Exclusive Look into the World of Forensics

 Exclusive Look into the World of Forensics

Kris Kozlowski, Staff Writer

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A poster from Santa Maria’s presentation.

Forensic sketch artist and photographer, Daimon Santa Maria, spoke to the students in John Di Lonardo’s media arts classes on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Santa Maria, a forensic sketch artist and photographer with the Criminalistics Investigation Unit (CIU) of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, gave media arts students a first-hand perspective into the world of forensics using media technology, explaining the ins and outs of real-life crime scene workers. Santa Maria showed students that, unfortunately, the job is not like what it seems on TV. Instead, there is much more work and precision involved. He showed the class how he uses Adobe Photoshop to edit crime scene photographs for court use or for evidence analysis. Di Lonardo had Santa Maria come talk to the media arts classes because he uses computer technology that ties into the Photoshop techniques students learn in class.

Santa Maria also shared other information about forensic sketch art, which, although he does work in all areas of forensics, is what he is best known for. According to the presentation, forensic art is created for the identification, apprehension, and conviction of criminal offenders. These drawings are created based on witness accounts of criminals and descriptions of their features. The drawings Santa Maria produces are surprisingly precise and have led to the apprehension of many wanted individuals.

Santa Maria has been working for the CIU for the past five years, and is constantly at work in the high-crime city of Lakewood, New Jersey.

When asked what he thought of the guest speaker, Di Lonardo said, “Daimon had an inspirational and educational presentation about today’s forensic capabilities and their interaction with art and technology.”