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Book Review: Criminal Investigations

​The eighth edition of O’Hara’s Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation brings th​​e classic text up to date, with information on digital resources, updated theories, and new investigative techniques. According to the author, the primary function of the investigative process is to uncover facts through both the art of investigation, learned through experience, and advancements in forensic science.  

Six major sections offer an overview of investigations, crime scene procedures, information gathering, property offenses, violent crimes, and courtroom practices. The sections on property crimes and violent crimes address how to approach the collection of evidence with the type of offense involved. In these sections, the author identifies facts and statistics that should have been footnoted and better referenced to provide the reader with source materials.

The supplemental review guide provides detailed questions covering each chapter and is an excellent study aid. The accompanying instructor PowerPoint presentation will be useful to teachers. There is also a glossary of terms, a detailed index, and a bibliography of at the end of each chapter. This book continues to be a benchmark work on criminal investigations.  


Reviewer: George Okaty, CPP, is a member of the ASIS School Safety and Security Council. He is director of safety and security for Tidewater Community College in Virginia and a past board member of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.