Alastair Ruffell

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In this case, an individual was suspected of attempting to burn materials potentially relating to a murder case. A number of spent and unspent matches were seized at the scene by police for forensic examination. Coincidentally, a police raid at the suspect's house revealed a number of matchboxes, all of the same brand, containing matches that had a visual(More)
A search for the body of a victim of terrorist abduction and murder was made in a graveyard on the periphery of a major conurbation in Northern Ireland. The area is politically sensitive and the case of high profile. This required non-invasive, completely non-destructive and rapid assessment of the scene. A MALA RAMAC ground-penetrating radar system was(More)
Reburial of human remains and concerns regarding pathogens and pollution prompted the search for, and assessment of, a 156-year-old graveyard. To locate this graveyard, historic and anecdotal information was compared to landscape interpretation from aerial photography. To assess and map the contents, surface collapses, metal detector indications, and(More)
Absolute measurements of soil density using a weight gauge attached to the standard probe of Owsley [D.W. Owsley, Techniques for locating burials, with emphasis on the probe. J. Forensic Sci. 40 (5) (1995) 735-740] provide digital data for operator-independent verification and possible later manipulation. The weight gauge measures insertion pressure that(More)
This paper reviews the opportunities and pitfalls associated with using clay mineralogical analysis in palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Following this, conjunctive methods of improving the reliability of clay mineralogical analysis are reviewed. The Mesozoic succession of NW Europe is employed as a case study. This demonstrates the relationship between clay(More)
Geophysics may assist scent dogs and divers in the search of water bodies for human and animal remains, contraband, weapons and explosives by surveying large areas rapidly and identifying targets or environmental hazards. The most commonly applied methods are described and evaluated for forensic searches. Seismic reflection or refraction and CHIRPS are(More)
This paper describes a repeatability test, comparing conventional X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses with the technique of quantitative X-ray diffraction (QXRD) as a determinant of mineral abundance. The conjunctive use of both methods allows specific mineral abundances to be matched between scene of crime (SOC) and suspects where soil or substrate mineralogy(More)
We now have a confusing set of five commonly used terms for the application of Earth evidence in forensic science. This confusion is resulting in Earth scientists who use these methods mentioning different terms, sometimes for the same type of study. Likewise, forensic scientists, police/law enforcement officers and those employed by courts of law are(More)
Obtaining as much particulate material as possible from questioned items is desirable in forensic science as this allows a range of analyses to be undertaken and the retention of material for others to check. A method of maximising particulate recovery is described using a kidnap case, where minimal staining on clothing (socks) remained as possible(More)
Increasing awareness of climate change and its possible effects on our environment are now widely known. World heritage sites will, in the future, be subject to significant, complex transformations in direct response to changing climatic regimes. It is predicted that the changes we will see over the next 100 years include variations in temperature,(More)