Marks and Impressions

Not those kind of impressions. I can do a Tommy Cooper, just like that!

I guess you’re wondering who Tommy Cooper is now. Google him and when you see a man wearing a fez you have your guy.

Anyway, time to start the third week of the A to Z Challenge. This is the halfway point and another crime post.

This time onto Marks and Impressions or indentations. I’ve already posted about the most common mark left, which are our fingerprints. What else could you use to help your Detective?


English: Image of footwear impression created ...

English: Image of footwear impression created by a pair of shoes. These impressions were created from a pair of shoes recovered from a suspect of a crime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 2D impressions – Think of marks on your nice clean kitchen floor. Freshly cleaned and someone walks on it. You’ll see a pattern of your shoe on the surface. Same if your naughty person walked through blood or a pool of grease as they stole your Main Protagonist’s car. There are databases of shoe prints these days to help your Detective.
  • 3D impressions – Think of your naughty person standing on soft ground. Maybe a freshly weeded flower bed, their feet sinking into the mud. Same would apply to footsteps on sand or in snow or any soft surface. You Crime Scene Investigator is going to want to take a cast impression of the print to use for a comparison later.

Bite Marks:

  • Did you know there are even forensic odontologists who can be brought in to match human bite marks on your victim? You might want to think about my post on DNA for this one as saliva is likely to be present on any bite marks.

Tool Marks:

  • How did your criminal break into that garage? Did they use some sort of tool? Then the tool is likely to have left a mark. And, that mark could be traceable. Maybe they used Uncle Ernie’s spanner, pliers, wrench. Under a microscope these marks could be used to point the finger. Poor old Uncle Ernie. Arrest him!

Tyre Marks are like fingerprints in you can have the same three types:

  • Latent – invisible to the naked eye, but on smooth surfaces the marks can be enhanced;
  • Visible – Imagine if your assailant screeches their getaway vehicle through a mud pool, or paint or another visible agent;
  • Plastic – Where could your vehicle leave 3D impressions. Again soft earth and snow would leave something to be cast.

So, even if you’re not writing a murder mystery, you can still use marks and impressions to help inform your plot.

Happy crime writing!



This is my M post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be found here.

My photographs for today are of our current cat, Munchie.

Our cat Munchie

Our cat Munchie

Munchie our cat

Munchie looking thoughful

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Marks and Impressions

  1. Munchie doesn’t look very happy in that first picture. Reminds me of my cat Braum (posted on my L is for LOUNGING writing prompt) when he is having an off day. 🙂

    • Pete Denton says:

      My other cats have all liked their photograph taken. Munchie is more suspicious 🙂

      Great photo of the dog in the chair. Looks relaxed 🙂

      • We left the campsite to go for a walk. When we came back, she had climbed under the arm and into the chair, curled up and fallen asleep. She was very cute but I honestly don’t know how she managed and didn’t knock the chair over. I took this photo later.

  2. jadereyner says:

    Love the post – interesting and educational as always, but sorry – loved the cat more!! 🙂

  3. bronbloxham says:

    How cute is Munchie. 🙂

  4. Munchie looks like a good writing companion.

  5. fhhakansson says:

    I could never write criminal fiction. There’s just so much to take into consideration! And Munchie is lovely. Thank you for sharing him 🙂

  6. Awww, cute kitty! 🙂

  7. ocdreader says:

    Munchie looks like he takes his name to heart 🙂 Great post. My friend is going to teach a crime scene summer school class, just 5 days, but I should send her here for ideas.

    • Pete Denton says:

      He does like to eat 😉

      A Crime Scene class sounds great. I only did 12 weeks through correspondence course, I would have loved to attend some classes as well. 🙂

  8. EllaDee says:

    Love Munchie… the thoughtful look looks to me like the thought is “enough with the camera already” 🙂
    My own thought is, I wonder if Pete’s considered collating all this writing detective how to into a book, sort of like Robin Coyle’s Strong vs. Weak Words… you have a lot of interesting and informative material.

  9. Nick Wilford says:

    Munchie looks like the cat we had when I was growing up.

    Great tips, you really know your stuff. I’ve written thrillers, but it’s clear there’s lots I hadn’t considered!

  10. cassmob says:

    good tips Pete, I love reading crime novels but couldn’t dream up a plot to save myself. Marvellous to see Munchie. Our gorgeous boy, 7 and very heqlthy, went MIA nearly six weeks ago. We are really missing him 😦

  11. 4amWriter says:

    I used to think I’d like to write a crime novel, but I’m just not smart like that. And I really get annoyed with easy-to-figure-out crime novels, or ones with obvious plotlines. Your kitty is sweet. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Research | Pete Denton - Writer

  13. Pingback: Understanding Trace Evidence | Pete Denton - Writer

  14. I love forensics, and your research is intriguing. Talking of bites, a human bite is worse than a dogs, think where a dogs mouth goes…ugh no wonder stars do the air kissing thing!

    • Pete Denton says:

      I know. You wouldn’t think that there were more germs in a human bite. I loved the course. I know you’re done studying, but if you ever need another 30 points at level one …

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