Forensic procedures for facial-composite construction

Cristina Fodarella*, Heidi Kuivaniemi-Smith, Julie Gawrylowicz, Charlie D. Frowd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The paper provides a detailed description of standard procedures for constructing facial composites. These procedures are relevant to forensic practice and are contained in the technical papers of this special issue; the purpose of this paper is also to provide an expanding reference of procedures for future research on facial composites and facial-composite systems. 

Design/methodology/approach – A detailed account is given of the interaction between practitioner and witness for producing a facial composite. This account involves an overview of the Cognitive Interview (CI) and the Holistic CI (H-CI) techniques used to obtain a description of the face of an offender (target); the authors then describe how this information is used to produce a composite from five popular face-production systems: Sketch, PRO-fit, Electronic Facial Identification Technique (E-FIT), EvoFIT and EFIT-V. An online annex is also made available to provide procedural information for additional composite systems. 

Practical implications – The work is valuable to forensic practitioners and researchers as a reference for interviewing techniques (involving a CI or an H-CI) and using facial-composite systems. 

Originality/value – The authors provide an accessible, current guide for how to administer interviewing techniques and how to construct composites from a range of face-production systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-270
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive interview (CI)
  • E-FIT
  • EFIT-V
  • EvoFIT
  • Facial composite
  • Holistic CI (H-CI)
  • PRO-fit
  • Sketch


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