Footwear, The Missed Evidence

Footwear, The Missed Evidence
Third Edition

ISBN 978-1-933373-06-5
Published 2013

by Dwane S. Hilderbrand

With chapter contribution by David "Ski" Witzke
Illustrated by Tia Kalla

Footwear, The Missed Evidence is a handbook designed to address the needs of the crime scene investigator in the areas of collection and recovery of footwear impression evidence. Written by an internationally recognized authority in forensic footwear evidence, this 353 page, 7 1/2" by 10" book can be carried in the field or used in the laboratory as the primary reference on locating, collecting and recovering footwear evidence.

You will discover how easy it is to:

What people are saying

    "Having read Dwane's previous book and taken classes from him in Footwear Examination and Comparison, I was excited to get the opportunity to review the new book "Footwear, The Missed Evidence Third Edition", dedicated to crime scene professionals. The book is well written, extremely informative and will assist anyone who must recover and examine footwear impressions during the course of their work. I highly recommend it!"
      Todd McCrohan, Identification Supervisor, Billings Police Department

    "A must have for anyone who recovers evidence in the field. I have learned and worked with Dwane Hilderbrand for years, and can honestly say that his expertise, knowledge and love for the field is evident in this manual. He understands that in order for this vital evidence to be recovered and identified properly, we need a better understanding of how an impression is made, and what the best methods for recovery are. Thanks Dwane for your help!"
      Tracie D. Fife, Supervisor, Crime Scene Specialist Unit, Scottsdale P.D.

    "Outstanding workbook for crime scene investigators. Every cop should read this".
      Dr. John DiMaggio, Forensic Podiatry

Contents Include

    Chapter 1 -- The Beginning
      What is evidence
      What is track evidence
    Chapter II -- History of Shoes
      History of footwear evidence
      Just how old is track identification
      Early foot coverings
      Shoe Sizing
      Shoe making machinery
      Rubber heels
      First rubber soled shoes/sneakers
      Today's military boots
      The revolutionary shoe
      A piece of baseball history
      Should footwear have its own identity in forensic science
      Can the gait help crime scene investigators?
    Chapter III - Understanding the Basic Manufacturing Process
      How are today's athletic shoes built?
      Why spend so much time and money on a pair of shoes?
      Case history
      The outsole making process
      Nomenclature of a shoe
    Chapter IV - Why Are Footwear Impressions Overlooked?
    Chapter V - Protection of the Crime Scene
    Chapter VI - Crime Scene Searching
      Searching the crime scene
      Hypothetical crime scene
      Four basic methods of recovery
      Crime scene footwear evidence
    Chapter VII - Recovery Through Photography
      What is photography
      Crime scene photography
      Photographing the crime scene
      Taking quality examination photographs
      Photographic procedures for three-dimensional impressions
      Photographic procedure for certain two-dimensional Impressions
      Photographing of footwear impressions in light colored substrates
      Photographing an impression of a mirror
      Photographing footwear evidence on black gelatin lifters
      Check list procedures
      Case study
      Introduction to digital photography
      Highlighting the impressions
      Photographing tire impressions or imprints
      Longwave UV imaging for the development of footwear evidence
      Accurate sizing of deep three-dimensional footwear impressions
    Chapter VIII - Digital Imaging
      Legal Ramifications
      A brief history of photography as evidence
      The new digital arsenal for law enforcement
      Arresting new developments
      A true and "accurate" representation
      It's all Bits and Bytes to me
      All pixels are not created equal?
      Pixels and dots are not the same
      A single dot doth not a pixel make
      Printers using pixels? Can it be true?
      Converting pixels to dots
      Make a strategy for your entire imaging process
      Image quality issues
      Full circle
      Highlighting footwear impressions
      Digital imaging gets a foot in the door
      Fear factor CSI: Making the switch to digital
      What format should I use?
      The benefits of camera RAW data
      Best practices for image processing
      Capture this!
      Calibrating your images
      Step-by-step instructions
      What goes in must come out … or so they say
    Chapter IX - Recovery Through Lifting and Chemical Development Procedures
      Recovery of footwear impressions through lifting
      Fingerprint powders and lifting tapes
      Electrostatic dust lifters
      Case study
      Development and recovery of impressions through chemicals
      Chemical enhancement techniques
      Methods for fixing bloody impressions
      Other chemical processes
      Impression media and collection procedures chart
    Chapter X - Recovery Through Casting
      How the material is made
      Materials and methods
      Why should we cast?
      Preparing a cast
      Pouring methods for footwear impressions
      Two-dimensional casting
      Casting in water
      Casting in snow
      Procedure for casting with sulfur
      Procedure for using a stone material in snow
      Dental stone - dry casting
      Helpful hints
      Compression strengths in crime scene applications
      Comparison of compression strength and expansion
      Releasing agents and fixatives
      Appearance of casts and detail recorded
      Research study by Ms. Jennie McBride
      Casting material comparison chart
      Impression media and casting procedures
    Chapter XI - Understanding the Comparison Process
      Solemate Database
      The comparison process
      Making test impression exemplars
      Let's talk points?
      Creating an image to scale
    Chapter XII - Courtroom Testimony
      Definition of an expert
      Qualifications and knowledge of the expert
      Dress for success
      Presentation by the Crime scene investigator
      Juror Perceptions
      Admissibility of footwear evidence
      Preparing for court
      On the stand
      What is Fear
      Basic Equipment for Taking Quality Examination Photographs
      Basic Equipment for Casting Footwear Impression Evidence
      Basic Equipment Needed for Lifting Footwear Impressions
      Chemical Formulas for Footwear Impression Enhancements
      Recording Footwear Standards
      Questioned footwear examination form
      Miscellaneous tire information
      Suspect vehicle examination form
      Crime Scene Tire Track Worksheet
      Tire Dimensions
    Questioned Impressions Answers
    Glossary of Items

Suggested Retail Price: $69.95
Order This Book Now and receive a 10% discount!

The Introduction, by Mr. Ernest D. Hamm.

"Footwear track evidence can be very instrumental to the successful conclusion of a criminal investigation. In Footwear, The Missed Evidence, Mr. Hilderbrand has put forth essential information to the crime scene investigator on the recognition, preservation and collection of this potentially very valuable and important evidence. The techniques and methods set forth in this work serve to improve the quality of this form of evidence, which can be so important to subsequent comparative examinations and conclusions. Footwear, The Missed Evidence should be recommended reading to those technicians and investigators involved in crime scene processing, as well as footwear examiners. It serves to reinforce the understanding of this type of physical evidence, its association with a crime, and the attention that must be given for its successful recovery. The knowledge gained from Footwear, The Missed Evidence will insure that footwear evidence is not missed, but is properly collected and its information applied to the criminal justice process."


The purpose of this book is to address the needs of the crime scene investigator in the areas of collection and recovery of footwear impression evidence. This is an area in which the vast majority of crime scene investigators have fallen drastically short. Invariably, we have allowed our Crime Scene Investigators to develop tunnel vision syndrome when it comes to crime scene processing. Today, everyone accepts the potential for the presence of latent prints at a crime scene, but we rarely look under our own feet. Footwear evidence has been neglected to the extent that it has been used in only a small percentage of cases.

As I began to do my research and retrieve information about the science of footwear, it became very apparent that there is very little written. I was able to locate three major books (two of which were out of print, but have now been reprinted), numerous articles and short chapters in other books about footwear evidence. It was astonishing to see how many books on crime scene investigation and physical evidence were on the market, and yet within these books was very little on forensic footwear. No wonder this is an overlooked and misunderstood science.

Footwear evidence has been overlooked for two major reasons: 1) the lack of training and education in the proper search, collection and preservation methods, and 2) the evidence is undervalued or misunderstood. With the proper education in footwear evidence, both of these concerns can be overcome. This type of evidence has great evidentiary value when collected and preserved in the correct manner. Footwear evidence can reveal the type of shoe, the make, description, and, in some cases, approximate or precise size. When a crime scene is searched and documented in the correct manner, footwear evidence can also provide or assist in determining the number of suspects, their path, their involvement, and the events that occurred during the crime.

The learning methods used in this handbook center around two major concepts: 1) to provide the reader with proper training and education in footwear impression evidence, and 2) to provide well formulated reasons and answers to a forensic science that is undervalued or misunderstood by many law enforcement people. This handbook will teach the crime scene investigator to recognize, collect, and preserve footwear evidence in a manner that is beneficial to the footwear examiner. This is done with limited, but necessary, equipment.

The desired results of this handbook are two-fold. First, the Crime Scene Investigator should be willing to devote his time and effort in proper collection and preservation and take on the challenge of difficult impressions with a new outlook and a much higher confidence level, thus resulting in more quality footwear evidence that the footwear examiner can identify. Second, the crime scene investigator should become more time efficient in his collection and recovery methods.

A friend of mine once said, "you become an expert in your field when you take the initiative with a subject you enjoy, learn it and study its art, conduct independent research in that field and then share it with others. If you do this, and do it because of the science, and not because someone said so, you will have reached a pinnacle of professionalism that is second to none. Learn to become your students' student." (Timothy Hahn, 1994)

The author wishes good luck on your journey in this fascinating and zestful science.

The Author

Dwane Hilderbrand began his distinguished criminal justice career in 1975 with his employment in the Identification Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, located in Washington, D.C. In 1978 he accepted a position as Identification Technician with the Prince William County Police Department in Woodbridge, Virginia, where he was employed until 1981, when he was offered a forensic identification and crime scene position with the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department. Dwane dedicated the remainder of his government career to the development of his advanced technical analytical and testimonial skills and retired in October of 2005 with twenty-four years of service to the citizens of Scottsdale, Arizona. After Dwane's retirement he accepted a full time position with Ron Smith and Associates, Inc as the Senior Consultant and Instructor from 2005-2009, when he made the decision to finally full fill his dream and opened his own business, Forensic ITC Services, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Subsequent to Dwane's studies in Police and Forensic Science, he earned a Bachelors Degree in Management from the University of Phoenix followed by a Master's Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. He is one of the very few forensic professionals in the world who has earned professional certifications from the International Association for Identification as a "Certified Latent Print Examiner", "Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst" and "Certified Footwear Examiner".

Dwane Hilderbrand, an international recognized instructor and expert, has been invited to speak on a wide variety of forensic related topics at professional conferences across the United States and abroad. His famous "involve them and they will learn" teaching style has made him one of the most sought after instructors in the criminal justice profession. He was one of three Americans invited to be a presenter at the first International Shoeprint conference held in Finland. Dwane was responsible for the first computerized Automated Shoeprint Identification System with Scottsdale Police Department. He was also responsible for the footwear and tire track evidence and the latent print examiners training and procedure manuals. Dwane has assisted in many footwear cases throughout the United States as well as Jamaica and the Anguilla Islands.

Dwane also teaches this book as an excellent seminar entitles, "Documentation, Collection and Preservation of Footwear and Tire Track Evidence", which is one of Dwane's most educational and enjoyable courses of instruction. He has done extensive research on the topic and has developed a methodology of teaching criminal justice professionals from all aspects of law enforcement on how to properly and effectively collection and preserve track evidence. Dwane also wrote and published the first and second editions of the book entitled, "Footwear, The Missed Evidence-A field guide to the collection and preservation of footwear evidence". He understands the needs of crime scene investigators and is able to assist them in reaching a common goal, "to collect the evidence". He is able to supply the student with the necessary information in such a way that it is not only understandable but also enjoyable. Dwane is an accomplished expert instructor in this area of crime scene investigation.

Dwane has served in the positions of President, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Vice Presidents, Editor, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Arizona State chapter of the International Association for Identification (IAI). He has also served on the Arizona Identification Council's Forensic Science Committee and Latent Print Certification Board for the State of Arizona.

Dwane was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association for Identification in 1994 and served for eight years. He has served on the International Footwear/Tire Track Sub-Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the feasibility study group for instructor certification and a subcommittee for Forensic Podiatry, and was the training coordinator for the IAI from 1996-2002. Dwane was also appointed to the National Disaster Medical Team in 1994 and resigned in 2000.

Suggested Retail Price: $69.95
Order This Book Now and receive a 10% discount!