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Authors: Prof. Robin Williams and Gigi Williams

Applications of the ultraviolet technique:

Application Notes Reference
Blood stains Described the practice of using fluorescent dyes to lock to the compound luminol so that blood stains could be recorded. Zweidinger et al. 1973
Metal traces Showed examples of how the presence of minute amounts of trace metals left on the skin of victims from knives etc., could be detected by fluorescence photography. West, Frair & Seal 1989
Metal traces Demonstrated fluorescence of metal traces on the abdomen of a rape and homicide victim which were in the shape of a characteristic belt buckle. Led to successful conviction. Frair & West 1989
'Old' trauma Discovered 'old' wounds fluorescing at autopsy with narrow bandwidth (15nm) ultraviolet induced fluorescence at 450nm. Barsley, West & Frair 1990
Skin trauma, semen & saliva Confirmed the detection of skin trauma, semen and saliva at autopsy by fluorescence photography. Lynnerup et al. 1995


  • Barsley, R., West , M., & Frair, J., 1990, "Forensic photography : ultraviolet imaging of wounds on skin", Am. J. Foren.Med.& Path. 11(4):300 - 308
  • Frair, J. and West, M., 1989, "Ultraviolet forensic photography," Kodak Tech Bits:2:3- 11.
  • Lynnerup, N., Hjalgrim, H. and Eriksen, B. 1995, "The routine use of ultraviolet light in medicolegal examinations." Med Sci Law 35 (2).
  • West,M., Frair, J. and Seal, M.,1989,"Ultraviolet photography of wounds on human skin," J. Foren. Ident. 39 (2):87-96.
  • Zweidinger, R., Lytle, L. and Pitt, C., 1973, "Photography of bloodstains -visualized by luminol," J. Foren. Sci. 18:296- 302.

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Last modified: 3 May 2002