Crime Scene Diagram
Crime Scene Diagrams are documents that use visual and written documentation to depict
a crime scene as it looked directly after the crime took place. They will often include
written details, a layout of the surrounding area, and the location of the victim or
any other individuals present, and pictorial evidence.
Crime Scene Diagrams are meant to representatively preserve the initial aftermath of a
crime even after everything has been wiped down and cleaned up. This allows the crime
scene to be viewed accurately and discussed at a much later time.
- Choose an area. Before beginning, the area to be illustrated must be determined. If the crime occurred outside, the most pertinent area must be chosen; if it was inside, only relevant rooms should be illustrated.
- Gather information. It is imperative that the Crime Scene diagram be as accurate as possible as it will most likely become a useful resource when looking back on details of the crime long after the area has been cleaned up. Speak with anyone who either has first-hand knowledge or investigated the scene. Good sources would be the police, detectives, and any witnesses involved, either directly or indirectly, with the case. If possible, it is advisable to visit the place at which the crime occurred in order to gather any additional information.
- Create a diagram. Recreate the parts of the scene of the crime that remained unaffected as they would appear on a normal day. For a crime that occurred inside, this includes adding the walls within which the crime occurred, as well as furniture, doors, windows, closets, appliances, etc. For an outside scene, begin with streets, sidewalks, and buildings, before adding plants, benches, lights, cars, signs, etc.
- Add details. Now add objects that were specific to the crime scene. If there was a victim, or anyone present, they should be added into the drawing as they were found directly after or during the crime. Also add anything the perpetrator may have left behind, used, or disrupted while in the area.
- Label. Label each potential piece of evidence with a number or symbol. Then use arrows and text to show additional details or give information about that item. Also, give measurements for enough of the area that an observer could easily deduce the dimensions of anything on the diagram.
- Verify accuracy. Consult with witnesses and authorities who are knowledgeable about the crime to confirm that the information depicted in the diagram coincides with theirs.