The Common Sense Approach For Forensic Locksmithing
Authors note: All the information here is accurate. As you see there is a great amount of time spent on this page. If you see a word or two mis-spelled, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org--Rob
The Problem: Locksmithing has nothing to do with auto theft. Although the ignition lock is part of a total picture, analysis of only the ignition lock falls far short for determining the last operation of a stolen vehicle. Currently the common request by insurance companies is for an ignition analysis which fits the locksmith's agenda.
Even Tom Seroogy in the California case Todd v. Coast Insurance, testified he is not an auto theft expert and is a forensic locksmith who examines locks. He, like many in his little group of good ole' boys (in my opinion), did not disassemble the ignition lock in order to examine the components under a microscope. He did not, or could not compare wear or tool marks associated with the keys compared to the wafers (tumblers) in the lock. Transcript will be available shortly.
It is my understanding he "kicked my butt" in that case, but the truth of the matter was the jury was polled as to why they found in favor for the insurance company. All the jurors said during the poll was that they did not believe the plaintiff and the win had nothing to do with Seroogy's stellar (sarcastic) performance, as you will see with the transcripts. No, he only "kicked my butt" in his dreams. He looked like a fool on the stand according to my attorney. Of course, I authored the questions and that is what I wanted him to look like.
Now, if he "kicked my butt", the question would be; why is he frantically trying to get the book that the organization IAIL-http://www.iail.org composed on me and how to attack me?
I am the only former member that paid dues, just so they could deflect from their crappy lock examinations.
This is nothing personal and I am not doing personal attacks. I am however calling these guys out as to why they in fact, don't eliminate all known hypotheses before reaching a conclusion? How can they testify on evidence they have not retained?
Why are they confusing lock analysis with the determination of how a reported stolen vehicle was last operated? They are limited to just the lock and how they as locksmiths would defeat a lock if they were a thief. The problem: They have no idea as to how to steal a car. I do and I will go into that on another page. That is why they attack me any way possible. I am a threat to them by exposing their limitations. Remember boys-a man must know his limitations!
Rich Pacheco and I have had spirited debate over the key pathway process he pioneered. My rift was that the only way one could determine the last key used is that it would the key would have to be found in the lock at the time of the exam. My contention is that would be only if the key is found inserted in the lock at the time of the examination. Other than that, one could determine if something other than the common keys had been used at one time.
Both Rich and I understood that in order to make conclusions about the lock, the methodology had to be correct with taking all known hypotheses into consideration. This required much more than those named previously have done by just inserting a key into the lock and using a scope in the key way. How long does that take? 5 minutes maybe? The courts have been deceived with locksmiths bearing the title "forensic", without the use of the common sense scientific method. At least that is my opinion.
Rich and I spent countless hours on these lock examinations and that is what is required. Dan Cunningham of Washington state does it right. Lee Griggs of South Carolina does it right. Mike Webb of Illinois does it right and yes there are others, but to deflect from a real forensic lock examination, I have been attacked through my career and in my personal life by those that do a slip shod job to deflect from their deliberate (in my opinion) escape from the truth for expediency.
I am going to address their lazy standards that they use under the ruse of "Forensic" and compare it to what should be done. This is not "my" process. This is the common sense approach, if one is doing a lock analysis. Yet, these guys are not doing it and if I address their shortcomings, I am attacked personally. As you will see, this is the art of deflection and misdirection so we don't look at the crappy work they are doing under the ruse of forensics."
Sometimes these methods when applied to the ignition locks are held to be secret, but if secret, its not scientific and that is where forensics comes in.
These are in my opinion good ole' boy clubs and if one opposes their member's reports, he is attacked not only on a career level, but on a personal level as well.
Oh, those constant attacks will be listed on another page and it is a conspiracy theory turned conspiracy fact. Lets go on with the severe methodology problems in this industry and why they have tried to destroy me any way they can.
I will start with the scientific method "common sense."
When examining a reported stolen car as to how it was last operated and the forensic examination of the ignition lock.
Here is the ruse: Insurance companies will request an ignition lock analysis, instead of determining the last operation of the vehicle and this is a huge difference!
Lock analysis promotes a deliberate misdirection to further the agenda of the IAIL Certified Forensic Locksmith program. The problem is that even something as minor as the lock, they can't get that right. I will put up their standards for their so-called forensic ignition analysis and compare it to what, using common sense "scientific method" should be applied.
In order to do the scientific method on an ignition lock, even though it is only one part of determining the last operation of a reported stolen vehicle and locksmithing as you see has very little to do with vehicle theft, but if someone like me shows that I am attacked!
My problem I realize is that I personalized this. This was not about me as a person, it was about shutting me down because I could expose the ruse. I had that capability all along, but did not realize it.
As for my delusional conspiracy theory as they called it, they almost had me believing that. If you take one event separately at a time, it could not be linked to IAIL or the Coalition of Forensic Examiners. The problem for them is that I put together a time line with all the facts and it is very compelling, very decisive beyond any reasonable doubt, the highest standard in our criminal court system. This was no longer a conspiracy theory, but conspiracy fact involving as well one assistant district attorney and one lawyer representing state farm! The time line will be up in a couple days with all the facts.
The time line stretches from 2003 to 2011 and is now enough to take to a Federal Attorney General. I doubt if they will be amused that the federal goose chase on the 14 month investigation on me was launched by the unnamed source (I know who wrote the anonymous letters) with the anonymous letters to look at me for perjury and bankruptcy fraud. The investigation that ruined my life turning it upside down in which the case was closed and based on anonymous allegations. No sorry, no screw you from the feds and I was under a microscope having to supply 3 years of tax records, personal bank records, corporation records. These jerks (feds) would accuse me of something and I would show my innocence. They would accuse me of something else and I would prove my innocence. This was a witch hunt! I truly felt the best way to describe this would be I was emotionally molested, all while going through a divorce!
All because the State Farm attorney Jack Kramer, the IAIL and members of the Coalition of Forensic Examiners needed e out of the way. These are strong charges, but it all can be proven.
Even in 2008, the coalition hired an attorney to threatened me about putting public information of a felon on my site! Bring it on! There is then a vicious counter suit by me and then discovery!
Let's apply the common sense approach on the ignition lock!
In order to apply the scientific method on the ignition lock for surreptitious operation, all known hypothesis have to be eliminated.
In order to do this, the examiner must not insert a key into the ignition lock. Doing so, potentially damages the evidentiary value of the key way, unless a thick oil or grease such as vasoline is applied to the key to cushion the blow. Otherwise, the lock keyway can be potentially be damaged or altered forever!
The ignition lock must be removed!
The ignition lock must be disassembled and the components cleaned of all grease and debris.
What the forensic locksmith will try to eliminate or confirm is wear analysis and tool mark identification.
This cannot be done without all known keys!
Why? Well, the known keys have been in the lock, at least once. The key is made of brass in most cases (there are exceptions), but the key is coated with nickel alloy giving it its silver color. This coating is harder than the soft brass or aluminum wafers and when inserted into the lock creates wear to both the key and the wafers. Sorry, people normally call wafers (tumblers) like that in a safe. Wafers do not tumble. They are flat.
Now it is more than common for the forensic locksmith to say the wafers had "average" or "normal" wear. First of all, define "average" or "normal" wear. It can't be done!! It is however done all the time, especially when the tool that creates the wear (key) is not in the possession of the examiner! How can any wear statement to the wafers be made without having the keys with scientific principles? It can't and yet if an opposing expert contests this net opinion with no basis under the ruse of forensics, he will be attacked! (me) Doesn't this all make sense, in which one cannot prove a statement of wear without the other side of the picture to the wafers, the key that would have created those marks? Common sense!
Now let's say that the examiner actually did put the wafers under 30 times magnification at the contact points (lands) and determines one parent key pathway. Key pathway being the key takes across the lands of the wafers when inserted.
To back up just a little bit, since the key is harder than the wafers when the key is inserted it will leave marks. When removed, the key actually will leave marks in a polishing motion and over time with key usage a wear pattern will develop creating a key path. Makes sense, right?
The examiner may state there is only one parent key path related to wear, and sometimes (most of the time) without even having the keys at the time of the examination. It is impossible to have only key path from one key because this assumption (can't be used in the scientific method) figures on the key being inserted each and every time the same direction. We are dealing with double sided keys that will operate the lock in any direction the key is inserted. This means one key will leave not one, but two key pathways. Again, beyond the hype using common sense!
Tool mark Identification
Again and almost never happens, is that the examiner needs all known keys and he must check for anomalies in the key that potentially can make IDENTIFIABLE marks on the wafers. The keys have to be compared to the lands on the wafers for identifiable marks through the use of a microscope or better yet a comparative microscope. These days however with photographic capabilities with a microscope, one can compare to microscopic pictures of all the key cuts. Is this done? Nope!
What would be a key anomaly? A newly cut key that had not gotten all the burrs buffed. An example you may understand would be; if you got a key cut at a hardware store and you insert it into your house or car lock, it goes into the keyway hard, you have to jiggle it to make it work, or it is difficult to remove from the lock. All these actions will leave fresh marks in the key way. Maybe a key blade is bent. These are anomalies to the key and one should be able to compare these tool marks to the wafer lands. Such tool marks need to be confirmed or eliminated, but obviously the examiner needs the keys at the time of the examination and rarely does offering opinions on evidence not entered.
The lock wafer lands must be checked if anything other than a correctly cut key had been last inserted into the lock such as try out keys, impressionioning, picking or a force tool such as a screwdriver. The unfortunate thing for the insured, when these reported stolen vehicles are looked at for ignition lock analysis, is that locksmiths use picks, try out keys, impression new keys because they have all the time in the world because they are authorized to do this. Thieves do not have this luxury, but such incidents still need to be eliminated using the scientific method.
Another hypothesis to be eliminated is evidence that the ignition lock was used to rotate the lock and start the engine, then forcibly pulled from the lock. Is this hypothesis considered by the IAIL Certified forensic locksmiths? Yes and no. The key is inserted into the lock without ever being removed, rotated to the on position and an attempt is made to remove the key with an outward pull. Well, doing this slip shod examination, will leave tool marks they will never see because they never did a complete autopsy of the ignition lock!
What the Hell is a key of the "proper type." Is it the correct type or the key with exacting cuts coinciding with the lock?
A proper key does not have to be the insured's. It can be a pick, try out key or anything that will rotate the lock. Can you prove through your analysis that the insured's key was last used to operate the lock, or don't you want to commit because your examination is totally flawed because you did not do an autopsy on the lock? Autopsy sounds funny, but in essence, that is what is required to meet the scientific principles.
ALL KNOWN KEYS
Well, keys have to be examined under a microscope for the reason give previously, but there is more!
The keys need to be examined for duplication marks. Duplication marks are caused in one way. If you go to the hardware store to have a key made, you give them a key. The milling machine will grip the original key and the duplicate key blade is being cut through tracing the original key. The examiner would be looking for small grip marks or chatter marks on the known keys. Is this being done by today's forensic locksmith? Nope! If not being performed; how can such an event be eliminated? It can't, there for without the elimination of this hypothesis, the methodology is flawed and is not scientific (common sense) or forensic as this process is held out to be?
I am the bad guy for pointing this out!
Finally, the examiner needs to rule out f there were any signs of force applied to the lock. In the case of a GM lock for an example: There is a "V" slot cut into the side of every wafer. The side bar edge contacts the ""V" when it is in the downward position with the key removed. The side bar is there to resist picking and force. If the lock was force rotated, we will say with a screwdriver pounded into the key way with a vice grips attached, there may be force marks seen at the "V" of the wafer where the side bar locked the wafers in place preventing the lock from being rotated without a key. Is this event ever checked for by the forensic locksmith/examiner? Rarely! Another hypothesis missed in a so called "lock analysis!
A GM lock is different in design from others. Instead of the key going through the keyway of the wafer, the wafer only has one contact point (land). The wafer looks like a small "h" and sits in the lock plug upside down, leaving only one contact point for the key when inserted into the lock.
This lock is not tight tolerance and I know I sound technical here, but I will try to make this simple. Even new, various keys will operate this 9 wafer lock. I have proved this in court many times. The GM, Ford Chrysler and Mitsubishi locks and keys are not made by the vehicle manufacturer. This is subbed out to Strattec of Milwaukee (I have been in and out of that plant many times to see every operation to make keys and locks) and the others are subbed to a company known as "Huff." I could be wrong on this, but I think Huff is located in Milwaukee too.
The keys and locks in a GM ignition are sloppy and a good locksmith knows this as fact, they are made in what would be known half cuts. This means a #3 cut on the key will operate a 2 or a 4 height wafer, creating sloppy tolerances in my opinion. This means a key of the exacting cut coinciding with the wafers in the lock does not need to be used to operate the lock! A key close in cut will operate this lock, however the examiner using a microscope examining the wafer lands should see tool marks of such an event and it should have been a hypothesis eliminated before hand!
The side bar snaps down when the key is removed and the wedged edge fits into the "V" on the side of the wafer like that in the first picture. If the lock is not disassembled, the "V" and the mating side bar can not be examined under a microscope for damage. I will get a side bar pc up shortly for you to see.
The two right photos are of the wafer land under magnification. Marks here would be compared to the keys. Again, this requires disassembly of the lock.
Microscopic view of key key ramps and valleys as they are called.
I will be putting up much more photos and they will be with detailed explanation. The key edges are only at 10x magnification as shown and are not meant to depict they are being compared to anything. I will be placing photos at 30x magnification and key edges at 30x magnification to illustrate identifiable comparison marks. These photos shown are just to illustrate what is not being done in the locksmith industry under the badge of "forensics." Reports will be going up for you to obviously see that the key is just being inserted when available, the lock might be removed and reinstalled, but it is very un-common to see in a report where the lock is disassembled, the components magnified and compared to all known keys. There are rarely supporting photographs, but that can go two ways too!
What about the guys that do a lock autopsy on one vehicle, yet don't do it on others and yet have the same conclusions? That means they know better and just wanted to be time expedient!
These few photos are from macro to micro of these GM lock components. When under magnification, the examiner is looking for identifiable tool marks and wear marks between all known keys, comparative to the contact surfaces of the wafer (tumbler). Oh, that's right, the forensic locksmith can determine "average" or "normal " wear without disassembly of the lock or having all known keys to compare to.
Look, I was written by one of these guys last night. His statement was I was slandering him again. I had to correct him on legal terminology. It would be libel if in writing if it was not true. The truth is my ultimate defense.
I tried for years to change this from within, and all that was done to me was severe personal attacks to deflect from what they did not do. It's been easier to attack me any way possible when I am only the messenger. It has been to misdirect from their crappy methodology and report writing by making statements they simply cannot prove. I have every reason to believe my life is in danger for exposing this.
The last attack is that I have no degree in forensic science. Neither do the accusers. Hmm... They say my methods are not scientific. One does not have to go to school to use the scientific method. We all use it every day in deciding what car to drive, what clothes to wear.
If my methods (which really are not mine) are incorrect, then every CSI investigator, every fire investigator out there are wrong. I cite NFPA 921 as one of my guides on the scientific method. To rule out all known hypotheses before reaching a conclusion. The process must be replicatable and subject for peer review. Otherwise if secret, its junk science.
In court, its one thing to know and it is quite another to prove, which is required for court.
What these locksmiths don't realize, is that I take on an adversarial position when defending my client to the best of my ability. A client is entitled to the best defense he can afford. That, is the law of the land.
These are not personal attacks. If a name is mentioned, your reports will be up here, because you did not take the lock apart, you did not do the testing and you made conclusions you could not possibly support. Do you have photos of the internal lock components under a microscope comparing to all known keys? No! The point being, I am now ready to change the way business is done.
Mr. Rich Pacheco of North Eastern Technical Services at least to my knowledge had his firm remove the locks, disassemble, clean, magnify with photographs and compared to keys on every vehicle. IAIL holds him in high esteem. Yet they loath me for advocating the same thing!
Somewhere, somehow, there was a disconnect and these examinations of the lock are now distorted. In many cases, these examinations entail sticking a key into the lock and maybe removing for a photo op. No disassembly!
in the middle of the key way portion of the wafer horizontally.
If someone were to attempt to put a screwdriver in a Chrysler lock, all the wafers will twist causing obvious internal damage. Forensic locksmiths use such pictures to indicate they examined the ignition lock, but usually when like that, a key is not needed to rotate the lock successfully. There are many variables, but the procedures listed above must be performed.
Another bunch of inherent problems with these locks!
The side bar has spring tension going downward to hold the lock in the lock in the locked position with the wedged end in the "V" of the wafer. After time, these tiny springs sometimes wear out, cocking the side bar or worse yet, not letting it pop into place when the key is removed. This event causes a security issue and should have been checked when the examiner disassembled the lock!
These locks are also notorious to operate without a key at all with no damage to the keyway due to severe wear. I brought this up with Strattec and they designed a test where the key was inserted and removed 150,000 times to check for this phenomena.
These are the issues that must be considered when doing a forensic lock analysis to the ignition lock and all known keys. This is common sense (scientific method) A/K/A Forensic ignition lock analysis.
OK, why do the Certified Forensic Locksmiths from IAIL (http://www.iail.org) and the Coalition of Forensic Examiners (http:/www.forensicauto.net) hate you so much?
Well I expose their inept "forensic methodology" all the time in court matters with the previous matters I just discussed under forensic lock analysis. They try to deflect from what they did not do to form the opinion that the vehicle was last operated with a key of the proper type. Attack me and it keeps them from being exposed to their lazy slip shod practice they currently use.
Now, you addressed all the operations required in the true way of doing a forensic lock analysis. Aren't you concerned someone will steal this information? No
In order to be scientific, you need a process that can be replicated by peers over and over again. If it is secret, its not scientific! Then the process falls into junk science.
Besides, these guys have used information I have given either opposing them or in videos, training, whatever without giving me credit. Who cares, there is nothing secret here and maybe they will start applying what they are supposed to do using common sense!
I hold the most reports from NATS (North American Technical and Forensic Services) (hundreds) Robert F Mangine founded that company and he sure doesn't care for me. Why? 90% of the reports coming from there are deceptive and severely flawed. It's my opinion that every claim/case from this firm should be reevaluated and reopened.
Here is what you had for California examiners-a Private Investigator (Chad Tredway) and a dog trainer! In some instances, the dog trainer who under sworn testimony never cut a key, never saw a key cut in a hardware store, admitted he was not a locksmith or a mechanic and yet in 2008 examined over 2,000 cars!!! (after page 71 on cross)
He at least removed the lock, disassembled the lock, put the wafers under a microscope in at least two cases that I have reviewed so far. Yeah, the dog trainer did!
Tredway, so far in what I have reviewed has stuck a key into the lock, removed it, photographed and reinstalled. No forensics and the only thing scientific in 95% or higher the numbers are all pulled out of thin air to make one believe this CSI stuff!
Tredway as I will demonstrate is making conclusions he cannot support in totally burned vehicles. I currently have a report in which there is absolutely no possible way he can conclude that based on scientific probability the car was last operated with a key fob of the proper type. All the evidence to make a conclusion is destroyed! This is a criminal case because of his expert opinion, which has absolutely no scientific basis!
So because of this guy Tredway, a man has life turned upside down because a prosecutor ignorant to the process assumed this guy could prove what he purports about the totally burned car equipped with no ignition lock. The man is a friggen private Investigator opining on this car!!!
Lets look at the term scientific probability as Mr. Mangine defines. This term is an oxymoron. Anything is probable and there is no scientific basis to get there!
I will be putting up all of their reports, all signed off by Mangine (sort of) as being reviewed by him. I am not a handwriting specialist, but unless he signs with that feminine style writing which changes from report to report and initials by his name, my guess would be the office girls signed his name for reviewing the reports.
Yeah, I could see why he didn't want me to expose the severely flawed methodology. Too bad buddy. It's all going up for comparison, but don't feel bad, you are not alone. I have reports from others as well, Mr. embellished "Court Certified Forensic Examiner."
Its one thing if they did not know any better, but members of this company have disassembled locks and examined the components under a microscope! At least the dog trainer did with no admitted key or lock experience!
What is it? Because they write a report based on their net opinion based on nothing, its not allowed to be questioned as to how those conclusions were made? Are the statements provable? How can you possibly determine "average" wear without the "average" key? Define "average." Define "key of the proper type." Is it the insured's? Is it a key close in cuts? Is it anything that will rotate the lock? Is it a newly cut key? What the Hell is a key of the proper type?
If the process falls short of eliminating all possibilities, well then it is not science and it sure as Hell isn't "forensic."
Tom Seroogy (will put up about 50 of his reports) uses a tape that was used in a case in which I opposed his partner Herb Miller. I demonstrated the problems with the lock and the GM PASSLOCK anti-theft system. I never authorized Seroogy to use it at his seminars, yet instead of asking, or giving me credit, he just blocked my face out. Yes, this is reflective of the people in both organizations.
Whether it was my defeating of the Ford Securilock which I shared with my peers for replication. This system was deemed "Unstealable" by the locksmiths and dealers. I beat it with one wire! Shared it and it was found to be valid and my peers made their own video defeating it. This is science or forensic, but they could have given me credit. My reputation was on the line for defeating it, not theirs!
Mr. Robert Mangine bastardized my process used (that I got from Ford Engineers) to test the Ford Securilock to see if it was functioning. The process was to apply aluminum foil on the head of the ignition key to block the computer chip signal. This had nothing to do with lock analysis as I explained before. The test was only to demonstrate the Securilock transponder system was defeated and the engine would start with the blocked signal.
Instead, Mangine wrote for all transponder vehicles for an ignition function test, to insert the key and start the engine. Then place aluminum foil over the head of the key. Try starting the engine. If it doesn't start transponder is working. If one is to be doing a forensic analysis on the lock, he better not stick a key in the lock without using oil or grease! Otherwise evidence in the keyway is being destroyed! Grind Grind---Oh yeah, that's another thing these forensic locksmiths do!
It is advocated to clean the key way of the lock. What do they do for cleaning? They use penetrating oil! Penetrating oil like WD-40 means it is water dispersible and was tried 40 times until the formula was reached. It is not a cleaner, but an abrasive.
Picture this--You have the original lock lubricant, mixed with dirt, dust, lint and other debris. If you put WD-40 in the lock and insert the key, not only are you cutting that key into the wafer lands, but you are making a huge mess! Let's go one step further where the vehicle had a self-suppressed passenger compartment fire. I guaranty soot goes right into the keyway. Then you mix penetrating oil into the mess? Wow!
See, right now these examiners/locksmiths may tell you the used a field microscope, an Ottoscope or borescope in the keyway. Think of what was just described. How are you going to see the wafer lands below this mess? How are you going to see pick marks on the back side of the wafers?
Scopes are meant only for preliminary examination as I stated in a 1999 book I co-authored with Lee Griggs. These scopes are only to be used for obvious damage like that caused by a screwdriver type tool.
Although they might embellish the capabilities of these magnified lighted scopes used in the keyway, it is like looking into a tunnel, and you may or may not see the end of the lock and it definitely will not let the examiner see under dirt, grease, penetrating oil or soot. They want you top believe this because they were too lazy (in my opinion) to remove the lock and o an autopsy with all the previous hypothesis mentioned.
Here is another problem with these primary examinations being use as forensic lock analysis. No pictures. We are left taking the work of the examiner as to what he states he observed, where as someone else looking at the same thing may have a different opinion (peer review).
Also, without the ignition lock being removed, it cannot be protected from further damage (safe keeping) and any process used can't be peer reviewed (required in order to be scientific)
Now, I have been constantly attack in order to deflect from issues not considered. I have been told because I have not been to any college (neither have most of the IAIL members) on forensics, I don't know what I am talking about. Most of these guys don't even know the definition of the scientific method is.
I graduated from the college of common sense and that I say nothing about these matters unless I can back them up with a basis for my conclusions.
As it was said for the movie Scar face and it relates to these two organizations and the membership as it relates to me "You have taken everything but my balls and my word and your not getting them."
To do anything less than to remove the lock, disassemble and examine and photograph the components under the microscope, is not only doing a disservice to your insurance client but to the insured. At that point if you cannot hold yourself out as forensic locksmiths, but hacks! No wonder you guys are in court so often! No wonder why you have to deflect/misdirect with attacks on me!
How about that, IAIL has a book to attack one of its former dues paying members! (me) The truth shall set you free!
Coming next--Burned cars and lock analysis including unproven conclusions by these forensic locksmiths. Wow! One guy (me) that may change business as it is done today! Going to shake up the forensic lock examinations from the norm!
Copyright© 2011 Rob Painter. All rights reserved.
Opposing attorneys-don't you dare copy this page and attempt to use it against me. You will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for copyright infringement. You can attempt to use your public domain theory, however you are not allowed to copy this page or site for that matter without written permission. If you think you are above the law, try it!