Module 4-> The Process Phase, Organization and summary of information

Imagine that you have been asked by the local law enforcement agency to assist in the criminal investigation of a homicide. They present you with 20,000 pages of evidence and materials associated with the case. What do you do first? You get organized! Phase I in the criminal investigative process is Organization and Summary of Information. It is the foundation for thorough and accurate analysis. There are many different methods for organizing case files, but the method used must be logical and it must be tailored to the analyst. Once the case files are organized, the analyst can begin a structured review of the content. During this phase, information is summarized, but not analyzed.

This week, you will be presented with case material that has been organized in a standard format. You will review the materials and begin to summarize your findings. In the Open Forum Discussion, you will discuss aspects of the case and seek clarification of elements of evidence.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze case material
  • Identify salient factors in the case material
  • Summarize case material

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Turvey, B. E. (2012). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

  • Chapter 6, “An Introduction to Crime Scene Analysis” (pp. 144–152)

Case Evidence

Note: This is a Zip file consisting of 195 individual files. Based on your Internet speed it may take extra time to download. It is recommended that once the Zip file is downloaded, you save the file to a separate folder on your computer for ease of access. The file titled “Document Index” will assist you locating specific evidence relevant to the case.

Discussion: Open Forum for Criminal Investigation

During Weeks 4–7, you participate in an Open Forum Discussion concerning the criminal investigative analysis you are conducting for your assignments and Final Project. This is your opportunity to discuss aspects of the case and seek clarification about elements of evidence that will support your conclusion of the case and eventual report to the law enforcement agency that requested your services.

When analyzing a case, it is essential that the analyst has access to all investigative material. As you review the case material, determine:

  • Do you have all information relevant to the crime scene?
    • Photos
    • Reports
    • Interviews
    • Forensic Reports
  • Do you have all information relevant to the medical examination?
    • Autopsy Reports
    • Autopsy Photos
    • Forensic Reports
  • Do you have all relevant information for the victim?

In this Open Forum Discussion, you begin to collaborate with your colleagues to determine your initial thoughts about the case.

To prepare for the Discussion:

Review the evidence of the case.

By Day 3

Post a response to the following:

  • What are your initial thoughts on the crime scene?
  • What other things would you like to know about the victim?
  • As you reviewed the documents, are there other areas about which you would like additional information?

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues with a substantive, interactive discussion that continues through Day 7 by responding to their questions and providing additional insight into the case.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 4 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 4 Discussion

Assignment: Investigating a Crime: Phase I – Organization and Summary of Information

A local law enforcement agency has asked you to review the case evidence files of a crime and provide a report and presentation concerning the offender and the victim. All the evidence has been provided in the Learning Resources. It has been organized using a standard method for your convenience, but you might experiment with your own system of organization. The file titled “Document Index” will assist you locating specific evidence relevant to the case.

For this Assignment, you will conduct Phase I of the process: Organization and Summary of Information.

By Day 7

In a 2- to 3-page report:

Provide the facts of the case concerning the offense, victim, and offender. Also, provide a summary of notes specific to the victim. This should include:


  • Current relationship status (e.g., single, married, divorced)
  • Employment history
  • Hobbies/routine activities
  • Educational history
  • Family history (e.g., parents, children)
  • Personality issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Criminal history
  • Substance/alcohol use abuse
  • Use of social media

Complete and submit the Assignment.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK4Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 4 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK4Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 4 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:
Submit your Week 4 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7

To submit your Assignment:
Week 4 Assignment

Making Connections

This week, you reviewed case materials and began to summarize your findings. In the open forum for case investigation, you discussed aspects of the case and sought clarification of elements of evidence.

Next week, you will start Phase II of the criminal investigative analysis process as you analyze the offense of the case study, looking directly at the evidence of the crime to determine if the crime was organized or disorganized. You will also consider if there is evidence to determine a motive, staging, modus operandi, and type of violence.

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