Criminal Justice Research Paper on Criminal Case Evidence Study

Criminal Case Evidence Study

Background of the Study

December 14, 1969, will mark the day when a single young mother named Diane Jackson was brutally murdered. As was usual, the telephone operator got to her workstation in Houston and parked her car. After parking the car, she was forcefully abducted by unknown individuals who brutally raped, strangled and stabbed her to death. The Houston police department did their best to carry out the investigations but unfortunately, no potential suspect was identified. They decided to lift the latent prints from the scene (Suro, 1990).


Decades later, without potential progress, the case became cold. In the year 1989, her brother David Maxwell decided to review his sisters’ file. He requested the Houston Police Department to critically review the original evidence and provide a report for the new leads (Hart, 2004). One of the Houston local newspapers publicized the murder case and requested the public for any potential assistance. During that time, the Houston Police Department re-examined their lifted latent prints of 1969. The prints were thoroughly investigated using the Automated Fingerprints Identification System, which never provided any positive results.


Jill Kinkade, a safety Latent Print technician in Texas, prepared the prints and made a fresh search using the Alternative Light source. This was on July 23 2003, and in less than 5 hours, 20 potential matches were revealed and the highest potential candidate was James Ray Davis who was arrested, arraigned in court and charged with murder (Manzer, 2009).

As technology constantly advances, it is important for innocent citizens to avoid crime scenes as much as possible. The alternative light source can be a rich source for searching any trace in the crime scene.




Hart, L. (2004, Nov 27). The Nation; evidence at issue as woman’s execution nears; lawyers for Frances Newton, convicted of killing her family in Houston, seek new tests. Los Angeles Times. Web. 22 May 2014. Retrieved from

Manzer, T. (2009, Jul 17). Family, police seek help in long beach cold case. Press – Telegram. Web. 22 May 2014. Retrieved from

Suro, R. (1990, Oct 01). Special to The New York Times. “As inmates are freed, Houston feels insecure.” Web. 22 May 2014. The New York Times. Retrieved from