© 2010

The Police Composite Sketch


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 1-16
  3. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 17-42
  4. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 43-61
  5. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 63-76
  6. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 161-183
  7. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 185-197
  8. Stephen Mancusi
    Pages 199-211
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 213-222

About this book


The police composite sketch, one of the most crucial investigative tools in law enforcement, is developed during a composite session—an intense display of communication and art in which the words of a witness are transformed into the features of a suspect. Despite the incredible technological leaps made in investigative work, the forensic science of composite sketching still relies on the basic elements of drawing skill, interpretive ability and the spoken word. The Police Composite Sketch is a comprehensive manual on how to conduct a complete composite session. Through an array of case studies, it details several disciplines that comprise this specialized forensic art, including composite sketching, image modification, age progression, facial comparison analysis, demonstrative evidence and postmortem/skull reconstruction. It also explores how to intuit insights that are often inadvertently revealed by witnesses, victims and perpetrators during the composite session. In addition, this book discusses other relevant topics, such as the three-stage drawing technique, witness and victim types, descriptive terminologies, managing composite sessions. Complete with numerous illustrations and drawing tips, this seminal work offers a general composite session philosophy and specific session strategies to both experienced and aspiring forensic artists as well as any lay reader intrigued by this fascinating skill.


drawing forensic art forensic sketch police

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.PeekskillUSA

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“I would certainly recommend Stephen Mancusi’s text, The Police Composite Sketch, to anyone interested in the process of artistically retrieving a face from memory for investigative purposes. Though not the first book solely devoted to composite sketching, it is the best one. … This volume serves as a tangible representation of a highly successful career’s worth of crime-fighting police composite art. … The information shared, particularly drawing tips, should be useful to both novice and seasoned police artists.” (Karen T. Taylor, Amazon, December, 2010)