Sampson, William C

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Sampson, William C.


Retired crime scene investigator William C. Sampson worked for the Miami-Dade Police Department for almost forty years, and is recognized as an expert in recovering latent fingerprints from skin. Using his experience and expertise, Sampson has consulted with and taught hundreds of law enforcement personnel on his innovative techniques. He has also written and lectured widely on the subject.

Sampson's career was spent serving the Miami-Dade Police Department, where he held posts as a training advisor, liaison to the department's crime laboratory, administrative supervisor, and crime scene investigator. He is a certified instructor by the Florida State General Police Standards Commission, and has worked as an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade Community College.

During the course of his career, Sampson made the discovery that the environment can affect the ability to obtain latent fingerprints from materials like skin and cloth. Previous to this, it was widely accepted that this type of fingerprint was unlikely, if not impossible, to obtain. Sampson experimented with manipulating the environmental ambient temperature and humidity and keeping the skin at a certain temperature, thus creating readable prints. He consulted with doctors, medical examiners, funeral directors, and even air conditioning companies. Working on his technique, he was able to yield a very high success rate, and as a result Sampson's work led to the identification and conviction of numerous perpetrators. Sampson has been teaching his techniques to law enforcement personnel across the country, and lecturing at many industry events and conferences. He has also written about developing latent fingerprints for trade publications such as the Journal of Forensic Identification, The Print, and Evidence Technology.

In 1995, Sampson, along with his wife and fellow forensic scientist Karen Sampson, formed KLS Forensics Inc. The company assists law enforcement agencies and provides training in many crime scene related topics.

Sampson was awarded the 1997 John A. Dondero Award from the International Association for Identification . He previously was the recipient of the Ford Foundation Award and the Miami-Dade Police Department's Distinguished Service Award. He is also a retired fellow of the British Fingerprint Society, and a member of the Florida division of the International Association for Identification.

see also Careers in forensic science; Latent fingerprint.

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Sampson, William C

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