Lorie Gottesman testimony (supervisor Forensic Document Examiner)

Discussion in 'Witness Testimonies and Closing Arguments' started by mombomb, Jun 16, 2011.

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  1. mombomb

    mombomb New Member

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    Employed at FBI, laboratory division. She is a supervisory forensic question document examiner. She's been at the FBI since 1992.

    BA in psychology from George Washington, MS in forensic science from National University in San Diego.

    Question document examiner examines all types of documentary evidence and compares them with known items with the purpose of trying to determine the questioned items authenticity or origin.

    Training - FBI training, classroom instruction, reading, professional meetings, toured factories, took tests, had oral boards, and worked actual cases under actual certified document examiners.

    Sometimes writing can be on a bathroom wall for example - graffiti - torn items, packaging. Doesn't necessarily need to be a document.

    Professional organizations - Mid Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists, American Society for testing and materials, and assessor for ASCLAD lab (International org that accredits labs).

    She has been admitted as an expert in court 20 to 25 times throughout the country in both State and Federal courts.

    Witness admitted as expert witness in the area of questioned document examination.

    She works with tools such as the ESDA machine used to detect indented writing, VSC machine - a tool comprised of lights, filters, camera and monitor used to see different parts of the spectrum of light to detect different things on the document.

    12/22/08 report - she received 3 pieces of duct tape identified as Q62,63 and 64. She understood they came from the victim herself.

    Her examination was to determine if she was able to detect a heart shaped sticker or any remnants of a sticker. She used the VSC - video spectrum comparator.

    JB showed her Exhibit S-302 a photo.

    The VSC has lights and filters and allows our eyes to see things not normally visible. Our eyes see at 400 to 700 nanometers - white if reflected, black if absorbed - colored if mixed. Ultra-violet is below 400 - infrared is above 700. Our eyes can't see it, but the VSC allows things to be seen.

    With the naked eye these items looked the same. With the VSC, the page colors show one page is a different color.

    S-302 is an example of shredded paper under every day light and then under VSC which shows some shred reacting differently. They can put shred back together and this machine helps with the sorting. The next example showed a document that had been cut. Regular light on right and VSC on left. VSC will help to put the papers back together. Next example was matches in a match book. The VSC allows them to match a match to a match book.

    In this case she could not see any sticker or sticker fragment with the naked eye. She then used the VSC. Results - unable to detect any sticker or sticker residue on the duct tape.

    She was asked, in this case, to submit a DNA sample. A month later she got a call from one of the analysts from the DNA unit stating they had an unknown profile on one of the pieces of tape and they were unable to eliminate it from anyone in their unit or the suspects. She gave her sample and later found out it was her profile on the duct tape.

    Precautions when handling items is to wear gloves. She can't recall a situation where she might have contaminated the item. No idea or when. Items were in protective sleeves and she exercised great care.

    4/2/09 report - (Stipulation that he will speak generally of the items - JA states they are in evidence that should probably be mentioned - JA seems to be schooling JB) She was given a number of different plastic and was asked to give an overall assessment of them as well as to compare some of them to other pieces of plastic. Some she could eliminate as having originated from one another and others she was unable to make a conclusion.

    She was not able to match any of the plastics with the plastic bags found on Suburban Drive.


    She received the duct tape after the latent print had examined it.

    Bags - she was given 5 bags from the A's and then compared them to 2 bags from the ME. She was also given 2 plastic bags that were known bags from the crime scene. She did this by comparing machine impressions and impurities in the bag. She was able to eliminate some and others were inconclusive.

    No further questions by JA.


    Regarding duct tape, DNA comparison from the "suspects" -


    Witness Excused.

    SIDEBAR #9
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