As you know, our Diff-Lift is probably the best method for all sorts of heavily to slightly textured surfaces. But let’s assume that you don’t have a roll of Diff-Lift with you. You have powdered your latent and are ready to lift. What do you do?

THIS MAY NOT WORK, BUT IT’S WORTH A TRY… The most important thing to do is make sure you make complete contact with the powdered latent and the sticky side of the tape. Do this by applying your tape as usual, then use a burnishing tool…something like the eraser end of an ordinary pencil…or the cap to a Sharpie pen…or even the end of a fingerprint brush will often do. Using your “tool” you want to make sure you rub carefully over the print, making sure you get full and even contact with the textured surface and the powder.

Once you’ve done that…you’re home free! (If you want to learn more about Diff-Lift for the future, click here.)


WetPrint. Rated the best “small particle reagent” in latent processing. The micro-fine particles adhere almost magically to wet or submerged items of evidence.

You don’t have to wait till the evidence has dried…process it as found. And when it has done its developing magic, you may lift with tape…while the evidence is still wet! Simply apply the tape over the wet surface, then squeegee the tape with a roller, credit card, etc. then lift and mount.

Available in Black or White, be ready for the rain or when someone chucks an item of evidence in a puddle, lake or stream. You can get more info (and an instructional video) by clicking here.


When “super gluing” for latent prints, humidity can affect how visible the developed latents will become. (If the print is dried out, the development will probably be less than ideal.) Studies have shown that fuming chambers with an interior relative humidity of at least 72-75% produce the best results. But don’t go too wild with the addition of moisture…if too much, everything will become frosty white.

A cup of hot water in the bottom of the chamber for a minute or two before you begin the fuming process is usually enough.

(That is why our HotShot product seems to be so popular…field-ready super glue fuming…that already includes the water!)


When sealing evidence packages with evidence tape, often times the darn stuff is so fragile that it rips and shreds in your hands before you even put it on the item.

Next time, try textured investigator’s gloves. Or even little finger cots with all the little nubs. Less surface area means less area for the adhesive to stick to…meaning fewer mishaps in handling.

Sometimes hard to find, but the Lynn Peavey Company has them in stock, ready to ship. Black Nitrile Investigator’s Gloves. They make a world of difference!


“Aspire to inspire…”

On February 22, 1985, 9-year-old Cherrie Mahan got off her school bus in Butler, PA, but never made it home. A blue van painted with a mural of a downhill skier on a mountainside was trailing the bus that day – Laura Pettler, just 11-years-old began looking and has never stopped looking for that van. “Then on May 1, 1992 when I was 17 years old, a 19-year-old high school acquaintance, Jennifer Diamond, was shot in the head by her boyfriend at a local gas station and I knew I wanted to do something in this field”, Laura recalled.

Laura holds a bachelor of science degree in pre-professional psychology from Geneva College, a master of science degree in criminal justice specializing in forensic psychology and forensic science from Youngstown State University, a doctor of philosophy degree in criminal justice specializing in criminal justice focused on crime scene staging in intimate partner homicide hot and cold cases from Capella University. She also spent 8-years in postgraduate experience, research and publication in bullet path and bloodstain pattern reconstruction in homicide cases, along with 9-years postdoctoral experience, research, and publication in crime scene staging dynamics in intimate partner homicide hot and cold cases.

Dr. Laura Pettler is also the founder and CEO of Laura Pettler & Associates Death Investigations, the #1 victim-centered scientific death investigation firm in the world. Within the scope of the firm, Laura founded and is the director of the LPA International Forensics Institute School of Forensic Criminology, a ground and online continuing education center built like a university with interlocking courses focused on unique topics not typically found in traditional continuing education catalogs for private investigators, detectives, attorneys, and students. “I enjoy sharing empirical and anecdotal information with others towards strengthening homicide investigations,” said Laura.

Laura is the author of the first book in the world on crime scene staging entitled, Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases. Stemming from a 2008 homicide in Caroleen, NC, Laura and two colleagues initially developed Tubular Dowel Shooting Incident Reconstruction then Laura went on to invent the mot versatile and comprehensive The Kaleidoscope System Shooting and Bloodstain Reconstruction System that includes tubular dowels and bloodstain trajectory reconstruction equipment sold in more than 30 countries.

You may recognize Laura as the Forensic Criminologist on The Dr. Oz Show, her regular appearances on the Oxygen network, from ID, Starz, Reels, Spike, or her Web Television Series “Notorious: True Crime Stories with Laura Pettler.” Additionally, Laura is an accomplished Musician/Singer/Songwriter who retired from professional music in 2009 after recording four albums and three Christmas albums. Stay tuned because Laura is planning to record a new album titled in 2020.

In her spare time, Laura said “I enjoy mounted fox hunting with fox hounds and mounted archery on Friesian horses. I also participate in AKC Confirmation Dog Shows and my French Bulldog won the 2019 Best Female of the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show.” She also enjoys various DIY projects on her farm.

Visit to view the schedules and register for an upcoming Wednesdays Training Series session.