Reverse Color Fingermark Evidences: Detection, Analysis and Comparison


  • Nilton Cláudio de Oliveira Instituto de Identificação, Polícia Civil do Distrito Federal, Brasília, DF, Brasil
  • Jemima de Jesus Santos
  • Rafael Perseghini Del Sarto Instituto de Identificação, Polícia Civil do Distrito Federal, Brasília, DF, Brasil



Fingermark traces, Latent print, Reverse color, Human identification


Fingermark traces (VIPs) or latent prints are the evidence recurrently found in crime scenes and used to human identification (perpetrators, victims and witnesses). Its use to human identification is dependent to factors such as intrinsic mechanisms of the primary surface touch, fingerprint donator characteristics, environmental conditions, development methods, that all together or solely affects the fingermark quality. In this context it is possible to occur the VIP inversion. This phenomenon is discussed internationally recognized as reverse color, color reversal and tonal reversal. The inversion has been observed by fingerprint experts from Identification Institute of the Civil Police of Federal District (II/PCDF) in the fingermark identification procedures using traces collected in different crime scenes. However, there is a lack of scientific papers about that topic in Brazil and other countries. Therefore, in this paper the fingermark inversion phenomenon was discussed and evaluated in six (6) criminal cases in order to highlight their occurrence in crime scenes at Federal District, describing their characteristics, uses to identificate the crime author, as the negative impact related to the lack of knowledge in forensic field. After VIPs analysis, it was possible to conclude that its most important elements are: the ridge and furrow thickness proportions, pseudopores occurrence, depth effect indicating material removal, color variation, developer background, minutiae inversion, fingerprint pattern subclassification change, AFIS score and minutiae map disruption. The data from this work shows that the lack of knowledge about the fingermark inversion, by the forensic expert, brings a possibility to a false exclusion, that guides to a non-identification of the perpetrator.


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How to Cite

de Oliveira, N. C., de Jesus Santos, J., & Perseghini Del Sarto, R. (2022). Reverse Color Fingermark Evidences: Detection, Analysis and Comparison. Brazilian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Medical Law and Bioethics, 12(1), 86–104.