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Criminalistics, Fourth Edition
Forensic Science, Crime, and Terrorism

Author(s): James E. Girard, PhD, American University
  • ISBN-13: 9781284142617
  • Hardcover    498 pages      © 2018
Price: $136.95 US List
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The Standard in Forensic Science Fundamentals

10 Reasons Why You Should Adopt Criminalistics.  Need we say more?

Criminalistics continues to set the standard for modern forensic methods and investigative techniques in a new, updated fourth edition. Beginning at the crime scene and proceeding to the forensic laboratory, the text walks the reader through the entire forensic investigation. Students learn how to accurately identify, gather, and analyze multiple types of evidence by examining actual crimes that were solved using the techniques presented. The Fourth Edition features new contemporary case studies, updated statistics, and extended coverage of footwear impressions. Updated discussions on cell phone breathalyzer technology and familial DNA keep students on the cutting-edge of investigative techniques and forensic science developments. The most comprehensive and accessible text of its kind, Criminalistics: Forensic Science, Crime, and Terrorism, Fourth Edition is a practical, student-friendly introduction to this exciting science.

Features & Benefits

  • ACCESSIBLE - Makes forensic science techniques and concepts easy-to-understand by discussing only the core science principles behind the forensic method
  • APPLIED - Contemporary case studies connect the material to actual crimes that were solved using the techniques presented
  • COMPREHENSIVE – All types of evidence are covered, including trace, pattern, chemical, and biological
  • ENGAGING - Visually stunning interior design with new photos, figures, and illustrations engage students and unlock complex topics
  • CURRENT - Contains updated and expanded discussions throughout, including new information on cell phone breathalyzer technology, familial DNA, and footwear impressions
  • RELEVANT – Features an entire section on terrorism, including WMDs, explosives, and cybercrime
  • NEW topics and crime lab techniques added to this edition include the use of 3D scanners to document the crime scene, how to visualize and match shoeprints, synthetic opioids, new CODIS DNA typing loci, forensic analysis of cell phones and GPS devices, and more.
  • PRACTICAL - The popular You are the Forensic Scientist feature offers students a realistic sense of working in this dynamic field
  • SUPPORTIVE - Instructor resources include a complete Test Bank, lecture slides in PowerPoint format, an Answer Key for end-of-chapter questions, and a comprehensive Instructor's Manual

Applicable Courses

This exciting text is designed for undergraduate students without a science background taking an Introduction to Forensic Science or Criminalistics course.

Possible course titles:

  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Forensics
  • Biological/Physical Evidence
  • Fundamentals of Criminalistics
  • Crime Scene procedures
  • Introduction to Forensic Investigation
Section  1  Introduction to Criminalistics
Chapter  1  The Crime Scene
Chapter  2  Physical Evidence
Section  2  Trace Evidence
Chapter  3  Physical Properties: Forensic Characterization of Soil
Chapter  4  The Microscope and Forensic Identification of Hair, Fibers and Paint
Chapter  5  Forensic Analysis of Glass
Section  3  Pattern Evidence
Chapter  6  Fingerprints
Chapter  7  Questioned Documents
Chapter  8  Firearms
Section  Chemical Evidence
Chapter  9  Inorganic Analysis: Forensic Investigation of Bullets and Gunshot Residue
Chapter  10  Arson Investigation and Organic Analysis
Chapter  11  Drugs of Abuse
Section  5  Biological Evidence
Chapter  12  Forensic Toxicology
Chapter  13  Biological Fluids: Blood, Semen, Saliva and an Introduction to DNA
Chapter  14  Forensic DNA Typing
Section  6  Terrorism
Chapter  15  Computer Forensics, Cyber crime and Cyberterrorism
Chapter  16  Explosives
Chapter  17  Detecting Weapons of Mass Destruction
Appendix  A  Forensic Organizations, Testing Laboratories, Equipment and Supply
Appendix  B  Metric Measurements and Equivalents

James E. Girard, PhD-American University

Dr. James Girard is Professor and Chairman of the Chemistry Department at American University. He teaches analytical, environmental and forensic chemistry, as well as chemistry for non-science majors.  

Since he has been at the American University, he has received more than 25 grants totaling more than 3 million dollars and has published over 60 research articles. Professor Girard is a specialist in analytical chemistry. His research focuses on the methods and techniques used to separate and identify complex mixtures. He has also developed methods for the analysis of environmental pollutants in soil and water, the amount of neurotransmitter present in human serum, the concentration of disinfectants in hospital disinfectants, the composition of polymers and the separation and identification of genetic material from DNA.  At American University he has supervised over 25 Masters Theses and 30 PhD dissertations.

Professor Girard is the recipient of awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship. He was the 1995 recipient of the Leo Schubert Award for Outstanding Teaching of Science at the College Level from the Washington Academy of Sciences. In addition, Professor Girard has served as an expert witness in court cases involving environmental, patent infringement and personal injury.




  • "I am not an expert in this field, however as a digital forensics specialist, I need to have the knowledge of forensic science and [Criminalistics: Forensic Science, Crime, and Terrorism] has helped me to achieve that. I would like to thank the author for this great book and the way he made it simple for any reader to understand. I found it fascinating and I will recommend this book to anyone who is interested in forensics science."

    -Kenny Awuson-David, digital forensics lecturer, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom

The following instructor resources are available to qualified instructors for download

ISBN-13: 9781284142617

Additional Resources for Instructors
Answers to In-Text Questions
Image Bank
Instructor Manual
Slides in PowerPoint Format
Test Bank