In recent years, Earprint👂 analysis has been developed in the field of Forensic Science with the aim of converting it into an identification tool. The possibility of using the external ear👂 as a tool for establishing the unique identity of individuals was first recognized by Bertillon who included the same in the system he developed in 1893. Since then several studies on its range of peculiarities in morphology have emerged especially to correlate it with the field of personal identification.
👂The ear has been used as a tool for human identification since the late 19th century when Alphonse Bertillon utilized the ear as one of the eleven anthropometric measurements for his manual system of identifying individuals.
👂An ear print is a two-dimensional reproduction of the auricle, which can make contact with various surfaces and can produce a print like a rubber stamp.
STRUCTURE OF THE EAR
DIFFERENT SHAPES OF EAR (LOBULE)
A Tool For Personal Identification
✔As early as in eighteenth century the complex shape of ear had attracted the attention of early Physiologists “Lavater”.
✔On the basis of the various ear features he tried to classify the behavioral nature of human.
✔The earliest reference to individuality of external ear was made by Bertillon who mentioned in his book that “it is almost impossible to meet with two ears which are identical in all their parts.”
✔He had formulated a system based on anthropometry to prevent repeat offenders from concealing their identity.
REASONS TO CHOOSE EAR RECOGNITION OVER OTHER TECHNOLOGY
a) Ear biometrics are convenient and because their acquisition tends to be perceived as less invasive.
b) It is accurate and allows for high enrolment and verification rates.
c) It does not require an expert to interpret the comparison result.
d) It can use with existing cameras and image capture devices will work with no problems.
EAR PRINTS AS AN EVIDENCE
✅Burglars often listen at windows and doors, leaving an ear print behind, which, just like a finger print, can be used to trace them.
✅In one out of every twenty burglaries the burglar leaves an earprint behind, at least this seems to be the case in and around Leiden.
HOW TO DEVELOP LATENT EAR PRINTS
Three methods were used to develop ear prints
1. POWDERING METHOD
Ear prints developed with Powdering method
2. NINHYDRIN METHOD
Ear prints developed with ninhydrin
3. IODINE FUMING METHOD
Ear prints developed with Iodine fuming.
VALIDITY OF THE EARPRINT AS FORENSIC EVIDENCE
👂The forensic validity of the ear print is based on the possibility of identifying a particular ear print as belonging to a particular subject.
👂In practice this can serve to rule out a subject as a suspect, to increase the evidence against a particular suspect or even, if there are no suspects, to search for suspects in future databases.
The Limitations of The Method
👉Surface ,on which print is made.
👉Angle at which the ear was applied to the surface.
👉This may be due to the manner in which the prints are made.
CASE STUDY – 1
👂Mark Dallagher, who was convicted of murder in West Yorkshire in 1998. He was alleged to have left impressions of his ears on a dining room window before murdering Dorothy Woods, 94, in Huddersfield.
👂Ear print evidence was pioneered by Inspector Cor van der Lugt, of the Dutch police.
Police found two prints on a window, and sent them to Dutch Policeman Van Der Lugt.
👂Inspector Van Der Lugt, compared the prints of Dallagher’s ears with those of eight people taken at random. Killer’s prints matched with print found on the window “exactly”.
CASE STUDY – 2
👂A 26-year-old Georgian thief has been found responsible for up to 80 robberies in the French city of Lyon after leaving his ear prints behind at some 80 robberies.
👂He targeted student housing and would press his ear up to the door to check that residents had left, leaving behind the incriminating evidence.
👂The man was caught red-handed in February, a police source said. But subsequently investigations showed his ear prints on the front doors of the scene of some 80 similar thefts in the central French city.