February 5, 2023

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A ballistics expert is a profession of science and conscience. We talk about it with Dr. Paola Corcinano Carrieri – BariSeranews

Forensic science has now fully entered everyone’s public life thanks to television thanks to the numerous programs that deal obsessively with the subject of scientific investigations, and sometimes, it must be admitted, the protagonists of these programs get it right. In the beginning it was the private detective who shattered the dark glass of crimes, well-known characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Mrs. Murder, she wrote – Jessica Fletcher -, not only that, and who does not remember the shrewdness and intelligence of refined Nero Wolfe or the quiet and kind father played by Renato Russell ? Then the turning point: technical/scientific investigations. Already the private investigator was a little tired. And so shows like CSI Las Vegas, I Ris, La Scientifica, and the company explode like a bomb. Over the years, TV shows like Quarto Grado have been added, detailing investigations until they identify the instigators and perpetrators. horrific crimes. In short, a few words suffice to reconstruct the crime scene: scientific police, ballistics surveys, crime reconstruction, fingerprints, contamination of evidence placed within the most famous phrases “There was a murder, forensics are still working”, “We are waiting for the coroner”, “We will be able to be more precise after the autopsy.” But is it really so? We asked Dr. Paola Carrieri, a ballistics expert with the Forensic Society Service. We meet the specialist in the studio/office where she works with dimmed lights, a full-screen microscope, and computers with fingerprint analyzers, in the company of her student, Dr. Graziana Grossi, who, like Carrey herself, is his right-hand man.

After the appropriate niceties, here we are with the first question, could Carrere tell us why you chose this profession?

I didn’t choose it, but it happened to me. After graduating in law, I studied criminology, then criminology. During my training, I felt I had to divide my training into segments, so I turned my attention, first, to forensic ballistics, and then bloodstain pattern analysis and dynamics reconstruction by virtue of two key skills, expecting to feel comfortable every time. Time I have to explain what happened at the crime scene and, therefore, how the dynamics can be explained from an exclusively scientific point of view. It should be noted that mere will and high approval in terms of arms are not sufficient; In fact, academic training is required after qualifying courses such as schools of specialization and various specializations, in addition to long internships in operational structures. I also had a lot of bitter apprenticeships and had (sighs) the good fortune of meeting capable “teachers” who taught me that being a ballistic player is first a job, then a job. This is why I do a lot of research and experimentation and try to convey a sense of responsibility to my students. It is already 10 years of professional commitment and I am very excited and satisfied with it.

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But a ballistics expert, at least, sounds as cliché as a “boy” profession, right?

Unfortunately, the unfounded belief that sexual professions still exist means that some branches of forensic science have over time been almost the domain of man, or have been so tested by public opinion. Then the ballistics expert seemed to be in the “masculine” only because one has to deal with weapons, ammunition and everything related to it. In fact, some “input” problems, in fact I would say I sometimes felt injured and it was never easy, however, let’s talk in the past tense.

What is his profession?

I am a ballistics scientist and expert in BPA (Bloodstain Pattern Analysis) and crime scenes. Therefore, my work is to reconstruct the homicide events or, at least, the criminal events associated with the use of firearms and any other weapon involving “bloodshed”. Ballistics and BPA are two branches of criminology and exotic investigative methods, perhaps among the most difficult in the forensic investigation jigsaw. Given that forensic ballistics studies the phenomenon of objects dropped by thermomechanical machines, heterogeneous disciplines converge in it, which must be known in ballistics: forensic medicine, physics, chemistry, jurisprudence, trigonometry, etc. Controls that the throwing player must necessarily know and systematically apply to his investigative activity. The same can be said for the Basel Convention, since it deals with reconstructing the core interest dynamics of the judiciary by examining blood projections that generate bloodstain patterns or patterns. With modern technologies, ballistics investigation and BPA make it possible to collect and interpret accurate data and provide a reconstruction of what happened during an event in which firearms were used, whether blade or improper. Ballistics, in fact, among other activities, deals with the study of the trajectories taken by the projectiles, the points of impact, the angles of incidence, the final damage from the ballistic factor, and the dynamics in general. ballistic has the task of investigating i Ballistic artifacts collected at crime scenes and/or analyze those also taken in the autopsy room, to determine the type of weapons and ammunition used and to make comparisons with Microscope comparison Analysis of the collected gunpowder residue on the subjects and objects involved in the crime ring, to reconstruct the trajectories to determine, within the reconstruction of the dynamics, the order of the fire, the position and movements of the victim and the perpetrator, to use useful software to reconstruct the events is an integral part of the value of procedural truth, imbued with certainty and professionalism Technologies, sciences and in-depth studies.

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We understand that error is not allowed.

Yes, that’s right, it is absolutely necessary to act according to science and conscience, avoiding external considerations that are not based in the least on anything. It is necessary to work in a scientific manner, accuracy, guidance and professionalism. Every professional must respect his field of competence, and therefore no one can and must absorb the skills of others, and it is no longer acceptable even for the reconstruction of events to be central to one’s assessments, because it is precisely the work of several professional figures that they know how to collaborate to the effect Dominoes with their own skills is a symbol of guarantee.

Please explain: what does that mean?

Analyzing criminology means providing tools for others to assign responsibility to the person who committed the crime and it may also happen that he is not the person being investigated at that moment, which is why we must deal with science and conscience. Forensic investigations are the result of years of study and investigations, even errors that I admit, and that is why investigations, which are sometimes infrequent, must be carried out with the utmost intensity. Errors are not allowed as long as the stake is the truth.

Tell us, Cariri, has it ever occurred to you to tip the order of things by perhaps turning the clock even against Scientific Police or RIS reports in the Carabinieri?

I share quiet relations of respect and appreciation with RIS and forensics, since we sometimes share the results of investigative activities. So I can calmly say that it is not about the opposition or the pro, it is about doing one’s duty. Ballistic investigation is a scientific tool provided to bring the truth to the surface, this is our mission: rigor, professionalism, science, constant study and if there is a need to clash over objective and scientific data, unlike anyone, even a colleague of mine, sharpen my weapons!

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One last question: what dreams of a ballistics expert in her drawer?

Well I always complete my profession of expressing the best but I believe a lot in coaching. and I think that sometimes there is a lack of those who profess to practice the same profession as me or, at least, think it very superficial. And this is very dangerous. In this regard, I think I can tell Barisera that a school for ballistics experts will soon be born, aimed at the many young and old who want and can pursue this wonderful and complex profession as well.

The interview ends with best wishes for Dr. Carrere, the former coach of the new recruits to whom the baton of the brilliant career of a ballistics expert must be handed, it is enough for us simply that fact stands for facts.

Frank Marella