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Author Topic: Could fingerprints be lifted from the bullets that killed Kennedy?  (Read 7259 times)

Offline Phil Crane

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Phil asked the Naked Scientists:

I was listening to your newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/show/2008.06.08/ [nonactive] and was particularly interested in the interview you had regarding getting fingerprints from surfaces that never used to be possible. Near the end of the interview it was mentioned that fingerprints could be obtained from bullet casings.

I was wondering whether it would be possible to do this for old bullets - for example, could you lift a fingerprint from the bullets used during the JFK assassination? It could proof who the killer was or even whether there were multiple killers.

Thanks, Phil

What do you think?


 

Offline rosalind dna

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DNA fingerprinting had not even been thought of by then.

Not even for the hushed up Warren report after JFK's death.

Anyway just how can you find any fingerprints on a bullet or bullets once they've penetrated someone else's body?

Bit difficult as in this case it'd have had JFK's DNA on them. I reckon anyway.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Anyway just how can you find any fingerprints on a bullet or bullets once they've penetrated someone else's body?"
Who cares?
"Near the end of the interview it was mentioned that fingerprints could be obtained from bullet casings."
However, I bet that by now all the cartridge casings have been handled by so many people it wouldn't tell you anything.
 

Offline chris

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I'm not so sure, Bored Chemist. What John Bond said in that interview is that the process of firing a gun - i.e. the heat generated by firing - serves to accelerate the chemical corrosion caused by the fingerprints that are already there.

This means one might expect the original (perpetrator's) prints to be more distinct than any added subsequently. I am, of course, merely speculating.

Chris
 

Offline Bored chemist

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By the time Kennedy was shot fingerprinting had been in use in the US for more than half a century. It's hard to see why they wouldn't have thought about this at the time.
 

Offline rosalind dna

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Bored Chemist
Just quite how come the US had been using DNA fingerprinting was used for 50 years since it was only 10 years before that in 1953 that Rosalind Franklin had found the Single DNA Helix in 1953 also the same year that the Double DNA Helix was discovered too (That is another thing altogether).

The Double Helix was found also in '53 and in '62 Crick, Watson got the Nobel Prize for Medicine not Chemistry which DNA research is part of!! IN the UK

Kennedy was shot in November 1963 in Dallas Texas.
 

 

lyner

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DNA 'Fingerprinting'  is not 'ingerprinting, at all, is it? The f word is just a popular mis-naming  and shorthand term for DNA Analysis.
The patterns left behind by your greasy fingers were used long before they discovered the DNA analysis method. AS BC, said, it's been used for fifty years or more.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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I believe that shell casings generally get hot enough to destroy DNA evidence when they are fired.
 

Offline chris

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I've no idea what DNA fingerprinting has got to do with this question. Under debate is whether the new technique, discussed on the show, for recovering fingerprints from metal surfaces like brass cartridge cases, would work for the bullets that killed JFK.

I cannot see why not.

Chris
 

paul.fr

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Would it not depend on how they were stored over the years? plus the fact that ther could be multiple prints on the casing, would all of the prints be burened in?
 

Offline Phil Crane

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one would hope, probably wrongly! that anybody handling the bullet casings after the shooting would have been wearing gloves ..... I wonder if the evidence has even been kept after all these years?
 

paul.fr

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I was thinking more about prints prior to the shooting. maybe they were handled by a third pary, the seller, the assembler...and so on, would these overlaying prints be 'burned in' on firing?
 

Offline chris

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That's true Paul, but the point is that the prints made by the person who fired the gun will be more prominent because, as the researchers found, the heat from firing exaggerates the corrosion patterning.

Chris
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Absolutely yes but the bullet of course must be handled very carefully. I do not think DNA finger printing could be found on the said bullet, but it is an interesting possibility.The perpetrator might have spat on the bullet. But JFK's blood would most likely have hid this. It happened long before DNA finger printing as the others have said
 

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