In attempting to create a novel fire-debris interpretation process that is more standardized, transparent, and objective, this project had the goals of developing and validating 1) a data interpretation process for the identification of gasoline, and 2) a method for independent verification by a second examiner.
These two goals and their objectives were envisioned as producing a quantitative sufficiency chart nested within an ACE-V workflow. This workflow includes the adaptation and use of a computerized documentation program that facilitates examiner evaluation and independent verification, ensuring reproducible data interpretation. Prior to this research project, there was no program that facilitates examiner evaluation and independent verification, ensuring reproducible data interpretation. The lack of any standardized interpretation method for the analysis of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) fire debris data called for the development and implementation of a novel objective methodology. The method developed and validated in this project has several positive implications for the forensic analysis of fire debris and criminal justice processes. For gasoline, this study provides the examiners and triers of fact an objective, statistically supported method for viewing and discussing the available data to support a conclusion that expands on the current pattern comparison process. 6 tables and 4 figures