The Richardson Case, 1786

One of the first cases with footwear evidence presented in Court was the Richardson case from Kirkcudbright, Scotland in 1786.

The case depicted the fatal stabbing of a young woman.

As we can read in the deposition, the investigator tracked the footprints that actually left the scene: the perpetrator’s shoes appeared to be “heavily nailed and patched”. Tracings were made of these impressions and later the shoes of Richardson were identified as the source.

The words at the top “1st October, 1786 measure of the print of the foot of the person who murdered Elizabeth Hughan.” “2 October 1786 applied to William Richardson’s foot and fits it exactly. That is it fits the sole of the shoe. The nicks agreeing exactly with the heel.”

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Photo taken from “Forensic Footwear Evidence”, William J. Bodziak.

A scout should know..

“It is imperative that a scout should know the history, tradition, religion, social customs, and superstitions of whatever country or people he is called on to work in or among. This is almost as necessary as to know the physical character of the country, its climate and products. Certain people will do certain things almost without fail. Certain other things, perfectly feasible, they will not do. There is no danger of knowing too much of the mental habits of an enemy. One should neither underestimate the enemy nor credit him with superhuman powers. Fear and courage are latent in every human being, though roused into activity by very diverse means.”
Frederick Russell Burnham

Download the entire book “SCOUTING ON TWO CONTINENTS”>scouting2cont

 

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The ground does not lie.

One of the fundamental rules in Tracking. The ground does not lie.

You are not simply looking at a footprint. What you have in front of your eyes is an entire story, or a part of it. It’s up to you read what is impressed in ground and collect all the details you can earn from it. It’s way more than take. It’s earn. Putting all the details together will make you able to construct a figure in your mind. You don’t depict it, you must put all the fragments/informations in a precise order. Then you have an illustration. You are starting knowing a little something about the person you look the footprint. I call it “First date”.

 

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Visualization in Tracking.

Visualization is not seeing. “When you sees something, the retina captures the image and transmits it to the brain, where the image is elaborated”, quoting JC Nash’s ETA Program. So your mind needs a proper time to understand what has been seen and puts it into the “right category” inside the mental data base. It’s a a sort of passive process, where you don’t even get consciousness of.

By the other way, Visualization plays a crucial role in Tracking. When you track, you have this precise image in your mind about what kind of signs you will run across into a certain scenario and with a particular medium. You kinda know what you expect for. We could quite say that you “visualize” in your mind prior the tracks, and the whole trail (trackline) too. Then you check the terrain for confirmable evidence. Working with your mind and not only with your eyes will make you a better observer first, second a good Tracker. When I was attending the Tactical Acuity Class in Virginia, JC Nash and Mike Hull often said “Guys, you have to think outside the box”, mainly referred to some exercises hold into the tracking pit.

That’s the precise reason you must consider what your mind tells you throughout visualization.

SWME