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Using case specific experiments to evaluate fingermarks on knives given activity level propositions

Anouk de Ronde, Bas Kokshoorn, Marcel de Puit, Christianne J. de Poot
Forensic science international 2021 v.320 pp. 110710
Bayesian theory, cutting, foods, forensic sciences, knives, probability
Bayesian networks have shown to be a useful tool for the evaluation of forensic findings given activity level propositions. In this paper, we demonstrate how case specific experiments can be used to assign probabilities to the states of the nodes of a Bayesian network for the evaluation of fingermarks given activity level propositions. The transfer, persistence and recovery of fingermarks on knives is studied in experiments where a knife is either used to stab a victim or to cut food, representing the activities that were disputed in the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Two Bayesian networks are constructed, exploring the effect of different uses of the experimental data by assigning the probabilities based on the results of the experiments. The evaluation of the findings using the Bayesian networks demonstrates the potential for fingermarks in addressing activity level propositions.