Crime Scene Forensics #1

Assistant Specialist Joao Barreiras reported what he had found when the first CSI team inspected the apartment in the early hours of 4th May. (Those were his crime scene photos some posts back – please refer.)

Only the inside of the window in the children’s bedroom was examined at the time, due to the lack of light. The flat was then sealed so an extended examination could be made under better conditions.

Joao Barreiras found five prints on the window, all matched to Kate McCann. There were 3 prints from her left middle finger, and two from her left index finger.

The report does not state whereabouts on the inside of the window these were found.

The window is the kind where a central retaining pin is pressed in when locking the window, and popped out when unlocking the window. Once unlocked it is normal to use the handle to slide it open, in this case from left to right.

The position of the window, relative to the bed that was pushed up against the wall, would be OK if you were left-handed. However, in that case, you should only be grabbing the handle, not leaving fingerprints on the window.

Window position versus bed position makes it difficult for a right-handed person to fully open the window. The trouble with this line of thought is that surely a right-handed person would simply clutch the right hand end of the window to slide it fully across, thereby leaving no left-handed fingerprints anywhere.

If anyone can come up with a better theory for Kate McCann’s left-handed fingerprints on the window, please leave a comment.

At the moment, frankly, I’m baffled!


3 thoughts on “Crime Scene Forensics #1

  1. Hi there!

    Not sure I see the bafflement. KM is a righty, no? I’m a righty too, notmal righty- not in any way ambidextrous. However, looking at the bed and window, I’d use my left hand to pop the pin and to slide the handle over to open the window. Right hand is pretty useless there, as you say, so you use the left.
    Why touch the glass? Who knows? We don’t know where, but it does make sense to me that any prints would be sinister. Lefties, I mean.

    Those were the only prints found on the inside of the window- but that doesn’t incriminate as much as it would seem. Say an abductor was a little more careful than a certain GNR CSI officer, and wore gloves, for instance? You’d end up with that result- only residential prints.

    Also, bare in mind the ‘ugly-man’ paedophile had apparently made crude attempts to hide footprints i previous attacks by wearing socks over his shoes. If he were the guilty party, hypothetically, would it not follow that he might have bought himself some gloves?

    • Hi again.

      I am pretty much ambi.

      I would use my left hand, or my right hand, to pop the window open.

      After that, I would almost certainly use my left to push the window at the start. Using the handle. What I would probably use at the end is my right, on the RHS frame, to get the window fully open.

      I would not touch the glass in the window.

      So what I am trying to say is … I cannot interpret why Kate’s fingerprints appeared 5 times on the inside of the window. It is not a case for the prosecution or for the defence. I am simply at a loss to make sense of this.

      If I knew where the prints were located, then it might make sense. In her book, Kate says that she looked out of the window. If said window was open, left finger prints would make sense. Lean on the window pane as you look out.

      But 3 left middles and 2 left indexes?

      It proves nothing either way. It is simply tough to interpret.


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