3rd Edition

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis with an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction

ISBN 9781420052688
Published April 8, 2008 by CRC Press
440 Pages 399 Color & 399 B/W Illustrations

USD $190.00

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Book Description

Objective establishment of the truth is the goal of any good crime scene investigator. This demands a consideration of all evidence available using proven scientific methodologies to establish objective snapshots of the crime. The majority of forensic disciplines shed light on the “who” of a crime, bloodstain pattern analysis is one of the most important disciplines to address “what” happened. Understanding the discipline, its underlying scientific basis, and how best to apply this knowledge is crucial in the investigator’s quest for the truth.

Internationally known experts in crime scene analysis, Tom Bevel and Ross M. Gardner explore bloodstain pattern analysis in depth, explaining what it is, how it is used, and the practical methodologies employed to achieve defensible results.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis with an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction, Third Edition:

  • Presents a specific and detailed taxonomy of bloodstain pattern characteristics
  • Offers a full-color fold-out Decision Map to guide analysts through the classification process
  • Uses full-color photos and diagrams to illustrate concepts
  • Describes the theory, principles, and methodology for crime scene reconstruction
  • Details proven, applicable scientific methodologies
  • Emphasizes observable and reproducible results to mitigate accusations of subjectivity in evidence and testimony
  • Provides more than 60% new or significantly revised information

Offering practical advice and tips for novices and experienced professionals, this book employs clear, lucid, and reasoned scientific arguments to provide the tools to guide and focus any investigative effort.

Captain Tom Bevel is a 27-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department, retiring in 1996 as Commander of the Homicide, Robbery, Missing Persons, and Unsolved Homicide units. He is held in high esteem as a qualified expert in crime scene reconstruction and bloodstain pattern analysis in state, federal, and foreign courts. His knowledge and expertise as a crime scene consultant has been sought after in 45 US states and 11 foreign countries. He owns a forensic education and consulting company in his home state of Oklahoma.

Ross M. Gardner retired as a Command Sergeant Major and Special Agent in 1999 after serving a total of 24 years in US Army law enforcement. Certified by the International Association for Identification as a Senior Crime Analyst for the past 16 years, Gardner is an active instructor and consultant throughout the United States in crime scene analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, and crime scene investigation.

Table of Contents

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: Its Function and a Historical Perspective
The Function of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Historical Perspective of Bloodstain Pattern Evidence
Early Scientific References
Modern Works in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Bloodstain Pattern Terminology
Referring to the Discipline
General Terms Relating to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Angle of Impact
(Arterial) Spurt/Gush
Atomized Blood/Misting
Blood into Blood Patterns
Blowback Effect
Capillary Action
Cast-Off Patterns
Contact Stain
Directional Angle
Drip/Drip Trail
Expectorate Spatter/Blood
Fly Spot
Impact Site
Non-Spatter Stains
Origin/Area of Origin
Parent Stain
Pattern Transfer
Primary Stain
Ricochet Stain
Satellite Stain/Spatter
Saturation Stain
Skeletonized Stain/Skeletonization
Spatter Stains
Bloodstain Classification
Classification vs. Overall Opinion
Classification vs. Definition
Why a Taxonomic Classification System?
A Taxonomic Classification System for Bloodstains
The Spatter Family
Category: Spatter
Category: Linear Spatter
Category: Spurt
Category: Cast-Off
Category: Drip Trail
Category: Non-Linear Spatter
Category: Impact Pattern
Category: Expectorate Spatter
Category: Drips
The Non-Spatter Family
Category: Non-Spatter
Category: Irregular Margin
Category: Gush/Splash
Category: Blood into Blood
Category: Smear
Category: Wipe
Category: Swipe
Category: Regular Margin
Category: Pattern Transfer
Category: Pool
Category: Saturation
Category: Flow
Complex Patterns
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Decision Map
Altered Stains and the Decision Map
Practical Application of Taxonomy and Decision Map
Applying the Decision Map with Other Bloodstain Pattern Classification Systems
Low, Medium, and High Velocity
Spatter, Non-Spatter
Passive, Spatter, Altered
Passive, Transfer, Projected/Dynamic
A Methodology for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Scientific Method
A Practical Methodology for Applying Scientific Method
Step 1: Become Familiar with the Entire Scene
Step 2: Identify Discrete Patterns
Step 3: Classify the Patterns
Step 4: Evaluate Aspects of Directionality and Motion for the Pattern
Step 5: Evaluate Point of Convergence and Area of Origin
Step 6: Evaluate Interrelationships among Patterns and Other Evidence
Step 7: Evaluate Viable Source Events in an Effort to Explain the Pattern
Step 8: Define a Best Explanation Given the Data
Applying the Methodology in Different Environments
Active Scenes
Released Scenes
Cold Case Scenes
The Medium of Blood
Spatter Droplet Dynamics
Spatter Drop Dynamics on Impact
Liquid-to-Liquid Impacts
Blood Behavior When Exposed to Different Mechanisms
Blood Dispersed through the Air as a Function of Gravity
Blood Dispersed from a Point Source
Blood Ejected from an Object in Motion
Blood Ejected in Volume under Pressure
Blood That Accumulates and/or Flows on a Surface
Blood Deposited through Transfer
Anatomical Considerations in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, M. Ferenc
Blood Cells and Plasma
Coagulation and Hemostasis
The Circulatory System and Shock
Non-Traumatic Causes of Bleeding
Traumatic Pathology
Firearm Injuries
Sharp Force Injuries
Blunt Injuries
The Forensic Pathologist as a Resource
The Author
Determining Motion and Directionality
General Sequence of Events
Droplet Directionality
Recognizing Blood Trail Motion
Determining Motion from Wipes and Swipes
Repetitive Pattern Transfers
Determining the Point of Convergence and the Area of Origin
Identify Well-Formed Stains in the Pattern
Identify Directionality of the Stains
Identify Point of Convergence for the Pattern
Identify Impact Angles for the Stains
Stain Measurement
Combine the Information to Establish an Area of Origin
Graphing Points of Origin
Defining Area of Origin with the Tangent Function
Three-Dimensional Evaluations of Area of Origin
Stringing Scenes
Forensic Software Applications
How Many Stains Are Enough?
Automation Efficiency or Precision — An Important Distinction
Limitations in Area of Origin Evaluations
Evaluating Impact Spatter Bloodstains
Methods of Description
Understanding the Concept of Preponderant Stain Size
Impact Droplet Size
Pattern Configuration and Dispersion in Impacts
Spatter Resulting from Gunshots
Gunshot Spatter — Forward Spatter and Back Spatter
Size Ranges of Gunshot Spatter
Kinetic Energy, Wound Cavitation, and the Creation of Gunshot Spatter
Double Shot Impact Events
Gunshot Pattern Shapes and Dispersion
Expectorate Blood
Fly Spots
Understanding and Applying Characteristic Patterns of Blood
Impact Patterns
Cast-Off Stains
Projected Blood — Spurt and Gush Patterns
Expectorate Patterns
Drips and Drip Trails
Pattern Transfers
Flow Patterns
Wipes, Swipes, and Contact
Blood into Blood
Altered Stains
Drying Time of Blood
Bloodstained Clothing Issues
Applying Good Clothing Documentation Procedures
Overcoming Poor Collection/Documentation Procedures
Distinguishing Contact from Spatter on Fabric
Directionality and Impact Angle Issues on Fabric
Pattern Transfer Issues
Clothing Documentation
Presumptive Testing and Enhancement of Blood, C. Marie
Presumptive Tests
Choosing a Reagent
Genetic Testing Considerations
Hemastix™ Procedure
Preparing Phenolphthalein, Leucomalachite Green, and o-Tolidine
Phenolphthalein Solution
Leucomalachite Green Solution
o-Tolidine Solution
Testing Procedure Using Phenolphthalein, Leucomalachite Green, and the o-Tolidine Solutions
Searching for and Enhancing Latent Blood
Leucocrystal Violet (LCV) Preparation
Alternate LCV Reagent Preparation Method
Fluorescin Spraying Solution Preparation
Fluorescin in Alcohol Preparation
Fluorescin in Water Preparation
Reagent Preparation
Alternate Reagent Preparation
Safety Considerations
Procedure for Using Luminol, LCV, and Fluorescin
Protein Stains
Confirmation of Blood
Immunoassay Confirmation of Blood
Documenting Bloodstains
The Function of Documentation
Bloodstain Pattern Photography
Scene and Pattern Sketches
Written Reports
A Spatter Pattern Description/Conclusion
A Blood Pool Description/Conclusion
A Pattern Transfer Description/Conclusion
A Complex Pattern Description/Conclusion
An Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction and Analysis
Crime Scene Analysis and the Archeologist’s Dilemma
A History of Crime Scene Analysis
The Correlation of Crime Scene Analysis to Behavioral Analysis
The Application of Scientific Method in the Reconstruction Process
Theory and Principles of Crime Scene Analysis
Locard’s Principle of Exchange
Nicolas Steno’s Principle of Superposition
Nicolas Steno’s Principle of Lateral Continuity
A Methodology for Crime Scene Analysis — Event Analysis
Putting the Pieces Together
Presenting Evidence
Understanding the Nature and Content of Daubert or Similar Challenges
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 113 S.Ct. 2786 (1993)
Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923)
U.S. Federal Rule 702
Responding to Daubert or Similar Challenges
What Is Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
What Is the Purpose of a Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
What Principles Apply to Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
What Is the Methodology Used in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
Where Has Blood Pattern Analysis Been Accepted in Judicial Settings and within the Scientific Community?
What Scientific Studies Have Been Published in Peer Review Journals?
Are There Professional Associations That Recognize Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
Is There an Identified Error Rate for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis?
General Concerns for Testifying
Maintaining Objectivity
Settling in and Establishing a First Impression
Understanding Cross-Examination
Using Demonstrative Aids in Court
Building Demonstrative Presentations Using Computer Resources
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Software Applications
Experimentation in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Considerations for the Design and Conduct of Experiments in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Identify the Investigative Question
Initial Observation and Information Gathering
Identify Variables and Form a Hypothesis
Design a Functional Experiment to Test Your Hypothesis
Obtain Materials and Equipment
Conduct the Experiment and Record the Data
Analyze and Summarize Results
State the Best Explanation
Maintaining a Reality Check, Comparing against the Crime Scene
Experimental Errors
Pitfalls to Experimentation and Reconstruction Attempts
Case Example 1— “Painted Fibers”
Case Experiment 2 — An Odd Impact Spatter
Case Experiment 3 — Spatter or No Spatter
Experiments vs. Demonstrations
Dealing with the Risk of Bloodborne Pathogens
Bloodborne Diseases
Crime Scene Considerations
Dealing with Accidental Exposures
Packaging Biohazard Evidence
Exposure Risks in Training and Experimentation
Other Sources of Information on Managing Bloodborne Pathogen Risks
Appendix A: Weight/Measurement Conversion Table
Appendix B: Trigonometric Functions and Their Application in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Accuracy, Precision, and Significant Digits

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Featured Author Profiles

Author - Ross  Gardner

Ross Gardner

Vice President, Bevel, Gardner, and Associates, Inc., ACSR, IABPA, IAI
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Learn more about Ross Gardner »


“… completely revised and enhanced … a practical and concisely written text. … the most complete and comprehensive handbook to date from the perspective of the criminal investigator and forensic scientist on the subject of bloodstain spatter analysis….an eloquent and practical guide…”
—(from the foreword) Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S., Author of Practical Homicide Investigation

"Mr. Bevel and Mr. Gardner have expanded on the earlier editions of this book and although bloodstain pattern analysis can be a complicated and highly technical subject, this book, although comprehensive, is written in a manner that is easy to understand."

--Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology; Humana Press

 "Overall the text is entirely comprehensive and up-to-date in its content; it would be a wise choice for a student of bloodstain pattern analysis."

—Tom Mavin, Sgt., Forensic Identification Branch, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Cambridge, Ontario, writing in Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal