How do we know these fingerprints belong to the
This is the first of a series of posts that contain hitherto unknown/ unpublished information. The next set will include a significant range of documents and images that had been with held fro the public.
In the response I pointed out how the image shows what appears to be a photograph of the original fingerprint card laid on a piece of paper, the highlighted areas to the top left and right appear to show the edges of the card against a plain paper background. although at the base of this image it is difficult to discern where the card finishes.
The next issue with this image questions the apparent cut made to the top right corner of the card where there is some typing shown briefly describing the source of the fingerprints. You might ask why that would be a problem and the answer is that in essence those prints could belong to anybody because the fingerprint card itself does not contain anyone's signature nor the original description which should be shown in that top right area where the typed note appears. In other words the prints are not authenticated. The form on the top left has been left blank as has the 'Classified and Searched By' and 'Checked by' fields center right of the card.
So where does this leave us? We have a questioned image showing unauthenticated, incomplete fingerprints with no signatures and we have some more questions. Under what circumstances does it make sense for the prints to have been apparently kept in a folder of some kind? If the fingerprints were evidence then they would just be a plain photograph handed to the Coroner, they wouldn't be handed over in a book like this one, they would have been marked as specific exhibits.
Yet another question is where are the 'full finger' prints and or hand prints that would normally be expected to be taken? You can see in this image that there is a space for 'Left' and 'Fingers' yet no prints are shown.
My thoughts are that this is an image taken much later and perhaps relatively recently. This in turn makes me think that the original fingerprints may still exist and that there is a possibility that suspended in the ink on the card are DNA cells from the hands of the person from whom these fingerprints were taken.
I put it to Nick that someone should get in touch with SAPOL museum and ask whether they have an example set of blank fingerprint cards from the 1948 period plus an actual copy of a full set of fingerprints.
In the files, mention is made of the man's fingerprints being sent to Central Records in Sydney, the question I raise is were these the originals that were sent or photographs?
These are serious questions that need to be answered and my belief is that someone has those answers, they are not to be dismissed lightly and without any substantiating evidence as seems to have been so often the case.
I leave you with these final questions, when and where was this image taken, by whom and for what purpose?