If you come upon a crime scene…

We have been extremely busy putting together training protocols, workshop schedules, DNA awareness booklets and information in preparation for the launch of our ‘DNA CSI’ Awareness Campaign through which we are hoping to help educate the South African public and key sectors of the  community (security guards, CPF’s, paramedics etc) on how to preserve valuable DNA evidence on a crime scene in order to ensure that it is not damaged or destroyed before the Forensic Experts arrive.

But more of that next week…..

Whilst looking through some research material on crime scene preservation this morning, I came across an old letter that was given to me shortly after I started the DNA Project. An elderly gentleman, who had fought in the war, had heard about what I was doing, contacted me and asked to meet for coffee as he said that he had valuable material on crime scene management that he would like to give me. He was very persistent, and eventually I agreed to meet him at a public coffee shop. He turned out to be a delightful old man and I am glad I took the time to meet him albeit his crime scene management was a tad outdated!

The following letter is a transcript of what he handed to me at our meeting, in all seriousness, which I have kept to this day.  I share this with you because every now and again we need a bit of light relief,  and some days we need it more than ever: when I read it again this morning, I laughed out loud and hard, as it really is the most unique “Crime Scene Management Advice” that I have ever come across! It goes as follows, and I am typing it out verbatim,  the emphasis and CAPS, copied out as they appeared in the letter:
“IF you come upon a Crime Scene…..




DO NOT blunder around like a herd of buffaloes – if you do you may, easily, destroy vital evidence and the crook will go unpunished.

STOP – freeze and LOOK carefully all around you:- is anything familiar out-of-place? Is there a footprint? Is there blood spattered about? is there a whiff of dagga about? is there a lump of human sh#% in the middle of the lounge carpet? (if so put it in a clean plastic bag eg. the one from Pick n Pay or Checkers). It could provide a vital clue.

LOOK – see above.

LISTEN – is anyone moving about? Have you got a pepper spray? (EVERYONE should have one) .

If you hear any sounds prepare to use the spray ABSOLUTELY RUTHLESSLY.

ALWAYS go for his eyes or his balls – the kneecaps can easily be broken too.”
Vanessa 🙂

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