The scene of a crime

    Scene of a crime, Tatort
    Von Anna Hochsieder

    coronerGerichtsmediziner(in)Do you enjoy reading murder mysteries or watching whodunnits? We present language to talk about investigating a crime scene.

    A rookieEinsteiger-, Anfänger-rookie detective reports

    The call came through at 2 a.m. When we arrived, the uniform (ifml.)Uniformierte(r)uniforms (N. Am.) had already to cordon offabsperren, absicherncordoned off the crime sceneTatortcrime scene. Even in the night, a small crowd of onlookerSchaulustige(r)onlookers had gathered, trying to get a glimpse(kurzer) Blickglimpse of the bodyhier: Leichebody lying in the car parkParkplatzcar park.

    “A young male, around 20. The coronerGerichtsmediziner(in)coroner’s on his way,” said one of the scene-of-crime officers by way of sth.als, anstattby way of greeting. Pulling on a pair of gloves, Inspector Forbes to crouch downin die Hocke gehencrouched down next to the body. “Well, no need for a post-mortemAutopsie, Obduktionpost-mortem to to determine the cause of deathdie Todesursache bestimmendetermine the cause of death, I’d say,” she remarked, pointing to the knife lying next to the victim. “He’s obviously been to stab sb.jmdn. erstechenstabbed.”

    “We’ve had lots of gang-relatedBanden-gang-related incidentVorfall, Vorkommnisincidents in the area lately, ma’am,” the SOCOTatortermittler(in)SOCO said. “It’s a roughgewalttätigrough neighbourhood.”

    Another officer was to bageinpackenbagging and to tagbeschriftentagging various piece of evidenceBeweisstückpieces of evidence. “Any clueHinweisclue to his identity?” the inspector asked. “None so far, ma’am. But I’ve managed to to tape liftmit Klebeband abhebentape-lift some hair sampleHaarprobehair samples that are obviously not the victimOpfervictim’s. Oh, and we may have an eyewitnessAugenzeuge, -zeugineyewitness,” he added. “The neighbour who to call 999einen Notruf absetzencalled 999 says she saw a car to speed awaysehr schnell davonfahrenspeed away, and she wrote down the licence numberZulassungsnummerlicence number.”

    “Not bad,” said Inspector Forbes. “I wouldn’t mind an open-and-shut caseklarer Fallopen-and-shut case for a changezur Abwechslungfor a change.”


    The scene of a crime: vocabulary

    Click the hotspots in the image to discover the vocabulary. You will find a list with translations below.



    1. hearseLeichenwagenhearse
    2. police tapeAbsperrbandpolice tape
    3. squad carEinsatzwagen der Polizeisquad car
    4. forensic photographerPolizeifotografforensic photographer
    5. fingerprint kitFingerabdrucksetfingerprint kit
    6. evidence bagBeweisbeutelevidence bag
    7. chalk silhouetteKreideumrisschalk silhouette
    8. bloodstainsBlutfleckenbloodstains
    9. footprintFußabdruckfootprint
    10. murder weaponMordwaffemurder weapon
    11. photo evidence markerskleine nummerierte Aufsteller auf dem Boden neben den Beweisstückenphoto evidence markers
    12. pool of bloodBlutlachepool of blood
    13. scene-of-crime officer (SOCO) UK, crime-scene investigator (CSI) N. Am.Kriminaltechniker(in), Spurenermittler(in)scene-of-crime officer (SOCO) UK, crime-scene investigator (CSI) N. Am.
    14. protective clothingSchutzanzugprotective clothing
    15. glovesHandschuhegloves
    16. inspectorKommissar(in)inspector