Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre of Applied Research Technology

A study into fingermarks at activity level on pillowcases


In this paper, we describe a promising method to evaluate the location of fingermarks on two-dimensional objects, which provides valuable information for the evaluation of fingermarks at activity level. For this purpose, an experiment with pillowcases was conducted at the Dutch music festival Lowlands, to test whether the activity ‘smothering’ can be distinguished from an alternative activity like ‘changing a pillowcase’ based on the touch traces on pillowcases left by the activities.

Participants performed two activities with paint on their hands: smothering a victim with the use of a pillow and changing a pillowcase of a pillow. The pillowcases were photographed and translated into grid representations. A binary classification model was used to classify the pillowcases into one of the two classes of smothering and changing, based on the distance between the grid representations. After applying the fitted model to a test set, we obtained an accuracy of 98.8%. The model showed that the pillowcases could be well separated into the two classes of smothering and changing, based on the location of the fingermarks. The proposed method can be applied to fingermark traces on all two-dimensional items for which we expect that different activities will lead to different fingermark locations.

Reference de Ronde, A., van Aken, M., de Puit, M., & de Poot, C. J. (2018). A study into fingermarks at activity level on pillowcases. Forensic Science International, 295(February), 113-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.11.027
Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 7 December 2018

Publication date

Dec 2018


Anouk de Ronde
Marja van Aken
Marcel de Puit
Marcel de Puit