence, and if you find police carrying guns, they�ll be more accessible and more crimes will be committed with guns� (NY Times, 6/2/02).

The problem of how to address increasingly vicious criminals in a nation where much of the public, and most of the police officers themselves, have opposed the routine arming of the police, is taking a new turn with this movement.

The fallacy that British police forces are unarmed is not true. They just do not routinely arm police officers on patrol, but do so in selected deployment modes.

The use of guns by British police have generally been in place since the 1980�s. Most of the assignments involve reactive deployment, giving them to selected specialists for specific operations and instructing the officers to use them as a last resort. These new assignments in Manchester, however, are in reaction to the increase in violence and are an effort to rein in some of the city�s most violent gangs.

The feeling about armed police officers is divided among the rank and file as well. One Police Superintendent is quoted in the TIMES as feeling �it ups the ante, doesn�t it? If we armed every police officer the public would get the message that it�s a very dangerous place. And if we�re armed, then more criminals are going to say �We need guns too��.

The emergence of a new type of armed criminal is making many of these policies undergo close review. The criminals are arming themselves with guns smuggled from Eastern Europe or reactivated from legally obtained decommissioned American guns. Armed robbery in London has doubled from 2000 to 2001, with shootings arising as well.

In London, the Metropolitan Police Force currently uses a number of options. These include an armed response vehicle in which officers with semi-automatic weapons patrol an area and respond to calls for help. A specialist unit is also available for operations including surveillance, and officers assigned to the airports are routinely armed.

The arming of its police force �may be the only way we�ll be able to handle the increased threat from terrorism, armed robberies and criminals shooting each other� states Norman Brennan, a London Police Officer who is campaigning for a more extensively armed police force.


As reported in the NY TIMES recently, the federal government crime statistics indicate that the surge in business fraud and white collar corruption continues. �The bursting of the stock market bubble, combined with the changing face of the American population, has led to a surge� in white collar crime.

The last decade has seen violent crime, including the rate of murder, robbery, assault and other property crimes has declined or flattened. On the other hand, a marked increase in accounting and corporate infractions, fraud in health care, government procurement and bankruptcy, identity theft, illegal corporate espionage and intellectual property piracy has been observed.

Attributed to some of this are technological advances like the Internet. Equally important, it is reported, are the demographic changes, like the aging and growing prosperity and education of the population.

Fraud is on the rise as the same time as other crimes are decrerasing.

According to Joseph T. Wells, a former FBI agent and founder of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, �There are at least two reasons. Crime is largely a factor of age, and fraud is the crime of choice of the older perpetrator, so as the society ages, you have, and should continue to see, an increase in fraud cases�.

The education level of society is also cited as a contributing factor. As the education level has risen over the past 20 years, the message is clear in the mind of the better-educated public that if you want to commit a crime, fraud is the way to go. �The take is better, and the punishment is generally less�, states Wells.

Executive compensation packages are also given as a motive to manipulate financial statements for short-term personal gain.

The White Collar Crime Reporter, a trade publication for lawyers and investigators, recently said �White-collar crime is spinning through the roof. It�s spinning new varieties daily and the incidence and amounts of money being stolen are incredible�.

The area of white-collar crime has a triangle that they refer to as �The Fraud Triangle�. People commit fraud because of three factors: financial pressure, the perception of an opportunity, and rationalizing it as O.K. �All three of these elements have been increasing�.


The field of �Forensic Anthropology� saw its beginnings during WWII, as a means of identifying and repatriating the deceased from World War II. The Korean War brought the field into prominent activity.

Technical advances at this time and a steady increase in academic interest in the field led to its later organization as a section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1972. Since that time, forensic anthropology has been a recognized subfield of physical anthropology and the forensic sciences, requiring the usual academic rigors of obtaining the higher degrees in anthropology (at least a Master's degree), as well as the special training and certification of its section in the Academy.

A forensic anthropologist is a physical anthropologist who has been trained to recognize and examine human skeletal remains for indications of sex, age, height, unique characters of the individual, features which might indicate how the person died, and processes that affect the skeleton after death. Although a forensic pathologist or other medical doctor may seem a more appropriate conductor of such analyses, their education and training focuses on changes in soft tissue.

The forensic anthropologist is expected to recognize bone outside of its natural context even if it is reduced to small fragments. He or she can identify all the bones of the human skeleton, determine if a bone is human or not, and understand that the shape of a bone is related to its function in the body and its owner's relationship to other animals.

Forensic anthropologists serve the public in several types of investigations. As a result they work with the other agents concerned with the disposition of human remains, such as medical examiners or coroners, local and federal law enforcement and family organizations. The most common circumstances are criminal investigations on a local or federal level, such as a local homicide or the results of terrorist activity. Other circumstances include mass disasters of natural or human cause, such as the recovery of tornado or aviation accident victims. The U.S. Army maintains a staff of forensic anthropologists at a facility based in Hawaii who are dedicated to the continued recovery and identification of Americans lost in the past armed conflicts.

Frequently the public learns of the forensic anthropologists work when it involves cases of historical interest, such as the exhumation of President Zachary Taylor for an investigation of the cause of his death, or the recovery and identification of the remains of the last Czar of Russia and his household.

As previously stated, forensic anthropologists are trained to discriminate between human and non-human bone. In many investigations, the anthropologist�s services begin and end (if no human bones are found) at this step when he or she is called to a locality or medical examiner's office and asked to make a determination. At an investigation scene the forensic anthropologist will search for and identify human bone, look for indications of burials, and conduct necessary excavations in a systematic manner using thorough documentation. In the search for burials, in addition to using visual clues, the anthropologist may employ specialized equipment and techniques, such as ground penetrating radar and infrared photography.

Forensic anthropologists investigate six properties when examining skeletal remains: age, sex, ancestry, stature, unique characters of the skeleton, and indications of trauma.

Estimating sex can be one of the simpler parts of a forensic analysis if certain parts of the skeleton are present. Given a choice, a forensic anthropologist would always prefer to have an intact pelvis, with the second choice being an intact skull.

For either part two approaches are used to estimate sex, a morphological assessment and/or a metric assessment. The morphology or shape of the pelvis differs between males and females. This difference can be recorded by noting the presence of features associated with a particular sex, or by measuring the pelvis and using statistical analysis to estimate sex.


CODIS is the acronym for the Combined DNA Index System.

This is an electronic database of DNA profiles that can identify suspects, and is similar to the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) database.

Every state in the nation is in the process of implementing a DNA index of individuals convicted of certain crimes, such as rape, murder, and child abuse. Upon conviction and sample analysis, perpetrators DNA profiles are entered into the DNA database.

DNA profiles from a crime scene can be entered into CODIS, giving law enforcement an ability to identify possible suspects when no prior suspect existed.


Forensic Site for Investigators

Help on people searches:

This has been described as the best non- paying site for people searches.

Monday, June 10, 2002


You can distinguish lividity from a bruise by pressing down on the skin area.

Since with lividity, the blood is still in the blood vessels, when you press down on the skin the skin changes color and turns white (or whatever skin color the person normally has) again.

Bruises, by definition, are broken blood vessels, so when you press down on the skin area for them, you won't notice and color change; the skin area will just turn another shade of blueish-green.


Russian organized crime includes crime groups from all the republics which comprised the former Soviet Union. These crime groups are operating in many of the major cities in California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and San Diego. Russian crime figures have been identified in cases involving extortion, prostitution, insurance and medical fraud, auto theft, counterfeiting, credit card forgery, narcotics trafficking, fuel tax fraud, money laundering, and murder.

Russian organized crime networks are also operating in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Many of the California-based networks communicate and, in many cases, are connected with these out-of-state groups in their criminal activities.

An estimated 80 percent of the private enterprises and commercial banks in Russia's major cities are forced to pay a tribute of 10 to 20 percent of their profits to organized crime.

During the 1970s and 1980s, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, approximately 200,000 Soviet citizens, many who were Russian-Jewish refugees, immigrated to the U.S. Although the Soviet government liberalized its Jewish immigration policy, it is believed that under this guise the KGB also emptied their prisons of hard-core criminals, much like Cuban dictator Fidel Castro did during the Mariel boatlift of 1980. Many of these criminals are believed to have continued their life of crime in the United States.

The flow of Soviet refugees increased following congressional enactment of the Lautenberg Amendment in November 1989, which allows up to 50,000 Soviet refugees to enter the U.S. each year. This was followed by the adoption in May 1991, of Russia's first law granting its citizens the right to immigrate and travel freely.

In 1994, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the majority of former Soviet emigres and refugees entering the U.S. declared as their intended state of residence New York, followed by California, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Oregon.

According to an April 1986 report by the President's Commission on Organized Crime, the first indication of an organized crime element among Russian immigrants came in 1975 when a gang from the Odessa region of Russia was discovered to be involved in major fraud. The victims were other Russians living throughout the United States. The group became known as the "Potato Bag Gang" because victims believed they had bought a sack of gold coins but actually received only a bag of potatoes.

Soviet criminal networks gradually expanded into other criminal activities such as extortion, theft, prostitution, and actively preyed upon newly arriving groups of Russian emigres by extorting money from them. The Brighton Beach area of New York City became the hub for Russian organized crime in this country during the mid-1970s. There, Russian criminals developed a working relationship with the La Cosa Nostra (LCN) which allowed them to establish fuel tax fraud schemes in certain areas of New York. The LCN forced the Russian criminals involved in these frauds to pay a large portion of their proceeds as a "tax" to operate.

Thieves' Code of Conduct - There is a traditional code of conduct within this old style of organized crime in Russia called "Vory v Zakone," or thieves in law. This group existed throughout the Soviet era and continues today throughout the republics of the former Soviet Union. In this society the thieves in law live and obey the "Vorovskoy Zakon," the thieves' code. The members are bound by 18 codes and if they are broken, the transgression is punishable by death.

Law enforcement officials in the former Soviet Union indicate that most of the organized crime groups are well organized with sophisticated technical equipment, computers, transportation, financial support, and an excellent counterintelligence network. Those groups are involved in extortion, precious metal and raw material smuggling, money laundering, fraud, weapons smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and black marketing.

Current information indicates that most Russian organized crime groups are loosely organized and do not have elaborate levels of structure. These groups are often influenced by their ethnic or regional backgrounds. They have formed networks that operate in situations of mutual interest and often shift alliances to meet particular needs.
This fact � that they organize as need arises � and often do not know others involved in the operation � are what make breaking into this �organized� crime structure so difficult.


As noted in the NY TIMES of Sunday, June 2, 2002, Sgt. VINCENT HENRY of the Police Academy has been awarded a doctorate degree in criminal justice from CUNY.

Henry, after 10 years of study, was awarded his doctorate upon completion of his thesis: dealing with the way the exposure to death affects the lives of police officers.

His dissertation, titled �The Police Officer as Survivor: The Psychological Impact of Exposure to Death in Contemporary Urban Policing�, drew on interviews with scores of rookie police officers, sergeants, crime scene investigators and homicide detectives. His dissertation was completed and submitted prior to the September 11 attack on the WTC.

Sergeant Henry, a 20 year veteran, is recognized as a Fulbright scholar, and was the student speaker at his commencement ceremony. Congratulations to Dr./Sgt. Vincent Henry on this huge accomplishment.


As reported recently throughout the news media, a Palestinian woman wished to enlist in the fight against the Jews, and become a suicide bomber. The Palestinians realized that young women did not fit the �profile� of a suicide bomber, and could get into locations more easily so as to detonate a bomb on themselves.

This woman apparently had no problem becoming a suicide bomber, with the prospect of maiming and killing many innocent Jews in the process.

However, they asked her to dress so as to appear as a �modern day� Israeli women � makeup, short skirt, hair nicely cut.

This, she said, was against her religion, and she was not able to fulfill her role as a suicide bomber.

Apparently the suicide bombers have no religious problem with the killing and maiming of others, as long as they don�t have to dress inappropriately. How do you deal with this way of thinking?


Lots of investigative resources here

Yet another interesting site with numerous links


As reported earlier this weekend, the NYPD Football Team has won the National Title by beating the LAPD Team.

Congratulations to all! (Hey, Tommy Smith... where were you?)

Sunday, June 02, 2002


A recent posting to this site concerning "Gunshot Residue", and the testing for GSR, was provided as an
informative piece to investigators.

It was pointed out to me, quite properly, by the "Wizard of Stats", that the gunshot residue test should "Never be given unless you know what the answer
will be. The test is not reliable on closed breach weapons such as automatics. And you may give the Defense Attorney something to hang his hat on".

Quite true! I neglected to add this when providing the "science" behind the testing, but it definitely is worth noting. This is why the GSR test is NOT
ENCOURAGED by the Crime Scene Unit. The lack of a positive test does NOT necessarily mean the subject did NOT handle the weapon, although such a result
could be inferred to a jury by a defense attorney.

Best advice: Think about a GSR test fully before requesting one be performed.

Thanks again to Chris Cincotta for pointing this out.


Just in case you didn't know, Chris Cincotta, the Wizard of Stats, is still a loyal reader to this site despite his retirement from the department.

Chris is the Vice President for Corporate Security at Lehman Brothers in Midtown Manhattan. Life continues after "the job". Best wishes, Chris.


Odessa Mafia - The Odessa Mafia is considered the dominant Russian organized crime group in the United States. This group established itself in the Brighton
Beach area of New York City between 1975 to 1981. In the early 1980s the Odessa Mafia sent two sub-groups to San Francisco and Los Angeles with their leadership
remaining in Brighton Beach. The San Francisco Bay Area Odessa Mafia group, unlike their southern counterpart, appear to be highly structured and well

Secrecy surrounds their activities and the language barrier creates additional problems for law enforcement authorities. This has resulted in very little information concerning the hierarchy, the scope of their operations, and the number of members. This crime group is believed to be involved in extortion, money laundering, fraud, loan sharking, and homicide.


The recent moves that sent over 150 members of the Warrant Section to Precinct Detective Squads throughout the city has brought many new faces to
Brooklyn North.

We welcome all of these people, who will be filling a load of vacated spots throughout the boro. Among these is the addition of Lt. Steve Sullivan, from
Kings South Warrant Squad to the CO of the 77 Squad. Another movement involving Squad Commanders sees Eddie Lott, formerly the Detective Boro Operations-ICO-Admin
Lieutenant, and the 73 RAM Sgt before that, taking over the 81 Squad, vacated with Butch Neacy's promotion to Captain.

This doesn?t include the additional Sgt's we received (5) and the 20 Detectives who have been assigned throughout Brooklyn North.

We welcome you all, and look forward to working with you for years to come.


Brooklyn South Homicide is now commanded by Lt. Robert Soloff.

Bobby took over command of this squad following the transfer of Al King to the Joint Terrorist Task Force. Bobby is the former commander of the 70 Squad.
No doubt Bobby will become quite familiar with the Odessa Mafia in his new role.

Robert Palestra has filled the seat in the 70 Squad. Bob Palestra is a recent transfer from the Warrant Squad moves, coming to Brooklyn South from Manhattan

Welcome to the Borough of Churches.


A recent inventory undertaken of the "True Crime Library" of The Minister, necessitated by yet another move into new office facilities, has uncovered the
following items missing or removed and never returned.

I include this listing here in the event that a reader either:

a. has borrowed the book and neglected to let me know and/or return the book, or
b. you have recently visited the basement of a recently retired detective and have discovered some of these items in his bookshelf next to his exterminator
supplies, and wish to provide a "tip" to The Minister of your find.

The following books were discovered "missing" when moving from the 77 Squad:
(See item b. above)

1. CBS Murders, hardcover
2. Murder at the Met, hardcover
3. Buddy Boys, hardcover
4. Coffey Files, hardcover (since replaced with a new copy)
5. Cop Shot, hardcover
6. The Prince, by Macchiavelli, softcover. ("Is it better to be loved or feared"?)

The following books were discovered "missing" from the 75 Squad:

1. NYPD Battles Crime, softcover
2. Making of a Detective, hardcover
3. Jimmy the Wags, hardcover (since replaced with a new copy)
4. The Two Chinatowns, hardcover
5. The Police Mystique, hardcover
6. My Fathers Gun, hardcover
7. Mob Over Miami, softcover, autographed copy

Note: As a collector of "true crime" books, I am always interested in acquiring and/or purchasing new additions to the library. If you have any books you
are selling or looking to get rid of, please let me know. If you know of any unusual book finds, old books on policing, etc - let me know. In addition, if
you have any old SPRING 3100 magazines, I am especially interested in these. Anything from the 1960's, 1950's or earlier, especially interested in these.

You can always contact the Minister of Investigation


The National Criminal Justice Reference Service provides some quite valuable investigative material for free, accessible on line as well. The following
documents can be downloaded on-line, or ordered as a "hard copy" from NCJRS. Well worth checking out.

"What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence" Document # BC000614

"What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence"
Beginning Level CD-ROM as well as an Advanced Level CD-ROM.

Beginning Level: Document NCJ 182992
Advanced Level: Document NCJ 184479
These must be ordered by telephone. See telephone number below.

"Death Investigation: A Guide For the Scene Investigator". Provides suggestions for a thorough and competent investigation of a death crime scene.
NCJ 167568. Can be downloaded at:

"Eyewitness Evidence: A Guide for Law Enforcement". Recommends procedures for obtaining the most reliable and accurate information from eyewitnesses, including
suggestions for interviewing witnesses and identifying suspects. NCJ 178240

These documents may be ordered directly from NCJRS by calling:


In addition to the promotions noted in a recent posting, it should also be noted that two Captains with roots in Brooklyn North Detectives have been
promoted to Deputy Inspector.

George Duke, currently the C.O. of Major Case Squad, was at one time a 77 Squad Sergeant, as well as the Squad Commander of the 77 Squad and the 75 Squad,
prior to his assuming command of Major Case.

Bob Boyce, currently the C.O. of the 40 Pct, has his roots in the 75 Squad as a Sgt, and later the Squad Commander of the 88 Squad and the 79 Squad, prior to
his promotion to Captain.

We wish these alumni of Brooklyn North Detectives best wishes on their promotion!