Forensic Ballistic Services

crime scene investigation
Above: post-mortem (autopsy) in progress to observe and determine type of gunshot wound






crime scene investigation
Above: shoeprint comparison






crime scene investigation
Above: tyre prints carry individual markings (cuts & slices) and can be matched to a specific tyre






crime scene investigation
Above: Spacing and marks between the “teeth” of a crowbar in forcing open a door can play a major role in forensic toolmark identification.

Background

Having started in the South African Police Service and most recently running my own private practice for the past 20 years I have accumulated a total of 27 years of professional experience interpreting crime scenes and the related physical evidence. To date I have investigated more than 7000 firearm related cases some where more than 100 (and up to 1,200 shots) were fired. I regularly give advice in court and testify as an expert witness four to five times per month.

I am actively involved in most aspects of crime scene investigation with a primary focus on firearm & toolmark examinations and analysis. I am continually involved in the collection, preservation, analysis and interpretation of physical evidence, shooting scene reconstruction, wound ballistic determination during autopsies and expert witness testimony. Explanatory reports and computer drawn sketches of the scene are compiled for court presentation.

In addition to the skills mentioned above I am often requested to investigate cases requiring the following skills: Ballistic Matching, Tyre Imprint Identification, Footwear Identification, Serial Number Restoration, and Blood Spatter Analysis.

Further to my skills in forensic ballistics I am also experienced in shooting range design and safety. In 2004, for the first time in South African history, standardized safety laws were implemented. Myself and another colleague formed Range Assessments and pioneered the way forward with implementing the new standards whereby we inspected both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges (on behalf of the SABS, South African Bureau of Standards) and assisted with redesign in order to establish a foundation for basic safety levels. To date I have assessed and helped to design over 200 ranges.


Qualifications

Ballistic Science Diploma
South African Police Services Academy - Forensic Science Laboratory
Certification as a Firearm & Toolmark Examiner, Pretoria, South Africa 1989

Certification in Classification and Identification of Fingerprints
South African Police Services – Fingerprint Division, Pretoria, South Africa, 1985


Additional Professional Membership, Education & Training

AFTE Regular Member
Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (since 1986)

Detection, Recovery & Examination of Footwear Impressions – USA May 2011
Presented by Bill Bodziak author of "Footwear Impression Evidence: Detection, Recovery & Examination" in Ft. Collins Colorado USA

Instruction and hands on experience in key areas, including the recovery methods of photography, casting and lifting from the examiner’s perspective; enhancement of bloody impressions; the evaluation of class and identifying characteristics; footwear sizing issues and the examination and reporting process.

Mathematics & Physics for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Course - USA Jan. 2010
Presented by the Miami Dade Public Safety Training Institute, Miami, Florida

Mathematical theory behind the formulae used to determine the origin of blood sources and the scientific principles that dictate the motion of blood. Analyze, interpret, and testify more effectively in cases where bloodstain pattern analysis is performed. Hands-on exercises utilized to reinforce principles learned in the classroom and included instruction in the use of the Backtrack® computer program for bloodstain pattern analysis.

POSLEC-SETA Verifiers Course -2005
-to conduct verifications of accredited firearm training programs

Restoration of Obliterated Serial Numbers Workshop
BATF Forensic Science Lab-4 Credit Hours AFTE Conference, 2000

Ballistics Identification Workshop (How sure are you a match is a match?)
B. Bachrach, PhD., Intelligent Automation Inc. AFTE Conference, 2000

Advanced Officer’s Management Course -Paarl, South Africa, 1992
Covered: team building, change management, strategic thinking, decision making, delegation, effective communication, management of resources, functional management, financial and logistical management

Forensic Field Workers Course
South African Forensic Ballistic Laboratory, Pretoria 1989
Covered: laboratory procedures, handling of exhibits, primer residue collection, trace evidence collection, preservation of crime scenes, documentation and labelling of exhibits, protection of integrity of exhibits, & preservation of chain of custody

Police Officer’s Training & Certification – 6 months - Pretoria, South Africa, 1985
Covered: Firearm Training, Riot Control & Crowd Management (Use of Teargas)
Criminal Procedure Act, Collection of Evidence at Crime Scenes,
Crime Scene Management & Collection of Trace Evidence